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Image: Michael C from "Project Runway"
Despite sneers from his fellow contestants, the judges found his design to be edgy, sexy and feminine.
updated 9/3/2010 9:46:50 AM ET 2010-09-03T13:46:50

So, I can’t decide which is more interesting this season — the clothing or the nastiness going on among the designers behind the scenes. Honestly, there is a part of me that wishes everyone would just shake hands and be nice, because “PR” is one of the few reality shows that seemingly focuses on talent a little more than interpersonal friction. But if we have to go down the path of skeevy reality TV, well, you couldn’t ask for a better villain than Gretchen, so I give in and say, albeit reluctantly, bring it on!

Oh, hell. The designers haven’t even finished their morning coffee and they’re already back on their favorite topic — bitching about Michael C. What’s strange to me is the passion behind this hatred of Michael C. Granted, he’s put together some crap outfits, but he’s also done some pretty nice stuff. God knows Peach churns out some God awful dress-for-grannies-funeral wear, and no one wants to stick her head down a toilet and flush.

But not everyone’s worrying about Michael C. Some lovely designers are just worrying about themselves. Gretchen is still sulking because mean old Tim Gunn hurt her feelings. Okay, I’ll say that if anyone’s getting waterboarded in the lavatory on this show, it should be Gretchen.

Heidi informs the designers they will have new models, who are bridesmaids hoping “PR” can transform their ugly ass dresses into cute little outfits. This is always a fun challenge, in that it makes the designers uniquely miserable.

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Tim informs the group they’ll get $50 and can only buy up to two yards of fabric, so they’d better learn to love the dress, because no cheating and making something entirely new! In other words, brace yourself for shiny polyester on the runway, like it or not.

April is stuck with a picky model. Who wants a casual, hip outfit with a short skirt. And no pleats. Yes, that’s what you look for from “PR.” Hey, bridesmaid, go buy a new dress if you’re going to be such a diva.

Gretchen Skypes her mommy. Gwetchen wants to go home. Her mommy is her best fwend! I want to hang Gretchen by her ankles from the roof of Parsons.

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Christopher comes to Gretchen’s defense, because she doesn’t have a malicious bone in her body. She’s just HELPFUL! Christopher either has Stockholm Syndrome or he’s a spineless suck up. Either way, I’m not fond of Christopher.

Anyway, they sketch, they go to Mood, they meet their models, blah blah blah. Finally, it’s Tim time! Gwetchen is afwaid of Tim. Tim was mean to hewr! Wah! Her lackeys worry, because Gwetchen seems vewy nuhvous. Seriously, even typing this makes me want to sick up.

Anyway, Tim is a levelheaded guy and doesn’t hold a grudge. He’s a man with a task, which Gretchen appreciates. Tim tells Gretchen he loves the ombre effect on her top, but she’s going a little athletic. And then Gretchen says something in the interview room about a wound turning into a scar or some such crap. I fully expect to see Gwetchen with a bwankie sucking her thumb in her next interview, because she really is that much of a whiny baby.

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Tim, thankfully, moves on and tells Michael C. he needs to get rid of the lace his model wants. Tim tells Michael D. he’s making a big bra top and to be glad he’s dressing a fat girl. Tim’s wild about Mondo’s dress, and I am, too. Tim doesn’t want Peach to do a peplum skirt. Tim wants Christopher to watch his proportions. Tim likes Casanova’s blouson. Casanova is so happy! Tim fears Valerie’s outfit is soccer mom.

And then Tim has a nice surprise! Which is not nice. There’s a designer showcase for the public, at which the designers will show off their designs. And all the guests get to vote on their outfits, which will be taken into consideration by the judges. Eek! You know the designers are horrified, because commoners get a say!

In the workroom, Peach realizes she screwed up her skirt. She’s in a Peach panic. And she’s getting Mondo to help her. Mondo is being very nice about it, but I’m sure this gets old.

The next day, everyone’s getting ready at the Atlas apartments Gretchen and Ivy call Valerie crazy. Because she’s insecure about her outfit, which is, actually, quite ugly. And they all think Peach is going home. Which I can’t disagree with.

