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Project Runway: Get Out Of Irina's Way

Mike Yarish/Lifetime Networks 2009

I wish:

1. We could just fast forward to the Bryant Park episode and watch Irina's, Althea's and Carol Hannah's final runway shows.

2. The challenges involved more than photo ops at Michael Kors new Rodeo Drive store, some generic pictures of Aspen they got from Getty Images and the throw-away instructions of "Think about an inspirational locale!"

3. The locale choices had been more idiosyncratic, Los Angeles-specific and actually challenging: the La Brea Tar Pits, a stripper-gear shop on Hollywood Boulevard, a soul-destroying pitch meeting in some generic office on the Paramount lot, notoriously scuzzy hustler bar The Spotlight, Oki Dog, or this kiosk I saw once at the somewhat-downmarket Crenshaw Plaza Mall where you can get your photo portrait taken and then digitally superimposed onto another picture of a huge brandy snifter.

4. That Christopher had decided much, much earlier than this episode to finally show the judges that he has, in his words "a sophisticated side, a high-style side" because really, why wait until later in the season to really pull out the big guns and wow them and -- oh, wait, sorry, he didn't do it this episode either.

5. Althea's Saint Tropez-themed outfit had been made entirely of cocoa butter.

6. That Irina would really turn up the bitch volume. Nicolas said she was a bitch. And then Carol Hannah carried the burden of actually saying "she didn't come here to make friends" instead of Irina having to lift a finger to address that cliche herself. And occasionally we hear stinging critiques of other designers made by Irina while on interview-cam. But mostly we see her being quiet and doing her work, or, more damning, actually laughing with the others in a group pow-wow and being friendly. I'm worried that she's not living up to her potential.

7. Milla "Resident Evil" Jovovich would come back week after week if she's going to toss off lines about Logan's half-effort garments like, "If the show were called 'Project I Didn't Mind It' then he would win."

8. Ali MacGraw weren't doing commercials for Macys. If you don't know who that is then go put "The Getaway" in your Netflix queue. Not the one with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. The real one. With Steve McQueen. Who was a man.

9. For more self-aggrandizing contestants next season, ones who'll spout bullshitty stuff like Nicolas did upon finally being given the Auf: "Because of my over-the-top style it's been very hard to break into the fashion industry." Uh-huh.

10. That Nicolas could be brought back each week and eliminated again and again. He's the first person all season whose demise I was looking forward to with anticipation rather than a bored, "Oh good, s/he's gone." Now I'm going to miss being annoyed by every single thing about him. That's the cognitive dissonance-based burden reality television places on us all, the sweet pleasure of hating.


> Project Runway: Diamonds on the Crotch

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Noah Michelson