On Thin Ice
Project Runway 2: Episode 7


Accessorize, baby! Previously, Banana Republic made an appearance and demanded something from the Fashionistas that it can later incorporate into its next catalogue without crediting the Fashionistas. Therefore, there is now a dress that has the same pattern and cut as the one Zulema and Kara designed, although I really doubt that those two see a single cent for their effort. Santino's kimono design was slated as something inappropriate for Banana Republic, but the latest catalogue has plenty of geisha-style dresses. Diana and Marla got tossed out like yesterday's papers for being boring while Nick and Santino lived to see another day. Yeah, I honestly didn't see that one coming, I tell you.

The Apartments. Poor Chloe has to pack and move in with Zulema and Kara. As she packs, Chloe says that she'd rather have her own place but hey, she has lived with people before so that's okay too. She adds that she doubts that things will get more competitive because everything is already so competitive from day one. That's like saying it will never rain heavily tomorrow because it has rained since the day the Earth was created but hey, that's okay too. Chloe announces to Kara and Zulema as she walks into the room that the producers are making her move in with the women. Kara tells her that she loves having Chloe here. No sign of Zulema though. Maybe she's looking for shoes to stuff into Chloe's side of the wardrobe. Over at the other apartment, Santino is shown congratulating Andrať and Dan for winning the last challenge. Oh, that's something I never expect him to say, until I remember that he only shows his contempt for those he deems weaker than he is, like Diana Eng, Marla, and Emmett. Andrať tells the camera about how well he and Dan worked together so the victory was one that he felt was equally shared by the two of them. He also talks about how he and Dan have "strong aesthetics" and I find myself thinking that something isn't right here when Dan, whose designs were so far very forgettable, is considered the dark horse to win the competition. Oh well, it's not as if the others are any better significantly anyway. I'd rather be watching Project Catwalk at this point for really interesting designs from the Fashionistas.

At the Runway at Parsons, Heidi tells the Fashionistas that they will only learn of their task the next day. This leads Andrať (of course) to go, "What?" Kara whispers something to Dan's ears. Maybe they're making fun of Andrať too. He makes it very easy for anyone to do so. Heidi explains that the Fashionistas will receive some "little package" that will have all the details of their next task that next day. She now brings out the winners' models. Rebecca and Danyelle, and the models of Marla and Diana, Cara and Lesley Anne. Now, who in his or her right mind will want to choose Cara, I will never know. I don't even know why Heidi bothers with the procedure because Andrať and Dan are not going to part ways with their models. Lesley Anne and Cara are therefore sent back to the wardrobe.

Evening at the Apartments. Bizarre ideas start to fly as to what they may do tomorrow. Andrať unnecessarily repeats to the camera that they don't know what they are going to do but I guess his dramatic eyeroll is must-see TV for the editors to add that pointless confessional in. Nick tells the other men in his apartment that he believes that they will be making outfits to "people that pass out things". Nick is a very good-looking man in a sweet huggy hot bear way when he's not bedecked in those ridiculous gold chains, loser biker jackets, silly shades, and all while I think Andrať either has many pairs of his ridiculous orange shorts or he wears the same one all the time. Santino tells the others that should Nick's idea be correct, he'd like to make a chicken suit. Because it has feathers, you see, and Santino loves his feathers. And trims. And laces. And everything else that turns the wearer of his designs into a Christmas tree. Elsewhere, Zulema thinks that they will be designing for airlines. Because she has one plane short in her hangar, I suppose. Where do these people come up with such ideas? How do you go from packages to airlines? Kara gives a pointless confessional where she reveals that - surprise - she has no idea what the next challenge is going to be.

Morning. Lo, here comes Plotless Robert in his postal worker uniform - thankfully, not the one that got him eliminated in the last season, although that would be hoot, really - carrying those packages that Heidi had mentioned earlier. How sad for Plotless Robert, really, that he has to resort to such stunt cameos to remain in the limelight. He knocks at Apartment 35D first. As Nick tells the camera, it's Plotless Robert from the last season with a package - here Nick's voice goes up a little as if he's really entranced by the package in question - and that man is wearing the US Postal uniform. I guess it's too much to hope that Plotless Robert is now working as a real postman? Santino is wearing only a towel, by the way, eeeuw. Dan's voice over says that they are all going, "Oh Lord, what could it be?" Is it just me or these guys are really trying too hard to be excited?

Next Plotless Robert goes all "Top of the morning!" to the next apartment where Chloe and Zulema recognize him and Zulema even says that she is good enough to "went with it", "it", I suppose, being that man's attempt to get everyone to remember his glory days and talk to the camera about how wonderful a hot chunk of love that he is. Emmett however doesn't recognize Plotless Robert. Emmett has openly admitted that he didn't watch the first season, after all. Plotless Robert goes, "You don't recognize me, do you?" Emmett can only blink and stare down at the man in a "Do I have to?" manner. Probably thinking of all those young hot postal workers he snogged in the past, Emmett hazards, "Oh yes, Mario." Plotless Robert corrects him, saying that his name is Jay, heh. "Jay, how are you?" says Emmett. He opens the door and lets Robert in. As he walks in, Plotless Robert says that his name is really Rob. "Rob! Sorry!" says Emmett as he closes the door behind them. I am sure there are fanfics out there about the naughty things that may happen behind that closed door if I search a little.

