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Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Project Wrongway?"

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" and the palpable anger they feel after yet another "PR" letdown that lets Bravo's newest She-Devil live to fight another day at Bryant Park.

Malavika: "Project Runway" fans have every reason to storm Bravo's studios, demanding a recount. Or at least a re-do. Last week's episode should have seen Kenley -- aka I-can-make-a-50s-style-dress-and-I-grew-up-tough-on-a-tugboat -- packing, but instead producers and judges let the pain extend for another episode. In real time, they gave contestants another two months to produce a 10-piece collection for Fashion Week plus a wedding dress. In the end, the final three were determined on the basis of the wedding dress -- not their collection -- and Jerell was sent packing due to the fact that, well, no one would have worn that dress outside the house, let alone on their wedding day.

Sara, doesn't it feel like we've seen this strategy before from a Bravo reality show (Dale getting cut over the original She-Devil in "Top Chef")? Or was Jerell rightfully cut?

Sara: You know, as much as I want to say "This is blasphemy! How dare they! What are they thinking?" I just can't. At least not as much as when Bravo chose a talentless hack over Dale in "Top Chef." (P.S. Bravo, I'm still mad and you're still not invited to my birthday party.) And really, personality-wise yes, Jerell should've been "At da tennn-tah," but as much as I love him, he just didn't bring it like he promised he would. I have to agree with NEEnah Gah-CEE-ah. His wedding dress looked dirty with that gray tulle and let's be honest, even bees wouldn't have been attracted to that flower pot growing out of the model's head. I kept thinking it wasn't fair for them to ask them to make their lines and not even look at one piece of it -- but then again, I was even underwhelmed by Jerell's line (at least at the stage he was at during the Papa Gunn visit).

Still, Kenley sucks and that's not going to change. I will admit I thought her rude 'tude died down a bit when she returned, but I'm not holding out hope that she's a new and improved Kenley. I also don't understand why the judges were admitting that her wedding dress has been done before -- Bjork's swan dress, anyone?? -- and still, they complimented her and patted her on the back for a job well done. Sure, her bridesmaid's dress was cute, but don't kid yourself, no one will be looking at the bride when everyone can see the bridesmaid's la cucaracha -- how about a little length, Kenley?

MJ, based on what we've seen so far, who do you think has the best shot at being the fierce Season Five winner, and who'll most likely be the hot, tranny mess?

Malavika: I think you're right, Sara, in that the judges may have made the right call -- no matter how difficult it is for viewers to believe it. I hope that it's worth it next week when those collections are showcased on television for the first time.

Although she had a misstep in the wedding dress challenge, I think Korto has the innovation, the colors and, most importantly, that special "oompf" to walk away with the prize. Week after week, she's shown both classic style and creativity to make you go "whoa" (remember the outfit made out of seatbelts?), which is the key to a "PR" winner. I think Leanne is close behind, though, because while her style isn't quite as bold as Korto's, she carries off elegance and romanticism with ease. Her collection has a definite theme that flows together (it's based on wave motion... so that word seems appropriate). As for Kenley, while I was disappointed to see Tim Gunn praise her work, I am interested to see what she comes up with. She's definitely wack, don't get me wrong, but there's almost something appealing in seeing the weirdness that occasionally has the potential to work.

In the end, though, if anyone can pull it off, I think it's Korto -- although I'm a definite convert to the Leanne fan club, as well.

Do you think Kenley will fall on her face at Bryant Park? (Not literally, although boy, am I hoping for that).

Sara: Though she doesn't have much walking on the runway to do, I think Kenley could -- and possibly will -- pull a Carrie Bradshaw and become runway roadkill.

I agree. Korto's line -- or what we saw of it -- has a lot of potential. I love the colors, and with exception to the dress that even made Tim Gunn blush, I think she's got some fascinating pieces. I was glad that she didn't get the axe, just because I can't wait to see her line come down the runway. Also because she so obviously rocks and, quite possibly, has the cutest child ever.

But I gotta say, I think I want Leanne to win. Her line and innovation with the wave inspiration is simply stunning. I adored her wedding dress -- and unlike Kenley's, I've never seen anything like that. I think her one downfall may be the lack of colors in her line. It seems like it's pretty much that light teal -- which I adore -- and off white fabrics. Granted, Christian's final line was completely black and beige and that. was. fierce. So maybe it'll work to her advantage and really put an emphasis on the different styles in her collection.

Unless Kenley pulls something straight out of left field like -- gasp! -- a 60s-era floral print dress, then I just don't think she's going to have the big guns to go up against Korto and Leanne. I like her idea of painting on fabric -- that was new -- but then she just painted floral prints on 50s-era dresses! Oh, so close. And grew up on a tugboat or not -- no one wants to wear rope around their neck.


Just as "PR" fans are looking forward to a new season -- and a new home for the show on Lifetime -- there's news that it may not quite happen. A judge ruled that "Runway" producers had violated their agreement with Bravo by negotiating with Lifetime. Could next week be the last Bryant Park show we see? Let's hope not! Perhaps producers and Bravo need to take a cue from Tim Gunn and "make it work." Check out the story.

Catch the season finale of "Project Runway" -- with a live blog from your favorite "PR" bloggers Sara and Malavika -- at 8 p.m. Wednesday on Bravo.

-- Malavika Jagannathan, and Sara Boyd,



I'm gonna have to say it again, Kenley is great for Project Runway. Reality Shows need interesting characters, and that is what Kenley is. The other three contestant's personalities were sort of boring, good clothes, boring personalities. So thank you Project Runway for not dismissing your second most interesting character this season (number one being Stella). Also I will be cheering for Leanne, I think her designs have been the best so far.

By Blogger MattV, At October 10, 2008 at 8:06 AM  

I agree in part that Kenley makes for great, emotional TV, but wasn't what set "Project Runway" (and to some degree "Top Chef") apart from the Survivors and Big Brothers of the world was that they reward talent, not personality? Sure, personality is part of it, but the winner should be decided on creativity, not controversy.

Maybe I'm naive in thinking that -- who knows? I'd probably be complaining it was boring had they not kept some interesting characters around.


By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At October 10, 2008 at 10:34 AM  

You could also raise the point that Jerell did win the last challenge. So was it even fair for him to be in the running to be auf'd?

Also, I think Jerell's personality adds to the show. For me, anyway. I adore him, and his hats.

But yeah, I wasn't that impressed by his line in the works either. I'm not leaning any one direction for the moment as far as a winner. I still find Leanne's looks sometimes just too constructed.

Also what is the deal with no re-union show?? Can I just say? I always like to be reminded of who was there back in the first weeks.

By Blogger Eileen, At October 10, 2008 at 6:15 PM  

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