Project Runway: Drama Escalates to Ladies' Room-Visit Levels

This week on Project Runway: Model /designer Erin Watson is the guest judge, Bert is a jerk (but I still love him), Olivier takes a tumble, and Heidi Klum wears a sparkly, strapless jumpsuit with sneakers.

Episode five kicks off with an athletic challenge revolving around Heidi's line of athletic wear with New Balance. In addition to immunity, the winner will have their design manufactured for sale on The designers are gifted with sneakers and sent to a New Balance track facility where they race for the privilege of being the leader on this team challenge. Before the race can start, Cecelia--who has been moping since her bottom three finish last episode--tells Tim and Heidi she isn't happy and quits the competition literally at the starting line.

Four of the strongest designers come in first in the footrace: Joshua M., Bryce, Anthony Ryan, and Viktor. Heidi jogs the last four meters--in 6-inch Christian Louboutins--with Bert who is definitely ... not fast. Olivier, who got a sweet bruise on his knee when he tumbled, passes out but he's already lying down so it's hard to tell. He bounces back and teams are then selected.

Team challenges always produce tons of drama and at least one hot mess of a garment. So which team leader will guide us to victory?

London 2012!
London 2012!

Team Joshua M. with Becky Ross and Anya: Trouble is brewing early, when Joshua tells us in his camera interview that he picked Betty for her "energy and sewing skills" but he doesn't think of her as a style icon. He and Anya veto every single suggestion Becky pitches. Joshua and Anya so obviously exclude her from the entire design process, it's kind of mean. After a workroom visit, Joshua gets mad at Becky because Heidi didn't like the dress that he told her to make, and when Becky points out she just did what he told her to do Joshua calls her designs "frumpy." A tearful trip to the ladies' room ensues. Joshua joins the girls in the bathroom stall, apologizes and makes nice, and the team moves forward with their work.

Team Bryce with Danielle and Kimberly: Bryce is an effective leader, and he works well with both women. While Laura Kathleen says in a camera interview that she thinks Bryce needs to go home, I think his designs are looking better than his past work. Danielle is really quiet and stays in the background, but in comparison to assertive Kimberly that may be inevitable.

Team Anthony Ryan with Laura Kathleen and Bert: Nobody Loves Bert. There is friction in this group almost immediately. Bert is prickly, and AR and LK are so braced for it that they are preemptively defensive--the entire atmosphere is tense. The thing about Bert is that while he is a jerk and doesn't play well with others, he is still insightful and a good designer to boot. His bad attitude is fooling the other designers into thinking he isn't talented--and they are wrong.

Team Viktor with Olivier and ?: Because Cecelia hit the road, Viktor gets to choose an eliminated designer to come back and he goes with Joshua C. There is genuine enthusiasm for his choice and Joshua C. was clearly well-liked; when he returns to the workroom there are lots of smiles and big applause.

The designers get to work and we see a lot of jersey, denim and drama, but not much by way of designing. After a workroom visit, Heidi and Tim seem completely confused by almost every team's concepts, and designers are given five extra hours to work. These clothes must be worse than even I think they are.

Once the designs hit the runway, everything hits the fan. The clothes are so haphazard the judges can't even pick clear winning teams, and they have to critique each design individually. It's not just the collections that are confused, the judges disagree with each other on the merits of individual designs.


On the Runway

Anthony Ryan and Bert exchange a loving glance on the runway.
Anthony Ryan and Bert exchange a loving glance on the runway.

Team Anthony Ryan: Cue dramatic finger pointing and name calling! AR and LK team up and gang up on Bert. Even though Anthony Ryan is the leader he blames the design missteps on Bert's personality faults. The joke is on team leader AR because, for all his protestations about how Bert "refused" to change his look, Bert's design--a modified cocktail dress--is the only one the judges liked.

Joshua C. takes no prisoners.
Joshua C. takes no prisoners.

Team Joshua M.: Things don't break down as badly for Team Josh as Team AR, but of the three looks only one--Anya's--really passes with the judges. The word "dowdy" comes up again, but ultimately Josh makes it clear that he had a strong hand in the design process.

One of these things is not like the others.
One of these things is not like the others.

Team Bryce: I don't know where Bryce pulled his dress from this week, but it's beautiful and the judges agree. For some inexplicable reason Melissa decides to make another wimpy green chiffon top and the judges hate it. Kimberly does a decent jacket, but Bryce's dress is the star of the collection.

One day you're in, the next you're Amish.
One day you're in, the next you're Amish.

Team Viktor: Most of the collection goes over well with the judges, other than Olivier's long, shapeless gray jersey skirt that from the beginning Viktor called "Amish." On the other hand, Viktor made a leather jacket that is so chic, it is impossible to believe the judges won't pick it as the winning look.


Or should I say, winners: Viktor and Joshua M. Both designers get immunity and both get a look from their collection replicated for Heidi's New Balance line. Viktor's leather jacket and Anya's maxi dress are the winning looks.


Melissa's second lifeless green chiffon shirt gets her booted, but Heidi lets Anthony Ryan know that if the decision was hers alone he would be out.

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