The Fashionistas open their packages and discover that there are some cheap-looking tacky costumes inside. Kara goes, "Oh! Hysterical!" even before she looks into her box, which leads me to suspect that these people are acting for the camera instead of being genuinely excited. She tells the camera that she finds a "like, cheap velour fabric, bright colors... I had no idea what it was". Nick is groaning when he finds this purple Fabio-like Victorian theatre suit complete with balloon sleeves. Santino reads aloud a letter from Tim that comes along with the package. They are to wear the outfits and meet him downstairs. Andrať, Nick, and Dan go "Oh!" because that is, like, OMIGOD MOST EXCITING THING EVAH. Nick quickly reads along with Santino and they all squeal in excitement because this is like raiding Mommy's wardrobe when Mommy is away all over again. Chloe meanwhile thinks that the hideous outfit she has to wear doesn't come in her color but tells the camera with a chuckle that so far everything is a "blast" and she has no problems looking like a fool. Has she ever said anything that doesn't come with a negative qualifier to the camera? Hmmm. The show then moves on to the guys changing - ooh, look at Nick's underwear, everybody - and the ladies posing with their outfits. Dan wonders what Emmett's outfit looks like and everyone in the apartment squeals in as Emmett shows up in what Nick describes to the camera as a "neon-pink blouson top without the V-neck... with a mock turtleneck". Animated, Nick tells the camera, "It was like International Male gone g-g-g-g-gay!" That last statement is really funny, especially if you know how the International Male catalogue always carries some of the ugliest outfits ever known to mankind, fortunately modelled by some of the hunkiest men that skimpy underwear is especially created for. Ahem.

Tim meets them where he laughs with them and calls Santino, who wears a Russian ushanka cap with his outfit, "Dr Zhivago" while he apologizes to Emmett, saying that "they" made him do it. Nick and Santino cackle and laugh until they all ready to double over and roll on the floor because I suppose that's how they react in situations that they know are supposed to be too funny. Tim crams them into a van and take them on a "field trip". Emmett tells the camera that they all look like "the lost Mariachis". Santino says that he doesn't know where they are going - as if anyone knows where they are going, duh - but he has stopped guessing. Tim takes them to the Ice House. I know this because the camera zooms in on the sign of the building, Andrať tells me in a confessional that comes complete with a sharp sweep of his head as if someone has bitchslapped him hard or something, and Nick says that he has gone "triple-crazy" because it just "dawned" on him that they are all going to design ice-skating costumes. Aww, and here I am hoping that they will design some new outfits that a Ben and Jerry mascot can wear.

The Fashionistas squeal in delight when they see Sasha Cohen demonstrating to the camera why the camera loves her. She's asexual yet she looks petite and cute like all ice-skaters should be, and she twirls in front a sign in the rink telling fat women everywhere to get rid of cellulite now. Sasha Cohen, who could anyone not love her? Nick is like, wow, the Sasha Cohen to the camera, because to him, Sasha Cohen and Nicky Hilton are currently clawing it out to win his heart as the best fashion icon ever in America. Nick also tells the camera that he is "literally speechless" when he sees Sasha Cohen, but we are all lucky that he still manages to squeal hello to her. He tells the camera that he gets to meet Sasha Cohen while wearing his costume. Dramatic gay eye-roll to follow. Nick continues to squeal and shed tears throughout the next montage where Tim and Fashionistas join Sasha on the skating ring. It's a We Are Family moment with even Santino saying to the camera that it is so nice to bond and all that, and I could have wept in joy at the sight of everyone holding hands. It's like a United Over-the-top Drama Queen Crazies Forever moment that I should be savoring and screaming "Amen, brothers and sisters!" to again and again if I'm not such a cynical old grump. They'll still keep Santino anyway, after all. Oh, and Sasha reveals that they will be designing something for her. Apparently this particular task is trickier because the dress has to be functional without being top-heavy. Or something. Yay!

Back at Parsons, Santino unnecessarily tells the camera what the task is. Tim tells the Fashionistas that they will be doing the usual drill: thirty minutes of sketching and $150 for their Supermarket Sweep stint at Mood. They will have two days for the challenge. As everyone sketches and thinks, Dan says that he doesn't want to put Sasha in anything too heavy because Sasha is petite. That rules out a dress made from scrap metal. Andrať wants to create something dramatic but not too cheery and smiley for Sasha - he is thinking of some "dark princess" outfit that is a little "menacing". Chloe thinks that the challenge is a tough one because she has many things to consider. She never elaborates what those considerations are - maybe she's thinking of what shade of blue she should use for this task, and oh, that are so many kinds of blue to choose from!

