Finale (1)
Project Runway 2: Finale Part 1


Accessorize, baby! So we're down to three: Dan, Chloe, and Santino. Because this season has been so fun, the finale is split into two episodes because surely everyone doesn't want this season to end. The episode opens at the Runway at Parsons where Heidi congratulates the three Fashionistas for making it to the end - what, no kind words for me for making it to the end of this dire season, Heidi? - and announces their next and "biggest" challenge: design a twelve-piece collection for Olympus Fashion Week. She explains that each Fashionista is given $8,000 and "the next few months" to complete the challenge at home. Heidi also reminds the Fashionistas and the audience that the winner will get a spread at Elle (or barely a page if you're Jay), a mentorship at the Banana Republic design team, a year's representation by the Designers Management Agency, a 2007 Sky Roadster courtesy of Saturn, and $100,000 also from Saturn for them to abuse at will.

Oh, and then there's the matter of Kara's model Eden. Will Dan swap Rebecca for Eden? Of course not. Eden is banished back to the wardrobe. For the next season, can we please return to the first season format where everyone gets to pick and switch models? Can we bring back the crazy Morgan? Model drama is nothing without Morgan, which probably explains why the models of this season are a drab and lifeless bunch. As Eden leaves, the camera focuses on Dan and I must say, this guy is seriously weird in the head because he keeps staring unblinkingly at Eden as if she is looking back at him, with this strange half-grimace on his face like he's enjoying the sight of her being banished from the Runway. And when she leaves, he blows her a kiss. I mean... seriously, what on earth? That guy is really strange, I tell you. He probably sets fire on puppies in his free time.

Before the three Fashionistas are sent home to start on their work, Tim and Heidi have a last toast moment with them at the Atlas rooftop. Tim tells them that this moment is the Fashionistas' "last reprieve" so they better take a look around them and take "it" all in. He makes it sound like the three are being banished to a Siberian sweatshop where they will spend the next few months chained to a windowless basement and set to work. There's champagne of course and there are plenty of congratulatory toasts where they pat themselves for putting on a fine season, for being talented people, and for the Fashionistas' upcoming success in the Olympus Fashion Week. I'm surprised that they don't start to make out with each other because obviously there's no one who can love them like they love themselves.

The Fashionistas now get ready to leave. Eeeeeuw, Dan pulls on his shirt and gives the camera a come-hither look. I'm sure there are many people out there who find him hot but I frankly find him too smug and even repulsive. He looks like he has never washed his hair in a long time. Santino boards a cab. To the camera, he looks particularly hideous as he mugs and cheers, saying that he has made it to the Olympus Fashion Week and therefore he feels "so good". "I wanna blow eardrums with how loud I can fucking scream!" he says. He then shows his three fingers, bends his second finger for Dan, his ring finger for Chloe, and then thrusts his middle finger (that represents Santino) to the camera. That would be smart if people on other reality TV shows hadn't done that already a few times in the past. Therefore he doesn't need to act like he's the first guy to be so radical to come up with that shtick.

Meanwhile, Dan takes his time in buttoning his shirt, no doubt posing for the adoring crowd that he knows he will have after this show. He tells the camera, "No matter how much Santino pisses me off, the arrogant prick is extremely talented. I have to say, I'm excited to see what he's going to show at Fashion Week!" Dan is, of course, not arrogant at all. I agree with him though: of all three Fashionistas, I'm most interested in seeing what Santino will come up with for Fashion Week. I have a hunch that I know already what Dan and Chloe will do for their respective lines.

Chloe packs her bags as well, saying goodbye to Atlas, and telling the camera that it has finally dawned on her that she is in the final three. Oh good, she can now expand the size of her boutique and jack up the prices of her dresses three times from before! Outside Atlas, she and Dan share a hug just like Jay and Kara Saun did in the first season. Let's see, we also have an overachieving and overrated smug holier-than-thou sanctimonious fool this season, a villain, and someone who is edited in a manner that suggests that this person will win because this person is the middle ground between the two extremes that are the other two Fashionistas. I tell you, I am always amazed at how this show manages to come up with a final three that are pretty much the same templates as the final three of the previous season. The world - and this show - works in mysterious ways sometimes! Anyway, Chloe gets into her cab and it leaves, leaving Dan to load his bags into his own cab. As he leaves for his own place, Dan tells the camera that he is truly grateful for the opportunity this show provides. Especially when it comes to exaggerating his so-called talent to the point that he is pretty much an emperor with no clothes when it comes to fashion design. I tell you, I will never ceased to be amazed by how this man's wretchedly simplistic and forgettable designs can end up winning so many challenges.

