Missy Schwartz
February 18, 2010 AT 08:00 PM EST

Major spoiler alert here, friends. If you do not want to know about the Project Runway finale, which taped last Friday here in NYC, then read no further. Consider yourself warned.

Okay. So at said finale taping (pictured), 10 designers showed collections. No, that’s not a typo. Ten. Really. As in one more than nine and one less than 11. Obviously, since only five episodes had aired by the time Fashion Week rolled around, Lifetime did not want to spoil, oh, two-thirds of the season by only allowing three finalists (and maybe a decoy or two) to present in the tents. So lest they repeat the major downer that was last year’s finale show — when three collections marched down the catwalk anonymously — the network gave 10 designers a chance to shine.

That was odd enough. I was there (sitting next to Carol Hannah, lucky me!) and had a helluva time trying to keep track of 100-plus looks. It was sorta overwhelming. And not just for me, apparently. Somewhere around the seventh collection, a woman two seats down from me shook her head and said she was “numb.” Of course, there’s also the bigger issue of diluting the honor of the Bryant Park experience by allowing so many contestants to take their bow in front of the crowd.

But the really weird thing? As of last Friday, 11 designers, not 10, were left in the lineup. And here’s where I issue another spoiler alert. (Flee! Flee, all ye spoiler-averse!) Everyone still standing in the competition on February 12 showed a line except Maya. I was shocked. Confused. I like Maya and think she’s got real chops. So what did her glaring absence mean? The obvious answer was that she would be kicked off on tonight’s episode. But the idea that Janeane (who was among the anointed 10) outlasted Maya made me want to weep. Just like Janeane!

We’ll find out tonight if Maya committed a fashion blunder major enough to get auf’d. As for the final collections themselves, I was most impressed by Jay, Mila, and Anthony. (I especially love this.) The blogosphere is pretty keen on Seth Aaron, but I’m mixed on him—especially due to stuff like this. (Also: He said he was inspired by German and Russian military from the 1940s. So… Hitler and Stalin? Tell me that’s not what he meant.) Sadly, I was underwhelmed by Amy, whom I’m enjoying so very much on the show. This humpback turtle dress is just tragique. And for this alone, Jonathan should have been ejected from the tents immediately.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Are 10 finalists just about six too many? And, to paraphrase Santino Rice by way of Tim Gunn, What happened to Maya? Be sure to check back here tomorrow morning for my recap of tonight’s show.

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