Thirty minutes later, Tim comes back from his potty break and takes the Fashionistas out to shop. He tells the Fashionistas that they can't change out of their costumes because they intend to milk the funny until it turns to cheese. Nick calls Tim "so evil" and I admire his ability to play along with everything like a kid in a candy store. I'd be more like Emmett if I'm in his shoes, I'd just stare down with mild scorn down my nose at everything. At Mood, Zulema picks a stretchy fabric that she claims is tough to sew and then the confessional choppily skips to her telling the camera that she's designing an "ice princess" kind of outfit. Any excuse to use creamy white, I see. Zulema, who loves to put in significance that only she can see in her designs, says that this design of hers symbolizes some ugly duckling transformation into a beautiful swan. It's just a dress, Zulema. Emmett is inspired by sparkling stars and midnight skies so he chooses midnight blue fabric, telling the camera that the navy fabric he buys will make a "strong statement" ("Look at me! I'm blue! Wheee!") and the silver fabric will make a nice complement to the navy. "It will be strong from a distance and very pretty up close," he tells the camera about his design. I have no idea what he is talking about. After Mood, it's off to Daytona for trims. Dan says that he spent $50 on fabrics but $90 on trims. Zulema says that this task is challenging for her because she is not a "sequin girl" and she has never used sequins, glitter, beading, "or anything like that" before. But she sure knows how to use a tub of glitter over her eyelids in her confessional, that's for sure! Chloe picks some beads while Santino predictably buys yards and yards of feathery trim and plummage. Chloe tells the camera that Santino likes to be "theatrical" and "you know, ornate with a lot of things hanging everywhere". She says that "not everyone" can carry that off. Neither can Santino, let me say. Tim tells Nick that there are three minutes left and he then goes on to tell the other Fashionistas to be quick in finishing up their shopping.

Once they've bought enough material, the Fashionistas are back in the Sweatshop finding new ways to confirm that they are one-trick ponies. It's seven hours until the end of the first day. Chloe explains to the camera that her dress is mainly made from chiffon with a bias cut and overlaps. Now all she has to figure out is to how to sew all that from stretch fabric! Dan shows off to Santino what he has bought, and Santino seems puzzled that Dan's fabric are all stretch. Please don't tell me that Santino did not buy stretch fabric! Emmett tells Kara that he feels that his fabric is a little too glittery. "It verges on tacky!" he tells Kara. Kara looks on but doesn't respond to Emmett's unvoiced question. Emmett tells the camera that this challenge is a crash course on stretch fabrics for him because he was a menswear designer (which I'm sure those watching this show since episode one have forgotten by now). Oh come on, it's not like women's fashion has so many stretch fabric incorporated, either, it's just that this particular challenge is to design something for an ice-skater, which is something these Fashionistas won't be doing on a daily basis. Emmett says that womenswear is a new form of expression for him, and I don't think he's saying this because he has a newfound love for pink dresses stretched over his beer belly. I hope.

Not having found an answer from Kara, Emmett now asks Dan for his opinion. Dan non-commitantly says that he isn't a good judge of ice-skating outfits so him advising Emmett is like the blind leading the blind. When Emmett looks away, Dan makes this "Oh sheesh, can you believe this?" expression of horror for the camera. He tells the camera that Emmett is out of his league, technically, and design-wise, Emmett is not ready to have his own line. Um, right, and Dan with his stereotypical "look at me, I just got out of fashion school and my designs reflect that!" designs are going to revolutionize fashion like Emmett can only dream of. Back to Emmett, he studies the fabrics he has draped over his mannequin and asks Kara how hard it will be for him to sew everything together. Kara tells him that he needs to keep everything flat and not pull anything while he is sewing. Kara waits for Emmett's response as she adjusts her see-through black lacy material on her mannequin. She makes this sour-puss expression when the silence stretches. "You know?" she asks Emmett impatiently. "Yeah," Emmett answers in a manner that suggests that he isn't entirely confident about the answer. Poor Emmett. Like Marla, he obviously is more comfortable hiring people to put his designs together. That's not really a wrong way to work in my opinion but it's definitely wrong for this show where the Fashionistas are required to put everything together using their own hands. Kara tells Emmett that there will be plenty of room and he has to... er. Here, she fumbles and says that she honestly doesn't know too much about the matter because she doesn't often sew using stretch fabrics.

Kara asks Nick for his opinion on what she done so far - "Does that look really bad?" - and Nick says grouchily that he's not teaching today. This leads Santino to tell the camera that Kara is asking too many questions to everyone else around her. But is that any worse than what Santino is doing, honestly? Nick either decides that he will teach after all today or Kara keeps asking and he finally caves in because he ends up advising Kara anyway while Santino looks on with a sneer.

