Bert Keeter Blog
Category: "episode 10"
WOW, Episode 10. Where did the time fly? And no more Southern Charm Gunnar. He will be missed! Apparently Fabio has separation anxiety, he slept in Gunnar's bed to ease the pain. I had a cat like that once. Christopher and Ven are switching apartments, moving in with Dmitry and Fabio. Okay, everyone back to your own bed!
Christopher apparently does not enjoy being on the bottom? Ven is still trying to figure out how it was that the judges did not get where he was coming from. Trust me Ven, they knew exactly where you were coming from: Dullsville. I'd suggest not returning there anytime soon.
The girls are busy adding up the wins so far this season. Elena is the last designer still in the competition to not have designed a win. Maybe this time?
Radio City Music Hall, one of NYC most famous landmarks is the destination for the designers to meet Mr. Gunn. There he is on stage with all 36 of the Rockettes. What a vision not Mr Gunn the Rockettes. They are amazing high kicks, unison and sparkle. The huge stage curtain opens and out steps Heidi, looking like she is having the best time ever in her emerald green Rockette costume. She joins the dance line with out missing a step, kicking as high as any Rockette ever has! BRAVA! This new challenge is to design a costume for the Rockettes to be worn in a future production! That's a pretty amazing and exciting challenge for the designers. To have all 36 dancers wearing your design in a venue such as this, WOW! Hope that production isn't too far in the future?
Linda Haberman, director and choreographer of the Rockettes, emphasizes a look that is versatile and can be worn year round. Darn, no Santa outfits. Heidi also wants the designers to realize the importance of their designs having impact from not only up close but also from the upper balconies in this HUGE theater. They are shown a few current Rockette designs for construction purposes and are given 30 minutes to sketch. Ven is going to take his inspiration to the next level. Second balcony? Dmitry is ramping up the sex appeal. Melissa is taking her inspiration from the art deco interior of Radio City Music Hall. Fabio sees a tonal Rockette. Elena is feeling upbeat and confident. Hallelujah!
At Mood we are not sure of the budget or shopping time. Producers? Christopher is envisioning the NYC skyline actually a great idea for such an iconic venue as RCMH … if done well! Sonjia is not in the mood at Mood. She is not getting it at all. What she does get are purple feathers. Really? Feathers, more often than not, don't go over to well on PR. They can fall in that dreaded "pee pad" fugly category that MK loves to hate!
Ven can't find his modern crystals. Does this mean it's back to his flower power? HOPE NOT! It is true though that Mood for some reason has almost zero inventory in this category!
Elena's earlier confidence is ditched for her more familiar "OMG, WTF IS HAPPENING" emotion! That didn't take to long, did it? At the register she over shoots the budget of $250. Thank you Elena for filling us in on that little detail. That girl can shop. Luckily she hates everything she selected so it's not too painful to edit it down to the $250 budget.
In the workroom, the designers are informed they have only til 7:30 pm to work. What, half a day? Yep, so the designers can go out in the "real world" for dinner at a restaurant. Nice! The producers are turning the designers into softies this season. The next thing there will be conjugal visits!
As soon as Mr. Gunn exits the room, Elena doesn't miss a "voice of doom" nano second. She is envisioning her impending death due to her bad fabric and color choices She is really cracking up as she gets "jolly" with Dmitry to his horror!
Both Sonjia and Melissa are worried about their directions. Ven and Elena are at opposite ends of glitz spectrum. Ven wants to edit his look into "slumber land" and Elena is all about gluing on as much "sparkle" as possible.
Christopher … what can I say … ANYTHING to get camera time! At first I thought it was a re-incarnated Lena Horne sitting there. Unfortunately it wasn't.
Sonjia who apparently doesn't have a sketch OR idea appears to be channeling "Josephine Baker" with her purple feathered mess. Cock-a-doodle-do, this will not do!
Dinner time arrives and for the first time in weeks the designers are somewhat mingling amongst the living. It appears from a few wide yawns that some of the designers would have preferred an early bedtime to dinner on the outside. Elena's soft side opens up with a glass or two of wine. She recognizes her past bitchiness to Dmitry and offers her apology. More wine flows and now Ven breaks through his wall, describing his loneliness at being the youngest child in his family playing in the snow by himself and making "snow flowers" no doubt? Now he feels like the loner in the workroom. Dmitry is enjoying all the designer revelations. The wine is working.
Next morning and seven hangovers later we are back in the workroom. Several designers are still in limbo with the final direction of their designs with Sonjai being the most undecided. All that is on the mannequin is a purple feathered miniskirt. She had better start writing her exit speech if that's all she has!
Melissa has created a jigsaw of 18 pattern pieces. Fortunately of all the designers, she is the most disciplined and organized. I feel whatever she is making she will be able to pull it off.
There is a VERY fine line between what is a Rockettes costume and what a band majorette would wear. Elena has way passed it. All she needs are white boots with pompoms and a baton to twirl and you could put her at the head of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!
