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Casanova Puts His Panties On

By CaitlinBergmann Fri., Aug. 27, 2010 ,6:05 am EDT

First of all, I want to thank Valerie for the best line of the season, if not the best line in "Project Runway" history. For me, anyway. "Put your panties back on and do the job." I have already told my boys to put their panties on 18 times today. Thank you, Valerie.

Team Luxe Bonding

I am going to surprise everyone and take up for Gretchen. Mixing the work of their team's designers was a good idea. The number one criticism of any team collection is the lack of cohesion. The judges love to use the word "cohesion" — or better yet, "cohesiveness" — because they think it makes them sound intelligent. Gretchen's plan made perfect sense: mix together a series of separates, executed by the designer whose skills are best for that particular construction. It's never been tried before on "Project Runway," but in theory it worked, and if they had been able to put together a few more decent pieces, it would have been hailed as a genius decision.

And speaking of decisions, not only was Gretchen's plan unanimously accepted, but the team members sat around congratulating themselves on their quick and complete consensus. It wasn't until Tim gave his unprecedented lecture as A.J. was being sent to clean up his space (by the way, did I ever tell you that there are no light switches under the tables?) that Ivy acted all horrified to have been handcuffed by Gretchen. If there was anything kinky going on (I didn't see the handcuffs, I'm just going by what Tim said), Ivy was a willing participant, as was the rest of Team Redux.

In defense of Gretchen...

I can even defend Gretchen's behavior on the runway. Here's the way the runway critique works, or any critique, for that matter: You explain your idea to the panel, then listen to their comments. Even their negative comments usually make sense; you just can't see it through the veil of fatigue and stress. Instead of disagreeing with the judges in some delusional manner, Gretchen came to see that the collection sucked, and admitted it. As far as throwing someone under the bus (Where does this expression come from, and why is it used so much on "PR"?) many a season a contestant tries to do the right thing and sacrifice no one, but heartless Heidi just won't let it happen. The runway segment that takes about 15 minutes of television time takes eight hours to film. It literally becomes an interrogation. You are standing up there exhausted under hot lights, and they will continue to question you until you give someone up. They're making television here, people.

I don't usually pay too much attention to editing, unless "Kissed by a Rose" comes out of nowhere, but when the editing is as clumsy as it was in this episode, it can't be ignored. From the get-go it was obvious that Casanova was getting the underdog edit (what is with the contestants threatening to quit this season?), and even my 10-year-old figured out, "Watch, they are going to put Gretchen in the bottom just to punish her, but there is no way they are sending her home." Granted, my kids have been watching this show for years, but how bad is it when a 10-year-old is two steps ahead of you?

It was touching to see Casanova's teammates rally around him in his moment of self-doubt, though I think their motivation was more about needing him fully functioning for the team. I am fine with his win, but I believe that his outfit was sheer luck and he does have taste issues. Remember Vincent from Season 3, who won the Everyday Woman challenge? It happens. Casanova certainly hasn't been listening to the judges as Nina proclaimed, because we know he doesn't understand a damn thing they say.

If you came here for commentary on the clothes in this episode, you will have to click above or below, because I have nothing to say. To quote Michael Kors, "I am underwhelmed." Team Misfit won with some Forever 21 sale-rack items, and Team Redux ... well, the problems are numerous. Maxi vests? Belted blouson jackets? Wonky sheer shirtdresses? Put your panties on, people.