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Laura Bennett Blog
Coming this fall to Lifetime, it's "Project Joshua"! Joshua struggles personally and professionally to make his dream of becoming a fashion designer come true! Watch as he develops a pattern of behaving badly toward others, and then insincerely apologizing! Be amazed as he simultaneously plays the bully and the victim! Talks tough and then cries! Curses and then admonishes others for cursing! And most astounding of all, watch as this designer uses the death of his mother to explain away all of his antics! It's tasteless fashion! It's blatant insecurity! It's "Project Joshua"! Viewer discretion is advised.
I can't think of a more annoying character from "Project Runway" to be the focus of an episode, much less an entire season. This week, right out of the gate he irritates me by declaring how angry he is that his burning bush didn't win the last challenge. His exact quote was "The fact that I came in second in the avant-garde challenge is still pissing the shit out of me." In a season where every week's winner is merely the least crappy garment on the runway, just hanging in there should be your goal. Trust me, in any previous season, a faux-bois neoprene circle skirt in flames, complete with smoke netting headdress, would have been in the bottom.
Joshua seamlessly segues into trying to appoint himself leader of a team challenge with no leaders, continuing his irksome behavior. He then gives good reason for a Tacky Hall of Fame nomination by suggesting that the team's inspiration be the Village People. I can already hear Michael Kors with that one "It looks like a bunch of drunk transvestites threw up on the Village People!" I'm not sure, but I think he may have also failed Gay 101 by not knowing what costumes the Village People wear. I'll have to consult my gays.
Keeping in character, Joshua attacks Bert for of all things using a "swear word." He feels that people who use "swear words" are unintelligent. Note his exact quote above. I didn't go back through any previous episodes, but I bet I could find more than a few additional examples. Joshua, frustrated by Bert's existence, threatens to forfeit the whole thing. I am hopeful, but alas, his buddy Laura talks him down. Damn, so close. For a moment there I thought we could just get back to bad fashion.
Next Joshua treats us to his 27th insincere apology of the season. No one is buying it, but Bert graciously accepts it anyway. Joshua claims this ugly person is not who he is, but this is who we keep seeing.
The climax of "Project Joshua" comes when he has an emotional breakdown during a call to his father. On our normal show the climax might happen on the runway, but not this season. Joshua misses his mother. He wasn't able to travel home as often as he would have liked. Pursuing his dream in New York prevented him from being with his mom when she died. I believe his emotions are real. I believe he regrets not spending more time with his mother. I believe he is in pain. I do not believe any of this is an excuse for his bad behavior.
Joshua's emotional catharsis is helpful, and the team pulls together for a moment, but not soon enough to save the fashion. Not surprisingly, Team Joshua's Nuts is in the bottom. Good Joshua disappears, and Evil Joshua rears his ugly head again as he explains to Becky that she doesn't deserve to be there because, unlike him, she doesn't have a clear vision. We are to assume that tacky circle skirts are now visionary. Kimberly, Bert and Laura are safe. In the smackdown of the season, Joshua is standing there on the runway with Becky, waiting to see who gets aufed. Becky is sent to the workroom to turn off the light switch (that doesn't exist) underneath the table.
You might think I would be disappointed with the outcome and scream "producer interference," but jacket for jacket, I admit that Joshua's jacket was more interesting than Becky's. I am actually more confounded as to why Anya won for Team Chaos. Her dress wasn't as good as Olivier's jacket or Viktor's gown. The inspiration idea was Anthony's. Why didn't they get the win? Tune in next week, same time, same place, to "Project Joshua" and find out.
A Note to Commenters: I do read your comments! Every single one! Just like you, I am a fan of the show and I love to read your opinions, even when you disagree with me. I am constantly amazed by how funny your comments are, and by the great observations you make that I totally missed.