Cut to five months later. Tim is driving a red 2007 Sky Roster, which coincidentally is also the vehicle manufactured by one of the sponsors of the show. Tim's obvious voiceover comes on, saying that he is traveling to check up on the collections of the three Fashionistas at their homes. His first stop is Los Angeles where our darling Santino has set up his own personal sweatshop to churn out his collection. It will be nice if Tim drops by unexpectedly and catches Santino in the middle of a mess but this show doesn't know the meaning of spontaneity, so Santino opens the door dressed for the camera. The two of them act as if they don't expect to see each other.

Santino explains in faux modesty (the first sign that the most unconvincing Santino's public image salvage operation is on) that he has rented this place to work on his designs. As Tim surveys a dress on a mannequin nearby, Santino explains to Tim that his theme for the collection is "'40s, glamour, boudoir, Hollywood, publicity stills". Is that some kind of fill in the blanks thing where the answer to the puzzle is "naughty photos of Elizabeth Taylor and her latest squeeze"? Tim studies the dress, which is a babydoll dress with a longer skirt but very recognizable cut, nicely accessorized with a bit of fur and an attractive pleated scarf-like thingie dangling from the middle of the neckline. Santino describes the cut as "sunburst pleated" to Tim and says that he gets a "rock and roll vibe" from the dress. Tim says that the dress is not safe and therefore he applauds Santino for taking a risk. Santino proceeds to show off some vintage fabric that he intends to make into a dress. Tim really likes the sunburst-pleated dress and tells Santino that the dress is "really Santino" but also with "refinement" that Tim never saw on the show. Santino then shows off some sketches of his designs and modestly tells Tim that he wishes that he has made more progress. Tim bites the bait and assures Santino that he is pleased with Santino's progress.

This ridiculously contrived "repentant for TV" Santino becomes more laughable when he starts telling the camera about how he has recently become broke since his last job - designing for a friend's label - didn't work out too well. I know. He is so broke that he managed to rent a place in Los Angeles and fully furnish it with books, TV, lots of personal indulgence items, and all. I wish I can be as broke as he is. It turns out that Santino is living at Venice, California, thanks to the show caption as Tim and Santino now reenact some soap-operatic "Triumph Over Tragedy" melodrama to make the hausfraus watching this show weep for poor misunderstood Santino. Like, oh, Santino had a bad childhood, so really, he probably can't help being rude, sob sob sob. He then tells the camera that he is insecure inside and he gets hurt when people make fun of his face, his voice, and all. Yeah, and I suppose nobody gets hurt when he calls other people prudes who can't get laid or when he rudely insults other people for no reason other than he's an asshole? Tim plays along, saying how sad that Santino had such hardships in his past and how wonderful that Santino has overcome them all, and they both pose contemplatively before a sunset by the beach because the show is anything but subtle that way. Give me a break, I'm not born yesterday!

Santino takes Tim to visit the home of his best friend, Tony. He's actually Tony Ward, one of Madonna's more famous cast-off toyboys and a popular hustler/gay-porn icon during his peak. Go rent that 1996 NC-17 "arthouse" movie Hustler White if you want to see Tony here do something X-rated to himself in front of the camera. The current Tony may still be packing downstairs, if those pictures and movies from his past are anything to go by, but man, he has not aged well. That boyish face is still recognizable under the facial hair but years of substance abuse and more show on him. Still, he seems to be happily married and with kids and I hope that situation of marital bliss is not one put on solely for the camera. The Ward daughter snuggle at Santino's lap and I'm supposed to go "Awwww!" because I'm so gullible that way. Santino also tells Tony and his wife that they are his real family and he will be nowhere without them.

Poor Santino. I can't help thinking that if he stands by his guns and his attitude on the show and tell people that they can kiss his ass if they don't like the way he behaves, I may at least respect him for that. Instead, he's trying to pretend to be something else for the camera. He's such a horrible actor in faking sincerity. Therefore he, Tim, and the show all come off as trying too hard to pretend that Santino can't help being what he is because he is a victim of his past or something like that. Does Santino know how desperate and how pathetic he comes off as on TV as a result?

Apparently the trip back to New York City takes a week because it's now six weeks to Fashion Week when Tim makes the gruelling walk across town to visit Dan, who's holed up at home in New York City working on his collection. Tim's awkward voiceover explains his destination and I must say, Tim doesn't do voiceovers well. He speaks too slowly as if he's reading very carefully from his cue cards. Anyway, Dan hugs Tim and simpers as he shows off his new haircut to Tim.

