Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Top Chef: Just Desserts 8/31/11--"Sweet Symphony" summary

Previously on “Top Chef: Just Desserts”: We met 14 pastry chefs who seem to be more sane than last year’s batch of pastry chefs, but with the same proportion of cocky loudmouths as always. The Quickfire involved working in pairs to make a soda fountain-inspired dessert. No drama! I know! The winners got to pick what team they were on for the Elimination challenge, which involved fairy tales and showpieces. The showpieces were OK, mostly, but the team that had “Hansel and Gretel” just made a chocolate house. You have the easiest showpiece! Gingerbread house covered in candy! Anyway, this failure of logic causes Lina to go home first. The “Red Riding Hood” team had the best showpiece and plated desserts so they won. (click for more)  

Nelson appears to be staring at the toaster oven. I think it’s Nelson. Rebecca has broken her wrist, but she just put a brace on and wants to keep on competing. Well…it’s not like breaking an ankle and insisting on walking. If it’s braced properly, she can probably use her hand or fingers. We’ll see. 

Gail has brought Margaret Braun, who is a cake artist. Also a table full of lemons. Today’s Quickfire is 45 minutes to make a lemon dessert. Yum! This is tricky, we are told, because lemons are tart and the rind can be bitter if you screw up zesting it. Matthew (seriously, he is cute even with the eyebrows) is going to try lemons and hazelnut. Nelson is making pavlova. Orlando discusses not stopping because of allergies. My cable is still stupid so I’m just going to assume he’s allergic to lemons. Megan wants to keep winning. Poor Rebecca is having a hard time juicing lemons. I don’t think she can grip with the broken wrist. Katzie’s making crepes. Carlos breaks out the liquid nitrogen. Nelson’s stuff isn’t done and he’s run out of time. 

Nelson: lemon pavlova with mango coulis. He wanted it to be more, and makes the mistake of telling them so. Orlando: coconut lemon cream cake, lemon curd, lemon fritters, and chocolate. Katzie: lemon crepe ribbons with egg yolk and butter emulsion and candied fennel seeds. It looks like fettuccine. Actually that sounds really good. Matthew: lemon vanilla crème with mint puree and hazelnut sable. Carlos: citrus soup with reverse sphered yogurt, olive oil powder, honey, and thyme. Why do you need to do all those things? Olive oil powder does not sound appetizing. Amanda: caramel cremeux (mousse), with café dulce confit lemon segments. Melissa: lemon beignet with Thai basil sugar. Interesting. Craig: lemon sour cream pound cake with French meringue and coconut cream. Vanarin: lemon curd semifreddo with coconut brown butter streusel and blackberry compote. Rebecca: lemon meringue pie with blueberries in ginger and lemon syrup. 

Now I want dessert again. Margaret says the bottom two were Nelson, because lemon and mango aren’t really a good pair, plus he admitted he ran out of time. Also Orlando. She says maybe it’s just personal, but lemon and chocolate don’t’ go together. Orlando bitches that she should be judging on a professional level, “so leave your personal shit at the door”. Dude, there is “cocky” and there is “asshat” and you are toeing the line. A PERSON eats your dessert, so their PERSONAL tastes are important. You don’t see people on regular Top Chef complaining that Tony Bourdain likes stoner food. They just make stoner food. Amanda also is in the bottom, because caramel and lemon did not work. Matthew’s cake was wonderful, Katzie’s dessert was fun, and Carlos had a nice balance. The winner is Matthew. Yay! He has immunity. 

For the Elimination challenge, they will be on teams again. Orlando, Carlos, and Amanda were “randomly” chosen to “be responsible for picking the teams”. Notice she did not say “team leaders”. Matthew gets to pick the fourth team. The teams shake out this way: Matthew, Chris, Megan (Red Team); Orlando, Nelson, Craig (Black Team); Carlos, Sally, Rebecca (Green Team); Amanda, Katzie, Van (Blue Team). Orlando specifically says he’s staying away from Melissa because she threw Lina under the bus, even though Lina totally deserved it. Melissa ends up last, so is put on Matthew’s team. The challenge today is about the Walt Disney Concert Hall, where the Los Angeles Philharmonic plays. They will need to make a cake for 150, for the opening night party. Each person on the team must be responsible for one tier. So…I guess you get judged on how well your cake turns out? Will they care how the layers go together? Matthew says in the real world this would take 3 days. 

They have 8 ½ hours to cook. Chris wants something mostly traditional, with maybe “crooked” layers. You know, where you build a round cake, and then put slanted pieces on the sides so it looks wobbly. Katzie is making the bottom tier of her team’s cake, so she knows it has to be more architectural. She spouts some line about how pastry is a marriage of science and art, which I think you can say about any kind of cooking. Van loves to make cakes and be creative. Musical instruments everywhere! Orlando shockingly says cakes are a specialty of his, while Nelson is architectural, and Craig is…something. I don’t understand what he says, and it‘s not because the signal went out. But I’m pretty sure he thinks Craig is a nitwit. Carlos is leading his team, because he has a vision. But this team is having communication issues because Carlos has a weird vocabulary, so they’re not sure what he’s talking about exactly. Sally and Rebecca are smiling and nodding. 

Van is making instruments out of modeling chocolate, which he’s never done before. He talks about his parents coming from Cambodia. Melissa is making cardamom sponge cake. Chris worries about spice in cake, forgetting that spice cake is delicious. Nelson is building towers. He was in architecture school, and then dropped out his senior year to be a pastry chef. 

Johnny shows up to quiz everyone. Both Sally and Rebecca are making chocolate devil’s food layers. But Sally is using buttermilk and oil, and Rebecca is using milk and oil, so it’s totally different! Johnny doesn’t buy it either. They need to make a cohesive cake. Van has one instrument drying, and it’s small. They need bigger. The Red Team tells Johnny they have a bold design, but he says it’s ordinary. Chris promises they’re going to put a bunch of stuff on there later. Craig says something about “pow pow flavor”. I’m not sure either. 

Amanda says she likes their flavors, but she’s worried about their decorations. Nelson’s cake is heavier than he thought, so he needs new dowels. Cake moving. Time is up. 

In the morning, Craig and Sally joke around. He says if he gets kicked off, she’d better cry, or he’ll kick her until she cries. Hee. He tells us he was the fat kid who got picked on, plus he was flamboyant. He hopes those people are watching him do well now. 

One hour to cook and pack for departure. Carlos kind of freaks out and starts ordering people around. Nelson cuts up his cake to put new columns in it. Craig is painting his cake layer, with a brush that is too small, according to Orlando. People pack and consider what to decorate now and how to make sure nothing breaks on the way. Katzie’s cake is heavy, and soaked in hazelnut syrup so it’s heavier than it would normally be. 

At the venue, they have 90 minutes to finish set up. And we discover they’re outside. Oo. That’s a dirty trick. Everyone starts moving umbrellas for shade. One of Katzie’s panels cracks, and Van is having a hard time sticking all the decorations on. Also there is glitter everywhere. Carlos is airbrushing, but the color doesn’t come out right. Too late, though, Carlos already sprayed the cake with your weird bronzy-pink color. Nelson interviews that two teams were doing the same things, and two were doing random things, so someone is wrong. Orlando breaks something. Things are also falling off the Blue Team’s cake. Is…is that a glue gun? Please tell me someone didn’t just stick chocolate on a cake with a hot glue gun. 

People arrive for the party in fancy clothes, to eat cake and be on TV. The chefs describe their cakes to everyone. Margaret is back to judge, with Hubert and Johnny and Gail. Red Team up first. A four tiered cake with slightly crooked layers, in a light gray. Lots of small sheet music sheets for decoration and some flowers. On top is a stylized sax. Johnny can’t resist pointing out flaws in the fondant. Matthew: lemon pound cake, almond daquoise, creme fraiche mousse, strawberry jam. Megan: yellow butter cake with honey caramel cream, preserves, mocha praline feuillitine (little crunchy things, I think). Chris: chocolate and hazelnut sponge cake with praline jam, and vanilla cremeux. Melissa: cardamom sponge cake with ginger cream and strawberry jam. Yum. Everyone seems to get praise for their flavors. 

Blue team: their cake is a standard round tiered cake. The bottom layer is gray, middle is white with chocolate music notes, and the top has silver and gold vertical stripes with holes? Or something? And chocolate instruments. They’re kind of ragged. And there is glitter everywhere. And big silver wings, to represent the building…it’s a bit of a mess. Katzie: buttermilk cake with black currant jam and pistachio buttercream. Top layer is spongy, says Johnny. Amanda: devil’s food cake with raspberry gelee, chocolate buttercream and praline feuillitine. Margaret wants to eat around the fruit. Van: smoked salted caramel cake with pistachio buttercream. It is dry. 

Black team: triangular base, then a cube with columns of cake so you can look right through it, and then a round top with some red accents which is supposed to be a drum. On the very top is a piece of sheet music and a guitar. Orlando admits something fell off the top, because the judges notice right away. Orlando: vanilla sponge soaked in Chambord, blackberry and port buttercream. Too much fondant. Nelson: vanilla and lemon zest cake with pistachio buttercream and white chocolate pearls. Johnny can taste the texture but can’t see it. Craig: Grandma’s chocolate cake with caramel and marshmallow buttercream. Margaret asks him if it’s really his grandma’s cake, and he says no for some reason. They think it’s a bit too sweet. Orlando hopes they aren’t on the bottom, but if they are, he will not hesitate to throw Craig under the bus. 

