Monday, August 12, 2013

Project Runway Season 12: Episode 4: Tie the Knot...Around Sandro's Neck

Sandro losing it
I was so confused by the opening of this week's Project Runway I didn't know which end was up. We opened with the climactic screaming match between Ken and Sandro with the latter stomping out into the street outside Parsons and threatening to smash the camera following him. This is the clip we've been seeing in promos all season and at first I thought this was all a reaction to the end of last week's episode. But then we flashback to "36 hours earlier" and learn this was just to whet your appetite for the big heapin' slice of drama pie to come.

The real action begins with everyone ruminating on Timothy's departure on the end of episode 3 then we cut to the workroom and find out this week's challenge consists of using bowties as a take-off point for a dress. The inspiration is from guest judge Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his Tie the Knot organization which sells bowties and gives to proceeds to the fight for Marriage Equality (which still needs to be fought; this weekend in upstate NY, I actually saw a bumper sticker with M = and then a stick figure of a man and woman; the elderly couple owning the car were at a yard sale and I felt like asking them "So is your marriage endangered because of mine?").

Anyhoo, the main drama is basically Sandro, a ticking time bomb for the entire series up till now, getting ready to explode. The Mad Russian is simply furious that Zac Posen is criticizing his excesses and not telling him exactly what to do in order to win a challenge. He tries to ingratiate himself with Tim Gunn, nicknaming him "Top Gun," and begging for the secret formula to get out of the middle and emerge victorious ("I vant to vin," he whines.) Tim advises Sandro to just be himself and if the judges don't like it, accept that and move on.

Braden provides the other main plot point by proposing to his partner on the runway--purely symbolic since his partner won't see the shows for weeks. But sweet nonetheless. Oh, BTW Braden is the one Sandro refers to as "Irish," maybe because he has red hair and Alexander is already "Red Hair" to Sandro who evidently can't be bothered to remember anyone's name.

But let's cut to the chase. We have the runway show and the juicy part is not who is on top or bottom, but who's safe. Sandro's pink slut dress renders him in the middle. Just as they are sent off stage, he opens his big fat mouth and asks for feedback so he can be a winner next time. His arch nemesis Zac Posen give him props for construction but says the creation looks like the model just got home from sleeping with a guy and stole his bowtie (Funny, except for the bowtie, that's a description of Kate's winning look from two weeks back. Maybe she won because she referenced Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution.) Instead of owning the look, respecting the judges' opinion and respectfully disagreeing, Sandro bitches and says he needs to learn and wants to be told in detail what to do. "This isn't Project Runway the Student Edition," Posen snaps back. Heidi reminds Sandro he is safe and if he's on the bottom or top next time, he'll get plenty of feedback.

The big argument takes place in the lounge when the middle people tactfully advise Sandro not to be disrespectful to the judges. Helen is the verge of a nervous breakdown because Heidi has the nerve to suggest the only reason she won last time was because she was working with Kate. Sandro, who was Helen's friend two weeks ago and pleaded with the judges not to be too harsh with her, now jumps on her for daring to raise her voice to him. So basically, the whole monumental meltdown we've all been waiting for is between two whiny, insecure losers--both of whom were safe--over who got treated worse by the big bad judges. Ken then gets into it screaming at Sandro he's "outta order." Sandro threatens Ken, explodes and then stomps out.

Helen is just as bad as Sandro, breaking down at the least criticism. I mean Jeremy whose grandmother just died, for heaven's sake, accepts the critiques about his old-fashioned Katharine Hepburn blouse with grace. He, Sue, and Miranda, the bottom three, are saved from elimination because Sandro evidently has broken the rules by walking out on the show. I wish I had been a fly on the wall during the scene when the producers told him he was out after he finally calmed down. But he probably would have squashed me.

Helen, Sue, or Miranda are probably next on the chopping block. Sue's lack of dexterity with the sewing machine plus her poor budgeting skills (she spent $400 making two dresses when only needed one this week) are bound to catch up with her. But according to the coming attractions, Ken takes Sandro's place as head diva when we go back to team challenges and unconventional materials. (Is this the third unconventional challenge so far? So why is Tim acting as if it's the first.)

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