Dan gives a confessional to the camera that is simultaneously full of hot air and crap: "Having as many weeks as I've had to prepare this collection that I've had time to sort through the doubts and push away all the shit and I'm left with just... solid gold!" He then smirks at the end of that obviously rehearsed line and I find myself wondering how long he must have practised saying that ridiculously grandiose line before the mirror. Dan shows off a blazer thingie that looks like something matrons will wear to a party for the people over the age of fifty as he tells Tim that his collection fuses "military influence" with "Japanese culture". I'm sorry but is that some sort of World War II reference? What is Dan talking about? I certainly don't see anything remotely connected to Japanese tyranny in World War II in that blazer he's showing off to Tim, unless Dan is talking about kamikaze because that blazer is ugly enough to help him perform a kamikaze on Fashion Week. At least Kara Saun is smart enough to limit herself to "aviation" and "technology" when it comes to describing a collection that she's ripped off straight from Gucci.

Tim likes the tablecloth floral print that Dan uses for that blazer and Dan threatens, er, explains that the flowery print is used throughout the collection in several variations. The flowers must be Japanese, I suppose, while the dresses look like ballast bombs to represent the military theme. Dan then shows off a barely-quarterway finished dress and a sketch of the final dress to Tim and Tim says that he loves the way Dan sticks two ends of the fabric at the back of the mannequin. Sometimes Tim comes off like a man too easily pleased, I tell you. Dan has this weird way of responding to Tim's compliment by saying, "I love it!" Can you imagine telling someone that his work looks good only to have that person saying, "I know! You have no idea how much I love my own brilliance!"? Tim tells Dan, "I guess one of the things I want to say is: the easy part is steps one through nine out of ten. The hardest is what happens between nine and ten." It spooks me how Tim sounds as grandiose in a most laughable manner as Dan when he is speaking like this. Dan of course agrees with him because he and Tim are on the same frequency when it comes to giving overly-rehearsed rambling speeches that only they can decipher. Tim tells Dan that the details like what buttons to use and all can make or break Dan's collection. Dan says he agrees with Tim and then says that he's deciding on those pesky details like Tim mentioned to him to the camera. Tim cautions Dan to "push the risk factor" instead of being safe and Dan agrees once again, saying that of course he doesn't want to play things safe.

Dan now asks Tim to accompany him while Dan shops for a new jacket to wear at Fashion Week. He makes it sound to the camera like he's doing his audience and Tim a great favor by wanting to look good on TV. I don't know what to say, really. At least Santino gets Tony and his wife to give Tim dinner while Santino is trying to rehabiliate his image on TV. Dan takes Tim along so that Tim can praise him some more about his choice of jackets. I honestly don't know what to say. I do chuckle a little when Tim says that Dan could ask Nick to design something for Dan to wear, if only because I believe that Nick can create something great for Daniel if he isn't forced to come up with a design in just two days and with only $200 to spend on bargain bin quality fabrics in Mood.

Meanwhile, poor Dan has no sob story to tell so he pretends that he has a hard time being an "individual" in a small town even if he's born to a rich family. Oh, the pressures of being different! And being labelled a "fag" just because he's a designer. Wait, since he's admitted to being gay, why is he upset about being called gay? If he's upset about the use of the word "fag" in particular, why does he use that word two times now on TV? He should have just cooked up some sad story about being put together from body parts of dead people in the basement of a mad scientist's mansion because he will then be perceived as crazy instead of being ridiculous like he is now. Anyway, I have a laugh when he quotes yet another hammed cliché about how we shouldn't worry about things that we can't control in order to focus on being who we are and doing what we like to do, because Dan comes off like the kind of person who is obsessed about what people think of him. Dan concludes the Dan the Man show segment by saying that he loves his life and "bottom line: this is just the beginning". There are no greeting card banalities that this man can't quote from heart, apparently.

One week later, Tim reaches Houston, Texas, where Chloe is holed up at home working at her collection. Tim is now in a black 2007 Sky Roadster, by the way, although I realize that the show never actually shows Tim driving that thing. For all I know, they can easily make Tim take a cab and have some professional "stunt-drive" that car up to Chloe's place so that Tim won't end up making a dent in the car or something. One thing I really love about this segment is how Chloe's family is exactly like many Asian folks who are camera-shy. It's not that we don't want to be on TV, many of us are very conscious about how we may come off on TV that we generally wish to avoid the limelight altogether if we can help it. It's the whole "we must not embarrass ourselves in front of other people" thing that is quite prominent in many Asian cultures. Chloe's mom quickly vanishes from the camera the moment she can escape after being introduced to Tim, heh.

Chloe tries to earn brownie points by telling the camera what a fabulous person Tim is. To Tim, Chloe shows off a portrait of what seems like the heads of her and her eight sisters floating in the clouds. Tim is shocked that Chloe has seven sisters, which strikes me as amusingly naive because big families were very common in older generations. I have three brothers, seven sisters, and two stepsisters and that's considered a normal-sized family for my mother's time, while my mother couldn't keep count of how many siblings she left behind in China when she came over to Malaysia back in the 1920s. Anyway, back to Chloe, she explains that her boutique is called Lot 8 because all eight sisters are involved in running the business.

