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A chill comes over 'Project Runway' designers in a seasonal face-off

Feb. 10, 2012 at 9:50 AM ET

Mondo gets a bit dotty in the most recent "All Stars" challenge.

Anthony has been auf'ed, so I suspect the workroom is going to be a little less fun this week. I guess it could be argued that another goofy challenge could be good for some laughs, but mostly those are just worthy of an eye roll (pick a muse! And make them strip in Central Park!). But even if the runway lacks for fun, I do foresee tension, backbiting and cattiness. How fashion-forward! 

Angela addresses the designers with a bunch of bags. Yes, this is about the most useful Angela will ever be -- as a decorative coathook. Each designer picks a bag, and inside they find a season printed on a luggage tag. Their challenge? To create a sportswear look for a weekend getaway. But wait, it's four seasons and eight designers. It's a fashion face-off!

The battles are: 

Austin vs. Kara for Spring

Kenley vs. Mondo for Summer

Mila vs. Rami for Autumn

Michael vs. Jerell for Winter

The designers get a budget of two hundred dollars and one day. But good news -- they don't have to use the bag they picked. Still, I think Mondo was a little disappointed. He clearly had big plans for his orange handbag. 

Mila is making a skinny jean with a cape. Rami is not threatened by Mila, and I can't blame him. Let me guess -- there will be color blocking! Why oh why don't the judges seem as annoyed by this as I am? Mondo isn't feeling confident, but he thinks Kenley is designing the same thing over and over. I will say, though, that Kenley is confident and Mondo seems to be a wreck. Really, he hasn't been the same guy this season, and I'm becoming worried about him. I do wonder if he's not feeling well and the grind of this show is just too much for him. Not that I don't want him to win, but I don't want this to land him in the hospital, either. 

Still, it is a battle this week, and everyone is trying their best (more or less). To quote Mondo, "This is like Wrestlemania! Or Fashionmania."

But maybe more than a little Wrestlemania, because punches might be thrown. Jerell looks up and realizes Michael is making the EXACT same silhouette. Jerell asks him where he got the idea, and Michael jokes that he got it from HIM. This is not a joke I would make, because honestly, it certainly looks that way. Michael was futzing around and complaining that he didn't know what to do, then suddenly Jerell asks Kenley to put on his coat so he can check the sleeve length -- and voila, Michael is jamming out a coat that looks just like it. Yet again, I am underwhelmed by the increasingly annoying Michael. What happened to the Michael who, when he realized he was creating something too similar to April's look, made a point of changing direction? 

It's Joanna time, which is yet again the most useless part of the show. Joanna nods a great deal and asks the designers how they feel about their looks, which is not the same as, oh, giving advice. Joanna would make a great therapist, but I suspect she might suck as an editor. Joanna tells Kara that her high-waisted pants are very fashion forward. Yes, but are they any good? Joanna likes Austin's colors. 

Joanna moves on to the next season. Mondo tells her he's designing an outfit for a girl (representing him) going to his mother's birthday party. But isn't Kenley working with polka dots, too? Mondo declares that Kenley may be the polka dot queen, but he is the polka dot princess! Finally, a little spunk from Mondo!

Mila's pants are Mila pants, Joanna obviously points out. Rami's look looks like what Joanna is wearing, so she declares it very on trend. Does Joanna even have opinions, or is she just here to report that she's been to fashion shows and looked at what's happening next? I hope that next season, Joanna is replaced by a very fashionable monkey. 

Finally, Joanna stumbles upon Jerell and Michael's repeating patterns, and she quickly senses that things are frosty for our Winter duo. Joanna calls a team meeting which resolves nothing, but gives everyone a chance to point out that it certainly seems like Michael ripped off Jerell. Though nothing changes and no action is taken, Michael is MAD. Mondo invites him to eat dinner with him, and Michael whines. He feels singled out! The haters are jealous! He just magically came up with this design that looks JUST like Jerell's and why doesn't anyone understand? Jerell comes in to eat, which is awkward with a capital A (and, as Mondo points out, just like his family dinners at home). Jerell says he doesn't want tension with Michael -- but then he keeps talking. Clearly, he wants an admission of guilt, and since Michael has repeated his "it just came to me and I was focused on my own little workstation" story so many times he's starting to believe it, Jerell doesn't get it. Eventually Michael stomps off, as he's not going to convince anyone he isn't a copycat -- except maybe Mondo, who is so tired and drawn I'm not sure he's been paying that much attention. 

Read the full recap at HitFix.com.

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