‘Project Runway’ Hits New Levels Of Fabulousness With Gay Dinosaurs, Hidden ‘Candy’

By Rya Backer

Last night’s show was, in a word, fabulous. When the episode came to an untimely end, I felt both exhilarated (all those sequins!) and dowdy (will I ever invest that much time in looking glamorous?). In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the show was my favorite of the season thus far — it was fun, lively, irreverent, and involved a cameo by Chris March in Viking gear. In the words of Ms. Hedda Lettuce, “What I’m saying is out of love — unconditional and pure.” So let’s talk ins and outs!


Stella Zotis: She’s even a vision to behold first thing in the morning! STELLA. CALL ME. I WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND AND BIOGRAPHER. IT’LL BE SLICK.
RuPaul: Last night, America’s most famous and glamorous drag queen (and his sky-high cheekbones) wet his lips and made love to the camera as a guest judge. And I loved every second of it. The hostess of my favorite show in fourth grade had a very critical eye for the designers’ works, and a very funny Australian accent when she asked one of them, “Did a dingo eat your baby too, mate?” for reasons that were admittedly lost on me.

Fun: I feel like drag queens have more fun than all of us combined. They’re like the friends you call maybe once a month, because whenever you go out, it’s really awesome. But then you wake up the next morning feeling ungodly, and you look in your wallet and realize you spent $100 on drinks because your buddy kept reminding you how short life is and how you need to celebrate your youth. Well, perhaps not exactly like that. There’s a good chance that your friend doesn’t wear 7-inch platforms and bedazzled micro-minis.

Michael Kors’ family: Anyone who possesses even one of the five senses knows that I’m pretty, pretty Jewish. So when Michael Kors referred to Jerell’s dress as “a good Bar Mitzvah moment,” I sort of kvelled. He also mentioned that Jerell’s aquatic-themed, sequined number — with a dramatic, chartreuse, ruffled collar — would be something his aunt would wear. Then I realized that this aunt is either the sister or the sister-in-law of Michael’s mother. It’s never too late to be adopted, right?

Euphemisms: RuPaul liked Joe’s winning outfit because of how well it hid “the candy.” Also, Joe compared the challenge to making Halloween costumes for his daughters … so I will assume that he’s indeed that parent who will go to any lengths to have the best-dressed kid every October 31.

Tim Gunn’s writers: Surely, he didn’t dream up “It looks like a pterodactyl out of a gay ’Jurassic Park’ ” on his own. If that line that sent Chris March into stitches came straight from Mr. Gunn’s heart, then he deserves to be dipped in gold immediately, if not sooner.

Blayne’s brain: When L’Orange narrated the moment when all the drag queens returned to the design studio in regular man form, he exclaimed to the camera, with a look of shock and horror, that his model was indeed “a boy!”


Daniel: I’m not surprised that he’s gone. In fact, I knew about halfway through the episode that his minutes were numbered when he tossed aside Tim’s all-knowing advice to liven up his “flamenco” dress. No offense to your design point-of-view, Mr. Feld, but did Emily teach you nothing? If Tim didn’t like it, what made you think Elle’s “editor at large” would take kindly to it? Also, was I the only person that was sort of bummed that Heidi didn’t just get rid of both Daniel and Keith in one fell auf?

Hating Blayne: Last night’s episode featured a comp reel where a handful of the designers hated on Blayne and his licious-ness, and I found it deplorable. This isn’t because I hate hating, but rather, because Blayne’s caricatured personality has finally come full circle and grown on me. He’s like an effervescent, neon hug that will prematurely wrinkle.

Keith: I really, truly try to not poke fun at the designers’ works, but this week Keith made it difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. The pride of Salt Lake City’s get-up was like a grayscale Swamp Thing. But then he went there and said the look was inspired by Tina Turner. Really, Keith? Does she also compel you to wear goofy bandanas all the time?

Memory: How did the designers remember each drag queen’s name when they selected their models? Please tell me that I’m not the only person who wondered this.

Emotions: Suede, of all people, reminded me that I possess these. His musings about how his late grandfather inspired him (accompanied by a subsequent kiss blown in the general direction of “upstairs”), not to mention the way he stood up for himself to Soggy Lettuce, provided me with fodder for my monthly weep.

Empathy bellies: Joe danced around the design studio in his model’s bra. It reminded me of those silly, heavy vests that guys can wear when the mother of their future child wants them to understand how it feels to carry around all that extra weight. Joe suddenly understood what it was like to be so top-heavy … and was totally into it.