Chloe then tells Tim the story of how she and her family end up in America. What I really about this scene is how Chloe tells the story to Tim because of Tim's enquiry and not because she wants the whole world to see her as a symphathetic misunderstood kiddie like Santino who is the first to yap about how misunderstood he was as a kid. Chloe talks about being imprisoned in a Laotian family prison when their family were caught trying to flee the country before the Vietnam War break out. Still, Chloe says that eventually the whole Dao family succeeded in escaping to America. Chloe has some tears in her eyes as she tells the camera about how fortunate her family is to have found a better life in America but that's all to it to the Chloe Dao Sob Story of the Week. No long-drawn tears of anguish, no little girls hugging her in an attempt to improve her public image, no calculated sobs. Chloe just tells her story without asking for sympathy.

Chloe now shows off her work to Tim in her sweatshop. Chloe tells Tim and the camera that she doesn't have a theme in mind - what happened to "Hollywood glamour"? - because she's the person who does things and lets her work come together and sort itself out eventually. She explains to the camera that she generally designs based on feedbacks from her boutique customers about what they'd like to have in a particular season. I suppose she's trying to say that she always works in that "spontaneous" manner because she assures everyone watching that she is confident that she will be doing her best work ever for this collection, even if she isn't sure what her collection is going to be. Heh. Chloe shows Tim a dark-colored sleeveless dress that seems only halfway finished and Tim doesn't know what to make of it. He asks to see Chloe's sketches. Chloe sheepishly reveals that she doesn't even have sketches of her work, which agitates Tim. Chloe assures him that her work is developing "organically" and she is focusing on one design at a time.

Now Tim asks about Chloe's fabrics and is further worried when Chloe shows him a bolt of shiny drab-looking fabric that has him going, "I want to know what's in your head!" The way he says it, it's like he's questioning her sanity, heh. Chloe says she doesn't know and her work will develop "slowly, piece by piece". That's not a very reassuring answer for Tim because he's probably used to seeing Chloe as the level-headed and reliably competent if not very exciting designer on the show instead the current "I'll go with the flow" Chloe Dao. Chloe tells the camera that she understands why Tim is being concerned because she would be too if she's in his position. Tim tells her to start working the fabrics that she have but not yet touched and she merely tells him that she'll drape and then she'll see. Later that evening, Chloe's hunky boyfriend (dayum, girl, she needs to tell me her trade secrets!) and two other guys (maybe brothers, maybe significant others of Chloe's sisters) take photos of Tim and Chloe with her seven sisters as well as Chloe's mother standing in a row. I think the three men intend to join all three photos together at the end of the day because there's no way they can fit all those ladies in one single frame! As Tim leaves, Chloe tells the camera that she's of course worried about her work and she intends to devote her time on her collection until the last minute. "I'm going to work until the model walks off the danged Runway!" she concludes. Nothing like a Laotian lady saying "danged" like a true-blue Texan to make me smile, I tell you.

It's now five days before Fashion Week. Dan is the first to show up at the Westin since he lives in New York City. Dan tells the camera that he has spent so much time on his collection and he's still sewing as he has not finished yet. He opens the door to Suite 4301 and finds that he's the first to arrive at the suite that all three Fashionistas have to share because the show is still too cheap to get them their own rooms. Dan says to the camera that he finds it "amusing" how he used to sneak into the tents for Fashion Week and now he hopes people will try to sneak into his shows. Yeah, a show that he shares with Chloe, Santino, and Kara. Some "his show". And why is that notion "amusing" anyway? In the suite, Dan pulls up this ugly handbag that looks like it's sewn from concentration camp tents - aha, so that's what he means by "military influence"! - and with an ugly wooden handle shaped like an 8 and makes pleased tut-tut-tut sounds as he says to the camera that the audience surely doesn't expect him to design bags but now they know. He really doesn't know how ugly that handbag is and I can't help feeling sorry for him. He's like the emperor with no clothes who doesn't know that people are sniggering at his small pee-pee. "Oh! I love it!" he says because he's a one-man McDonald's commercial now and he adds that he must keep this "secret" hidden from Santino. Why, because Santino will appropriately make fun of that bag? No, because he thinks that Santino will be "all over it". Yeah, puking.

Dan says to the camera that he has a good chance of winning and then he jumps on the couch and says, "I love it!" It is as if he believes that if he keeps repeating how much he loves himself and his own brilliance, the world will love him and his work too. It's a nice philosophy to believe in but it obviously isn't working.

