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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is the "Project Runway" finale the battle of the boring?

Let's be honest -- this season of "Project Runway" has been a bit of a letdown. No, it wasn't the move from New York to L.A. -- which, if anything, livened things up -- or even the move from Bravo to Lifetime. Instead, it was the absence of judging bedrocks Neeenah Gahcia and Michael "Too Much Suntan" Kors and early departures of promising designers like Ra'mon and Shirin that led to a lackluster final three. Still, Channel Surfing fashionistas (OK, aspiring) and "PR" diehards Malavika Jagannathan and Kelly McBride eagerly await the conclusion of the finale tomorrow night. Who will win the all-female head-to-head at Bryant Park -- will it be Carol Hannah, Althea or Meana Irina?

Malavika: Well, Part I of the finale was about what I expected. Tim Gunn visits all three gals at their homes for some one-on-one criticism and family dinner time. Fast forward to the end, when not shockingly, the trio is given ONE FINAL CHALLENGE... DUH DUH DUH. They have to create a thirteenth look! But, hey, they get some help from former contestants Logan, Christopher and Gordana. It's a classic "PR" twist. So classic I was bored by it. But even more, I was a little bored with what the three finalists were presenting as their final looks.

True to form, Carol Hannah -- who gets major points for working while deathly ill and vomiting -- is going the girly, dressy, whimsical route. Althea's love of structure is not terribly apparent in her large knit-wear, and Meana Irina (the greatest nickname ever) is depressing in her all-black drab line of -- gasp -- knits. (I'm sure she'll say Althea copied her, even though Althea lives in Ohio and she lives in New York). If I had to pick a winner based on the final collection, I'd probably go with Carol Hannah's because it seems the most cohesive, but the overall winner throughout the competition has probably been Irina, as much as it pains me to say it. Irina is talented -- even though she's a big fat meanie and not in an adorable Christian Siriano gay man way -- and she has the best chance to go home with the prize.

Kelly, what say you? Were you as bored? Who would you like to win?

Kelly: First of all, I don't know how anyone can even pretend to be shocked when they're asked, last-minute, to create a 13th look. It happens every season, they bring in the kicked-off designers, styles clash, yada, yada, yada, Bryant Park. Secondly, I was way excited to see Papa Gunn's cameo on Tuesday's "Biggest Loser" makeover show. A girl can never have too much Gunn. But I digress.

I agree that this season has been a bit lackluster, and just about every week some aspect of the judges' final decision has given me pause. Ra'mon and Shirin were booted way too early, with nary a second chance from the ever-changing judges' panel, while Christopher hung on for dear life and almost made the finale?! Come ON, Heidi and Co.! I've said it here before -- Christopher showed great promise early on, but should have been auf'd about five episodes sooner than he was (despite being from my homestate. Much love, Minnesota. Much love). Each one of our final three undoubtedly deserve to be there, but one can't help but wonder what would have happened if some of their more worthy competitors had been given the chance to stay.

As for the finale, I think it's still anyone's game at this point. Just like last season (and absent a Christian-like standout), I think any one of the women has what it takes. Irina's stubborn refusal to infuse some color into her black-on-black collection might come back to bite her, but our boy Christian presented a similarly monochromatic collection and won. Then again, "Meana" (you're right, best nickname ever) is no Christian. As for who I'd like to see win, I'm always a sucker for the underdog. And nothing says underdog like preparing for the biggest day of your life when you can't stop puking -- so I'm pulling for Carol Hannah. I wouldn't mind Althea taking top prize, but Meana (this season's Kenley) just bugs me too much. And she's not talented enough to be that cocky.

So Malavika, right back at you -- who do you want to see win? Will the final fashion show be as unforgettable as the hype would lead us to believe? And can we start an online petition to make Neenah Gahcia and Michael "Orange" Kors judge every challenge next season?

Malavika: I think we're on the same page about Carol Hannah. Homegirl deserves a win for being deathly ill, but I wouldn't be upset if either of the other two walked away with it. OK, I'd be a little annoyed if Meana Irina won, but I think I could -- in the immortal words of Tim Gunn -- make it work.

The "Project Runway" Season Six finale airs Thursday on Lifetime at 9 p.m. CST. Any other PR fans want to weigh in?

-- Malavika Jagannathan, and Kelly McBride,



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