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Reality Television vs Reality

By kim_messina Fri., Aug. 3, 2012 ,5:02 am EDT

Because I participated in this episode I was apprehensive to watch it. Seeing myself on TV just reminds me that I have to do something about my horrible posture, which isn’t going to happen, so I usually just don’t watch. Of course I had no choice this week, I had to watch so I could write this article and as it turned out my fears were unwarranted. I only ended up in about 2.8 seconds of edited footage, and even I can stand myself for that short amount of time. What was painful was how differently things seemed in the edited version of the show than they did in real life. Allow me to dish.

In the episode Kenley seemed sweet, gracious, cooperative and thankful. In real life she was anything but. She sucked the oxygen right out of the room and made it impossible for anyone else to breathe. She was loud. She was obnoxious. She was dressed in some naughty schoolgirl stripper costume while claiming that Heidi is the one who is clueless and has no taste. She complained that the breakfast buffet on the set wasn’t good enough. (I asked her what she would have been served for breakfast back at her apartment in Brooklyn.) She barked repeatedly at the hair and makeup people to make her look like a “modern Grace Kelly” in a completely graceless manner. She was hot. She was cold. She was tired of waiting. It was exhausting.

But craziest of all, Kenley took complete credit for the dress that Ven and Fabio designed and made. She demanded the silhouette. She showed them the length. She instructed them to buy Navy blue silk gazar. I haven’t see a lot of Ven’s work, but I’ve seen quite a bit of Kenley’s and I am pretty sure he doesn’t need her help. I’m just going to say that the editing was kind to her. And that if she had been on my season there would have been a murder in the workroom.

There was also a discrepancy between what I saw happening with my own designers and how things appeared in the episode. Elena, having been in the bottom in the previous challenge was a nervous wreck. She was willing to take on the major share of the garment construction in order to make things right. Buffi seemed to flit around the room, taking it easy and complaining to the other designers how uptight Elena was. In the episode, Buffi came of as lighter in spirit and less worried, but willing to do the work that needed to be done. She actually appeared to be a necessary foil to Elena’s panic.

In real life, the white dress that Gunnar and Kooan made for Irena was a hot mess. The fabric was shiny and cheap looking. The construction was horrid. Seams were puckering all over the place and when Irena asked them to be fixed, they only made them worse. The half moon ass seam was a disaster and it was Irena who suggested they add the chiffon train at the last minute to hide the sewing flaws. The dress fit her terribly. It was extremely tight and virtually see-through. The hem was way too short and it was crooked. Those designers are lucky that Irena has a rocking curvy body and would look good in a potato sack because that dress was a disaster. They are also lucky that Heidi likes tight and shiny. When the dress ended up in the top it was like, “What just happened?”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, April looked awesome in the silver silk chiffon dress made by Dmitry and Melissa. It was well tailored and moved beautifully on the runway. The detail on the back was stunning, just the type of dress you could see on an actress doing the over-the-shoulder photo pose. I was surprised it didn’t end up in the top. (April and I wanted to trade dresses! She preferred my goth bridal gown.)

The part of the show that did come off exactly as it happened in real life was how bad Christopher and Andrea’ s and Raul and Alicia’s dresses were. Anya wasn’t happy with the brown gown, but she remained relatively easy going about it. Mila was not a happy camper with the results of her designer’s efforts. She seemed to take the poor outcome of the gown personally. The dress, as simple as the design was, looked like a child with absolutely no sewing experience made it. There were no elements to the design that were difficult to execute. There was no excuse for that mess. I’m not sure how the judges decided to send Raul home over Alicia, because in my opinion, they both needed to go.