Chloe's plane lands and as Chloe makes her way out of the plane, she tells the camera that Tim was worried about her but after Tim left, she worked and worked and worked. Her collection is done and she loves it but oh my, she hasn't slept in two days so she's "exhausted". As she gets out of the cab in front of the Westin, Chloe tells the camera that people have questioned her devotion and passion to her work and she assures everyone that she really wants to win. Winning will be validation to her about how good a designer she is. Does she really believe that last part about winning this show being the same as her being a good designer? I hope she's not that silly because she seems like a level-headed lady in every other aspects of her career and life. Chloe has a happy reunion with Dan in the suite.

Lo, Santino's flight has arrived. As he makes his way through the airport, he tells the camera that he's a "little nervous" because he's been the man people love to hate since the show aired. He isn't sure how Dan and Chloe would react. Perhaps like other people would react around him? In his cab to the Westin, Santino tells the camera that he's quite nervous about Chloe because he's read some interviews where she stated that she didn't care much for Santino on the show. At the suite, Dan and Chloe relax on the bed and Chloe says that she's tired and would like some quiet time before Santino shows up. This leads them to discuss Santino, with Chloe saying to the camera that she's still "pissed" about being called a mere pattern-maker in the previous episode by Santino. Chloe is telling Dan about how she wanted to scream to Santino that he didn't really know her when Santino shows up and Dan warns her to shush by saying loudly to Santino, "Sorry, wrong room!"

Those three now discuss the TV show with Dan giving some incoherent greeting card speak about time going "woosh" or something. Santino just nods at whatever Dan is saying before saying that he first didn't want to watch the TV show. As if he can resist from seeing and admiring his own ugly face on TV, really! Santino talks about how he watches every episode and reads everything on "every shitty blog" - thank goodness Santino doesn't read what people say about him on websites then, phew - and the others agree about how horrible those blogs can be. I'm sure those blog-owners out there won't be amused since most of the blogs about this show that I've come across are Reality News Online kind of fan sites that gush in a Pollyanna-esque manner about how wonderful everything about this show is except for those mean judges that are so harsh on darling Uncle Nick. I may dump on this show in my own merry way but most of the blogs and websites about this show are too kind on this show.

Santino tells the camera that he has learned to think twice about speaking about someone that he doesn't know, which may or may not be a not-very-discreet middle finger to his online detractors depending on how thick your skin is. Me, I have to snort. If he doesn't want to apologize on being an asshole, fine, but here he is, desperate to portray himself as a misunderstood man singing about his unhappy past as Elvis Castello's Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood plays in the background while telling people to shut up before they make fun of him. That seems like someone who can't take what he dishes out if you ask me. Like I've said earlier, pathetic.

At the suite, Santino is now trying to pretend that he's not the egomaniac that people thought he is. Chloe reminds him that he did say on day one that the show is going to be "the Santino show". Aha, busted. Santino says that he was just joking. Chloe brings up Santino calling her a pattern-maker. Santino says, "I said what I said in that moment... and it looks so mean and bad!" Yes, he did say "mean and bad" like he's now some ten-year old boy screaming that someone has told the teacher that he did some bad things that he swears he never did. Chloe doesn't buy his BS and Dan tells him that Santino may get a "shitty deal" out of the show in terms of the way he is portrayed on the show but Santino made his bed so he may as well lie in it. Sheesh, I don't like Santino but I've never considered him a pathetic snivelling toad until I see how he's trying so unconvincingly to tell people that he isn't as bad as he is shown on TV. Grow some testicles, man!

The next day - it's still four days until the Fashion Week, the show reminds me - Dan examines himself before the mirror like I suspected all along that he does every morning as he tells the camera that he is sure that "it" has been quite a "sobering" experience for Santino. I don't know if he's referring to his conversation with Santino the night before or the show as a whole but it could easily be the former as much as the latter given how ridiculously self-righteous this smarmy weirdo can be. And misguidedly self-righteous he is too as he adds that "we" will all have to see whether Santino will change for the better in the long run. I hear that Kara Saun has retired and has passed on the crown to Dan, so Dan is now the new Queen of Being Self-Righteous and Sanctimonious While Coming Off As An Asshole On TV. Whether Santino wants to change or not, that is Santino's own prerogrative and no one has elected Dan to speak for the entire audience watching the show. Just because he thinks that Santino is an asshole - an opinion shared by yours truly here, as a matter of fact - doesn't mean that he can elect himself the ringleader of the lynch mob against Santino. Dan should look into the mirror and realize that there's nothing more laughable than a young brat thinking that his incessant spewing of greeting card and motivational seminar clichés somehow makes him better than Santino or the rest of the world.

