WARNING: MAJOR EPIC SPOILERS! Do not read this if you didn’t see last night’s episode! I mean it! If you do, I’ll give you such a pinch!
Last week’s episode of “Project Runway” ended with a tantalizing cliffhanger. The twins, Claire (hair) and Shawn (bald) Buitendorp were on the chopping block, and one was going to be eliminated.
They held hands. They shed tears. Then Heidi Klum said that they would have to do a head-to-head, one-hour challenge against each other, and whoever was the winner would stay. The other would be sent packing.
This was actually a good decision on the part of the judges, as it needed to be clarified which sister could do what. The takeaway is that Claire is good at execution, and Shawn is good at design, and it doesn’t work the other way around. Claire has no ideas of her own, but she can at least execute the basic tasks involved in constructing a garment. Shawn, on the other hand, is full of creative ideas, but sews like old people fuck.
While Claire got right down to business constructing something, Shawn broke down, knocking over her unadorned dress form and moaning like Chewbacca. Claire came to her aid and hugged her, and they declared their undying, tear-streaked, sisterly love for one another. Shawn ultimately made the decision and told the judges that she would concede, the deciding factor being that she simply couldn’t come up with anything.
Once she was gone, I predicted that Claire would either throw herself out a window, starve to death, or disappear like Marty McFly when his 1950s parents don’t fuck. To her credit, after some very clear spacing out and directionless fumbling, she got down to business and started building a garment.
It was very like the garment that Margarita (yes, there are other designers on the show!) won with last week, and Margarita was not pleased. She was so displeased, in fact, that it completely threw her and she fucked up her garment. Luckily, as last week’s winner, she had immunity and could not be eliminated.
Claire also added pants to the look that were similar to ones that she actually owned, which also got some death stares from the other designers. Luckily, Kentaro had made an exquisite piece that was head and shoulders above anything else on the runway, so he would probably win anyway and the whole sorry episode could be forgotten. Right? Right?
Nope. Claire won the challenge, and the second that was announced, Michael walked offstage in a dazed huff. Scandal! Tim Gunn came backstage to ask him what had happened, and the remaining designers were also asked what was going on by the panel of judges. All the remaining designers were clearly graduates of the “snitches get stitches” school and said nothing. Meanwhile, Claire just looked around in confusion.
The episode ended on that note, so we have to wait until next week to see how this shakes out. Personally, I don’t think Claire was consciously stealing her look from anybody. I’m not even sure the final product was derivative enough to qualify as theft in the first place. I don’t think it was better than Kentaro’s look, which was far and away the best thing on that runway. But the judges seemed to want to reward Claire for working independently, so that was that, and there you go.
While I’m waiting with bated breath to see what happens, I would prefer if “Project Runway” didn’t spend the rest of the season in “To Be Continued” land. It’s a cheap ploy and the show has gone 16 seasons without resorting to it, and now they’ve done it two weeks in a row. “Project Runway,” we are grateful to you for separating the twins, but now please get your shit together and do the elimination at the end of the episode like you always have.