Green team: white round tiers that are slanted on top. There are a bunch of rose colored squares, that seem to be put on crooked. Hubert thinks it looks like they all worked together. But the color is weird. Sally promises if they lose, it’s Carlos’s fault. Carlos: vanilla sponge cake, lemon cream, and strawberries. It has good flavor but is dense for being the top layer. Sally: devil’s food cake with chocolate buttercream, salted caramel, and raspberries. Rebecca: ??? Sorry guys, I watched two different viewings and both times it got cut. But it doesn’t matter anyway (spoiler!). 

Commercial interlude: Craig and Sally flirt. Possibly. Or he is annoying and she knows how to shut him down. 

Gail collects the Green and Red teams first. These are the winners. Rebecca is getting emotional, and she admits her wrist really affected her during the Quickfire, so she was pretty worried it would keep her from continuing. The Green team had a cohesive cake, even though it was a weird color and the top of it doesn’t seem to be musical. The fresh fruit was great. The Red team did a great decorating job, and they loved Melissa’s spice cake. Margaret tells Matthew he is the king of lemon desserts. The Red team wins! Melissa is relieved she has proven herself. 

Craig thinks they thought too far outside the box, and then nothing came together. Nelson admits that they each did something different to identify themselves and their layer. Craig’s layer was messy. Orlando blames his dense sponge on the fact that he had the bottom layer and had to support the rest of the cake. Johnny responds that they had dowels so that is crap. Hubert says Nelson’s cake was much more professional, so it made the other tiers look bad in comparison. Hubert tries to get him to throw Craig under the bus but he won’t. Katzie thinks they were cohesive, but there were too many details and it didn’t turn out well. Van takes responsibility for the instruments, and he says one of them should have stepped up and edited the design. He tells them he was too focused on his piece. Katzie’s cake had a weird texture. Amanda’s cake ended up being Hubert’s favorite, but Van’s flavors should have been bolder. 

Blue team’s cake was a wreck, but Black team’s cake was not cohesive. Orlando had the only breakage of the day. Margaret asks if Johnny would prefer a broken cake, or an ugly cake. Oo. Katzie’s mushy cake is singled out on the Blue team, and Craig’s layer is singled out also. Van promised smoked salt which Johnny says he could not find. 

Johnny reminds everyone they failed, and then Gail tells Van he is eliminated. Well then. I mean, Gail says his dessert didn’t measure up, and then Johnny rubs it in by telling him he says he’s a flavor guy but his flavors weren’t there and also his design was lame. He couldn’t show his full potential, and wishes he could have stayed longer. He feels inspired, and he hasn’t felt like that for a long time. 

Next time: $25,000, Melissa freaks out, stupid Real Housewives flirting with Johnny, stupid Hugh Acheson, why is he here? Better him than housewives, I guess. Clicky clicky

Friday, August 26, 2011

Project Runway 8/26/11--"Off the Track" summary

Previously on Project Runway: the producers finally let Nina be the boss and force the designers to design for her. Everyone immediately freaked out, which was fun to watch. Most people didn’t really design for Nina as much as they designed some chic, fashionable clothing that they hoped she would like. Kimberly won, with a shiny gold top and some pants. They were cool, I guess. I mean…pants. Eh. And Anya did well, even though people had to help her sew, and Victor thought she should have admitted it. Cecilia gave up about halfway through the challenge, but somehow made it through when Julie didn’t. She then made the mistake of telling the Scrap Bin that she wasn’t interested in hanging around, and it was too bad Julie was out because Julie really wanted to stay in the competition. When they (logically) ask her why she didn’t say anything and let Julie go home, she had no response. (click for more)

In the morning the designers wake up to piles of clothing and shoes with their names on them. Sitting on the sink. Yeah, someone came into the apartment while you were asleep, that’s not creepy. Oo, Josh looks pretty good with no shirt. Sorry, distracted. Cecilia stays in bed and refuses to look. Also there is a note that says to go to “The New Balance Track”, whatever that is. Bleh, making athletic clothes. Cecilia is angry that she is still there. You know, you CAN quit. It’s been done. Becky is confused, as Cecilia says she doesn’t want to wear anything. Kimberly throws out the opinion that maybe it’s a weight loss challenge.

They find Heidi and Tim on the track. Heidi is wearing a weird jacket and leggings combo in like, mottled gray. And platform heels. Tim, meanwhile, is wearing a blazer and shirt and tie, and jeans. And sneakers. It is hilarious. Blazer and jeans, OK. Athletic footwear, hilarious. Josh is going to leave everyone in the dust. Heidi claims to be thinking of the contestants and their “cabin fever”. Tim lets everyone know they will be working in four teams of three, each team with a captain. Anthony Ryan says he doesn’t want Bert. Bert doesn’t want any partner at all. Viktor doesn’t want Bert, so I guess one team is Bert, Anthony Ryan, and Viktor. To choose team leaders, they must do one lap around the track. First four to finish are the team leaders. Cecilia is so miserable she doesn’t even want to run, because she thinks it’s unfair to everyone else. Anya sees her talking to Tim and knows it’s serious. Cecilia admits to Heidi she was trying to get kicked out yesterday and she hates this. Heidi tells her that everyone wants to be there really badly, and if she doesn’t, then she should go before they start running. So Cecilia quits. She doesn’t want to take anyone’s opportunity by taking up a spot. Anthony Ryan says it doesn’t make sense. She knows she might be missing a chance here, but she also is pretty confident in her decision.

OK, race time. People are more athletic than I thought they’d be. Josh is winning, even though he runs strangely. Olivier totally bites it, which looks painful. Josh wins, and then Bryce, Anthony Ryan, and Viktor finish next. Viktor says he never runs unless someone is chasing him with a gun. Bert is last, and Heidi actually runs out to run the last little bit with him in her heels. Olivier is getting medical attention, and it looks like he bruised his knee or something, and then suddenly he’s lying on the ground and they’re taking his blood pressure. And then his feet flop over, and I watch Survivor so I know what’s up. Olivier just passed out. He eventually gets up and is fine, but that was weird.

Team choosing time! Josh picks Anya and Becky, Bryce picks Kimberly (who does a high kick for some reason) and Danielle, Anthony Ryan takes Laura (and gets stuck with Bert), and Viktor picks Olivier. Usually this team would get Julie, as the last person eliminated would come back into the competition. But Heidi says that since it’s early, they get to pick any of the four eliminated designers they want: Fallene, Rafael, Josh C., or Julie. They pick Josh C. Everyone has to make an outfit that will go with the sneakers Heidi has designed. One pair looks like standard sneakers, and one looks like black fashion sneakers that are not really for working out or anything, but they are pretty comfortable. Actually neither pair looks particularly “sneaker” like. They must also use the materials in the sneakers, which are denim and suede. Each team must have three looks, which is STUPID WHY DON’T YOU JUST HAVE AN INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGE!?!? Sorry, but a team should have to all work on one outfit. Each person is going to make one outfit, so the only reason to have a team challenge in this case is because you hope everyone will get into fights. The winning outfit will be produced and become part of Heidi’s line. She specifically says to think outside the box, like suits, or dresses.

They have 30 minutes to “caucus and sketch”, says Tim. Becky thinks this is right up her alley, but her idea of a dress over leggings is shot down by Josh M. as being “over”. He picked her for her energy, but he doesn’t like her style. Anya feels bad that they’re shooting down all Becky’s ideas. Viktor tries to think of active wear, but Olivier reminds him Heidi said they didn’t have to do that. Bryce knows he has good ideas. Anthony Ryan and Laura are working together, while Bert sits slightly apart and works by himself. They don’t like any of his designs, not surprising.

$300 per team, 30 minutes at Mood. Becky is still getting shot down. Viktor thinks only having to work with Olivier right now is an advantage, because it’s easier for two of them to agree.

Tim reminds all of them that they have to make the suede and denim “prominent” in their designs. Then he gives them until 11pm. Currently it is 4:29pm. Seriously? That is ridiculous. Danielle and Bryce are both worried because neither of them has done very well recntly. Josh C. returns and everyone cheers. Laura says that people don’t get a chance to come back very often, but I’m feeling like it happens a lot. We get a close-up shot of the sneakers, and they’re like, retro 80’s low-top sneakers. Josh M. and Anya discuss their design but they don’t bother to include Becky, who is pissed. She pipes up and tries to join in, but Josh tells her to get back to work, and then interviews that he doesn’t need her to be thinking or designing, just working. That was pretty bitchy. Viktor worries about a long skirt and tennis shoes. Anthony Ryan says his first duty is to keep the peace. However, Bert is difficult to work with. He mutters something with cursing, but whoever did the subtitles thought we could read white letters on a white background. Bryce complains about him too. He appears to forget Anthony Ryan’s name, and then loses all points by saying he doesn’t remember some people’s names because they’re not “significant”. Anya asks Becky to sew because she’s never sewn jersey. Really, it looks like every time Becky tries to make a suggestion, they tell her to sew. I didn’t think her stuff was that bad. Josh claims this is for the good of everyone.