The three Fashionistas arrive at a bigger Sweatshop that Banana Republic has prepared for them in the main HQ. This is where they will set up shop and do what they have to do until the last minute. As the Fashionistas start taking out and hanging their garments on the available clothes rack, Dan says that Santino is just behind him but he's trying very hard not to turn around and see whether Santino is pulling out a "dildo dress". Now who is the one being mean? It's like Jay and Kara Saun all over again. When Dan sinks to the level of Santino, just like Jay and Kara Saun sink to the level of Wendy Pepper, Dan loses all right to claim that he's a better person than Santino. "He started it first!" is not a good excuse to behave as bad as the person that you claim to be better than. Chloe also says to the camera that she is trying not to look at the other two men's garments. Santino has no such reservations. He tells the camera that Chloe's collection is like "a couch coming at ya". I look forward to a long rant on his blog claiming that he is just joking, he is misunderstood again, and besides, look, kiddies love him.

Oh look, Tim's here. He asks them to gather around because it's been awhile since he has the opportunity to do just that. Poor Tim, I can see him telling the furniture in his apartment to "gather around" in those long and lonely days when the show was not being filmed and he had nobody to say "I'm worried!" to. He tells the Fashionistas to look forward to an "exciting" week under the Bryant Park tents and then disperses them so that he can look at their works and nitpick at them for the audience's delight. This is a special kind of critique in the sense that while Tim is examining a Fashionista's designs, the other two Fashionistas are standing right behind to listen to every word.

Santino shows off his designs, all of which are hard to really see from the angle of the camera, and Tim thinks that the collection is beautiful and impressive. He tells Santino to feel proud of his work. Santino pretends that he's grateful to hear Tim's praise and he doesn't feel proud of his work until Tim gives him permission to feel that way.

Chloe shows Tim what seems like an Elizabethan theatre suit with bubbly sleeves and other things that come out straight of a 1980's TV show like Dynasty, matched with a gold skirt. To the camera, Chloe says that she didn't leave her garage for "like, the last two months" to work and she thinks she did a pretty good job. Tim thinks that some of her garments are simple but Chloe has created some innovative seams that make them stand out. Like it or not, it does seem like Chloe is getting praised for being a good pattern-maker than being an actual designer here!

As for Dan, Dan acts up, minces, simpers, and all but dances around in premature glee as he shows Tim his work. He is clearly expecting lavish praises like the ones he had been receiving all season. In an utterly obnoxious confessional, he goes, "I looooooove my collection and I think it's fucking hot and I expect Tim to be like, 'Omigosh, this is the best collection ever!'" He then shows Tim a double-breasted cashmere jacket with no buttons yet (he'll add those later) and other things that could have come straight out of some common boutique - you know, the kind of boutiques that he once mocked that Kara's designs to belong in - and Tim is ambivalent about them. Dan wonders to the camera why Tim isn't "piddling in his panties over the excitement" of seeing Dan's apparently wonderful designs. Feeling desperate now, Dan shows off his trump cards - those hideous 8-shaped handled bags that even Chloe won't want to use as Lot 8 souvenir giveaways. Tim says that he finds those bags a little "crafty", as if Dan's dad has made them in the garage. Tim adds that the bags look like a "wood shop" and that "bothers" Tim. Dan tells Tim that this session sees Tim saying the least about his work throughout the whole show. What, "wood shop" and "crafty" aren't wordy enough for Dan? Oh, that's right, Dan is just miffed that Tim isn't telling him how brilliant he is! Tim tells Dan cautiously that he's "waiting" and he'll see how the clothes will turn out when they are worn by the models. Dan says that he'll wait too but he's confident that Tim will love those clothes because Dan loves them. And when Dan loves something, you know for sure that it is something really super-duper wonderful! Dan tells the camera, "I was surprised at how little Tim said about my collection and I was... slightly offended." Translation: "Tim doesn't praise me effusingly like I expected him to so I am not happy at all wah wah wah Tim sucks now and Tim can bugger off and die wah wah wah..."

The Fashionistas head off the next day to the Mighty Ogre's office. Dan explains that they will be casting for models there. He also explains to the camera that Tim didn't have much to say about his collection so he's looking extra hard today for models that can change Tim's mind about his clothes. The Mighty Ogre gives them some throwaway advice that teaches nothing and then the Fashionistas go "shopping" for models. Chloe wants models with chests and curves because her line will look better on such models. Dan wants models who are sexy but not vulgar. Anne Slowey, perhaps? Santino wants models that exude confidence and are "high energy". He is, after all, a high-maintenance person to work for and all that high energy is therefore mandatory. John Pfeiffer is the guy helping them out but I don't know why they identify him on the show since he doesn't say a word. Maybe John paid money for product placement on this show too - perhaps he hopes a new prospective employer will call him up for an interview or something.

