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Thursday, September 25, 2008

LL Cool J to Kenley: 'Mama Said Knock You Out'

Sometimes there's just too much television for one Channel Surfing blogger to handle.

That's when we need a break to sit back, relax and indulge in some friendly back-and-forth (via email of course, we don't actually like to speak to one another in person). Bloggers Sara Boyd and Malavika Jagannathan discuss "Project Runway" as it nears the end of another blissfully drama-filled season, and try to figure out who the devil Kenley thinks she is and how to teach Tim Gunn to slap a woman.

Sara: One thing's for sure, it's been an interesting final push for Bryant Park. As Fashion Week gets closer and closer, the nails are out, the hair-pulling and teeth-clenching are in full swing and everyone's out to prove they're the best. As we've seen in recent weeks, some contestants may be out to prove they're not only the best, but ruler of the world. OK, I guess just one candidate. Kenley, Kenley, Kenley. The girl has lost her mind and as we saw last night, she may not be able to back up her big mouth as much as we've previously thought.

Wednesday's "PR" brought a runway favorite back -- the designers were to design for ... the other designers. (Cue the drama!) As we've seen in previous years, when the designers are told to make something for each other -- the product can be scary. (Remember when Santino made that awful jumpsuit for Kara? Yikes.) This year's challenge had a bit of a twist. Not only were they told to make something for each other but it must be based off a musical genre. The designers were scared ... and with good reason.

Kenley was given the task of designing a hip-hop look for Leanne. And as a young, 50s-era styling WHITE girl, it was no surprise that she had no idea what she was doing -- but that didn't stop Kenlizzle from talking like she knew exactly what hip-hop style was. Clearly, according to K-to-the-enley, hip-hop means pants up to your boobs, a flowery tank top and a leather jacket too small to fit a life size Barbie. Oh, and lots of tacky gold jewelry. I mean, that's, like, totally hip-hop, right? According to Mr. LL Cool J (Yes, the ladies still love cool James ... ) -- no, definitely not.

Even Tim Gunn tried to warn her -- telling her this clearly wasn't hip-hop and you can't make that work. Alas, our favorite gay man was given tons of 'tude as she swiftly ignored his comments.

MJ, just how hideous was Kenley's hip-hop outfit? Do you think that should've been enough to send her packing? And can we please discuss the serious disrespect paid to our Papa Gunn?

Malavika: Forget hip-hop, Kenley's outfit was definitely something Carol Burnett would have worn back in, yeah, you guessed it, the 1950s. High-waisted jeans and "bling" do not a hip-hop outfit make in ANY era.

I love retro style as much as the next gal, but, seriously, KENLEY NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING ELSE. Even Rami the Draper from last season was able to move past his crutch, and, most importantly, he did not mouth off to the judges when they pointed out his propensity to make the same dress every week. Kenley's attitude coupled with her utter disrespect for the challenges (and Papa Gunn) should have gotten her auf-fed a few weeks back. If nothing else, it should have sealed her fate in last night's pathetic showing.

Kenley is slowly shaping up to be Project Runway's version of She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named from another favorite Bravo show. I'm beginning to have deja vu -- where have I seen this defensiveness and downright rudeness before? Oh, wait, is your name Lisa (*shudder*) and do you suck the life out of everything around you? And is it possible that producers are keeping you around for drama purposes?

Her serious attitude problems had me wishing that it was her -- and not third-person lovin' Suede -- who had gone home. What do you think Sara -- should we call her Lisa or is that going too far?

Sara: I think it's very accurate to say Kenley possesses a number of "She-Devil-Lisa" qualities but I think it's a different kind of disgust this time around. Sure, everyone knew there was no way Lisa should've made it to the finals of "Top Chef" but there she was, crossed-armed and all, for the viewing audience to hurl rotten tomatoes at. With Kenley, I feel like I've been double-wronged. Mostly because I started off liking her, and hip-hop disaster aside, I still think she can produce very wearable garments.

So it's the complete disrespect for the judges and the overly cocky attitude that's encompassed my reasons for bringing her to the bottom of my list. I'd argue it's worse than hating Lisa. Lisa sucked, there's no doubt about it -- I wouldn't let her make me a microwavable Lean Cuisine. With Kenley, you know she has the talent and that makes it just that much more of a waste that she insists on being a complete B.

All I know is that the producers better not wrong us again and send Kenley to Fashion Week in the top three. We already had to suffer through a finale of "Top Chef" with a holier-than-thou bottom feeder, we can't handle Kenley starting her runway show -- of ALL 50s-era flower-printed dresses -- by boasting her greatness to the world's most talented designers. How embarrassing! So please, if there's any justice, it needs to be Jerell, Korto and Leanne in the finale.

Moving on, not that I couldn't go on forever about Kenley's suckfest, MJ, what did you think about the other designer's outfits? And what do you think will happen next week?

Malavika: I think I, too, have gotten all my Kenley-related hatred out of the way... NOT.

But moving on.

I thought there were some innovative pieces for a pretty abstract challenge, which gives me hope for the final three of Leanne, Korto and Jerell. (Kenley is persona non grata to me). I like that unlike last season, when winner Christian Siriano was far above the rest, there isn't a clear winner in this bunch. I like Korto's ability to be creative without being ridiculous (bleaching the denim in last night's episode for Suede's punk rock look was a genius move!).

But next week's preview scares me. They're all crying -- how very Ricky of them -- and I can't tell if that's good because Kenley is crying or bad because so are Jerell and Korto. If Kenley isn't gone next week, I will give up on PR. (Readers may recall I made a similar statement with Lisa from "Top Chef" but couldn't stay away).

Or if nothing else, I will never wear a retro-50s dress EVER again.

Catch "Project Runway" at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays on Bravo.

-- Sara Boyd, and Malavika Jagannathan,

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-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At September 25, 2008 at 5:06 PM  

I don't think it's just for drama that they're keeping her on... if you look back at all the outfits they've done Kenley's have generally been much better than Suede's, even if they're all a bit similar.

That said, I think she wouldn't make the final three very interesting. I do get the feeling we've seen everything she can do...

By Blogger Eileen, At September 25, 2008 at 11:32 PM  

I can't believe Kenley isn't consciously embarrassed by herself. I mean, wouldn't you feel ridiculous talking smack in front of the judges - all of whom are huge names in the fashion biz?
I guess it doesn't matter, because I'm always embarrassed for her.

By Blogger Ms. Quarter, At September 28, 2008 at 10:46 PM  

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