The clock ticks by and the camera zooms in on Santino's partially-done design draped on the mannequin. I'll hold my comments until the Runway. Chloe, however, tells the camera with a chuckle that she doesn't know "what the hell he's doing". Back at the Sweatshop, Chloe keeps asking pointed and not-too-polite rhetorical questions about Santino's design aloud - "Is that both sides?" she asks, maybe referring to the plumes draped on the mannequin - until Nick, unable to bear the thought of the man he loves-hates being criticized, tells Chloe rather pointedly to be quiet. Zulema, however, chuckles in agreement with Chloe as Chloe protests lamely to Nick that she is "just asking". Chloe tells the camera that there are only eight of them left and now it's about how you should only stay if you have the talent. The editors must be trying to say that Santino doesn't have the talent if they splice this confessional into this moment. Since they know that Santino is staying anyway, well, yeah, either the editors are showing a middle finger to the producers for making Santino stay or they are showing the audience the finger for being a sucker to the contrived drama of this show. Either way, it's still a middle finger and I can only hope that it doesn't hurt too much when it's stabbing on my forehead for watching this show. Sucker, sucker, sucker.

Meanwhile, Chloe just keeps talking about Santino's design - "I know nobody asks for my opinion but..." - until Nick sighs with equal amusement (he hates Santino) and exasperation (he loves Santino). Nick tells the camera that Santino is very talented (he loves Santino) and Santino has a very good eye (he does) but for this challenge (he hates Santino), Santino is a little over-the-top (Santino must die). Zulema tells the camera that Santino operates by going to the sewing machine and just "tacking on things". She doesn't know what Santino is thinking but she feels that there are too many things stuck on the back of Santino's garment. Thus concludes the whole Let's Hate Santino And Keep Watching Because He's Never Getting Cut Haw Haw montage.

At two hours until midnight, Emmett is telling everyone that he has never sewn. "I know how to but I don't," he says. I understand. I always tell everyone when they vomit after tasting my cooking that I know how to cook but I don't. However, those people never understand me at all! Andrať asks Kara, who is using the overlock machine, whether she has any overlocks at home. She says that she has "overlockers" and a "coverstitch machine". Andrať explains to the camera seriously - this is a Very Serious Matter after all - that an overlock machine is necessary to sew stretch fabrics together. "Sewing without an overlock machine is like sewing with one hand tied behind your back!" he says. And then, right on cue, Zulema claims that the overlock machine has broken down while she's using it. She says that she needs a screwdriver. Andrať goes "Unnnggggh!" and says, "Off with her head!" Still, at eleven he good-naturedly gets down to fix the machine on his own. He tells the camera that he needs to figure out how the overlock machine is threaded while he's fixing it. He's also very aware that he's fixing the machine while his rivals are working on their outfits. Zulema, without any shame, tells the camera that Andrať is "wonderful enough" to go to the sewing room and fix the machine without even starting on his project yet while she, of course, will never do such a thing because she would have never finished on her design then. Yeah, because she didn't break the machine or anything, no siree. Nick voices over that Andrať is so dramatic in the "Oh, it's the end of the world!" way and it's like a slightly cleaner pot calling the kettle black here. It's not like Andrať was the one squealing and gushing about how he wants to be Sasha Cohen when he grows up early on.

At about ten minutes before midnight, Andrať comes back to the Sweatshop and announces that he's fixed the machine. "So if you fuck it up... anyone who fucks it up, you have to thread it yourself!" he tells them. He tells the camera that he knows that he now has no time to work on his design but he needs everything to be perfect before he can sit down comfortably to work with some ease of mind. I kind of understand where he is coming from because I can't bear to work myself if things around me aren't the way I like them to be. Oh well. At midnight, the others leave the Sweatshop happily while poor Andrať sighs and rolls up his eyes for the camera. The camera also captures the goodbye messages of Marla and Diana left on the blackboard. Marla wrote, "It was loads of fun. Good luck! Love - Marla!" I always wonder about people putting an exclamation mark after their name when signing off their message. Diana wrote something similar, I suppose, since Andrať blocks out most of the message and I can only make out "leave a shitload of". Seriously, I'm not kidding about that bit.

Day two arrives. In Apartment 35D, Andrať tells Nick over the kitchen table that he is not against helping people but he's not going to help people at the expense of his project. Shouldn't he be saying this before he fixed the overlock machine? Andrať tells the camera that he's not going to fix the machine if it is broken once more. Dan looks worried as he sits in a corner. He tells the camera that as more Fashionistas leave, things are becoming more competitive. He hopes that the best designer wins. When he says "the best designer", he's really saying, "Me! I hope I win! Me! Me! Meeee!" Someone - Dan, I think - says, "And then, there were eight!" as the show cuts to Parsons.

