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The Project Runway Blog

“Project Runway’s” Best Moment

By CaitlinBergmann Fri., Oct. 1, 2010 ,5:00 am EDT

Watch Episode 10 onlineI’ve watched “Project Runway” since the beginning. I can reference random hilarious Michael Kors quotes. I can sing the “Daniel Franco, Where Did You Go?” song on cue. I still laugh so hard I cry over Andrae and Tim’s “rendezvous” at Red Lobster. I challenge people to “mothereffing walk-offs.” I can tell you that by winning this challenge, Mondo becomes the first person in the show’s history to win three solo challenges in a row, but when it comes to finding the right way to express what this episode represented in the eight-season history of “Project Runway”, I struggled to find the words.

I scribbled down notes. I watched the episode again. I sorted through the photos. I looked at the HP/Intel fabrics. I had nothing.

After thinking long and hard about it, what remains is this:

Say what you will about reality television, but what makes it such a compelling genre is that the characters are not characters — they’re real people, living their lives on camera. Why is “American Idol” great? Why is “The Amazing Race”? Because we, the audience, have someone to rally for as they get a step closer to their own goals.

A great actor can only aspire to create a scene to the best of their abilities, but no writer or director could ever capture the story Mondo told this week on “Project Runway” the way he told it — or the way he almost never did. I sat through most of the episode wondering if we, the viewers, would be the only ones to hear his confession and how sad it would be if no one knew the motivation behind his work until this, well, aired. But when he finally found the right moment to reveal it, it didn’t just make his garment more meaningful, it changed his life.

Whatever happens in the next few weeks as we lead up to Fashion Week can’t overshadow what happened this week. Gretchen and Tim could have a mud-wrestling cage match, but I’ll still remember this episode.

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