Tim time! And Heidi! Bryce has off-the-shoulder designs, with cowls or something. Heidi doesn’t like it, so now he’s wasted all that time. They also have a dress, but she says it’s boxy and is made out of leather. Great. Laura thinks Bryce should have lost on purpose and let someone else be in charge. Viktor has a leather piece like a motorcycle jacket, and a long skirt that Heidi tries to put on for them. Viktor says it actually looks cute, but only with the jacket she has on. Their looks have to go together. Olivier thinks he can prove her wrong. Anthony Ryan and Laura talk about their designs. Heidi asks if they all like the neckline on Laura’s design, and Bert opens his mouth but doesn’t say anything. Heidi thinks Anthony Ryan is making a rouched-bodice high-waisted jumpsuit. With sneakers. Bert has something chic, but even though she told them to think suits or dresses, she doesn’t want anything fancy. Laura’s model has a big ass so they have to pick the right design for her to wear. Josh M. has a plain shift dress and she says every week there is a dress like that. Anya admits she wouldn’t wear it. Heidi likes Anya’s dress, but not the other dress which I think is Josh M.’s dress. They ask what Becky has been doing, and she basically says “All the sewing” without throwing anyone under the bus. She is sewing, and the other two are designing, “so far”. Tim tells Becky (and the other two) that he doesn’t want her role to be so trivialized that they throw her under the bus. She hadn’t seen it that way. I hadn’t either, I was just thinking “you know, if the designs suck, she had no part of it, because they wouldn’t let her change anything.” But now everyone knows that’s how Tim sees it, including Heidi. Before she leaves, she says she’s worried, since it’s 9pm already. So she’s giving them until 4am. Wow. A GOOD twist.

Becky immediately starts designing, and she asks someone to help her design a top, and Josh M. says…actually I don’t know what he says. I can’t understand him, but it sounds like it was bitchy, and anyway, Becky gets pissed and storms out. Josh talks shit about how her demographic is “40 to death”. Based on what Becky says later, I think he said “You DO know this dress is dowdy, right?” Anya tells him to fix it, and I think he feels “fix the dress” but not “fix your issue”. Then he tries to claim he didn’t mean “dowdy” in a bad way. What? Seriously? And you think someone will believe that? He starts talking about “style wise” or some shit, and Becky interrupts him to point out that he told her to make a princess-seamed dress, which she did. So he can’t really blame her if it turns out dumpy or uncool. That’s a good point. Josh has nothing to say to that, so he says “I’m not having drama with you, so you can cry or do whatever you need to do to get over it, but I’m not going to console you.” No, but an apology would go a long way. Man, I was just realizing how cute he was, but now I want to smack him. Anya stays to comfort Becky, while Josh yells across the sewing room that she should take a nap and he’ll do it himself. Oh, honey, that is the point where I would throw the dress in your face and tell you to get started.

Anya follows Becky into the bathroom and asks her if she would talk to her, or would she rather Anya leave her alone? So of course that is when Josh comes into the bathroom, like, I know you’re gay, but, WOMEN’S. He does apologize, though, and manages to sound sincere. Becky for some reason now thinks that all the contestants think her designs are terrible. In confessional he does say he means it, and only says it’s time to move on and sew. So the lack of bitchy comments makes me think he might actually mean it.

Model fitting. Olivier loves the skirt Heidi didn’t like at all. Laura doesn’t like Bert’s skirt, and she tries to get him to see that he could fix it, but he won’t. Anthony Ryan takes the interesting tactic of explaining to Bert that when they are being questioned, and he and Laura say that they told Bert to fix it and he wouldn’t, that they are not throwing Bert under the bus. Surprisingly, Bert agrees, as he likes his design. He is willing to stand behind it, and he thinks his is the best anyway.

Danielle knows they had a ton of extra time so they need to pick it up. Josh M. puts a stripe on his outfit. Lots of working. Finally everyone gets to go home and wake up probably 4 hours later.
Anthony Ryan is sick and has a fever. He thinks his design is not what he wants. Tim arrives to give everyone 2 hours to finish. Josh M. breezes into the sewing room and asks Bert how long he’ll be. Bert’s putting in a zipper, and then Bert says “I don’t see your name on this machine” and Josh responds “You have no courtesy” and “It’s not all about Josh” and “It’s not all about Bert either” and who knows. But it ends with Bert cursing, Josh saying “Watch your language” and Bert telling him to drop dead. Yeah…may have to root against both of them now. However it ends with “Bert, you’re closer to death than me” and “Good, that might be a blessing with you around” which is kind of funny. Hot makeup guy greets Anthony Ryan with “Hi, gorgeous!” Hee.

Guest judge is Erin Wasson, model and designer. Viktor: short dress with a lot of volume and a motorcycle jacket. It’s actually really cute. The dress I think is denim. Josh C.: black slim pants, and a blue t-shirt with shoulder pieces that look like a gun holster. Olivier: long gray skirt, and a sleeveless black top with a racerback. I think the three looks go together, pretty much. Bryce: short black dress with a boat neck. I don’t know that it goes with sneakers. Kimberly: shorts, and a black top and jacket with snaps. It’s cute and casual. Danielle: black skirt? Shorts? I think it’s a skirt. And a turquoise tank top. Anthony Ryan: a loose poncho looking top and very loose shorts. It’s weird. Laura: a long vest, shorts, and a tight blue patterned tank top. The vest is kind of interesting, but the rest of the look is not that great. Also, I have to say, those shoes look weird in general. Bert: short black skirt and a sleeveless top with a wide boat neck. The outfit itself is not that bad, but the sneakers do not go. Josh M: black shorts, a tank, and a weird stringy vest. Eh. Becky: a tank top and a short skirt with a stripe up the side. The tank top is sporty enough. Anya: long dress in gray with a bright pink strip up the front. Is it a zipper? I can’t tell.

Heidi says within each team, there were good and bad looks, so there is no clear winner. Josh M. and Anthony Ryan and their teams get talked to first, and then the other two teams after. Interesting. Anthony Ryan explains his team’s outfits, and says that he and Laura worked well together, but Bert was off doing his own thing. Of course Anthony Ryan doesn’t like Bert’s look, but rather than saying “Bert stands behind his outfit because he likes it” he says “Bert wouldn’t listen to the two of us telling him how to fix things”. This devolves into an argument about whether or not Bert compromised at all, and he and Anthony Ryan call each other liars. I will say, when he worked with Viktor, he said Viktor had HIS story wrong. And now he says Anthony Ryan is lying. They can’t all be lying. Heidi points out that Anthony Ryan’s outfit sucks, which he knows, and Nina thinks he should have left Bert and worried about himself. Bert can’t resist putting his two cents in, and eventually Heidi says that Bert’s outfit is the only good outfit, even though it doesn’t fit the challenge either. Laura’s outfit is ugly too, and Bert is grinning and pumping his fists, and dude. You cannot call other people unprofessional and act superior if you do that. The three outfits don’t go together. Anthony Ryan says he liked working with Laura, anyway. Josh M. explains the outfits, and Heidi thinks he took his extra time to bedazzle the outfits. Heidi likes Anya’s maxi dress the best, that it goes well with the sneakers (because you can’t see them) and the back is cool. Kors thinks it’s jersey and too tailored. Heidi likes the top, but not the shredded vest. But Erin likes it? I think. Nina hates Becky’s, because the shirt is too short, skirt too tight, its back. Josh redeems himself a bit because he takes partial ownership of the outfit and says it’s not all Becky’s fault. Then he owns up to “a little…thing” and Kors wants to know the details, and Becky makes sure they know he didn’t trust her. Which he admits to. He says the top is all her, but the skirt is a group effort, and then Becky says “It was very hard to be on this team, because they shot down all my ideas and I was just a seamstress and not a designer”. Josh says he had the authority to tell her what to do. Their collection seemed to turn out better, anyway.

In the Scrap Bin, everyone sits around awkwardly until Anthony Ryan just lays it on the line and tells Bert he’s not easy to work with. Bert is not upset they don’t like him, because they’re two generations apart. He says everyone laughs at him when he says things, and Anthony Ryan brings up his behavior just now on the runway. Seriously. Viktor’s team split up some of the outfits, but Heidi likes Viktor’s the best. It’s the jacket that does it. They still hate Olivier’s skirt, but Josh C.’s T-shirt gets high praise. Overall, a good collection. Bryce’s dress is fantastic, with snaps on the side, that’s cool. Kors says it doesn’t look bad with sneakers, but I think it kind of does. The other two outfits were Kimberly and Danielle together, and it shows. The green tank top is a green silk with a black knit lining. Huh? Kors knows that will not work and is sloppy. Nina doesn’t understand the random color, because everything else is gray and black. The green would have been better under the jacket.

Kors doesn’t think that there was ever this much team drama in the history of the show. They probably has been. Usually it’s only one team, though. Anthony Ryan was responsible for a mess, and they seem to think he spent all his time fighting with Bert. As a result, his outfit was horrible, and the shorts! Weird loose shorts. Josh M.’s team had drama, but he picked the right team and directed every garment. They like Viktor’s team, except the long skirt. But the rest of the collection is urban. Bryce’s team did a fantastic job, they love Bryce’s dress and Kors thinks it would look great on a million girls, but I don’t know. The other two outfits and team members didn’t do so well. Danielle couldn’t deliver on her plans, and they’re already tired of chiffon from her. And they drop the word “sportswear” which does not include suits and dresses, which is what Heidi said to them. Dresses, maybe, but suits? Heidi and Nina fight over if Anthony Ryan was the worst, or if it was Danielle.

