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Lies, Losers and a Tale of Double-Stick Tape

By CaitlinBergmann Fri., Oct. 8, 2010 ,5:00 am EDT

Oh Lordy: I just knew that after a solemn and genuinely emotional TEARJERKER of an episode — and I would be remiss not to mention HOW TIMELY it was with all these sad gay suicides occurring in our country — that it would be followed by DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA! I'm not talking the good, Joan Crawford, DIVA kind. I'm talking about the silly, bitchy, bitter kind. Yep, it seems that the producers saw the drama fading away as soon as the "mean girls" were eliminated, and thought to themselves, "Hmmm, how can we recapture that Jersey Shore level of fighting again?! I know! Let's bring back the bitter, angry eliminated designers! Yeah! Problem solved!" But I digress … let's start from the top.

Model Be Gone!
At the beginning of this episode, three-in-a-row winner Mondo is feeling good, and suddenly Heidi announces to the designers that they will have to change models. And not only does Mondo have to lose his model (the BEST ONE of the ENTIRE season, BTW), but she is the one that is eliminated. Heidi then announces that for this challenge, the designers will create an entire head-to-toe look for her exclusive line for New Balance that will be sold exclusively on Amazon.com. Yep, we're talking Active Wear. Of course, the kids are feigning excitement, since I'm sure that NONE of them want to be making sweats or hoodies. But hey, buck up: It's for Heidi and for Amazon.com. Hello!

Attitude Check for Mondo
Post Mood shopping and getting back to the Parsons Workroom, we find out that Mondo's fabulously exotic model is back because another model had to leave the show. Miss Klum — their client — walks in with Tim to see what they have in mind for her and her new line. Christopher is nervous, naturally, since we have now become aware that his style is more Barbara Walters and much less Heidi Klum. We-Love-You-So-Much Mondo has turned into I'm-About-to-Slap-You-Upside-Your-Head Mondo as he gets rather defensive with Heidi in regard to her comments, even rolling his eyes like a bitchy QUEEN. Uh-oh, thank goodness I wasn't in the workroom, because as nice as I am, I might have pulled him aside and told him a thing or two.

And the Drama Queen Prize Goes to … Gretchen!
He isn't the only one disrespecting La Heidi: Gretchen, of course, isn't taking her constructive criticism well and even throws fabric away in a drama-filled flurry, saying that she hates "everything about this challenge." I think it's time SOMEONE reminds these kids that Heidi Klum is the EXECUTIVE PRODUCER of the show, a judge, AND their client, and if they need to be nice to someone, it might be HER! Finally Michael Costello tells Heidi that he is making something simple and seems worried. Say what? Michael C. and simple are not words that belong together in a sentence. I'd be worried, too.

Watch the full episode online!Guess Who Is BAAAACK!!!
Well, to add salt to their worry wounds, Heidi announces that they must create TWO additional looks and that they will be getting help. Well, you know what "help" means in "Project Runway" Language. Let me tell you, it doesn't mean a seamstress named Rosa! It means that the "auf'ed" designers are BACK. The designers choose their assistants as Tim calls out their names from that dreaded velvet bag. NO ONE wants to be Michael C.'s assistant, and in less time than you can say "Make it work," they begin to revisit the Michael-Costello-can't-sew-drape-make-patterns hatin' talk.

Cheater, Cheater, Double-Stick …
Half of the designers are working while the other half are making fun of Michael and his design, calling it a Turkey in a Thanksgiving Day Parade. Nice. Bitter Party-of-One Ivy then takes the Michael C. Hatin' to a whole other level by accusing him of CHEATING. She tells him — in front of all the other designers, who by the way, are just quietly agreeing with her — that she "knows he cheated and sabotaged" others by using double-stick tape in his look for the Jackie Kennedy Challenge.

Glue, Glue Gun and Staples Are OK … but Double-Stick Tape Is Not?
OK, here we go (hit pause on the DVR remote): Since when is using double-stick tape against the rules? EVERYONE uses double-stick tape on runways, fashion shoots and even at the Academy Awards red carpet on the A-list actresses. Back in Season 2, there was NOTHING stopping us from using double-stick tape. I'm assuming the rules changed, as things do (we weren't even allowed pattern paper in my season!), but I still do not agree with them! How in the world can they use glue, glue guns and even staples, but NOT double-stick tape? Need I remind you that Santino's jumpsuit for Kara Janx, back in my season, was glued, taped and stapled! 85 percent of it. And somehow that was OK. But double-stick is not. Call me crazy.

Tim Gunn's Court
Well, maybe I wasn't so crazy, because soon after I hit "Play," Tim walks in to find out what the commotion is all about. He listens to Ivy's accusations and then deems it a "non-case." Thank you, Father Tim. Case closed … but of course, Miss Ivy had to get in her last roll of the eyes as Tim was finishing his final judgment. Classy, Ivy, real classy.

Watch extended judging videosAre the Judges Blind?
Finally it's Runway Day, and the divine Norma Kamali is on hand as guest judge. I really do hope the designers know who she is, because they NEED TO: She is a Fashion Icon and the inventor of the sleeping bag coat and multi-purpose "packable clothing," and popularized the use of jersey for daywear and not just athletics.

The designs — three per designer — come out, and it's a mixed bag. In the Best category are Grumpy-pants Mondo, Shorty-Shorts-Loving April and Love-Me-Some-Black Andy South. Now, here we go again: I totally disagree with the judges. I actually thought Andy's creations should have been in the bottom. They really did look like Halloween skeleton costumes to me. Even Nina seemed a little doubtful of liking his pieces after they stood in front of her for a while (pause on that look of hers!), but Heidi "liked the looks A LOT" and she is the client, so therefore Andy was the winner. Even though Mondo needed an attitude adjustment, I still think his was the best, yet again.

'80s Biker Shorts, Pajama Parties and Some BAD Styling
In the bottom were Michael Costello, Christopher and Gretchen. Norma K. liked Michael C.'s cropped cargos, but judge Michael Kors questioned his taste level. Gretchen's was a mess. Those asymmetrical biker shorts were straight out of an Olivia Newton-John "Physical" video, and not in a good way. Heidi even said that Gretchen's looks hurt her eyes (ouch!). But Christopher's "Pajama Party at a Retirement Village" was really the worst. Poor Christopher, he just has an older aesthetic. I'm sure he'll do well with the Nob Hill Ladies-Who-Lunch, but in terms of being the Next Great American Designer with the Freshest and Most Forward Ideas … maybe not so much. He's so cute, though. The Hottie of Season 8 has just left the building. Bye, Christopher, we'll miss you.