Hmm, just taking a gander around the showroom, I’m wondering if April’s outfit has enough of the original dress in it, though it is cute. And Michael D. is another one to worry about. Did he just slap some mesh on top of the existing dress?

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It’s time for the showcase! Tim tells the designers they’re going to have to talk up their outfits to the commoners who’ll be voting on them (I love that they cast their votes by putting loose buttons into glass bowls, which feels very 1960s key party in some way). Valerie, being adorable, gets a warm reception from the people, but the truth is, her dress is shockingly bad. I can’t believe the woman wearing it is actually smiling, because she has been transformed into a blonde troll in a sausage casing, no joke.

Michael C. is getting some buttons. And I do like his dress, although I wonder if I’m being unduly influenced by the mean girls’ hatred of him.

Ivy made separates, which are cute. So did Gretchen. Her separates aren’t as cute. I love the detailing, but Michael C. rightly points out that the model’s boobs are hanging out of the side of her shirt.

Andy dyed his fabric, and the little shorts look amazing.

Michael D. got one button. I’m surprised he got that, and it must have been a pity button, or from a guy who thought he was cute.

Peach’s outfit has a horrible ruffle in the back. This is terrible.

Mondo’s dress is adorable. Really, can Mondo make anything that isn’t awesome?

Uh-oh, drama time. According to Ivy, Michael C. has been telling people not to vote for her, because she’s the bitch of the show. That would be terrible if it wasn’t THE TRUTH. It’s not exactly fighting fair if he is doing it, but I can hardly blame him. Ivy is like the Goering to Gwetchen’s Hitler.

Another day, another grooming session at Atlas. Michael D. gives Andy a Mohawk. Apparently the new ‘do makes him feel saucy, because he asks Michael C. if he talked smack about Ivy. Michael C. denies it, and he doesn’t seem to be lying. I’m inclined to believe him, if only because I hate Ivy.

So, gearing up for the runway. Tim tells the designers that their models will be getting a gift of jewelry from Piperlime. Plug, plug, plug.

Amazingly, Michael C. doesn’t revel in the fact Ivy hates him. Instead, Michael C. decides to tell Ivy in the sewing room that he didn’t talk smack about her. Ivy doesn’t believe him. Neither does Gretchen or Michael D. Too bad Michael C. didn’t talk smack about all of them. I’m really waiting for Michael C. to snap and spray paint over all of their outfits one evening or attack them with scissors. Because damn, I sure would.

Runway time! Mondo got the most votes at the Designer Showcase. Go, Mondo!

Michael, Nina and guest judge Cynthia Rowley will be judging.

This is just one heck of a great dress. It’s mod, it’s fun, it’s a clever use of the bridesmaid dress (who knew the outside looked so much better than the inside?) and it’s all Mondo. It also fits the model like a glove.

Nice scoop back, good dye job on the top, clever use of the material to make pants. Ivy may be an evil bitch, but she’s a pretty good designer.

I love Valerie. I want Valerie to win things. But this dress isn’t winning anything. The problem is, she has a heavyset model, and the dress is just pulling in all the worst ways. Valerie clearly doesn’t design for the nonskinny set. That being said, if this dress were a size two, all would be forgiven. But that hem length is way too short for a big girl, Val. She looks like a potato in a wetsuit. For shame!

It is so damn hard to judge anything Gretchen does, because I just hate her so much it clouds my reasoning. Gretchen loves those stupid thigh high suede boots, because they’re back. I will admit, the detailing is gorgeous, the ombre dye job is great, not sure about the elongated shirttail in the back, but whatever. Not really sure she listened to Tim’s advice, though, because that racerback is still in full effect.

WHY the green ruffle, Peach, WHY? Oh my God, why would you put a big weird ruffle over the widest part of a woman’s body?

I think this is a sharp little outfit, honestly. Maybe a little too Wet Seal for “PR,” but the tailoring is excellent.

Michael C.
I’m not totally sold on the sleeves, only because I thought this was kick ass when Michael did what he wanted to do and didn’t listen to the model and her griping about wanting lace sleeves. But it’s still pretty awesome, in that it looks runway. But is it too short?

