Project Runway: Do you see what happens, Larry?

Welcome to the "You all kind of suck, so keep on plugging away until one of you makes a mistake on one of our ridiculous challenges so we can boot your ass out" episode of this season of Project Runway.

Is there any question, in the event of a tie, that the three best designers in the final four were Korto, Leanne, and Jerell? You could even make the case that Kenley had been doing better than Leanne at some points down the stretch. Gah. I better start at the beginning.

Heidi announces that each designer will be given $8,000 and two months to craft a full collection. At this point, clarity goes out the window (unless I wasn't paying attention), and in some way or another, a wedding dress will be involved. Looks like it'll be the only part of their collection that'll be judged to determine the Bryant Park Three. Fine, but a little cheap to make the designers create such a personal and subjective look for the final elimination. Bridal fashion is totally different than straight-up fashion, and very few designers can do both well.

Tim hits the road for the next few segments, and visits the designers at their workplaces and homes. Korto's working in a cute little artist community thing operated by her Little Rock suburb. Who knew Little Rock was so arts-sensitive? Her collection has a fantastic palette, as agreed upon by Tim, myself, and my girlfriend. One dress is "a little sexual," which is like saying that the Washington Monument is "a little sexual." But it all looks pretty good, and Korto drums us to the next visit.

Tim puts the miles on his Saturn, visiting Leanne in Portland. Leanne's collection is water-influenced, but is in need of some refining and corralling. Like Korto's wedding dress, Leanne's is in need of some serious editing. That's the last of the "serious" in Leanne's segment, as she takes Tim on a deliciously absurd tandem bike ride through the forest.

Jerell, working in Los Angeles, almost looks like a normal adult human with that goatee. His wedding dress, however, looks like anything but a normal human adult. Windtunnel boobs again. Tim calls him out on it. A lot of his looks are kinda trampy, which is the worst kind of overworked. But man, growing up in South Central during the riots? Combined with Korto's civil war story, we've got some hard luck biographies in this final four.

Then, of course, there's Kenley. Kenley, whose grandmother was a calendar girl (SHOCKING). Kenley, who lives in a lovely little apartment in Brooklyn. Kenley, who never gave a second thought to putting ropes around the neck of one of her looks. But Tim's loving her wedding dress, and she gets all weepy. NOW she values his opinion. I'm sure that'll last a real long time. No family visit for Kenley. Huh.

The producers tip their hand as the designers arrive back in NYC. Kenley is the last to arrive, and while she apologizes, everyone is still a little "Sooooo....." about the whole thing. Then, a truckful of beer and champagne arrives courtesy of the show. Here, everyone, drink! Was it on Top Chef that someone said that nothing helps a volatile social situation like alcohol? I think it was Dale this last season.

Surprisingly, everyone makes nice. At Parsons, during the last gatherround of the season, Tim informs the designers that there's one more assignment. No, it's not to get more drunk. It's to make a bridesmaid dress to go with the wedding gown! Come on! This is a lame way to cut the final designer. Korto looks as though she might just throttle Tim with one of her hand-beaded necklaces.

With another trip to Mood, some hard work on those Brother I SAID BROTHER SEWING MACHINES, the designers crank out their new looks. Korto defends the integrity of the bridesmaid, chiding Jerell for thinking they gotta look ugly. "There's nothing wrong with your bridesmaids looking cute, ladies." As a future groom, I say "Hear, hear!" I don't wanna look at three frillsplosions for--well, it's gonna be a short ceremony. But I still don't wanna see that mess. They're gonna be cute all right.

Tim checks in, and immediately tells Kenley to shed the indecision and dive all the way in. Jerell's look is sporting some sloppy construction. Leanne made some big changes with her wedding gown, and Tim's loving 'em. But the bridesmaid look needs editing. Korto, by Tim's estimation, has crafted two wedding dresses. There's no communication between the two pieces. Tim then gets all weepy and shaky-handed, and tells the crew to make confident and defensible decisions, and he's very proud, and I don't know how much more of this I can watch! Stiff upper lip, Tim! The girlfriend's big sad face goes for all of us, I'm sure.

Kenley gets all pissed that Korto and Leanne both shortened their bridesmaid dresses, and originally hers was the only short one. How dare they?? Korto, on the other hand, is just too cool for this show. She recognizes and actually seems sad about the fact that someone's gonna get seriously disappointed by the end of this challenge. Totally my favorite this season.

So here's the last "regular season" runway show before the Finals. The wedding gowns walk first, followed by the bridesmaid dress.
  • Jerell: Whoa, boobs. Like a Madonna bra done by Picasso. Bridesmaid dress better, but definitely sloppy.
  • Kenley: Good wedding dress, bridesmaid dress maybe a pinch short?
  • Korto: Very hippy silhouette, not so sure it's bridal enough. Cute, simple bridesmaid dress.
  • Leanne: I'll say that I don't necessarily "get" it, but it's very well constructed, and the bridesmaid dress is great.

We're down to just the Big 3 judges for this episode, and to start it off, they all just plain LUV Leanne's combo. I have to agree. She's definitely in. Yay!

Jerell's wedding look pleases Michael only so far up as the empire waist. The bodice, the headgear, everything, is just crazy from there up. And again, I have to agree. They also don't care for his bridesmaid look. Lookin' dicey.

Michael immeditely calls out Kenley's look as a dead ringer for Alexander McQueen. Uh...yeah! Really! (okay, I have no idea what Alexander McQueen's style looks like) Anyway, while it's derivative, they all love it. And the little bubble skirt on the bridesmaid look just tickles everyone pink. God damn it, she's definitely in.

And last, Korto. Heidi completely dislikes the wedding gown. Way too busy (I agree). The bridesmaid dress, on the other hand, is both too simple and not "bridesmaid" enough. Like Tim warned, there was no clear connection between the two. While I don't necessarily agree with that statement, it was nevertheless not Korto's best effort. As the designers leave, it really looks like Korto's gone. And that would really suck.

So after Leanne and Kenley get the expected good news, it's down to Jerell and Korto. I'm forced to admit that Kenley's done some well-received work in the closing weeks, and it was destined to be a tough vote to cut it down to three. But damn it, if Kenley had gotten axed when she really deserved it, there might not be the need to send either Korto or Jerell home! In something of a surprise, Korto is kept in.

If there's one designer of the final four who can definitely take the sting of getting cut now, it's Jerell. I ain't worried for a brotha. And while his closing remark, "If you want a plain white tee, you can get one from Michael Kors," seemed a little bitchy and unnecessary, it was definitely funny and not untrue.
But Jerell was done in by his overall goofiness, and I hope he takes it a little bit to heart.

Next week: the finale you've been waiting for! That's right, the finale of Kenley vs. Tim!