‘Project Runway’ Defines Punk And Country, With A Little Help From LL Cool J

By Rya Backer

Hey, everyone. OK, seriously, how great was last night’s episode? Oh wait, did you just hear that? The sound of a higher power smiting me from up above because I just lied? Listen, I’m toughing out the rest of this season for one reason only: you, my dear reader(s). And because I enjoy watching Kenley further prove herself as reality TV’s ultimate villain week after week. Last night, the designers made clothes for each other, and the five remaining sashayed (or something like that) down the runway in their hip-hop, punk, rock, country and pop looks. Wow! What a totally fun show! Ouch, that one’s gonna leave a mark. Ins and outs!

Stella Zotis: Don’t you feel like she was in the air last night? I mean, if there ever were a challenge for Stella to be a part of, it would’ve been to dress one of the other designers as “punk” or “rock and roll.” Better yet, Suede both wore and made leather vests. That’s something, right? No? Oh, who am I kidding? This show is nothing without her.

Going hip-hop: Korto threatened to “go hip-hop” on Kenley. While I’m not quite sure what that entails, I wish Korto had made good on her threat, as it would’ve made for better television than when the editors hacked away at Tim Gunn to make it look like he lost his cool on Kenley (more on that later).

Eighth grade: That’s the year when everyone — whether or not they’d like to admit it — peaks in coolness. Naturally, Suede channeled this period when he strolled down the runway looking like a mall punk who couldn’t quite fix his hair into a Mohawk and is in a band called Dead Baby Blood. I shouldn’t have to point this out, but did we really need the matching rattail?

Keeping a straight face: How did Heidi so seriously address Suede on the runway during the final two with him dressed like that? Surely her criticisms to him were added during what we in the industry call “post.”

“Tommy”: It’s the best concept album/ rock opera /Broadway musical /work inspired by pinball and/or wizards, ever. So imagine my excitement when Jerell (inadvertently?) referenced it when explaining that “you’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not know she was pop!” By the way, to all my deaf, dumb and blind fans: The outfit Kenley wore wasn’t so much “pop” as it was “ruined” because she sported it.

Baggage: Literally. Did you see Suede’s purple rolling backpack? Was that a conscious fashion decision (ugly is the new pretty), or was it purchased by Suede’s mother after her son’s school nurse implored her to do so?

Lips: LL licked his once in last night’s episode (a far cry from this), and, honestly, what a waste. Did you really want to hear him talk about fashion, or did you want to watch him do something he’s good at? What’s next, Michael Phelps hosting a weekly comedy variety show?

Kenley Spears: Check out her new single, “I’m a Clueless Jerk.”

Kenley Collins: Must I even go there?

Realizations: About halfway through the episode, I saw Suede on the screen and was like, “Wait, he’s still here?” Doesn’t it feel like Suede was kicked off ages ago and, like an abandoned cat or Jessica Simpson, kept creeping back into the design studio whether anyone liked it or not?

Previews: Do you realize how excited I was for this week’s episode? And what for? So I could watch a heavily edited “fight” between a wise man and his simple, wayward apostle? Let’s all watch this and accept that television fights have gone downhill since. My mouth definitely watered when I saw all those tears for next week’s episode (yes, that says a lot about me), but I’m trying not to get too excited about RoboKorto expressing an emotion, and Kenley quoting my favorite line from my favorite movie, “I’m a Cliché Student Who Found Herself at a Liberal Arts College”: “I feel like I’ve been fighting my way through life!”

Ribs: Because after last night’s episode, I’m going out for them tonight. Like their distant cousin pizza, ribs are a delicious food product enjoyed by worlds of solid food eaters — not just by those who sport “country” looks designed by MC Leannimal.

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