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Where's Joan Rivers When You Really Need Her?

By kim_messina Fri., Aug. 3, 2012 ,4:57 am EDT

Team I-Don't-Want-To-Be-On-A-Team

We knew it was going to be a KRAZEE episode the minute Tim Gunn said that this was a "Team Challenge." No One. I reiterate, NO ONE, likes the Team Challenges on "Project Runway" (except the viewers). The challenge this week? To create a red carpet look that is to be worn at the Emmys in September. Lest you forget, our little ol' show is nominated this year! This challenge was also dubbed the "LEXUS Team Challenge" because the designers also had to incorporate the colors of the new LEXUS GS cars (the automobile sponsor) into their red carpet creations. I almost wished they had to make these looks out of actual LEXUS car parts! But oh wait, I think that's already been done...

Red Carpet Sacrificial Lambs

Seven Teams of two were created — Christopher/Andrea, Sonjia/Nathan, Elena/Buffi, Ven/Fabio, Gunnar/Kooan, Alicia/Raul and Dmitry/Melissa. Now, who would these teams be designing Emmys red carpet creations for? Heidi? Nina? Sofia Vergara?! Nope, darlings. Remember the debacle years ago when Season 1 Winner Jay McCarroll created La Klum a gown for the Emmys and she ended up not wearing it? (Oops). And the mess Wendy Pepper made for Nancy O'Dell to wear to the Grammy's as a result of a challenge she won? Yeah, in other words, not such a good history of these collaborations. So, instead, the show brought back seven past Runway contestants and winners — Season 9 Winner Anya, Season 6 Winner Irina, Laura Bennett, Kenley, Mila, April Johnston and Valerie Mayen (who?) — to be the Red Carpet Sacrificial Lambs ... I mean clients.

Time Complainer, Hissy Fits, Ironing Assistants

Team Elena/Buffi got Laura Bennett as their red carpet client which immediately scared me. If Laura and those two were the last people stuck on an island, she still wouldn't choose them to make her a dress (But, alas, she has no choice). Laura is elegant Manhattan chic, while Elena is Lady Gaga futurama and Buffi is just tacky-licious. Strong-headed Elena is delegating Buffi to steaming/pressing assistant status while she's just running around stressed and panicked. She's also complaining about the lack of time they are given to make an evening dress. Really Elena? What part of "Project Runway" did you NOT understand? These kids, they slay me.

Professor Christopher and Menswear Kids

Team Christopher/Andrea BA MA MFA got Anya and in a weird twist of fate, Christopher seems to be schooling Andrea on proper sewing techniques. PS: Andrea is supposed to be a fashion school instructor. Slightly embarrassing, if you ask me. Team Gunnar/Kooan were paired with Irina and Gunnar is having trouble with the fact that there can only be one bi*** in the room. Take a guess who that is. Team Alicia/Raul are assigned to Mila. They just spend their time kvetching about how they HATE doing red carpet dresses and that their "expertise" is menswear. How do you have an "expertise" when you've basically just started designing? On a good note, Dmitry and Melissa seem perfectly matched with lilac-haired Goth-girl April. Team Ven/Fabio have I-Threw-a-Cat-at-my-Boyfriend Kenley Collins, yet they seem to be working seamlessly and finally, it's all good with Team Sonjia/Nathan and client, Valerie.

Where's Joan?

Day of the runway show and Heidi walks onto the runway in a perfect sequined strapless LBD with a wink and a nod almost saying, "Just in case y'all forgot what a Red Carpet Dress is supposed to look like, well, here it is ... on me!" I am prayin', hopin' and wishin' that the guest judge is Joan Rivers but it's not. Instead, it is actress Krysten Ritter, looking pretty in a black with gold piping halter-neck dress. The designs come out and Team Elena/Buffi's design for Laura Bennett isn't that bad. Is it Laura Bennett's style? Not so much but at least, it wasn't tacki-licious or futurama. Team Sonia/Nathan's gold sequin dress for Valerie had elements of being red carpet-worthy. They were smart to chose a fabric that did all the work, as opposed to Buffi and Elena wasting all that time trying to transform their fabric. But I couldn't help but think, "This dress would have worked better on Laura Bennett!" One of my faves- — Team Dmitry/Melissa's silver charmeuse siren gown — doesn't even make the judges Top Cut. I'm perplexed.

Bridal Sale Rack or Cocktail Hour at the Emmys?

The Top Two: Team Ven/Fabio (Kenley) and surprisingly, Team Gunnar/Kooan (Irina). Sorry to say but Team Gunnar/Kooan's white dress was a MESS in my eyes. There were fabric and construction issues, it looked a little "bridal boutique" sale rack, and it was four inches too short. But the judges deemed it "dramatic" and Heidi said she would wear it. Really? Don't know how that ended up in the top two EXCEPT for the fact that Irina SOLD it — she's the reason it got placed so high. The winning honors went to Team Ven/Fabio's short navy silk gazar dress for Kenley with Ven, winning yet again. While NO ONE wears short cocktail dresses for the Primetime Emmy Awards, or at least not any of the A-list nominated actresses, it was definitely Kenley's style and she can get away with it and come away unscathed from the Fashion Police.

The Loser and the Missing

On the bottom are Team Christopher/Andrea BA MA MFA (Anya) and Team Alicia/Raul (Mila). Team Alicia/Raul's design was uncreative, poorly-made, uninspiring and certainly NOT for the Emmys red carpet. It was dowdy to boot, as the judges all agreed, having the effect of almost aging Mila by 20 years. And then there was Team Christopher/Andrea's chocolate colored gown: it was Pageant Betty 101 with that too-high slit. You could almost see Anya's "Britney." On a good note, though, Anya — a former "Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe" — did know how to work it on the runway. Christopher was distraught (A little too much so!) at being in the bottom two and not very happy with Andrea's team performance. In the end though, it was Raul who went home for his non-effort in making Mila look Emmys red carpet-worthy. Now speaking of going home...

The next day, the designers awake in their Atlas Apartments to see Andrea BA MA MFA missing and not in her bed. Did Andrea leave the show? Was she embarrassed for being "schooled" by a 24-year-old--on TV no less? What happened? Stay tuned kids...

What do you guys think happened? Any first guesses on why Andrea isn't in her bed? Let me know with your comments below. I can't wait to read your theories!

Non-Project Runway Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images