Project Runway recap: Garden Variety Designs | EW.com

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Project Runway recap: Garden Variety Designs

The final four have serious trouble using flowers as inspiration, and the judges take the easy way out at decision time

Project Runway Kenley

NO SHRINKING VIOLET Kenley's attitude finally got her called out by the judges, and still she couldn't help but lash out.

(Barbara Nitke)

Project Runway

Season 5, Ep. 12 | Aired Oct 01

Where’s Andrae? There was so much crying on the runway last night that I half expected our season 2 crybaby to dance his way onto the set for old time’s sake. But instead, it was only our lovely final four who, while defending their aesthetics and calling out those of other designers, nearly flooded Manhattan Day After Tomorrow-style. (And for those of you who are wondering, “Where’s Missy?” she’s out gallivanting around the world, leaving little ol’ me to guide you all through the rest of the series. I may not be as fashion-forwarded as our usualProject Runway recapper, but I know pretty and I know ugly, and now, thanks to Tyra, I know that when pretty pretty is ugly ugly, too. So you’re in good hands.)

But for an episode that was so ripe with excitement, its conclusion was, well, pretty darn boringlicious. True, all four flower-inspired gowns were lacking in their own ways — one in the top two even featured the ever-dreaded poop train — but Heidi & Co.’s choice to defer the decision until the designers began making their Bryant Park collection was weak and not all that surprising, considering they did the same thing last season. Plus, we all know when our angular German host told the designers that this was the “closest runway show we’ve ever had to judge,” it was really code for “Kenley provides way too much good drama to be sent home.” Because, in the end, the girl certainly deserved to get sent packing.

We’ll get to the fashion later. First, let’s address what I like to call Kenley Smackdown Part Deux. Not only did Heidi scold Kenley for her snide response to the host’s criticism that her gown didn’t look elegant — “I wasn’t going for elegance, Heidi” — but Jerell, Korto, and Leanne all threw the designer under the bus when Heidi asked which contestant they thought deserved to go home. With the way the smackdown was progressing, I nearly expected Tim to come running in to bash a chair over Kenley’s head. And though Jerell, Korto, and Leanne all seem to despise the designer equally, I’m pretty sure that no one hates Kenley more than Runway’s producers. Case in point, this quote from Kenley about her upbringing, where she spent a lot of time at sea as the daughter of a tugboat captain: “I can be as loud and obnoxious as I want. I think it probably had an impact on who I am today.” Now, I think it’s pretty safe to say that those two sentences were spliced together. And while every other contestant got happy, “I’m looking for a pretty flower!” music at the Botanical Gardens — the setting for the start of this week’s challenge — the producers supplied Kenley’s search with some sort of ominous tune, as if she were preparing to pick every last flower from the earth and scream, “You need to die and go in my hair along with a silly little hat!” Despite how grating her voice is and how annoying her attitude is, you have to feel a bit sorry for Kenley for the bum producer treatment. After all, she’s just a girl who’s still high off of the self-esteem pills her parents fed her.

NEXT: Wilting flowers

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