Three days before the Runway show. Dan is shirtless again for the camera. I am starting to believe that Dan whips off his shirt whenever he sees a camera nearby in the suite. Santino explains that today they will fit their clothes on their models and also make all kinds of necessary alterations to their garments. At the Sweatshop, the Fashionistas' models Rebecca, Heather, and Grace show up for the fitting of that One Grand Dress that will be the finale of their show. Hugs and kisses are thrown around while Dan again repeats the story of bad Tim not liking his line to Rebecca. "But I love it!" he assures Rebecca. The world is okay again because Dan loves "it"! Meanwhile, Chloe's blue dress fits nicely on Grace. Yes, it's blue. What color do you expect?

Dan again talks about you-know-what to the camera. Yes, yes, he expects to be praised, I get it. Can we talk about something else? Dan shows off his One Grand Dress on Rebecca to Tim and Tim is far from impressed. Dan goes hey, Tim isn't speaking again when Tim just stares at the dress. Tim says that he is being "thoughtful" and trying to take "it" all in. Dan now says that he appreciates what Tim has to say, no doubt because in the past Tim's all over Dan praising him even when he's not even deserving of half of those ridiculous overreaching praises. Tim asks Rebecca how she feels about the dress and Rebecca of course says that she loves the dress. Dan tells the camera that it is nervewrecking when Tim is so quiet because Tim usually fawns over his "stuff". See what I mean? He is miffed because he's not getting hugs and praises like he is used to. Tim asks Dan to let Rebecca try another dress. Santino unnecessarily tells the camera that Dan is "a little upset" that Tim isn't responding well to his collection. He's not gloating at that moment because he wants to be a nice little boy on TV now, hmmph. Back to Tim, Dan, and Rebecca, Tim points out that the hem of the blue dress Rebecca is wearing is uneven and there are some stray threads showing at the frayed-looking hem. He points out to Dan that Dan has a lot of technical issues that Dan has to address chop-chop before the Runway show. The new and improved Santino says that he is "worried" about Dan if Dan doesn't recognize the problems with his collection. Wait, Santino is just impersonating Tim again, right? I mean, this fake Santino is too nice that he's giving me the creeps. Shouldn't Santino be gleefully throwing Dan's previous arrogant "You can't sew, you loser!" accusations back at Dan's face?

Tim announces that the Fashionistas have until midnight to do what they have to do and leaves. Dan announces that Tim hates him and Chloe shushes him with an exasperated "Daniel!" Later that day, at least, I think it's later that day since the show never specifically say whether it's on the same day or the day after, the Fashionistas and their models head over to the TREsemmé hair salon where this guy Nathaniel supervises the hairdo preparations. Santino praises Nathaniel's skills to the camera while Chloe says that she has specific ideas about what Grace's hair should be. Dan once more says, "I love it!" He should be banned from saying those three words ever again because it gets beyond annoying at this point, it's giving me this instinctive need to shudder whenever I hear those three words. And then it's back to the Sweatshop where Dan whines to the camera about the work he has to do. Santino takes over from Dan with the complaining at the camera. Meanwhile, five of Chloe's models show up while there is no sign of the other models chosen by the Fashionistas. However, this also means that she has more alterations to do to her clothes to make them fit those models, as she tells the camera. Faux-polite Santino says that he is so happy for Chloe that her models show up (he isn't - that liar) but he is also waiting impatiently for his own models to show up and "get this show on the road". Dan's models also start showing up. Am I wrong to smell producer intervention when it comes to Santino's missing models? At 11:20 pm, Santino still hasn't seen any one of his models. As he packs to leave for the day, he says that he doesn't know what to say but he'll be cool until tomorrow, when he will start "cracking skulls".

At the suite next morning, as he gets ready to head back out to the Sweatshop, Santino tells the camera that with less than 48 hours before the Runway show he is still inundated with work to do. But hey, he's cool with that. He can sleep when he's dead, he says. Chloe at the breakfast table tells Dan that she has so many alterations to do on her collection that she's "designed out". In a nice scene of foreshadowing, she tells Dan and Santino that she can never design another piece in her state of mind. Dan says that he's nervous as well.

As the Fashionistas enter the Sweatshop, Chloe says aloud that the place is warm. Appropriately enough, Tim and Heidi show up just as the Fashionistas are settling down for that day's work. The three Fashionistas look glum and even suspicious when they see those two. Dan states it succintly (for once) to the camera: they all know that Tim and Heidi are going to rain on their parades. Indeed, those two have an announcement: they have one more hour to fill before the season ends, so what's better to fill the time other than an unnecessary and superfluous final task - to create another dress that will be showcased in the show? Chloe gasps and says, "Damn!" Dan tells the camera that everything is a "ball of emotion" he wants to punch someone. Punch Tim, Dan, punch him! That will make great TV! Santino asks Heidi and Tim why those two can't drop by the day before. If you aren't paying attention, folks, the Runway show takes place in less than two days. To the camera, the faux-polite Santino says that he won't be surprised if he gets a "cardiac arrest" or a "brain aneurysm" cardiac arrest at that moment. He may already have an aneurysm, seeing how he is so unnaturally polite and proper. Chloe goes "Ugh!" at Heidi and Tim while she tells the camera that it is "impossible" to create another piece. "There is no way!" she insists. Santino says to the camera that Chloe is "distraught" and "ready to throw in the towel". Faux-polite Santino is not being gleeful or anything, of course.