Heidi says they’re having trouble with the judging, and it’s Heidi’s challenge, and she’s been “changing the rules”, so now more twists. Viktor, you are the winner! Josh M., you are also the winner! Lame. Have one winner. Viktor’s dress and jacket will be sold, but it’s Anya’s maxi dress that is being produced from Josh’s team. He said he had a part in all the outfits, so I guess it counts? Both of them will have immunity next week. Becky, Anya, Olivier, and Josh C. are also all in. Josh M. is feeling great and thanking his team, except for the part where he calls Becky “Kimberly”. Bert is in. Laura is in. Kimberly is in. Bryce is in. Heidi says the decision was not unanimous. Anthony Ryan is in. Heidi rubs it in that if it was up to her, he would be out. Danielle is sad to leave, it seems mostly because she will miss everyone. Tim comes to get her and says he’s proud of everyone for being “truth telling” on the runway. She doesn’t think she did the worst, either.

Next week: children. Like, actual children. Also Olivier has glued his top to his model which is against the rules. Other than that I have no idea.
Clicky clicky

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Top Chef: Just Desserts 8/24/11--"Showpiece" summary

Do you think they can beat the crazy from last year? I’m not sure they can. Winner gets cash and prizes, as usual. Magazine article, some cookout, $100,000.

UPDATED: I came home and checked my DVR, and one of the later tapings had enough audio for me to fill in the gaps. (click for more)

Our judges are Gail Simmons, Johnny Iuzzini, Hubert Keller, and Dannielle Kyrillos (Editor-at-large of DailyCandy). Just as last year.

OK, can I just point out that when the caption in your bio says “Favorite Simple Fall Dessert Recipe”? It should be simple. Pecan and cashew pie with pumpkin ice cream, OK. Vanilla Basque cake with confit apples, apple cider sabayon with cinnamon candied walnuts? Not simple.

Chris Hanmer shows up to the boardwalk and orders a Coke. He is cute. He says he’s the youngest world champion pastry chef. Orlando Santos knows Chris, and he’s competed against him already. Nice. Nelson Paz has worked in 17 different kitchens. Craig has only run the pastry for his restaurant for a year. Sally Camacho was his teacher. Well that should be interesting. Rebecca Masson looks like Stephanie, season 4 Top Chef winner. Gail and Johnny show up, and Vanarin Kuch talks about how beautiful Gail is but Johnny’s eyes stare into your soul. And the first Quickfire starts now! They have to work in pairs, so pair up right now! Ha, awesome. Lina feels bad because no one would pair with Craig so she’s stuck with him. Gail talks about soda fountains and says they must go inside and make a dessert that “takes a soda fountain treat to the next level”. Johnny says a root beer float will not cut it. They have 30 minutes to make something. Winners get immunity.

Everyone runs inside to make soda fountain desserts. Matthew Peterson wants to keep it simple, and I have to say, Matthew looks very much like my friend Neil. (Kmanpat: “Oh gawd, that IS Neil. Hottie.) Katzie Guy-Hamilton is making an egg crème. Katzie? OK. Carlos is making a shake with Cap’n Crunch? Or that’s something he makes at his restaurant? Lina says she’s a good team player if the rest of the team knows what it’s doing. That…seems like a big “if”. She is thinking bananas and Elvis. Melissa Camacho says they don’t have soda shoppes in Haiti where she grew up, but she makes beautiful plates so she’s confident. What does that have to do with anything? Also I know Sally and Melissa have the same last name, but Melissa is Haitian, and Sally is Asian and also from L.A., so I’m pretty sure they’re not related. Amanda Rockman is worried that they’re using bananas, and everyone else is using bananas. She says she’s going to make pickled cherries and plan the rest of the dish around that. Everyone freaks out at the end, pretty much. Orlando says he would have done better by himself.

Chris and Sally: Chris is plating and his hands are shaking pretty badly. Sally notices and hopes he doesn’t screw up. Caramelized bananas, wafer crunch, white chocolate and butter pecan ice cream. Melissa and Vanarin: micro cake with shattered banana carpaccio and white sauce. Orlando and Megan: feuilletine, bruleed bananas, chocolate ice cream, and chocolate syrup. There’s chai spice there. Yum. Oo, garnished with a vanilla bean that you can’t eat. Carlos and Rebecca: “breakfast” milkshake, chocolate chip ice cream with bananas and Cap’n Crunch. Katzie and Matthew: chocolate egg cream with ile flottante. “Ile flottante” refers to the lemon poached meringue on top. Amanda and Nelson: chocolate sponge cake, pickled cherries and pistachios. Craig and Lina: almond crispies, raspberry sauce and butter pecan ice cream. Sadly Lina cannot answer how this is modern.

Orlando and Megan made a banana split, boring. Lina and Craig, even though Johnny is an Elvis fan, they did not step up a classic. So it was also boring. Carlos and Rebecca, had good flavor and texture. Amanda and Nelson had great presentation and flavor balance. Amanda and Nelson are the winners and have immunity. Gail sends them to the kitchen to meet her later.

For the Elimination challenge, Gail presents a shelf of old books. They must pick one but not open it, everyone except Amanda and Nelson. Each book contains one of four famous fairy tales. This will assign teams. Hee. Orlando has “Goldilocks”, along with Sally and Rebecca. It looks like the books are boxes, with inset pages with names. Not real books. Chris, Carlos, and Matthew are “Red Riding Hood”. Craig, Megan, and Katzie are “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Vanarin, Melissa, and Lina have “Hansel and Gretel”. Amanda and Nelson can pick their teams. Nelson doesn’t even know what fairy tales are, as he’s from Argentina. He picks Goldilocks, and Amanda picks Red Riding Hood. Each team will have to make a showpiece and two plated desserts. There is a fairy tale costume gala, with 150 guests. Man, showpieces are tricky. They have 6 hours now, and 4 hours tomorrow.

Planning happens for 30 minutes. For some reason, Carlos never heard of the end of the story, where the wolf gets cut open. Craig is talking about clouds and beanstalks. Nelson has to admit he doesn’t know the story he picked out. Rebecca wants to make rice pudding, for “porridge”, and Orlando thinks rice pudding is for old people. Then he laughs and says he has an evil laugh. The Hansel and Gretel team are probably going to make a gingerbread house. Lina wants to make cake for the showpiece, except that showpieces are usually sugar and chocolate, not cake. The rest of her team tries to talk her into a candy house, obviously, but she has been making cake for too long and refuses to consider other options.

Everyone gets to work on cooking and also showpieces, because those have to set up and molds must be made and all of that. Team Jack is making a beanstalk, of course, out of sugar. Chris is working on his team's showpiece while the other three do the desserts. He says Orlando is known for is showpieces, but Chris is going to make some sugar. Everyone else is using chocolate so he feels it will set him apart. Orlando is confident he can kick Chris’s butt. Melissa is annoyed at Lina because Lina is supposed to be working on the showpiece, but she’s busy trying to work on the desserts too, and put her two cents in. Orlando, who hated the rice pudding idea, tells Rebecca to use steel cut oats. While delicious, I don’t know that they won’t set up by tomorrow. Also the "rice pudding" = "porridge" was very cute. Literal porridge is not as fun. Sally has to redo some stuff. People hyperventilate. Megan and Katzie didn’t get everything done because they had to help Craig.

Megan and Katzie are freaking out even after they get back home. Mainly because Craig seems rusty on things like pulling sugar and drilling things. Megan tells us that tomorrow she and Katzie are taking over showpiece duties.

In the morning, Orlando bitches about Rebecca and apparently she’s whining too much. To be fair, she's worried about his stupid oat porridge setting up, or not setting up, so while she is whining that she didn't get to do what she wanted, I think she has a legitimate issue with the stuff not turning out right. Also Orlando's superiority is getting old. Team Jack is just now getting the showpiece together, and they manage to break one of the sugar tubes. To cover they just pull some sugar into a long strand so they have something. Lina says Melissa has been nothing but negative, as Melissa tells her she's not doing something. Apparently Melissa has been going on and on about how their showpiece is going to be lame. Team Jack is reduced to damage control for their showpiece. Melissa hates her team's showpiece so much she wants to kick the table to break it. Chris has been to busy with his showpiece and hasn't tasted his team's desserts.

A lot of Ren Faire costumes and whatnot. Oh, and Gail has a red cape on. Actually she looks great. Team Goldilocks has a chocolate showpiece with flowers and a chocolate house on a hill. Then at the top is a white chocolate mask with blonde “hair”. It’s cool looking. Almond bar and fruits of the forest, with honey ice cream. They also serve “Baby Bear’s porridge”, hot Rainier cherries, basil soup, and cherry sorbet. The cherries are too hot, and the sorbet is too cold. There is also New Mexico chilies in the hot cherries. That’s not a horrible idea.

Team Jack has a beanstalk, which is actually pretty, if not imposing. Johnny complains that the showpiece has a "back" where all the mistakes are, which would be fine if it was up against a wall or something instead of in the middle of the floor. Bergamot cloud, whipped lemon ricotta, sweet pea sorbet, and spiced golden syrup. Lots of ginger. The other dish is brown butter hazelnut cake, lemongrass stalk infused cream and passion fruit. Oo, they don't like the cake either.

Team Red Riding Hood: their showpiece includes a sugar Red Riding Hood, which looks excellent. Rose scented bombolini, coconut tapioca, and red berry gelee. The strawberry consommé is in a little dropper thing, and the rose is because she was picking flowers in the woods. The second dish is supposed to represent the wolf: blackout sponge cake, cocoa nib nougatine, poached cherries, and micro basil.

Team Hansel have a showpiece with a little house and people. But the house is boring. There’s no candy or anything. Butterscotch brioche, goat cheese mousse, and smoked pineapple. Also they serve chocolate cloud, milk sherbet, and hibiscus apple seltzer. Stupid, there should be a candy gingerbread house. And I'm not sure how their dishes go with their story.

