Even though Season 9 of Project Runway is winding down, PR fans have been able to handle the impending anxiety that usually accompanies the show's Fashion Week finale with the promise of two spin-off series: Project Accessory and Project Runway All-Stars. The original plan was for both Accessory and All Stars to premier on November 3, the week after PR season 9 ended. Lifetime recently announced that All-Stars will be pushed to an unknown date in 2012, and Accessory will now premier after the Project Runway season 9 Fashion Week finale on October 27.
No reasons behind the scheduling reshuffle have been announced by the network, and the whole thing seems strange to PR watchers. In TV-time this is a very last-minute decision, and begs the question -- why pull (or push) All-Stars? Consider first what effect this could have on Accessory: On one hand, its viewing numbers could be strengthened by the lead-in from the season finale of Project Runway; on the other hand, their premier time-slot -- 10:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. CT -- kind of sucks and could hurt their numbers by airing so late. Sure, DVRs help, but I DVR a lot of stuff I don't end up watching. I think it's a risky move. After the premier episode, Project Accessory will fall into the 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT time slot so hopefully the premier will be juicy enough to keep us coming back.
So with All-Stars off floating on an uncertain horizon, let's take a quick peek at the Project Accessory crew -- who will be making it work in belts and baubles this season?
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The accessory competition will feature 12 contestants who will "compete and showcase their unique vision for accessories and show audiences how to transform any outfit." Hosted by actress/model Molly Simms, the judges are designer Kenneth Cole and InStyle Editor Ariel Foxman; guest judges will include Debra Messing and Kelly Osborne. Vivre CEO Eva Lorenzotti will be our poor-man's Tim Gunn. Just jokes, Eva! You'll be great! My best advice? Make it work!
Here is a brief look at the contestants (unfortunately, Lifetime.com has yet to populate contestant biography/info pages):
Cotrice (Milwaukee, WI/Atlanta, GA): Specialty -- jewelry Brian Burkhardt (Manchester, NH/Miami, FL): Specialty -- jewelry Christina Caruso (New York, NY): Specialty -- jewelry Nina Cortes (Miami, FL): Speciality -- jewelry Shea Curry (Hattiesburg, MS/Los Angeles, CA): Specialities -- jewelry, hair accessories Adrian Dana (Baltimore, MD/Lithonia, GA): Specialty -- church hats David Grieco (Watertown, NY/Los Angeles, CA): Specialty -- belts Kelly Horton (Philadelphia, PA/Edgewater, NJ): Speciality -- handbags Diego Rocha (Sao Paolo, Brazil/Chicago, IL): Specialty -- handbags Nicolina Royale (Minneapolis MN/Los Angeles, CA): Specialty -- leather rock 'n' roll accessories Rich Sandomeno (Elmwood Park, NJ/Los Angeles, CA): Specialty -- jewelry James Sommerfeldt (Chicago, IL): Speciality -- footwear
To recap, Project Accessory premiers on Thursday, October 27, at 9:30 p.m. CT, directly following the season finale of Project Runway on Lifetime.