Project Runway: There's no "Suede" in "team"

Okay, so the title is apropos of nothing, except the (very funny) first-person/third-person joke, and the fact that this week's episode was the first team challenge of the season.

The episode opens with Keith and Daniel straight pumping those weights. Well, Keith is, anyway; Daniel's obviously going for reps over weight. Ahem.

But we might as well get the challenge out of the way, because it's just so thrilling that I can't wai--oh, that's right, Bravo continues to scuttle the ship by revealing every possible reason the casual fan would have to watch each week.

So we already know that it's Brooke Shields who's going to walk through that door with a preternatural grimace-smile and announce that the designers will have to put clothes on her back. Oh, did you know she has a SHOW AIRING THURSDAYS AT 10/9 PM ON NBC? At least with PR, the promotion is kept at least 50% within the GE family of networks.

The second-least surprising surprise is that Brooke's character will wear the look on the show. It'll have to be flexible, going from work to nightlife with minimal alteration. Tim announces that the designers will be pairing off to design this look. Exactly NO ONE is thrilled about this.

The top six designs, as pimped to Brooke, will grant team leadership. Fortunately, Brooke is unawed by the spectacle that is a room full of Project Runway designers. Her fashion wits about her, she picks Keith, Korto, Kelli, Terri, Jerell, and (stating clearly her extreme apprehension) Blayne. She also notes, in one of the few on-screen criticisms, that corsets aren't exactly SFW, Stella.

The designs are always a mixed bag, and you know that a handful of designers are going to go completely off the rez once they get needle and thread in hand. But initial thoughts lead me to worry about Kelli's leopard-heavy look, and also about Terri. Terri, whom I love. Terri, of the many pants. Be careful, Terri.

The designers begin the arduous task of choosing from a panel of sad sack second-placers. Blayne/Leanne. Keith/Kenley. Terri/Sueude. Korto/Joe. Kelli (in a decision over which she agonizes, not wanting to send Stella home if she performs poorly...?) picks the muscular moper, Daniel. Jerell, in a pairing that is so fucking crazy it just might work, gets Stella.

$150 and a trip to Mood later, the designers return with their goods. It becomes clearer and clearer that Jerell and Stella ("Jerella" to the tabloids) actually have some design chemistry, and could actually pull it off. As Tim announces that the win is big enough to remove the need for an immunity reward, Kelli goes into a confessional monologue about her childhood and her grandma and, I don't know, her second grade crush's pet hamster. THIS must be the sentimentality bullet that Korto dodged, only because Korto's sentimentality involved dodging actual bullets.

Line of the night: Terri, in a confessional criticism of Suede's whiny manner, proclaims "I ain't got no babies, and nobody sucking on my titties, so man up." Ah, Terri. Always good for some street slang.

Stupid of the night: Blayne calls Yakima (WA), with an 80,000+ in-town population and a 210,000+ metro area population, a "super-small town." Blayne....you're an idiot.

Tim visits bracket the commercial break, and we see Daniel completely cocking Kelli's design up, and completely and unrepentantly not caring. Fiancee and I agree: When does he get to go home? And Terri's titties continue to be unimpressed by Suede's work (boy, that's a David Dust line from me if there ever was one).

Tim's thoughts are great, as usual. Blayne's is too casua--BLAYNE, STOP IT. Enough with the goddamn -licious, already. Anyway. Team Jerella is cranking it out and Tim is pleased, as opposed to Kelli and Daniel's sad lingerie look. Terri is officially reinvigorated by Tim's positive appraisal of a look in which she had zero confidence. Kenley gets her balls busted by Tim (hello!) for the horrible 1980's sofa fabric she had wanted to use.

And Korto/Joe. Oh, Korto. All season, I've been riding you to show some emotion! And when Tim expresses concern about your look, you offer a blasé defense. But then Joe agrees with Tim. And apparently, this was Joe's first comment of the sort; he even says that the reason he's saying something is because Tim did. Not only does Korto take him to town in front of Tim, but they step into the Lounge (as indicated by the sign on the door that reads "Lounge"), and continues to hash it out.

Bottom line is, don't fuck with Korto. Second best line of the night: "There's a BUS comin'!" I have to say, when Korto feels it, I have a crush on her voice.

But here's the interesting thing. Two different teams had problems in the workroom. And both teams resolved those problems in the workroom. It's amazing! Gotta be a PR first.

On runway show morning, Daniel is redoing his entire godawful skirt. Seriously, I could have sewn a better skirt, and all I ever sew are buttons back onto shirts and shorts. Jerell talks some smack to a sista's back (not Korto; he knows better), and Blayne is obviously losing his mojo. He's starting to almost talk like a real human. Almost. Tim offers a coy "some of you are still sewing...question mark?", and we're off to the runway. Thoughts follow!
  • Korto/Joe: Not awful, but too monotone. Okay, the fit on the dress is awful.
  • Kelli/Daniel: Holy trampy. And is that a cami? I think we know where Michael's "slutty" line will fit in.
  • Jerella: Tim's approval of the palette is well-earned. Works for both purposes at once.
  • Keith/Kenley: Seems like there's too much skirt. Would make a woman like Brooke look really hippy.
  • Terri/Suede: Not professional enough for work. Cute though.
  • Blayne/Leanne: Completely inappropriate for the challenge. Blayne insisted throughout the workroom that his Bermuda shorts would work. They don't. And they're not even ugly. They're just totally not what this challenge was about.

Korto/Joe and Terri/Suede are safe, the rest will be judged. Looks like I'm wrong about Keith and Kenley's fluttery, layered skirt. Oh well.

While Brooke isn't crazy about the belt, Jerella's look appeals to every one of the rest of the judges. Texture is good, color is good, style is good. Seems like a winner to me. Not so for Kelli's "hooker with a heart of coke"-look. Yes, Michael says it's slutty. But Nina is concerned for the taste level of both designers. After the most irritating question that can be asked on this show (which one of you should leave?), Daniel defends his taste (meekly and sleepily, as usual) as "impeccable."

And Kenley starts laughing. Visibly. Audibly. Right there on the runway. After everyone gave her shit for her laugh last week, is there any doubt that every one of us would have done the same thing if Daniel had stood next to us and said the same thing?

Anyway, Kenley's collaboration with Keith does indeed draw praise from the judges. Michael appreciates the somewhat counterintuitive blending of the two desigers' styles. I will admit that the work is really strong; I just don't like the look. And of course, Blayne's shorts get panned, and everyone is so disappointed in Leanne that they hardly address her at all, except to ask her who should go home if they lose. Naturally, she says "Blayne."

It's clear that Leanne's going to skate because Blayne just bowled her over with his overpowering tackiness. The winner seems like it should be Jerella, since Nina was concerned about the day side of Keith and Kenley's look...but they Keith and Kenley win anyway. What the hell.

As for the losers, it was Kelli's horrible look, but Daniel hasn't done anything at all this season. And Blayne just didn't take the challenge to heart at all. Daniel gets safe first, and while Blayne is told, in no uncertain terms, to get over his damn self, he is allowed to remain for another week. Goodbye Kelli, Week 1 winner! It's obvious everyone liked you, because they're all crying--OH WAIT, THEY DO THAT AT THE DROP OF A HAT. Jesus H. Weepypants Christ.

Next week...eh, I'm officially tired of Bravo spoiling itself. Chris March is back, and it's a drag queen challenge. Woo.