'Project Runway' Exit Q&A

'Project Runway' Exit Q&A: Kelli Martin

Season 5's fifth auf'ed designer defends her design for Brooke Shields, regrets picking Daniel as a partner, and plans to take over the world

Project Runway | KELLI MARTIN ''I'm just going to continue to build my empire and take over the world, like I planned from birth!''
Image credit: Barbara Nitke
KELLI MARTIN ''I'm just going to continue to build my empire and take over the world, like I planned from birth!''

Sometimes Project Runway contestants are so glib after being auf'ed, but not Kelli Martin. She went home on Wednesday night's show for creating a three-piece, partially leopard-print outfit that Michael Kors called ''slutty, slutty, slutty,'' but she's still got a lot of fire in her and was more than happy to trash what she calls Blayne and Leanne's ''17-year-old juniors outfit.'' Ouch. She phoned EW and told us she wishes she would have picked Stella instead of Daniel, who should have won the challenge, and lots more.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling about how everything transpired? You said last night at the end of the episode that you were angry. Are you still feeling that way?
KELLI MARTIN: I'm slightly angry because I feel like I was shortchanged, but to be honest, I was over it, for the most part, the next day. I tried out for the show on a whim, so anything was great publicity. I'm definitely glad I did it, and, you know, I have no regrets at all.

The outfit went, when you pitched it, from being a one-piece to a two-piece. What happened there?
On the show, I did mention that if the whole full-length dress was too much, I could always cut it in half and then just have a little top and a pencil skirt — same idea but not as much leopard print. The jacket was pitched, as well. The jacket was going to go over the dress initially. She could take it off to transition into night. So when I did pitch cutting the dress into two pieces, she seemed to like that idea, so that's what I went with.

Do you think having Brooke Shields tell you what she liked in that meeting made you too stuck on it and not be flexible when you realized it wasn't working?
Right, but I pitched her the dress, and I went in with the option of making it two pieces, so I just kind of wanted to see which one she was more, you know, attracted to. Once that was kind of set in stone, I knew I could not stray from that because the judges would kill me. ''That's not what you pitched!'' So once I got the idea she wanted — and I was chosen as the leader — I knew I had to run with that because she chose me obviously for a reason.

NEXT PAGE: ''I think [Daniel] knew that my ass would be on the line and not his and kind of just didn't care.''

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