Commercial interlude: Melissa is super embarrassed by her showpiece and promises to fight.

Ah, the Stew Room. Fun stuff. Craig knows he didn't do very well today. Gail collects teams Red and Goldilocks, who are the winners. The judges loved Team Red's dessert flavors, and how their showpiece was constructed with a great sense of balance. Nelson made Team Goldilock's showpiece, and their desserts went very well with their story. The winners are Team Red. Orlando, of course, thinks he should have won and declares he's winning next time. Gail sends them to collect the losers.

Team Hansel should have covered the showpiece in candy. Lina says her opinion is that it's a witch's house, so it shouldn't look like a gingerbread house? The hell? Did you read the story. Melissa throws Lina under the bus and tells the judges she wanted a candy house, and she told Lina that many times. Lina tries to defend herself, but Melissa tells everyone that Lina wanted to do cake. Lina LIES and says she never said that. You just dug your own grave, girl. The chocolate cloud dish didn't have any crunch or texture. Lina's dish was supposed to be light and airy, but it was not. At least I think so. The sound went out. Craig jacked up his showpiece and he knows he should have admitted he had no idea what he was doing. Also Team Jack had too much ginger in their plated dessert.

Team Jack's showpiece ended up prettier. But their desserts were unbalanced, and Craig was out of his element. It seems unanimous that making a showpiece out of cake was a bad idea. Lina is back in the Stew Room saying how much work she did. Melissa's dessert wasn't that great, but they feel she at least tried to make the showpiece better. Vanarin should have tried to save his team.

Hansel and Gretel and Jack in the Beanstalk are on the bottom. In the end, Lina is sent home. She’s kind of embarrassed, and says Melissa threw her under the bus and she’s pissed. She’s dedicated and talented, and didn’t have enough time.

This season: Beastie Boys, Willy Wonka, someone is a sugar hooker, drama, of course.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Project Runway 8/18/11--"All About Nina" summary

Previously on Project Runway: everyone had to make outfits for stilt walkers. Wouldn’t you assume this meant costumes? I would also. However the judges wanted “real” clothing, and eventually Laura won and Fallene went home. Of course, this was a team challenge and there was some drama, but not a lot from Cecilia, who, if you’ll remember, said when she was cast that she would bring the drama. And yet, nothing. Really, it was Bert and Viktor, and yes, Viktor was rude to make faces when he knew he was paired with Bert, but it certainly looked like he at least pretended to try to get along. Bert was just snippy and then threw Viktor under the bus, even though he had designed half the outfit and insisted on his fabric that was ugly. Bryce was kind of a jerk too, but apparently cutting fabrics on the grain is really a thing that everyone should know how to do. I guess in all the previous seasons of the show every single person knew how to do it so it was never mentioned. (click for more)

Cecilia has confidence. Bryce says he has to bring it. Viktor knows the judges have a bad impression of him so he has to bring it also.

Heidi says they have to design for a client. Who knows a lot. Whatever, we already know it’s Nina. It’s about damn time. She says she’ll be very tough, obviously. It also has to be a day-to-night look: work during the day, and an “industry event” at night. She describes her style as “classic with an edge” and says she likes streamlined, clean, tailored things. No volume, no pleats, no loud patterns or colors. Bryce is like, what DO you like? Streamlined and tailored, weren‘t you listening? Also, haven’t you ever watched this show? The prize for this challenge is bragging rights and also you get your look to be in a Marie Claire ad that is for some reason being put on top of taxi cabs. Nina will get a consultation with each one before they go shopping.

30 minutes to sketch. They also have desktop computers with portfolios on them. Everyone seems to be a mixture of excited and frightened. Anya is particularly freaking out because she uses a lot of pattern and color. Julie talks about having a second chance.

Consultation time. Anya has a jumpsuit. Nina likes Viktor’s dress and hates Bryce’s cowl. She tells Danielle to make her a blouse. I think Nina has a favorite! Maybe. Kimberly wants to make a dress to get away from pants, I guess because she feels like she’s being “known for pants”, and Nina is like “Make me some of your awesome pants!” Nina tells Cecilia her dress is OK but the jacket is a lot and also “Dynasty”. Cecilia knows she can’t convince Nina Garcia to change her mind. Tim comes in and says “Don’t bore Nina!” and also don’t all buy gray.

$200 and 30 minutes at Mood. Anya is buying a silk with a subtle print, all in mustard. Becky discovers she and Anthony Ryan have picked out the same fabric. Cecilia seems freaked out, as the fabrics she had picked out originally were too expensive.

Anya wants to win and not just be safe. Josh reassures her that Nina has great skin and the color will be great. Julie jokes that she thought this would be a cruise. She starts talking about fashion school, which is not a good sign for her. Cecilia praises her personality and says she’s an artist and is such a nice person. Anthony Ryan and Josh gossip in the corner about how Becky has the same fabric as Anthony Ryan and he tries to make it seem like she stole it off his table or something. It’s kind of a fail in terms of gossip, as it fails to make me care. Cecilia discovers her fabric is gray, not purple like she thought it was in Mood. Viktor explains how to use muslin to make a mock-up of your garment, because it’s easier to change it.

Tim time! And Nina! Danielle’s green jacket sketch was “hard and soft” but now the actual jacket is “soft and soft”. She says it’s not pressed, but Nina is not impressed. Danielle tries to change it, and offer options to Nina, but Nina just says “No” to everything. Julie’s collar is too big. She seems in better shape that Danielle, or at least Nina likes the muslin better. Tim reminds her that she’s always confident and sometimes she should not be. Nina sees Anya’s fabric and asks if there’s a Plan B. Oo. Anya admits she does not. Josh for some reason asks Nina if she wears a bra. There is more drama about the stupid fabric. Olivier is “old fashioned”. Bryce may have a very short skirt. Bert for some reason has a plunging V. Viktor gets some actual useful suggestions. Cecilia has the gray and a sad beige. Kimberly has a completely blue outfit with gold shoulders. I don’t know. Nina basically tells her it’s like a prison jumpsuit, but then she and Tim backpedal and tell her it’s Kimberly’s decision as a designer. In parting Nina says the winning look will also be in an editorial in the magazine.

Kimberly starts talking about the people she’s lost, and how it hasn’t broken her, which confuses me because didn’t we hear about Julie’s life too? Josh suggests to Anya that she dye her print, and then we get a close-up shot of said “print”--which is a herringbone yellow on yellow. I wouldn’t classify that as crazy at all, but whatever. She just hopes it turns out. Anthony Ryan gets to call his fiancé Matthew on Skype. Anthony Ryan says they’ve been together for 2 ½ years as if that is FOREVER but maybe it is for him.

Model fitting. Anthony Ryan discovers his model’s bra is already padded so it probably isn’t getting any bigger. Cecilia hates her fabrics but she has to make something. Julie is feeling her lack of sewing experience. At the end of the day, I think she’s pretty far from finished.

In the morning, no one seems confident or happy about anything. Cecilia says her model has huge nipples. Yeah. Tim comes in to give everyone their 2 hours, but not one single person is in the workroom. He has to come find everyone in the sewing room and tell them he‘s sweating through his suit, he‘s so nervous. Bryce finds that he’s screwed up his garment. Becky thinks Anya’s lack of skills is going to show up sooner or later. Viktor managed to make a lined skirt. Cecilia’s garment is not lying flat so she cuts off a strap. She seems to have given up. Julie is very far from finishing, so Cecilia helps her. Someone uses glue. Laura decides to help Anya, although she manages to talk about it in confessional in a condescending way. Viktor tries to imply this is cheating, although I’m pretty sure no one else cares.

In addition to Nina and Kors, Joanna Coles and Kerry Washington are here. Joanna doesn’t mess around, you guys. Josh: sheath dress that is gray with a coral border. The back is all coral, with an exposed zipper that goes the length of the dress, and two triangular cutouts. That’s nice and all, but I don’t think she’d wear it. Bert: little black dress. A low V with a cowl, I think, and the skirt has a slit up the front. Eh. Olivier: top and pants in shades of gray. The pants look cropped, and the jacket has a panel that goes around the middle, so it looks like one of those belts people wear when they lift heavy loads. I don’t know. Anthony Ryan: short brown skirt, and a sleeveless vest in the fabric he shares with Becky, which is sort of a black speckling to gray. There is a v-neck with lapels and a thin belt. Actually it’s not bad, although the skirt is pretty short. Becky: v-neck dress with diagonal lengths of fabric, in dark brown and gray, and the speckled fabric is in the skirt. Oh, of course the two people who have the same fabric walked one right after the other. Kimberly: gold sleeveless top, with an asymmetrical hem and a keyhole, and dark blue pants that look pretty fantastic.

Cecilia: one shouldered dress in gray and beige. It is boring and nothing Nina would wear. Anya: brown pantsuit, sleeveless with an exposed back and capri-length pants and a weird collar. Danielle: emerald blouse with elbow sleeves, and dark pants. Julie: dress with small lapels, in two shades of gray and a light orange. It’s all pieced together strangely, somehow. I think it was supposed to be a coat dress. Bryce: long sleeved dress which is pretty short and also the hem is jacked up. It’s navy with a panel of dark blue down the front. Laura: shiny green dress, with cap sleeves that have straps somehow. The skirt is not full, but bell-shaped (it stands out from her hips but that’s all the volume) and at the bottom of the skirt are two sheer bands. Viktor: black dress with pointy shoulders. The rest is fitted, and there is an exposed zipper on the back.