Christopher's NYC skyline is taking shape and I have to say it looks super. I can definitely see all 36 Rockettes kicking away in RCMH! Love the choice of the silvery white ottoman and the crystal detailing. Clean, fresh and modern!
The Mr. Gunn mentoring time begins. Sonjia is lost in nowhere land and stays there after her moment with Mr. Gunn. Elena doesn't fare any better. She is still marching and twirling at the head of a parade. Even Mr. Gunn sees the need for a Lord & Taylor baton. Do they sell batons?
Dmitry is using his experience with professional dancing to create his look. It has visual interest, movement and will read well from any distance. Christopher of course has to chime in with his astute opinion. Sorry Christopher, but I'm still recovering from the mess you sent down the runway last week.
Fabio has a bitch on his hands. The sequins he chose are not easy to work. "Bitch slap that bitch," Mr. Gunn suggests. Get down, gurrrlll! I am surprised there is no mention of the putty color spandex like full bodice. It is totally opaque. It's like a turtleneck warm up top. Definitely amps up the dumpy effect of this not so glam look! Big miss on that critique.
Christopher's look is definitely heading for the top. The sheer he chose "is" actually sheer, unlike Fabio's, and it works. All he is missing are more crystals for the NYC sky and it will be perfect!
Melissa's look at this point is void of any sparkle ort of a major requirement on such a huge stage. I do like the contrast of the hot pink with the black and her "deco" edge. Melissa, get sparkling and fast!
Poor Ven. No this isn't another Lord & Taylor dress challenge! Add a floor length chiffon skirt and you have a very basic mother of the bride dress! How exciting. Not!
Mr. Gunn is unimpressed with where most of the designers are at this stage of the challenge so it's back to Mood for more chatzky embellishments. Good news for Elena, Sonjia, Melissa and Christopher. Fabio, Dmitry and Ven decide to staybehind in the workroom. Ven ... go ... anything will help your look ... please go! All the hand work in the world will not accomplish what you need to deliver for this challenge! At Mood, Elena is over dosing on sparkles. Melissa is not quite sure what she needs to amp up her look. Christopher gives her $50 to help her finance her black sequins. NICE! Poor Sonjia still can''t figure out what direction her top needs to take. Why is she making this so hard? I feel her initial choice of feathers has created a design block that she can't seem to work around. More feathers are not what I was hoping for!
Back at Parsons the models arrive for the one and only fitting! Elena needs to stop re-enforcing the majorette theme and get back to the Rockettes! Melissa has a ton left to do on her design. Nary a sparkle or sequin has yet to appear anywhere. But she is miles ahead of Sonjia who doesn't even have a top to fit. She gets a monetary check in with her boyfriend. His encouragement is great a big help at a time like this for sure. This contact is finally what she needs to get her design moving! Hallelujah!
Ven continues his voyage down the river of denial "It's not too much and it's not to little." No Ven, it's not enough and yes it is way to little! Look around you. How does your look compare to the stage impact of the others? Mercifully the second day has come to an end. Sleep well everyone.
Next morning it is fairly easy to see who will score well, Dmitry and Christopher. Both looks complete the challenge exceptionally well. On the bottom, well, that's a slightly more crowded category. I feel if Melissa can finish her look with some degree of pizzaz she will be safe. The others ... not so sure. Two hours for hair and makeup along with a few miracles please! In the sewing room Melissa has the pull of her zipper come off in her hands. Major time issue replacing that for sure. Just what you need as you are trying to tweak the final touches of your design, right?
Miracles of miracles, Sonjia has a top a cute one at that. Not sure it meets the requirements, but cute none the less. Dmitry's look is totally RCMH. I just wish it wasn't quite so generic. Poor Melissa has to sew her model into the dress. As long as your not glueing her into it, right Oliver?
I am really enjoying Elena's personality this episode. She is funny, self-depreciating with humor and is relating so well to the other designers. Hope she has the opportunity to continue this behavior next episode?
On to the runway where we learn Debra Messing, star of "SMASH", is the quest judge for this challenge. Love her! Dmitry's look is first. It has great stage appeal, movement and sparkle, but does it make enough of statement to win? From the look on Heidi's face, YES! Melissa's deco inspired look is next. All her hard work paid off along with that much needed second trip to Mood. While there isn't the usual movement found in most dance costumes it definitely has the stage appeal needed to reach the furthest row of seats. Also I love the hat just the right touch.
Ven's very pale grey MOB design "cut off to mini-dress proportions" is next. Yes it is perfectly executed, except for a strangely bad hem (Ven, how did that slip by?). But it in no way meets the criteria of this challenge. He at least could have opened up the center triangle for a little relief and detail. Sorry, two thumbs down.