At the Sweatshop, it's about ten hours until midnight when Tim shows up to give them some "make it work" talk. Tim says that he has had some students, oops, "maintenance" look at the machines but they can only do so much so the Fashionistas will have to "make it work" the best that they can, including doing by hand things that they normally don't do otherwise. So that's what Tim says by "make it work"! Parsons don't even want to spring out machines that are in tip-top condition for these losers, how sad. I hope they treat their students a little nicer than that. Tim now makes the rounds. Emmett tells Tim that his design will have an open neckline with the mesh in the front. He will have sequins decorating the neckline in a pattern inspired by Van Gogh's painting The Starry Night. That sounds impressive. Tim however finds Emmett's choice of fabric a little too dark. As for Zulema, she tells Tim that she's "doing Swan Lake" with "her" (the model Rachael) being "almost iced over". Jokes about Rachael's miserable expression are all too easy at this point. Zulema explains to Tim that she is making feather-shapes out of sequins and putting them together with some glitter in the design. Tim thinks that the design seems "very ambitious" but "very beautiful". Of course, if Diana presents this idea, Tim will be calling it "gimmicky" and "conceptual". Anyway, Zulema chuckles in a forced manner when Tim asks about her time management.

Andrať presents his design, which he calls "Princess Cyclone", to Tim. He explains that the dress is asymmetrical with "movements" going diagonally down the model's figure. Kara shows off her design to Tim and says that she wants to see what will happen when she adds sparkles over the dress. While she believes that her design has some edge, Tim thinks that it's boring and warns Kara to put enough innovation in the design to stop the judges from saying that they have seen it before. Hmm, funny that he should be mentioning this to Kara instead of his secret boyfriend, heh. Dan, watching from his side, voices over that he would have never designed something like Kara's, which he calls "basic not in a Calvin Klein way - it was basic in a JC Penney way". Big talk from someone whose designs aren't exactly on the high fashion side, really.

Santino tells Tim that his design is inspired by a phoenix rising out of the ashes. I have to say, his sketch looks really good although it naturally isn't a skating-rink outfit. It will of course has a million feathers and more. Tim tells Santino to get ready with a response for the judges that isn't a "fuck you". Ooh, Tim says the four-lettered word. Santino tells the camera, "I want to send, like, the biggest dramatic statement that I can send on the Runway!" At this point, I'll be happy to put my personal feelings about him aside and root for him if this statement to the Runway is plenty of expletives with "to death, hell and back" tagged on to these expletives because the judges and the producers deserve them and more for their nonsense. Santino says that he is not doing something traditional and lame. So, I guess, he's doing something traditionally lame instead, heh. "I want to make a dramatic statement - 'And that looks like something!'" he adds to the camera. Yeah, something. Like dung.

Seven hours until midnight. Tim reminds them that the deadline is midnight and the Fashionistas keep working, hustling, and bustling. Santino cracks Nick up with his "Tim Gunn! Tim Gunn! He calls your name and you're gone!" singing and I have a hunch that those two will have some dysfunctional passive-aggressive bitchslap/heavy-petting session back at the Apartment tonight. You know, the "I hate you! I HATE YOU! GIVE IT TO ME HARDER, I HATE YOU LOVERBOY OOOOOH!" kind that eventually leads to trainwrecks. Kara and Nick have this amusing dance-off/singing session while Emmett watches on longingly from the sidelines. Andrať, meanwhile, finishes using the overlock machine and lets Kara have her turn at it. She then breaks the needle, although she swears that it broke on its own and she didn't do anything. "Oh shit! This is so, oohhhh, like, inordinately dreadful!" Andrať says even if he doesn't have to worry himself about it. Zulema again shamelessly says that everyone's design hinges on the use of that overlock machine and moans to Kara about how grief-stricken she is at not being able to use the overlock machine. Zulema, after all, has never broken the overlock machine before.

Chloe good-naturedly says in the Sweatshop that it's not anyone's fault - the machine is crappy. Andrať turns and says, "No! It's not the machine's fault! The person who touches it is the variable!" Okay, I agree with him, but I really don't see why he should be stirring the pot given that he has already used the overlock machine so he's pretty safe in that regard. Maybe he wants some payback by distracting the others from their work? Zulema, who obviously does not have "self-awareness" in her personal dictionary, says that no one can properly finish their garments and she won't be surprised if there are some popped seams on the Runway the next day. Santino says that they can always start gluing things instead of sewing them - easy for him to say since all he has to do is to create a bodysuit and start gluing gee-gaws and Christmas tree ornaments to it - and Dan goes, "I can't do it! I can't!"