Danielle, Kimberly, Anya, Viktor, Julie, and Cecilia are the top and bottom. Bert says he thinks Olivier has a good chance…as Olivier is sitting next to him in the Scrap Bin. Viktor wanted to keep it simple, and Nina loves that it’s separates. Viktor kisses ass a little bit, and everyone tells him how great it is. Julie talks about the collar she got rid of, but Nina tells her she didn’t think the neck opening was so wide before. Kors calls it a housecoat. Joanna says if Nina showed up to work in this dress she’d fire her. Cecilia knows she is in the bottom. Kors hates the fabric, it’s not a daytime look, sad fabrics. Kimberly’s choice to make the gold top instead of blue was the right choice. They love her pants, but they look to me like the crotch doesn’t fit right. Joanna says the top is the kind of top that “transforms your life”. Uh huh. But she also says she’d wear it if Nina won’t, so that’s good. Anya explains how she dyed her fabric so it wasn’t mustard. Nina is thrilled at how it turned out. They bring up again how she only just learned how to sew. Danielle wished she had a fabric that was more sheer. Kors is bored and says it’s 80’s. Nina admits she tried to steer Danielle and that Danielle had to improvise. It’s not the outfit for Nina, and it makes Joanna think Danielle is depressed.

Back in the Scrap Bin, Viktor stews that Anya didn’t tell the judges she had a ton of help to sew her garment. He says he didn’t say anything because it’ll come out later. Danielle’s design was ambitious and Nina tried to warn her but it didn’t work. It’s not fashion editor enough. Cecilia’s dress was terrible and she gave up. The judges all hate her attitude. Julie had an idea but it turned into a mess. Plus it’s not day-to-evening. Heidi points out Julie has made bad clothes every week. Viktor’s dress was sharp and clean, but not boring. They love Anya’s jumpsuit, and Nina praises her recovery from not having a Plan B to having a great Plan B, apparently. Kimberly’s outfit was powerful, Nina could put a jacket over it, pants, etc.

Nina wastes no time telling Kimberly she is the winner. AND she gets immunity. She’s so thrilled. Viktor and Anya are in. Danielle is in. Cecilia is in. see? They talked about Julie’s fashion school and life. Then she was eliminated. Cecilia gets backstage and says she feels bad because she knows Julie really wants to be there, and that she wouldn’t have minded going home instead. Laura pounces on this and asks her if she told the judges that, and pretty much tells her that she should have quit and gone home so Julie could stay. That’s harsh, but I’m not sure why Cecilia brought it up at all. Julie is kind of surprised, but not emotionally crushed. She seems OK.

Kimberly goes to Marie Claire, where Nina is wearing her outfit, and it looks fantastic. Nina says she has a book signing and a party after work, and she’s just going to change jewelry. Kimberly leaves and gets picked up in a cab with the “ad” on it, which is a shot of Nina from the waist up, arms folded so you can’t see the top that well, and no mention of Kimberly.

Next time: physical activity! Race winners get to be team captains! Olivier needs medical help, team challenge so everyone is bitchy, things suck.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Project Runway 8/11/11--"Go Big or Go Home" summary

Previously on Project Runway: The annual “unconventional materials” challenge took everyone to a pet store. Discount pet store. Even though Tim told everyone not to use dog beds, several people did, including Bert. And then Bert made a terrible dress as he had immunity and didn’t really care. Anthony Ryan made a dress out of birdseed, but it was deemed too short by the judges (except Heidi, of course) so they gave the win to Olivier. Who used a dog bed for the top. Granted, he had hamster shavings on his skirt, but still. Bryce made some crazy thing with potty pads, and Fallene’s dress was deemed boring, but in the end Josh C. went home for using sort-of conventional materials in a very boring way. (click for more)

Josh M. laments the loss of his name twin by bashing others. Fallene says she never thought she would be “normal”. She says she has to be more normal than she usually is. Anthony Ryan thinks that being in the top three for two straight challenges means that he’s being noticed and that’s a good thing.

Everyone waits for Heidi, until they see her giant silhouette behind the scrim. She’s tall enough to wave over the top. It’s Heidi on stilts. And it’s really Heidi, too, which is pretty impressive, because it means someone took the time to teach her how to walk in them. Laura thinks they are headed to the circus. Heidi says to think big, and then all the models walk out on stilts. I’m not sure if it’s their normal models, or if the producers found some cute female stilt walkers. Also, teams of two! Oh, please say this means there will only be 7 outfits. I know they always spring another look on them last minute. But I am going to hope for as long as possible they won’t. Heidi picks teams from the velvet bag. Bert and Viktor are the first team. Viktor makes a face and Heidi calls him on it. To his credit, he does admit he’s not pleased. Bert thinks this is unprofessional, but last challenge he made a terrible dress and then sang a song about how he had immunity, so…yeah. Anthony Ryan and Laura, Josh and Julie (he thinks she’s lost), Danielle and Cecilia, Anya and Olivier, Kimberly and Becky, and Bryce and Fallene. Bryce and Fallene both know they have targets. The runway show will be outside, with a live audience and press. I guess they pick models, but that part is boring, I guess, so we don’t see it.

In the workroom everyone brainstorms. Tim comes in and talks about Paris Couture Week, and how it makes you question what’s real, and these are real women? I guess they’re not the regular models. They will get 30 minutes to design, then $500 for things at Mood, and then the rest of today to sew. Becky and Kimberly haven’t really talked to each other before today, but Becky says they’re agreeing on a style. The models come in, still on stilts, and give the designers information on things like, don’t put weird stuff below where he model’s feet attach to the stilts because it makes them trip. Viktor talks about Mae West and Victorian, and Bert keeps correcting him. Bert thinks he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and Viktor thinks Bert should calm down.

Mood! At last! They haven’t been to Mood yet. Anthony Ryan and Laura are pulling as much red as they can find. Josh is being a drama queen, but only in confessional. I think Cecilia and Danielle are OK. Fallene is trying to avoid getting sucked into an all-black outfit. I think everyone gets everything they need.

Tim gives them until 9pm. It seems to be about 10:15am. Bert and Viktor have a strapless bodice and full skirt. Danielle asks Cecilia if she can fit pants, and Cecilia is offended. Hey, there are several people there who could not answer “yes” to that question. Viktor complains about Bert some more, specifically about a purple fabric covered in a shiny gold floral print. Josh has white fabric with black zig-zags, and Julie knows exactly what to make--a matador. Viktor and Bert argue some more. They both think the other one has shitty ideas and the other person won’t listen to anything. It’s been 10 minutes and I’m kind of tired of it already. Josh, of course, waits to get Viktor alone in the sewing room to get the dirt. I so loved Bert when we started. Now he is a petulant child. Anthony Ryan and Laura have decided to make a hoop skirt. They seem to be agreeing, which is good because they have a ton of work to do. Josh has figured out that he is very girly while Julie is far more macho than he is. Duh. Danielle and Cecilia are working with chiffon, and Cecilia brags that they both know exactly how to work with it. Becky stares a lot, apparently, which frightens Kimberly for some reason. Fallene reminds us that she and Bryce, two of the bottom three from last challenge, are paired up so they’d better do really well. They argue about using a bright blue, as Bryce thinks it’s too much, and then Fallene thinks she’s being overruled and Bryce is taking over. Anthony Ryan and Laura can’t get their hoop skirt to look right so they scrap it. Becky refuses to allow gold lame on the outfit. Bryce schools us on grains in fabric and whatever, and how Fallene is self-taught so she’s apparently doomed to fuck up the whole thing. Bryce goes to eat and bitches to the popular kids that she’s stupid and how could you not know you have to cut fabric on the grain? Guess what, genius, how many years have I been watching this show? And how many things have I learned from it? You’re the first person to bitch about cutting along the grain of the fabric and how it screws up the final product.

Tim time! Josh and Fallene have their matador outfit and it does look pretty good. Danielle and Cecilia don’t get much, because they’re doing well. Viktor and Bert. Sigh. So the purple and gold fabric is not so horrible, but they’ve paired it with an iridescent greenish fabric. The purple and gold is like a tutu, and then a straight skirt underneath with the iridescent. It’s pretty ugly. Bert says Viktor shot down all his ideas, and Viktor says Bert shot down all his ideas. Viktor says he’s trying to get it done, which Tim says is important, and Bert bitches that it’s hard to get it done when you walk out of the room whenever you don’t get your way. While they both are kind of annoying, you can tell Viktor is at least trying to deal with Bert politely, while Bert is sulking. Tim points out that neither of them are using the word “we”. They’re not looking at each other either. Tim likes Anthony Ryan and Laura’s design. Becky has a one shouldered top with a collar. Fallene needs to own her outfit. Bryce says he needs Fallene to finish the bodice so “we” can worry about the pants. What is he doing while she finishes the bodice? He just made it sound like he was standing around waiting for her to finish. Anya and Olivier, Tim is thrown off. Anya thinks he just doesn’t know how to say “I don’t like it”, but I’m pretty sure Tim can say that.

Viktor is going to try to be nice. Fallene is taking forever to make the bodice for some reason. Josh shows Julie how to make a belt with some rouching, however unlike Bryce he’s not an ass about it. Cecilia, out of nowhere, is very upset about something and she tells Danielle they don’t have time and she won’t fuck up because she listened to Danielle. And she pretty much snatches the fabric out of Danielle’s hands.

