Barbara Nitke/Lifetime
Stephan Lee
October 14, 2011 AT 06:15 AM EDT

By now, we know that nine Project Runway designers showed their collections at New York’s Spring 2012 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. I haven’t peeked at those final runway photos yet — I want to preserve the illusion that this last challenge truly decides whether or not their Fashion Week dreams come true. Sure, it’s still important who wins, because only three designers will ultimately be in contention to win the competition, but it’s odd pretending that whoever is eliminated tonight will have their Fashion Week hopes dashed.

For the final challenge before they go home to create full lines, the five remaining designers will have to find inspiration on Governors Island, which is off the southern tip of Manhattan. If the Real Housewives of New York City are to be believed, all you’ll find there are a bunch of picnic tables and spilled champagne. But as it turns out, Governors Island is a treasure trove of inspiration: Laura soon discovers that it’s the Circle Capital of the World (there are circles literally everywhere she looks!); Anya and Kimberly look to the Mark di Suvero sculptures; Joshua is inspired by the proximity of “artillerary” and stained glass — that’s also an appropriate metaphor for his fragile ego — and in keeping with his snooty persona, Viktor is only thinking about Manhattan, even though he just rode a ferry and a golf cart to leave it.

Back at Parsons, Tim brings out the dreaded button bag — the designers will take turns choosing an eliminated competitor to be his or her assistant on this challenge. I can’t say that I felt much for Bryce before he was auf’d, but he’s pretty amazing as Josh’s assistant. He does a nice job keeping Josh’s brattiness in check. Josh acts as though someone stole the $20,000 he deserved for making a surprisingly understated (for him) yet unremarkable orange dress last episode, and Bryce aptly points out that Josh gets mad at whoever beats him. Also, he successfully talks Josh out of creating a plastic stained glass design, which sounded like a terrible idea.

I’m actually happy to see our favorite FashionDroid, Olivier, return for some comic relief. He’s still refreshingly inhuman as he drones tonelessly about growing to like Viktor. Of course, Olivier doesn’t play well with others and takes issue with assisting Viktor for nothing in return, likening the situation to slavery. Maybe it’s not slavery, but you could argue that it’s indentured servitude — labor in exchange for screentime.

NEXT: Has anyone noticed that Josh likes to aggressively accuse others of being aggressive?

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