This isn’t bad, though I don’t feel he made any really extensive changes to the original dress beyond length and draping.

Michael D.
I’m glad he made a little jacket, because really, the rest of the dress just isn’t different enough to me. In fact, it’s a little worse. I know he doesn’t know how to design for a Lane Bryant customer, but she looks bad.

Now that Casanova knows that the judges like his pants, I don’t think we’ll see him do anything else.

I do love this look. I’m just hoping she dyed the dress fabric and didn’t just toss out the bridesmaid’s dress.

Heid calls out April, Ivy, Andy, Gretchen and Casanova. They all get to move on and can leave the runway. Backstage, they all decide Michael C. must be in the bottom. Did they see his dress?

First up, Michael D. Michael Kors thinks he went from bridesmaid to bat mitzvah. Heidi think it looked better before. Oh yeah, he screwed the pooch on this one.

Christopher is next. Michael likes what he did with the bias at the waist, but thinks it looks like two dresses mashed together. Cynthia likes it. Nina thinks the bottom is too short.

Peach’s turn. Peach explains that she wanted to show off her model’s beautiful tattoo. It’s a terrible tattoo, Peach, egads, don’t advertise that you don’t even have taste in body art. Michael thinks the only good thing is the model’s hair and hates the Holly Hobby halter and the dinner napkins on her hips. He calls them avocado goiters, but you don’t get goiters on your hips, Michael. Heidi says it’s not good. Nina thinks the color is boring and that it looks weird and old.

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On to Mondo. Nina thinks it’s a great transformation. Heidi is amazed he took out the shine. Michael thinks it’s a hot dress on a hot girl. But everyone hates her hair. Take that, Garnier!

Valerie’s turn. Michael says the color block effect turns her into nursing-grandmother chest. Cynthia thinks the straps are Fredericks of Hollywood. Nina thinks the top makes her look too busty and the whole thing makes her look broad and short. No kidding! This dress is merciless on someone with a less than perfect body — and that’s who you were designing for, Valerie, pay attention!

Next up, Michael C. Heidi thinks it’s sexy and feminine and edgy. Michael thinks it looks expensive. Cynthia thinks it fits well and likes the length. Nina thinks it’s beautifully done. Ha! Ha, ha! Take that, Ivy! Ha! There is a part of me that thinks the judges are fawning over Michael C. because they know how awful his teammates were to him last week, but who cares? Fawn away, judges!

The judges yak about the winners. I think Michael C. is getting this, but if not him, Mondo.

On to the losers. They definitely hate Valerie’s and Michael D.’s, but I think Peach is going home. Michael is worried about her taste level, which is always a bad sign.

Oh, I love this. Backstage, Michael C. tells everyone exactly what the judges said about his dress. And the minute he leaves, Gwetchen practically has a FIT. Andy’s horrified. Ivy’s grouchy. It’s so fun! I want Michael C. to make it to the final three now, just to see Gwetchen’s eyes actually bulge out of her head and Ivy commit suicide with pinking shears.

The verdict is in. Michael C. won. Ha! He now has as many wins as Gwetchen! Ha, ha, ha! I love this. Of course, he goes backstage and Ivy sneers at him. No one congratulates him. Gretchen feels that workmanship isn’t being acknowledged, and it just makes her doubt “PR” completely. Because, of course, her taste has to be better than the judges’, right? Casanova, thankfully, is nice to him. And helpfully points out that Michael C. and Gwetchen have won EXACTLY the same number of challenges! I’m starting to love Casanova a little. Ohk and Mondo and Christopher are in.

Valerie is… in. Michael D. is… in. Peach is out. Well, we knew it was coming sooner or later. A loss for “PR,” a gain for Talbot’s. Mondo and April are sad to see Peach go. So is Tim Gunn. She takes it on the chin, and really, she has to be the most upbeat loser in “PR” history.

Holy crap, next week appears to be a couple challenge, and the hate on Michael C. continues to burn brightly. I’m fully expecting “PR: The Michael C. Crucifixion” episode any time now. Is it too soon for him to get an armed guard detail? Just saying.

Copyright 2012 by HitFix.com

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Discuss: Do you think Michael C. deserved to win?

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