Model fitting. Bert makes it clear he has not made a “costume”, he has made a “fantasy”. Fallene cut off grain after all. Whatever. Danielle and Cecilia make up, and Cecilia apologizes. Fallene is in tears because she says she let Bryce down and couldn’t make the bodice. How long has it been since she started working? Couldn’t Bryce have cut the damn thing while she sewed pants or something? I don’t understand what excuse he’s used to not fix it if it’s such a basic skill. I mean…I assume he could have cut it out and then she could sew it.

The alarm goes off at 4:30am. That is too damn early. Bert and Viktor are done. Wow. Bryce decides to make a tube top, and Fallene naturally is like, whatever. He tries to involve Anya in his drama, but she totally ignores him. Good for her. Josh makes faces at Julie for some reason. Olivier hasn’t sewn everything, so it might fall apart. Josh talks about being part of the first “public” runway, which is sort of true and sort of not. I mean, the actual runway has never been in public. But there have been several times where the designs were shown to the public. Tim gives them 90 minutes before they have to leave the workroom and trek down to the runway. Julie decides to let Josh bedazzle everything. Fallene is making a headpiece, because she feels she didn’t make any of the dress. Models. Josh and Julie joke about how Josh will be better at makeup than Julie. Hee. He just wants to flirt with Hot Mustached Makeup Artist. Danielle is very vague about what she wants hairwise, finally ending up with “dramatic and swept up and to the side”. What they get is a big teased-out bouffant, only with the volume in the back instead of on top so it’s not tall but it is still big.

Backstage is crazy, and there are a lot of people out front. Fallene breaks down as she talks to Tim. Tim comforts her, as Tim does because he is awesome.

I just realized! Only 7 outfits! Yay! Heidi has some monster shoes on. Kim Kardashian, guest judge. Yup. Josh and Julie: pants in a black and white vertical zig-zag (with tiny strips of red inside the black), and a red top with a half cape. On the other side is a shiny shoulder-guard piece. She also has a stiff belt, but I can’t tell if that’s the belt or the mechanism of the stilts or what. That may also be why she’s stomping around instead of walking gracefully. I like it, it’s dramatic. Bert and Viktor: gold and purple tutu, with a long, full skirt in that iridescent fabric. From far away it looks better. I think there are layers to the skirt, maybe. The model is flinging it around a lot. Bert says he is sorry he was “encumbered” with Viktor, and that if he’d had his way it would have been so much better. I think under the skirt are pants to cover the stilts. Bryce and Fallene: black tutu that comes to where her “knees” would be, a dark red belt. They’ve also covered the stilts in fabric. The whole thing is black, and I guess the bodice that didn’t get done would have been in red, but the one they have doesn’t look that bad. Fallene made a fascinator with red and lots of feathers for some drama. Becky and Kimberly: long bell bottoms, with studs at the bottom, in dark olive green, and a one-shouldered jacket in a lighter olive pinstripe, with more studs and a collar. The top looks pretty cool, as do the pants, but man! These models forgot how to walk since yesterday. Anya and Olivier: long blue dress with a weird bodice with cutouts. The dress moves really well, but that means you can see where the model’s feet meet her stilts. Danielle and Cecilia: wide-legged brown pants that hide the stilts really well, and a sheer turquoise blouse with a high collar. There are wings or something on the back of the blouse. It would be great, except the hair really is terrible. I think the pants are pleated?? Anthony Ryan and Laura: all red, a skirt and pants combo, with the skirt split or maybe a mullet hem (short in front, long in back). The top has a sweetheart neckline, then illusion netting and bursts of feathers on her shoulders. I think the skirt is split. It does look really good and like a real fashion outfit. And their model can walk.

Back inside at the Parsons runway, Heidi says the winner will get immunity. Olivier is immune from last week, and he and Anya get to move on. Anthony Ryan & Laura, Danielle and Cecilia, and Kimberly & Becky are the high scorers this week, so they get to stay for now. The losers go backstage to sulk, and Josh points out that the three low scores were all costumes, while the people who scored the highest all made real clothes. They bring out the models and have them stand in front of the runway so they’re not super tall. Heidi loves the drama of Anthony and Laura’s look. It’s elegant and not a costume, but Nina cautions Anthony that it looks familiar to her and so he needs to be original. Kors says it would still be fabulous if it was normal-sized. Anthony claims to have decided to give credit to Laura. OK. Danielle says she came up with the blouse idea, and then Cecilia made the pants. But obviously her hair is terrible. Other than that, the fabrics are great and it’s a great outfit and well made but kind of boring. Becky makes great jackets, and Kimberly does great pants, so they went with those things. Kors loves the pants, actually everyone loves the pants. Nina hesitates over the collar, which is pointy and “circusy”. Nina, the woman is wearing stilts.

Time for Bert and Viktor. Kors hates the gold, and the gold netting at the top of the bodice, which is too old. It looks like curtains and is a bad costume. Bert immediately throws Viktor under the bus. Unfortunately when Heidi asks for confirmation, Viktor says “I own it” and then starts talking about how they both worked to finish. He has to clarify that he owns “the work with him”. Eventually they lay it out for him: if your outfit is the worst, you would be the one to go home? Of course not. Then they fight about the sketching, but Viktor says it’s on his computer, and I’m thinking Viktor wouldn’t offer proof if it wasn’t there. Moving on. Everyone hates Bryce and Fallene’s outfit because it is “Black Swan” and it looks like they didn’t spend any time on it. Nina likes the idea, but the execution sucks. Kors likes the headpiece, though, so that’s something. Bryce is a nice person and says that they should both go home, but when Heidi presses him he says he should stay. Fallene admits she should be the one to go. Julie admits she had the concept, and Heidi is like “Circus?” as if THEY AREN’T STILT WALKERS for fuck's sake. Oh, they hate it. They really hate it. It’s tacky and the proportions are off, I guess because the pants seem high-waisted, and they just keep going on and on. They admit it looks well made. Julie refuses to throw Josh under the bus and Josh doesn’t want to go home so they pick Julie to take the fall.

Anthony Ryan and Laura made a fantastic gown that would work off stilts. Danielle and Cecilia made a whole outfit out of chiffon and it was perfectly made. Becky and Kimberly had impeccable tailoring with great proportions, and the two pieces went together. Josh’s bedazzling was immediately obvious to everyone, and their outfit was crazy. Bryce and Fallene were boring and the only good thing was the hat and it didn’t go with the tutu. I’m not sure what they decide about the fact that Fallene should go home for the look, but she made the hat which was the only good thing. Heidi thinks Viktor threw Bert under the bus, which I guess he did, but as Nina points out, Bert did the same thing. For some reason Heidi has decided to take Bert’s side. Kors points out that Bert could have said something earlier when the outfit wasn’t working.

The winner today is Laura. She’s pretty gracious about it. Becky, Kimberly, Danielle, and Cecilia are all in. Josh and Julie are in. Bert is in. Lame. Just that it’s obvious from this that they decided the look was Viktor’s fault. Bryce is in. Fallene is out. Oo. That’s too bad, I like her. She’s happy she made it this far. She says right now she’s upset but when she gets home things will be different.

Next week: FINALLY they are designing for NINA. Oh, she will destroy them.
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Friday, August 5, 2011

Project Runway 8/4/11--"My Pet Project" summary

Previously on Project Runway: At first there were 20 people, but then they got rid of 4 people right away, which was nice. Then Tim woke everyone up in the early morning and told them they needed to make outfits out of their pajamas and one sheet. There was not much drama, aside from people just flailing. Bert won, even though I didn’t like his dress, but props to the 102-year-old! Rafael went home, as he made terrible leggings and a weird cropped top. And he didn’t hang onto his do-rag, he cut it up, but it wasn’t enough. There are still 15 people and as of last week I think they were still filming so I’m not sure how all this will work out in the end. Probably with too damn many decoy collections at Fashion Week. (click for more)

So only the judges get to talk in the opening credits? Huh.

Josh C. says he can only go up from here. He says he’s not trying to win today, but just get by. Bryce says for them to use Rafael’s empty bed for motivation. The girls also talk about Rafael. Kimberly thinks he went home to enter a Beyonce look-alike contest. Heh. Anya is glad to know she can compete. Bert has immunity, so he’s feeling pretty good right now. Viktor jokes that they’ll all be Bert’s friends--his evil friends. Bert responds, completely deadpan: “Oh well. The price you pay for being fabulous.” I love Bert.

Heidi tells everyone today they will need to “unleash your creativity”. Josh M. has not gone to “dogs” but to “S&M”. Which is telling. Heidi sends them on a field trip without model selection. So is that not happening? Or what?

Tim meets everyone at Petland Discount. Not only a pet store, a discount pet store. Hee! Anthony Ryan for some reason thinks they’re dressing dogs, but we all know what it is: unconventional materials challenge. Tim warns them against using a lot of fabric, as the judges want to see random stuff made into clothing. However they can use muslin as a base. They get $300 and 30 minutes to shop. Someone asks Tim if they can buy live animals. People are buying food…I guess. And leashes. And plastic plants. Anthony Ryan is carefully looking for the empty aisle so he can use things no one else is using. Bert is going to get a dog bed, as he has immunity and “costumey” isn’t his thing so he did not listen to Tim. Bryce has potty pads that are used in house training. Laura’s bought those plastic cones you put on your dog when they have surgery. She says something about refinement.