It's now 9:10 pm. Zulema murmurs that it's funny how fast hand-sewing can be sometimes as she sews and Kara behind her goes, "Oh yeah!" Thanks to her, it's not like they can use the overlock so Kara really can't say anything but yes to Zulema, heh. Zulema tells the camera that now we will all see who is really talented and who can put together the dresses without the seams popping open. Work, work, work. Kara and Dan exchange crossed-fingers sign and hope for the best when Kara points out how horrible things are going for her. 10:39 pm. Andrať puts a dark boa over the mannequin and sighs in exasperation when he realizes that his design looks like "just bad Valley Of The Dolls I-hate-it" material. Emmett, who must be very fed up by now, threatens to just "hand-tack" some fabrics along the waist of his design and just leave them at it. Nick shakes his head violently and Chloe protests that it will be ugly while Zulema grins and shakes her head. One hour until midnight. Nick says to the camera that he is "dying" to see Santino's design because it looks "crazy". In the Sweatshop, Santino tells Nick that he doesn't know "what the fuck" his design is going to be. He laughs and has Nick laughing some more when Santino imitates the Mighty Ogre perfectly as Santino pretends to be that man criticizing his dress, "It looks like... like a babboon's ass exploded on her backside!" Okay, that's freaking hilarious, especially when Santino is exposing how predictable the Mighty Ogre is. The sad thing is, he's overestimating the Mighty Ogre's wit. Santino is better at being the Mighty Ogre than the Mighty Ogre is. Sigh. Anyway, go Santino! Expose this show for what a fraud it is! Nick tells the camera that the judges will no doubt say that Santino misses the mark again in regards to the client and Santino therefore should be ready to back his work. At 11:59 pm, they leave the Sweatshop. Hey, that's cheating! They should leave on 12:00 am sharp!

Back at Apartment 35D, the guys talk about how close they are to the endgame and the camera zooms in on Nick dangling freely underneath his boxers - those perverted cameramen, how dare they do that! - while Santino wonders whether his design is "fucked up". Nobody answers him, heh. Night turns to day and it's now morning. Zulema complains about having to wear the costume again. "It's insane!" she grumbles. "Well baby, thank goodness we're all doing it!" Kara tells her. Kara explains to the camera that the Fashionistas themselves decide to wear their outfits to the Runway to tone down the seriousness of the event and to add some humor to the proceedings, which is nice. I may be a cynical old broad but I find it's nice that these Fashionistas do something among themselves to add some fun to the competition. Chloe tells the two women that they all have to "do it naturally", whatever that means, and asks for some Tresemme hair spray. I think she's making fun of the fact that they are told to pimp some products on the show. Either way, the editors shouldn't have left something like that on the show because it has no context and therefore doesn't make sense. Meanwhile, Guadalupe's goodbye message is seen on the blackboard behind Zoe. It says "Baby, I miss you, big XX's. I Heart Redman." Don't ask me, ask Guadalupe.

At Apartment 35D, Santino is acting like he'll go crazy on the Runway, screaming at Nick, "You will ask me nothing!" while his audience squeal like excited kiddies. Andrať tells Santino that the show sees Santino as the "designer that it's fun to fuck with". Again, a middle finger from the editors who keep this scene in, although I have no idea who the middle finger is aimed at. It seems like the editors want the audience to know that they are using Santino to "fuck with", although the jury is still out whether the editors think that the people being fucked with are the Fashionistas, the audience, or both. I've never seen a show that admits in this manner to manipulating its contestants, however, and I don't know whether the editors of this show are just being cluelessly inept or insidiously subversive. Hmmm. Either way, Santino knows it, I know it. He tells the camera that he has an adrenaline rush when he's on the Runway. To the others, he says that he can either talk his way out on the Runway or he will "eat somebody". Or, as the editors have freely admitted, he can just stand there because they'll keep him on the show anyway.

On to the Sweatshop, where everyone adds finishing touches to his or her designs. Kara asks Andrať whether he has seen her tassels. Andrať goes, "Your what?" Call me crazy but I'm starting to like this silly twit Andrať. Emmett tells Chloe not to worry about her design and Chloe says that her design looks "Christmas-sy". Emmett asks Kara what she thinks of his design and I can't make out her answer. It seems to me like she's saying, "That's it! Clear the gardener!" but I honestly don't think that's what she's really saying. Zulema asks around whether she should add some sequin that may pick up the light and Chloe is really for her putting them in her design. I must say this: I really like the fact that despite this being a competition, Kara, Nick, Emmett, and Chloe seem to be really free with advice and suggestions. Tim soon shows up and tells the Fashionistas that it's now time to get the models all suited and dolled up for the Runway, which will take place one hour later. The clock shows that it's 11:19 am, by the way. The models show up after Tim leaves. Chloe says to the camera that her model Grace is six feet tall so she's wondering whether to let Grace go barefoot or wear ballerina slips. Emmett shows Shannon the outfit she will be wearing and she goes, "Wow!" As the Fashionistas show off the designs to their respective models, Nick tells Tarah to make a dramatic twirl just like how he is demonstrating to her when Tarah reaches the end of the Runway. Rachael walks out from the fitting room with Zulema's dress and some guys - I notice Emmett because he's the only one in the camera field - go, "Ooh! Wow!" I must say, it really looks great, that dress. Chloe says that the dress looks amazing. Zulema tells the camera that she was concerned about the design because remember, she is too "street" and "hip" for sequins, and she hopes that her "vision" will come through when her model - whose name she doesn't even seem to remember because she just keeps referring to Rachael as "my model" - walks down the Runway.

