It's the last elimination on 'The Fashion Show' before the designers get to create their final collection. Who is out? Or rather, how psychic am I?
But first, let's get to the Mini Challenge. It's all about draping and the designers are shown a dress made from 2 yards of fabric and 6 pins. They will get 12 pins and 20 minutes to make something just as fabulous. Unfortunately, Johnny mistakes twisting for draping and James Paul does bunching. Daniella and Anna are the most lovely from the draping standpoint, especially given that Reco's would require a corset to hold the structure together. Daniella takes the win and gets a "special advantage" for the next challenge.
The Elimination Challenge brings gasps of pure joy from the designers as Isaac utters the words they've longed to hear: "evening gown." However, look a bit intimidated as he follows it up with $30,000 of Swarovski crystals. With Kelly at the fabric store, they realize they are about to be thrown a curveball. In true Project Runway style, she announces a special guest and out skips Haven, followed by Angel, Keith, Andrew and Merlin. Danielle gets first dibs on selecting her helper and she choses Haven to have a friend at her side. Reco picks Andrew just because "he's nice to look at", while Anna picks Keith, James Paul picks Merlin and Johnny manages a sottish "Um…yeah" when he gets Angel.
When Isaac comes by mid-work day and notes that Johnny is working with Angel, Johnny dryly says "by process of elimination" – but there is only room for one disdainful designer here! Isaac eyeballs him and says "that's nice" in a tone that implies the exact opposite. Johnny tries to back pedal, adding that he would have chosen her anyway, but Isaac won't even bother making eye contact as he snides back "Too late, too late!" God, I love Isaac.
The final gowns are really telling of each designer. Anna presents a gorgeous silhouette in a bold floral print, showing just enough leg and hiding just enough sparkle to make it fresh and sophisticated. Reco's gown pushes at the boundaries of taste in the shortness of the opaque part of the skirt, but the floor length sheer panels have such dramatic movement and the audacious color choices make it edgy rather than trashy. Daniella's gown has an inspired cut out back and neckline that drapes, laden with crystal, just to the collarbone, looking modern and youthful – finally fulfilling her personal vision. James Paul, on the other hand, gets so bogged down in his three-dimensional concept that he forgets how to blend fabric tastefully on the body. Or, as the judges put it, he "tortured velvet" – and if "tortured velvet" isn't the perfect name for a goth band, I don't know what is!
Lastly, there's Johnny. Who took the biggest risk by not taking a risk at all. Some of you may recall that last week, I noted that his dress reminded me of Jean Paul Gaultier's fall 2008 show. The week before that, the judges wondered if his homage to Versace was just a little too on the money. Well, this week he turned out a near exact replica of the Lanvin leopard print gown Maggie Gyllenhaal wore to the 2009 Golden Globes. What's amazing is that during the construction, he gleefully described the Lanvin dress as his inspiration, but when the judges call him on plagiarism he claims it must have been coincidence. Even more outrageous, he tells his fellow designers that Angel deceived him by not telling him that his dress looked like Lanvin, placing all the blame on her shoulders. Seriously. Thank goodness Reco is there to say what I would want to, calling Johnny on his lies and pointing out how often he's bragged about the quality of his knock-offs.
And in the end, the judges agree that being unoriginal is a sin greater than creating ugly fashion. James Paul is safe and Johnny is sent packing – defending himself the whole way no less. He does realize there were cameras on him the whole time, right? Daniella takes a win that is less dramatic than his loss, but allows her to lead Anna, Reco and James Paul to the final four and the creation of their fashion collections.
Who do you think will be the big winner? Did you laugh when Johnny smugly announced "I'm an original. No one can do what I do" tonight? Who's collection do you most want to see?