Project Runway: Stars, and how they fall

Following Stella not being stellar, Project Runway takes us to a planetarium to see some stars. And let it be known that I saw the signs last week, and predicted bad tidings for one of the best designers this week.

Kenley provides the lead-in line of the night, announcing to no one and everyone that, after last week, she definitely feels like one of the best designers here. While this statement is patently false, it's also right up the producers' alley for providing an envelope for the closing action of the episode. So don't expect big things for Kenley.

Despite the impression we got from last week's promos, the special guests at the runway to open the show are not designers from previous seasons, but previous designers from this season.

The challenge? Each remaining designer will be paired up with a dispatched designer, and the team must create an avant garde look. The look must draw inspiration from the astrological sign of one of the two team members.

Gotta say, it's a pretty cool challenge (even if Korto didn't like the pairing-off: "God, Jesus, help me."). Interesting to see how uniform the remaining designers' signs are. Two Aquarius (Korto, Kenley), two Libra (Leanne, Blayne), one lonely Aries (Joe), and three Sagittarius (Terri, Jerell, Suede). Lots of animal signs on the loser side, though: Leo, Taurus, Scorpio. I'll leave further analysis to the astrologers. I just think it's cool.

With $250 and the designs sketched, everyone heads to Mood. Leanne's displaying more of that "late-onset personality" (HT: AV Club) that was first introduced with the spy act last week. I hope that's just a glitch. Meanwhile, Terri -- whose only wish was to not be paired with Keith -- is ignoring the surprisingly sage advice of her teammate, Keith.

Back at the workroom, I swear I saw a beef-patterned fabric on Joe's table. But that was quickly put aside by Kenley bugging the hell out of Leanne with her over-confidence (you-n-me both, Leanne). Kenley's response, in confessional? "I'm just having fun, and [begin "between us" tone] some girls don't like that." But Kenley, I thought girls just want to have fun! Man, what else did the 80's lie to me about? I hope you're not telling me it's not hip to be square.

Tim will set us straight. His visit reveals a few things to be true that we've known for weeks. Leanne is brilliant. Jerell's looks will either win, or crash and burn. Blayne's stoner/stream of consciousness thing produces some truly fucked up looks. And Kenley's sketch looks like a tooth (okay, we didn't know that before). Tim thinks Glinda the Good Witch. Hey, I know -- it's the Tooth Fairy!

But it's Terri we've gotta look out for this week. She is not feeling Keith at all. Sure, she's put down the pants pattern. But she's doing Leo. There's a faux fur mane in the works. Keith advises against. Terri just shuts him down. Tim tries to foster teamwork through flattery. Doesn't fly. This is bad news, people. I know I've been down on Terri a little in the last two weeks, but shit. I don't think she should be gone this early.

The next morning, we get to see a little shirtless Wesley, and I'm forced to remember how much the mere appearance of Daniel's face makes me want to punch it. The designers arrive at the workroom to learn that they won't have until midnight to finish, because they've been invited to meet Heidi and show off their looks to a small group of VIP guests at the planetarium in the Ameican Museum of Natural History. Oh yeah, and two designers are getting booted this week, plus immunity is gone for the remainder of the season, starting riiiiight....now.

Those VIPs? Why, they're those stars I mentioned: former contestants from previous seasons of Project Runway! Yay for Alison Kelly! She's cute, and definitely got stiffed in Season 3. Jay's great, too. Kara? Meh. Never understood her success.

Terri's not happy because the guests get to judge based on incomplete looks. Well, shit, sister. You just giddily said "60-second skirts" last week, but this week you just can't abide by it? Kenley, on the other hand, is supremely confident. Much too confident. She's lecturing Heidi on where her model's boobs should be (but please, Heidi, keep on telling us to look at your boobs). I just don't understand where Kenley's coming from, but like I said in the comments last week, I think she's cruising for a major breakdown.

Jerell and Blayne are looking sketchy, too. As the designers return to the workroom the morning of the show, I'm thinking that these looks are going to be a hot mess by runway light compared to the nightclub atmosphere at the planetarium. Terri, who swore the previous night that the fur collar was "her look," and Christian was wrong for disliking it, takes it off the next morning. Uh huh. I see smoke comin' out that tailfin, Terri. And Kenley's fixing the boob issue. Where's all that crazy confidence?

Keith, who has long since given up trying to help Terri in any way, has been napping in the Lounge. Tim comes to wake him up for the runway show, and my thoughts on it are right here, right now.
  • Blayne (with Stella): Oof. What's the cohesive idea? Or, more succinctly, WTF?
  • Kenley (with Wesley): No. Model looks like a spaceship.
  • Terri ("with" Keith): Not necessarily awful. The mane would have been awful.
  • Korto (with Kelli): I'm not crazy about the cape thing, but it's good.
  • Joe (with Daniel): Also good, but the corset is a little sketchy.
  • Jerell (with Jennifer): That headpiece is pure Jerell, those hip bumpers are pure Rami Kashou.
  • Leanne (with Emily): Yes. Yes. Yes.
  • Suede (with Jerry): Not terrible, but again with the cape.

Nina's back from wherever she went, Francisco Corta from Calvin Klein is the guest, and Heidi's awfully cheery for someone reminding the crew that two are going home.

The designers are split into top half and bottom half. Tops are Korto, Jerell, Leanne, and Joe. They depart, while the bottom half of Blayne, Kenley, Terri, and Suede stick around to get the bad news.

The criticisms for most of the losers is pretty simple, with some vintage Michael Kors-isms. Blayne: haphazard, costumey, POOPING FABRIC. Terri: taste level flew out the window, Voodoo Princess in Hell (a line at which the MODEL let a moan of shame escape her lips). Suede: not cutting edge enough, felt straight off the department store hanger (and ugh, with the blatant and inconsistent third-person).

Kenley is the best, though. Maybe she should yell more, and that would get the judges to see her side. Her look, she shouts, was ALL Aquarius: "rebellion, strength, strong, and purple," as if purple was the most important part.

Based on attitude, Kenley and Terri should go. But Blayne's look was awful. Suede's definitely safe, because his was just boring. How do you pick between three terrible looks? At least the winner's a sure thing, right? I mean, there's no way Leanne coul--

"Congratulations, Jerell."

What?? Jerell??? They did say "avant garde" and not "haute couture," right? Because the look was so over-the-top, it just wasn't...guh...I can't speak through my shock at this outcome. At least nothing was riding on it.

Kenley is the first to escape dismissal, and as the judging progressed, I can't say I was surprised. Blayne's was awful, and Terri's behavior and look were just plain bad. Wreaking havoc with my odds, those two get to pack up. Blayne, who got no cheek kiss from Heidi, at least got a "Why? Why?" from Kenley when he said he was gone. Terri...what a waste. Damn.

Next week, a group of special ladies! I'm guessing librarians, from the looks of it.