It's now time for the dolling up sessions at the hair salon and make-up room. In a scene that is obviously inserted out of chronology because Heather doesn't have make-up on her face when in the previous scene she is seen getting her face and hair done, Heather asks Santino as he adds more feathers and gee-gaws to the back of the dress she is wearing why he is giving "us" a wedgie. I am always suspicious of models that address themselves like they're the bloody Queen of England, I tell you. Santino tells the camera that it's crunch time but he's still adding "stuff". He shows a reddish plume to Heather and tells her that it's like fire. She tells them that there are already too many things stuck to her back. Santino voices over that she has to pretend that she likes it because he sure will when they call him back on the Runway. Eh, is this Santino telling me that he knows that his design isn't working? Dang, I am starting to like this fellow for all the wrong reasons, reasons that have nothing to do with his one-trick pony act some people call his "talent". Tim then comes in to tell them that time is up.

Runway time. Heidi comes out and is taken back by the sight of the Fashionistas in their costumes. She has this girlish smile on her face that is so adorable when she good-natured ribs them on what they are wearing. Nina is MIA and her place is taken by Anne Slowey, the "fashion news director" of Elle. Is it just me or Anne, Deborah, and the creepy Barbie lady all look like they're related by blood as well as low IQ? The Mighty Ogre is also present, as is Sasha Cohen. In an obvious voiceover, Heidi says that Sasha has agreed to wear the dress to an upcoming figure-skating exhibition. And with that, the Runway show commences.

Rebecca wears an underwhelming design by Dan - a burgundy figure-skating suit with asymmetrical bodice. The skirt is more like a short slip more suited for lingerie. Zulema's dress is next and it's a very attractive one. The model Rachael looks like she's nude when she's actually wearing see-through lace with sequins painstakingly arranged over the straps and the area covering her breasts. A wide strip of her back and a diamond-shaped area over her stomach are exposed. The "skirt" is actually tassels that move along with each step Rachael takes, giving an illusion that the "skirt" is see-through as well. All in all, a naughty dress that comes off as sophisticated at the same time. Kara's dress, well, it looks like something Jane would wear if Tarzan is ever made a musical on ice event. It's a one-shouldered black skating suit with tassels forming a "skirt" and glittery sequins stuck all over the bodice. It's a boring dress, really, despite Kara saying that she is going for "razzle dazzle and some cha-cha-cha" in her design. Emmett's design looks like a very ordinary competitive ice-skating outfit, with added glittery sequins for effect. The neckline pattern is very nice but that's about it for this utterly dull outfit. Emmett thinks that his design is "very tasteful" although the judges will soon think otherwise. Andrať's design can be very pretty if it's a fancy dress for a masquerade. It's a little like a more shredded-up version of Kara's dress. From the back, the right butt check of Danyelle is all but exposed. I personally find that a sexy enhancement to the design, I'm just pointing this out because the judges will hammer Emmett for showing too much in his design when Emmett's design actually shows less than some other Fashionistas' designs.

Next, Santino's design. It has the same cut as all his previous designs with minimal variation - which is to say, it's another babydoll-like dress that hides the curves of the wearer - the variation being that this time around there are feathers and more stuck on the dress to make the wearer look like a turkey pretending to be a peacock. If this is an ice-skating costume, I hope those feathers are sewn on well or poor Sasha will leave a trail of red plumes all over the ice rink and some poor dear may trip on one and break her neck. Maybe that's what Santino means by a phoenix rising. It's rising and it's shedding its feathers all over the place! Still, I feel Santino has a point when he says that he has a great concept that would have gone somewhere if he has more time to work on it. The design sketch really looked good, although it still won't be a halfway-decent ice-skating costume. After that, Nick's design. The skirt, I must point out, is as short as Emmett's, and at least Emmett's fabric is dark enough that you don't see the cameltoe on Shannon like you can see on Tarah. Nick's design is a little on the dull and nondescript side and I'm more distracted by Tarah's cameltoe to appreciate anything else about that design. But since Nick is the annointed one along with Dan and Chloe, there's nothing he can do wrong in the eyes of the judges, I suppose. I like Nick's outfit more than Emmett's, but I'm not going to pretend with the judges that Emmett's design flaws are exclusive only to Emmett. Finally, Chloe's design. Grace holds this turquoise cloth dramatically over her head, trying to distract me from the fact that Chloe's dress does look like a multi-layered cake designed to look like some pine tree. Still, it's a nice dress although I don't think it will look good on people who are rail-thin like Grace. I also suspect that it won't look good either if the wearer is too curvy because the multilayered hems look like they will add at least a hundred pounds to the wearer. One has to be "just right", weight-wise, to wear this dress.

