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I Duos and I Don'ts

By laurareineke Fri., Feb. 22, 2013 ,11:00 am EST

Joe's barely had time to pack up his last screenprinted cat sweater before Tim Gunn decides to leave us dangling like Sylvester Stallone in "Cliffhanger" with the news that Heidi is waiting for the designers on the runway! I'm more concerned that Heidi is waiting then actually discovering the news at all. As the clown car door opens the remaining twelve designers pile out of the backstage to the unveiling of Heidi holding the infamous velvet button bag. Side note: After eleven seasons and the horrific bed bug infestations in NYC, have they decontaminated that thing yet?

Where Santa's velvet bag brings tears of joy and happiness, Heidi's brings nothing but fear and nightmares. You can see that panic come over the designers; most have turned a shade paler then Benjamin, knowing they are in store for a team toss-up. On the other end of the spectrum you have Tu, who looks extremely perplexed. You can see him thinking, "Is the bag a designer tote or a Canal Street knock-off?" No worries, Tu, I wondered the same thing as well. (I was more intrigued to know if the button bag was rigged, because on my season I always seemed to be paired with the most incompetent and boring designers, all of whom failed to realize they were on a competition design show. I mean honestly, you had Heidi, Tim, Nina, and Michael judging you and you needed Bob Barker to come over and beat you in the head with his obnoxious microphone before you realized you were subjecting yourself to a reality television show!?)

Button Bag fact: There are no interior hidden pockets and the names are all pulled randomly. I have seen and felt it!

It's exciting to find out the designers will be working in pairs. History is full of infamous duos from Mickey and Minnie to Bonnie and Clyde, with some duos' DNA focusing on happiness, others' on pure torture.

I would just like to take a minute to dissect how I perceived the designers' reactions to the pairing-up in a new section titled "Joshua McKinley's Verbiage."

Daniel's reaction to Samantha: "WHAT? Me first? I may like shapes, but I wonder if you can corn-row my moustache and I'll comb your weave?"

Stanley's reaction to Richard: "I hope you know this is a working relationship and not Match.com."

Michelle's reaction to Matthew: "Bartender! Matthew here will have a Prozac and I'll have that bottle of tequila!"

Layana's reaction to Patricia: "Aww, that's so sweet."

Tu's reaction to Kate: "I heard my name! Who? What?!"

Amanda and Benjamin have our only arranged marriage of the evening. and it's one that Benjamin is hesitant about since Amanda was thrown under the bus last week by her team. Does Benjamin have dementia and not remember the "shipwreck" of an outfit he sent down the runway two weeks ago? Kudos indeed for improving last week, but a loom, tears, and an accent are far off from giving you clout to discuss Amanda's credentials. If I were you I would be less concerned with "understanding Amanda's aesthetic" and more on making your duo work!

Side note about last week's episode: I was aghast with her entire team and their vacant choice of naming her as their "weak link." It's a clear case of "I don't want to say a different name and upset anyone, so I'll just be a follower like everyone else and continue on the band wagon of choosing Amanda." From someone that loves a little drama, I agree with Amanda that it was overly dramatic and they were all just looking for a scapegoat. Well honey bunnies, you got one, and isn't she pretty!

And let me clarify something. If you choose to compete on a national television show, with a prize that can change your business life, you better be prepared to take hits from people, but to take them personally is preposterous. Half these people will end up working at the bank where you deposit your money!

After our new newlyweds said their "I dos," we head over to Johnny Utah’s in midtown Manhattan. I've had a few tipsy nights on their mechanical bull while wearing some rhinestone cowboy boots that are truly "made for walking." It's now become the launch pad of inspiration for the next challenge. Pan up to a Grammy-winning bleach blonde country rock star: Miranda Lambert! I think I almost cried seeing Benjamin's face, which looked as though he had NO IDEA who she was! You could tell he was thinking, "She resembles Carrie Underwood, but it's clearly not her."

At Mood it looks as though the leather department is having a sale on Louboutins, it's so crowded! Michelle was not about to go navy like the rest of the herd, while Daniel was spewing like a teapot in excitement over his "tin foil" treated leather. Back in the work room, the Brother sewing machines are being put to the test with this country-rock 'n roll challenge and they are killing it, with their amazing Teflon sewing feet to pierce through the rough hide of our well-done burger skin!

I think half the designers are tired, confused, and unconfident. There seems to be more concentration devoted to figuring out who isn't as far along as they should be, rather than honing in on what they are trying to achieve. This show isn't about the rabbit winning the race, but rather the tortoise; with that said, it doesn't mean move at a glacial pace. I think at this point one good hour-long microdermabrasion and bikini wax would reveal the beauty.

It all seems to be about leather, denim, and fringe, and none of the remaining twelve fail to disappoint in any of those departments. However, at this point, most are without a bottom to complete their look for the runway, and my question is, "What good's a top without a bottom?!"

Matthew is falling apart like a croissant and poor Michelle is taking a breathalyzer for sanity! Michelle, GIRL! All you need is one good Kleenex to get all the buggers out of your life. I feel and understand your pain, but just like my girl Kelly Clarkson says, "The sun will rise!"

As much as she seems to be winning for the most daggers in the back on "Project Runway: Dungeons & Dragons," I firmly believe Kate had the most solid look of the challenge. It embodied stardom, power, innovation and an edge unlike anything on the runway for the challenge. It also nailed Miranda's fear of not being able to wear a spanx underneath; hell, she could have worn twenty Spanx under that fitted bodice!

Nevertheless, since Layana seems to know the "fine line between glamorous and tacky," we all look to her for an explanation of Richard's win. Was it glamorous or was it tacky? Leave your comment below or tweet me @jmckinleynyc to let me know your thoughts.

It was refreshing to see another southern gentleman like Matthew Arthur on the show. Unfortunately, he barely embodied the ferocious attributes that make up his fellow Louisianan, Anthony Ryan Auld (winner of season 2 of "Project Runway All-Stars." I was hoping to see another "gator" tackle the competition, however it seems only a glut of "grenades" on Bourbon Street will help to cleanse the tears and boost the confidence of this southern belle. Until next time, sprinkle yourself with some glitter and “Make It Work!” (And if you can't? Fake it.)