Season 5, Episode 3 Recap: A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock N Roll

It’s Thursday and I’m feeling glamorous. Let’s do this.

This week we are joined by special guests Little Big Town, the country band comprised of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet.

The Challenge:

With $600 and one day to work, the designers will pair up to create two opposite but complementary red carpet looks. Kimberly and Karen will wear the winning looks on the red carpet at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

As the winner of last week’s challenge, Sam gets to choose the teams. He pairs himself with Kini, Asha with Alexander, Layana with Emily, Ken with Dom, Valerie with Stella, and Mitchell with Daniel.

The pairs sketch at Mood and everyone nails down their “opposites attract” themes quickly. Could this be the first ever no-drama team challenge? Mmm, maybe not, because as Dom points out, “Mitchell has design issues and Daniel has time management issues,” and they’re already wearing on each other’s nerves.

While explaining his pairings to Kini, Sam claims that he had the personalities of the designers in mind and picked opposites on purpose. Which might be true, except that everything Sam has done so far has led us to believe that being kind to the competition is not in his nature. Kini says, “That’s a good excuse you came up with, really fast,” and then giggles like a kid in church.

My favorite thing about this season so far is the way everyone pronounces “Bauble Bar” like “bahbahbah.” Trendsetter forecast for Spring 2016 says talk like your mouth is full of marbles!

Zanna meets with the designers to go over their concepts. There’s a lot of dark and light or naughty and nice mashups. Predictably, Mitchell isn’t doing enough editing, Kini’s look is a little dated and Stella disagrees with everything Valerie says.

With two hours left to go, Sam is working on finishing a pant that Kini suggested to “fix” his look, but he can’t seem to get it right. Kini takes over, adding all of the finishing touches and correcting Sam’s mistakes. Then, on the day of the runway, Kini makes a top for Sam’s look. It’s super awkward because everyone knows Kini made both looks.

I should also mention that everyone has concerns about Stella’s fabric. She’s used to leather (obviously), but for no reason at all used vinyl for this challenge. Vinyl doesn’t fit the same as leather so the assumption is that it will look odd on the runway.

Speaking of, we arrive at the moment of truth.


Alyssa, Georgina, and Isaac are joined by Karen and Kimberly from Little Big Town.

The Top:

Asha, the winner (Light): It’s a short white lacy sequined V-neck dress with wide elbow-length sleeves. It’s not too sparkly (the sequin layer is underneath the lace) and because Asha has styled the model just like Kimberly –- big blonde curls and all –- it’s easy to imagine her in the look.

Alexander, the winner (Dark): It’s a dark blue gown with a black tulle overlay. There’s a hint of skin showing in the back, which keeps it fresh and young. The looks pair extremely well together, but could easily stand on their own.

Sam (East): Inspired by the seriousness of Boston, it looks like a checkered business pant and an elegant, dark blue couture top. Everyone agrees it’s beautiful, but it’s not right for the red carpet. Alyssa says it might be one of her favorite things to walk the runway in her time as host.

Kini (West): Inspired by the laid-back paradise of Hawaii, it’s a fitted blue floor-length dress with a flowy blue and white printed overlay that moves beautifully when the model walks. The judges point out that it might not work for a red carpet because when the model isn’t moving, the dress looks shapeless.

The Bottom:

Mitchell (Pleasure): It’s a long, blush-pink deep-V dress. The idea is there (kind of), and there are pretty little feathers that give it a dreamy princess effect, but the overall look is completely unfinished.

Daniel (Pain): In a look I’ll call “bondage light,” it’s a black dress with a cutout top and lace skirt. There’s a whole lot of skin showing and not much else. Isaac calls it “objectifying.” Yikes.

Valerie (Nice): A pretty strong look overall, it’s a white jumpsuit with some cutout lace details at the shoulder. There’s a detail in the front that almost looks like faux pockets which Georgina describes as “a butcher’s apron.” In general, it’s clear that it’s not Valerie’s look that put the pair in the bottom.

Stella (Naughty): A black shiny vinyl dress with a slit so high in front that it practically reaches the model’s belly button in the front. There’s a nice corset-like detail on the back and the neckline is sweetheart with a bitchy twist (sweet and sour heart?), but you can see the fabric got the best of our friend Stella in this one.

It should be noted that when the judges sang the praises of Sam’s look, he kept silent about not having technically created it. Sam brags about it backstage. Ugh. I’m torn between loving Sam’s competitiveness and hating his general being.

So Asha and Alexander take home the win and the rather surprised Daniel is eliminated. I can’t help it, I’ve got to say it: Damn, Daniel. Back at it again, getting eliminated from “Project Runway.”


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