Sparkle mania explodes onto the runway next with Elena's design. OMG. Really, you needed to add two rhinestone and sequin cuffs along with a hair ornament to this? And that mass of crystals at the neck is QVC jewelry gone wild!
Christopher couldn't have asked for a better design to follow than Elena's. Her excess and lack of a modern point of view just enhances his beautifully designed and restrained look. Nothing here is done to excess and it is beautifully styled. I love her short wavy hair retro but in a very modern and subtle way. My only criticism is that the skirt doesn't allow for much movement, but hell it looks good so who cares!
I still see Josephine Baker singing "J' adieux amours" in Sonjia's design. Of course with just a touch more exposed skin! Do we really want to see 36 of these dancing across the RCMH stage? Certainement pas!
Next is what I think is the oddest design by far, Fabio's ode to a female gladiator who for some reason is compelled to wear a sleeveless turtleneck under her armor. Is the Colosseum chilly this time of year? This look is also very close to entering the dress category, minus the turtleneck of course.
On the runway the designers nervously await the pre-auffing selection. Fabio is safe, turtleneck and all. The remaining six have the highest and the lowest scores. With the models back on the runway each designer is asked to explain their looks. Sonjia is up first. Good luck! Her explanation doesn't fly, not even with all those feathers. Heidi expected looks that are show stoppers and she doesn't see that in this design. Nina sees the reality of girls who are dancing, kicking, etc... made out of feathers as a major problem. She sees a little purple bird not a Rockette! Debra Messing sees a not so great group of "molting" Rockettes. Nina finishes it off with a vision of a turkey fest! Not good how ever much you like turkey!
Dmitry fares much better. Heidi loves his look. The blue and black are a hit with all the judges. MK likes the attention to detail. Nina likes the bare to covered up ratio and the skirts movement. Modern and chic I'll settle for that! Debra loves it but feels it may be a tad to sexy for the little, little ones. Does she watch TV? "Jersey Shore" ring a bell? That's trashy. This is tasteful!
Poor Ven describes a design he has yet to create. Everything he describes as his intention is not presented in this look. It has zero stage appeal, up close or far away. If there are any design details in there I can't see them. All I see is a basic little party dress. Heidi sees boring. Ven definitely would have benefited from that second trip to Mood instead of staying behind to do his hand work. MK sees a yawn of a MOB with a chopped off hem.
Melissa explains her deco influence. Heidi feels it has potential but the more she looks at it the more she sees issues. Okay, what's with the #1 on the front? Just an overlook? Pass. MK also sees a chopped off cocktail dress. Nina likes the color but sees a cigarette girl and calls it a real miss. Ouch! Debra doesn't like the neckline. It is the exact neckline by the way that she used in the Lord & Taylor challenge. I'm paying attention!
Christopher's NYC Skyline is a big success with everyone. No surprise there. His explanation also validates their appreciation of the entire idea! MK sees a Bob Mackie moment! Christopher can't help himself with stating his love for Debra. A little brown nosing with the guest judge? Paaalease!Elena does a fairly good job of promoting the ideas behind her design, movement and color. Unfortunately all MK sees is a Las Vegas cheerleader: tacky, tacky, tacky and lets not forget busy and tacky!Debra sees a circus performer maybe atop a blind elephant! The biggest problem Nina sees is her choice of fabric along with all the matchy matchy cuffs, shoes and hair ornament. Heidi sees a cheesy Las Vegas mall. I'm beginning to feel bad for Las Vegas! Oh lord, here it comes: another stage breakdown. Fast forward please!
The judges confer…Dmitry and Christopher are on top. MK sees a long version of Dmitry's walking the red carpet at the Oscars! Debra sees a modern Rockette look. Nina points out that Christopher's skirt has no movement. MK and Debra love the iconic NYC vibe so the lack of movement is overlooked! Lack of movement is not overlooked in Melissa's design. Also I can't see dancers enjoying that crumb catcher of a neckline.
On the bottom we have Sonjia in what MK sees is a crazy disco turkey and worse with mashed boobs! Do turkeys even have boobs?
Next up is Ven and it doesn't look good. MK sets the mood with the RCMH curtain opening and 36 BLAHS come out! Yikes, not good. Neither is MK suggestion of "ORIGAMI ROSE" as his drag name. Poor guy, he just can't see the train wreck before it hits the wall. It's a little to late now!
Elena continues to drag Las Vegas through the mud with MK description of a "Vegas twirler." She does win for ugliest fabric. The big decision is who to "AUF"? Turkeys, blahs or twirlers? Not an easy decision.
The win is a much easier decision to make Christopher's stunning NYC Skyline. That will be a thrill for him to be seated in RCMH and actually get to see 36 of the world famous Rockettes perform in his design. Congratulations!
Ven is aufed. I am sorry he never managed to step out of his comfort zone. What true designer wants to continually do the same thing over and over? A designer needs to grow and expand their creativity just as any artist. I have serious doubts if he can embrace this concept!