The judges do their thing and Heidi declares Dan, Nick, and Andrať safe. Once they are joined by their models on the Runway, the remaining Fashionistas face some grilling by the judges. Chloe is first. Sasha is concerned that the dress won't suit her "straight" figure even if she likes the color and design. Chloe explains that the she has used fabrics of different shapes and sizes to give an illusion of shape to the wearer. I don't think I agree with her but Chloe always knows how to sell her dress well, I'll give her that. The Mighty Ogre praises Chloe because Chloe is the best ever, yadda yadda, although I laugh when he praises her for using a different color. He's saying that turquoise isn't an usual color used in ice-skating rink fashion (is there such a thing?) but dude, Chloe has been using shades of blue nearly all the time and that praise is hilarious in a rather ironic manner. Kara tries to sell her design as one influenced by the 1920s and "all that jazz" but Anne thinks that the long tassels will be unflattering for Sasha's figure and the Mighty Ogre thinks that the design is "Las Vegas". I'd think that the Mighty Ogre will never do business in Las Vegas from the way he mentions that place, pffft.

Sasha and Anne are bothered by the shortness of the skirt in Emmett's design. "There's entirely too much tootie thing exposed!" says Anne. Oh dear, is this what we are all reduced to? Using "tootie thing" as the euphemism for a woman's private parts? No wonder Elle is crappier than ever nowadays. Emmett says that the skirt seems longer when he has it on his mannequin. The poor dear looks horrified at the suggestion that his dress is "slightly vulgar" like Anne calls it. Meanwhile, Heidi feels that the style is one that is common and typical for ice-skating while the Mighty Ogre thinks that Shannon look like an "old lady ice-skater". Sasha - who speaks like she's 14 instead of 22 - tells Zulema that she likes the color of that dress and thinks that it will work on the ice. The Mighty Ogre agrees that it looks "skate-friendly" and "sexy without being vulgar". He thinks that it has a very chic look to it.

Sasha likes the runching on Santino's bodice and Anne even likes the feathers and all. Anne however feels that the back of the dress look like "Carmen Miranda on acid". Here, Kara can't help but to burst into laughter. Santino's babbles about wanting to try something new, change shapes of familiar things (no breasts please, here, pile on the feathers instead), and push his vision do not convince the judges one bit. Santino feels that he has taken some "risks" - snort - and he is happy with what he has created. Heidi says that the design is "beyond not flattering" and the Mighty Ogre says that unless the model is opening a Thanksgiving pageant and "the Indians were chasing the turkey", he can't imagine what that dress is appropriate for. He tells Santino that Santino has many ideas and is a conceptual person but this task is for Sasha Cohen and the Mighty Ogre feels that Sasha Cohen never factors in at all in Santino's design. No, Santino wants to give everyone the finger and I can't help but to admire his temerity for it.

The judges now want to talk among themselves so that they can pretend that the sign in bright lights - KEEP SANTINO IN - isn't shining in their faces. Heidi banishes the Fashionistas temporarily. They all make a big deal out of Chloe being some visionary for womenswear with her "out of the box thinking" - apparently simple and clean designs with very little unique about them are now the new cutting edge on the show, hmmph - while Zulema's design is also praised. Kara's design isn't found to be special in any way while Emmett's is boring with no imagination. Anne continues with the bizarre line about Emmett's dress being vulgar, only now she has switched from "slightly vulgar" to "really vulgar" while also calling the dress dowdy. Goodness, where did they drag this utterly stupid cow-like woman from? Dowdy, I can understand. Unimaginative, yes. But... vulgar? Then again, has anyone call Anne dowdy lately because she sure looks like some throwback to some Puritannical fantasy of feminity. The Mighty Ogre chuckles, saying that it's hard to be vulgar and dowdy at the same time. Anne is stupid enough to believe that he is agreeing with her and insists that Emmett has done just that. Someone please let the producers know that they should never ever ask Anne to come back as a judge. As for Santino, Sasha says that the dress will never work for her because of the "storage backpack" at the back. The judges trot out the now tired line about how Santino is so fabulously talented - which is why he designs the same freaking dress every week - but he never listens. Heidi says that she is so ready to say goodbye to Santino. But of course, she won't. The Mighty Ogre wonders which is worse, not going far enough or going too far. The producers think that the ratings aren't going far enough though and that's the only opinion that matters, apparently.

So, the inevitable happens. Nick, Chloe, and Kara are safe, Zulema wins the Challenge, and Emmett gets cut over Santino. When she wins, Zulema tells the camera that she wants to be in the final three so she has to keep focused and not get sidetracked by the win. As Santino leaves, he tells Emmett that he is really sorry. At this point, I believe that even Santino knows that he will be kept no matter what and who knows, maybe a part of him is sorry that Emmett is the latest victim in the Keep Santino In campaign. Emmett asks the judges playfully whether it is the shirt he is wearing that got him cut. Tim didn't bother to hug Diana or Marla last week but he has a warm hug for Emmett because he has been making excuses and justifications for Emmett since day one on the official website. Emmett clears his worktable and gives an oddly stilted confessional about how one should follow one's dream and all that jazz. Still, he's a cute guy and he's also one of the less annoying Fashionistas on the show, and I will miss him.


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