Tim gives them 11 hours to finish their looks and tells them to have fun. Julie took all the food out of the dog food bags and is using the paper bags. Although now she’s not really thrilled with it. Anthony Ryan is going to use birdseed as beading. Cecelia is using dog food for beading. Becky tells us this in confessional, then dies laughing. Laura has discovered that a dog cone will work as a skirt if you are skinny enough, and you cover it with aquarium plants so it’s not transparent. Fallene worries that she has orange because she never uses orange. It looks like everyone thinks this is her challenge to lose, as she is artsy or whatever. Josh C thinks the key is creativity. Olivier (who was born in Columbus, OH) wants class. I think. Someone says “trashion” which is an excellent word. Josh M. bought a bunch of plastic tubing, but no connectors. He mentions it to Viktor, who says “Oh, connectors like these?” and holds up the pieces Josh neglected to buy. Hee. Josh takes it pretty well.

Josh M. grew up in the theater. Does that surprise you? No. Kimberly says everyone is feeling the pressure. Julie tells Bert that it works in her head. He says, “Yeah, but in your mind you’re the Queen of Austria.” She tries to tell him that he’s the Queen of Austria, but he says he’s the Queen of England. Julie’s decided to weave her paper bags. Becky has a ton of leaves, so she’s trying to stay away from too hippie. Josh C. is dyeing things. Laura brags in confessional that she’s upper class and she was able to have “brands”. She also says she was shopping at Neiman’s since she was little, which enables me to know exactly where she was shopping and probably where she is actually from. For some reason, being a rich snob pushes her because it means she can’t put out crap and call it luxury. 1. It’s an unconventional materials challenge, no one is going to call it “luxury”, and 2. Shut up, Laura. Fallene is self-taught, and she says she’s just as lost as everyone else. She would love some more time. Bert rubs it in that he has immunity. Someone tells him if he abuses his immunity the judges will get mad. Yeah, they probably will.

6 hours left. Anthony Ryan has tested out his birdseed beading, but as far as I can tell he hasn’t actually done anything on his dress. Olivier is making a top out of a fleece dog bed. Bryce knows a bunch of people are using potty pads. Viktor is dyeing his purple, and he says it’s worse than doing laundry in the river. Nice.

Tim time! He loves Viktor’s dress, even though he calls it “a Depends dress” and makes a joke that you’d never have to get up from your barstool. Bert’s dress makes Tim look concerned. It is declared “black velour beach cover-up” by Tim and “tacky boudoir…thing from the 60’s” by Becky. Josh C. is more confident about this design than the last time. Olivier is using two different types of wood chips to make an ombre effect, which is pretty cool, actually. Cecelia may have too much going on. Julie must think about movement. Danielle has something chic. Bryce seems to have a good start, but Josh M. is like “Where is she going?” Where is YOUR girl going? Stop trying to be a sound bite whore. Laura wants approval, but we don’t see if she gets it. Josh M. only has a skirt done, but he has shoes picked out and everything. Tim doesn’t think he can finish, and his outfit is so over-the-top he has to either execute it exactly how he’s pictured it in his head, or do something completely different. He can’t go halfway or it will look terrible. He knows Tim is worried. Kimberly gets a warning to avoid “tire tracks”. Becky seems to have bought nothing but aquarium plants and fake leaves. Kimberly, even though she just got some criticism, feels secure enough to express her bewilderment at Becky. Anthony Ryan knows he has to finish tonight so everything can set. Fallene is behind.

Lots of working and gluing and model fittings. Viktor’s is tight. Bert is telling his model that he doesn’t do costumes and simple things are the way to go and whatever. Josh C. is concentrating on fit. Josh M. has no top done, so he’s rethinking his design. Laura’s model tries on the skirt, which is short enough that you can see her ass. Like Zulema’s dress that she made out of her sweater. At least Laura knows she has to fix it. Josh M. is using aquarium rocks for his top now. Laura is sewing cardboard strips. I don’t know. Olivier says something to her about paper? I’m not sure. He seems exhausted. The Joshes chit chat about accessories. Julie is just floundering, or at least she thinks so. Bryce has used his potty pads like handkerchiefs attached at the waist of his skirt. Laura says it looks like a dog could walk up and pee on it and it would serve its purpose, but at least you won’t be able to see his model’s ass. Anthony is running out of time, partially I think because he’s trying to put the sunflower seeds on the shoulders and the other seeds on the rest of the thing. Josh C. worries.

In the morning, Anthony Ryan has decided to just put birdseed on the skirt too. Anya doesn’t seem to have a skirt at all. Tim comes in to give them 2 hours to finish. Anthony Ryan’s model is sitting on a chair watching him glue. Olivier’s model has wood chips glued to her eyebrows. Laura has scrapped her previous skirt. I think everyone actually is ready on time.

Guest judge is Stacey Bendet. Danielle: short skirt and top. I think the top is like a macramé made out of dog toys, and the skirt is potty pads. It’s hard to tell because her model has long hair that is in the way. Fallene: brown tube top and red skirt made out of aquarium plants. The top is a dog bed. It’s fine. Anthony Ryan: sleeveless sheath dress with a high neck, made out of muslin covered in birdseed. He picked out all the sunflower seeds and put them around the neck. It looks fantastic. Bert: jeez. Short black dress with two pink ruffles up top. Big ruffles, like she’s fat and trying to hide it. Sigh. He knows it sucks. Julie: wrap dress made out of woven dog food bags. The back is stripes of paper. It looks pretty good, considering it’s made out of wax paper. Anya: black skirt with a dog toy rope top. That top looks awfully similar to the one she made last week. Same shape and everything. It looks impressive though.

Bryce: halter top and big poofy skirt. I think the skirt is a little too big, but I’ve seen worse. Kimberly: dark blue strapless top, braided from aquarium tubes, and a black miniskirt. I think she made a flower too for the top. Josh C.: black miniskirt and a halter top in purple with a green belt. Made out of potty pads, I guess. It looks nice but isn’t terribly exciting. Viktor: sleeveless bandage dress in shades of purple, made out of potty pads. It looks fantastic. Cecelia: sheath dress with hamster bedding glued to it. The top is tan and the bottom is blue. Olivier: the top is a fleece dog bed, and the bottom is a pencil skirt with wood chips in different colors so it shades. Becky: strapless dress with a purple bodice, green skirt and yellow hem, all made out of aquarium flowers. It’s cute and colorful. Laura: the skirt is now made out of cardboard, and a tube top made out of leashes. And a weird diagonal strap. Josh M.: black skirt and crop tank top with aquarium rocks glued on in a neon design. It’s very 80’s.

Heidi calls out Danielle, Julie, Laura, Viktor, Becky, Cecilia, Kimberly, Anya, and Bert as safe. Before they can leave, Heidi makes sure to tell Bert he is pretty lucky. Backstage everyone trash talks the people still up there. Bryce explains his dress, but Kors calls it “ugly napkin clothes”. Apparently the judges are tired of this skirt. Nina doesn’t like the balance with the texture on top and volume on bottom. They know what he used, which apparently a problem, and also they demand a back story on clothes, as if anyone in their right mind is going to actually go anywhere in a dress made from a pet store. Anthony Ryan explains how he wanted to be special, but it totally worked. It is short, though. They all love it, especially because it’s not immediately obvious what the dress is made out of. Olivier even used tubing for a belt. The judges like his outfit too, as it is editorial and the ombre skirt is great. The eyebrows are kind of dumb though. Josh C. used an umbrella in there too. They don’t like that his materials were umbrellas and fabric. And then on top of that they seem bored with the outfit too. Nina tries to be nice and says it’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. Stacey points out the model has on snakeskin open-toed booties. Yeah. Josh M. explains how his top is cropped because he wanted to show some skin. They think it’s very colorful and they like the shape, although he seems to have taken a mirror from a birdcage to hang from her belt. Heidi then says she’s wearing too much makeup, which is hysterical because she’s got like 5 pounds on as she’s saying it. Plus he put some dog toys on the heels of the boots, which looks stupid but I guess Kors likes it. Fallene’s outfit is deemed boring, but she agrees and says it’s not what she wanted. Plus the proportions are off; her tube top is very short and then there’s a belt, so she looks really short-waisted. Fallene pretty much agreed with everything the judges say, which makes them attack her for not fixing her outfit if she knew it sucked.

Backstage, Fallene says she just was uninspired. Anthony Ryan says “excuses are for the birds” which is a pretty bitchy thing to say. Bryce is over everything, and at first I thought he was telling everyone to shut up and leave him alone, but as no one takes offense I think he was just venting. Josh C. was very boring and used fabric. Bryce had “the worst outfit I’ve seen in a long time” according to Heidi. Oh please, “the worst”? Fallene’s dress was ugly and boring and everyone hated it. Josh M. had a very colorful outfit with a good silhouette, but weird accessories. Anthony Ryan was very different, and didn’t look like the materials he started with, but it was short. Olivier’s outfit was sophisticated and modern. Nina likes it best, but Heidi likes Anthony Ryan, because of course a short skirt doesn’t bother her. Kors points out that those two dresses could come from the same line. Heidi and Nina fight over it while Kors fans himself.

Olivier is the winner. Huh. He gets immunity. Not that he had a bad dress, I just thought they’d go for birdseed. Anthony Ryan is in, but not until after Heidi tells him she wanted him to win. Josh M. is in. Bryce is in. Josh C. is out. Fallene sobs as she gets backstage. Josh C. is so awesome that even Tim is choked up.

Next week: Heidi is on stilts. Sadly she does not fall. Teams of two, drama, outdoor runway. I think a Kardashian.
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