Chloe goes "Ugh!" again while Santino goes, "Again?" when Tim says that he has more to tell them. Thankfully, the next piece of news is a little less alarming: the Fashionistas can pick a fellow Fashionista to help them out. The cut Fashionistas from John and Heidi S to Kara (who of course can't be selected as she is working on her decoy line) come in to remind the three Fashionistas what they look like. Heidi picks a name from a bag to determine who will get to select first. Dan gets to go first. He grabs Nick, no doubt making Santino seethe quietly inside while Nick acts shocked like someone would pick him. Santino gets to choose next and in his Tim voice, he selects Andraé. Andraé calls him a madman. Chloe picks "Miss Diana" from the remaining Fashionistas, perhaps because there is really no better option left. I mean, who wants to choose Zulema, Marla, or Guadalupe? The camera zooms in on Kara looking annoyed, as if she's annoyed because she isn't picked. Most likely she's annoyed because she just learned that she too has to make a dress at the last minute for her decoy line and she is not getting one of the remaining Fashionistas to help her!

Heidi leaves Tim to talk to the six Fashionistas and Tim tells them that they have thirty minutes to discuss and sketch before heading over to Mood with $250 at hand to shop. A flurry of discussion scene montages follow. Dan gives a superfluous confessional about how it's all a "big ball of shit". I love it when scatalogical references are used in a way that makes no sense whatsoever. Santino doesn't know what to do at all with Andraé. Diana as Chloe tells her that the collection is supposed to be "female-conscious". Don't ask me whether she's talking about plenty of cameltoes showing in her garments. Dan repeats what they are told to do to the camera.

As Dan and Nick brainstorm, Dan tells the camera that he is trying to insert an element of fun in his designs - which is evident along with the Japanese kamikaze influences - and he wants the thirteenth garment to be somewhat reflective of that. Nick tells the camera that they are trying to come up with something that they can make within the crazy time limit they are given. Diana asks Chloe whether there is any more of a gold-colored fabric. Chloe tells the camera that she really has no energy or creativity left to come up with another dress. Still, she thinks that she needs another babydoll dress since her collection is supposed to be young, flirty, and the like. She sketches a preliminary design for Diana. Diana tells the camera that she is Chloe's assistant and therefore she will help Chloe however she can.

Andraé asks Santino whether the man feels that there is something missing or lacking in the collection so that they can make a thirteenth garment to make up for that lack. Santino doesn't have a ready answer because, as he tells the camera, he is mentally exhausted. Andraé suggests a bias-cut dress but Santino doesn't seem to give a damn anymore about what he wants to do. Andraé tells the camera that Santino is the kind of guy that operates by trial and error. And here I'm thinking that it's not trial and error as much as loading the model with all kinds of hems and geegaws until she falls over and breaks her nose on the floor.

And then Tim comes in to announce that it's now time to shop. Andraé tells Santino that he knows how Santino works and Santino will understand what he is talking about when Santino "sees" the idea in progress. Santino tells the camera that he doesn't know what he wants to do, just in case I start to believe that he's just pretending to be vulnerable on TV.

At Mood, it's shopping time. The Fashionistas have an hour to shop. Diana and Chloe buy more gold fabric, much to Tim's horror but Chloe insists that she knows what she is doing and Tim backs off. Tim tells Nick and Dan that this is the opportunity to create something that will shine and bring the collection together. Is it just me or he's asking too much from these people, given the time constraints and the mental condition the Fashionistas face? Andraé proposes that Santino make a coat for the thirteenth garment and Santino has had it. He tells the camera that he's not happy at all to disguise a "piece of shit" that is the rushed garment among the "diamonds" that he has painstakingly created for the Runway show. As Tim tells Santino not to think too much over the final challenge, he may be alarmed to know that Santino tells the camera soon after that he may as well send the thirteenth model out on the Runway wearing only "pasties and Maxipad". "Like, who gives a fuck at this point?" he says. As Andraé keeps babbling - "It's a dress, right? Right?" - to Santino who looks like he would really love Andraé to just shut up and MY GOD JUST GO AWAY, Santino tells the camera that this situation is like a movie where he looks up at the sky and screams. He screams and the show extends his scream so that there's this long and monotonous "Ehhhhhh!" going on and on as the show comes to an end.

Welcome to how I feel about the Santino show, Santino.

Rating: B-


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