'Project Runway': Drag queen challenge

New guest blogger Ishita Singh writes about Project Runway:

Carla's on vacation, so I'm filling in for her tonight. In case you missed last week's show, here's a quick recap: The designers paired off to create a look for Brooke Shield's character on ABC's "Lipstick Jungle." Keith won the challenge, and Kelli was out.

The show starts with the designers' reactions to last week's judging. Korto is surprised that Kelli is out (Michael Kors called her outfit "slutty, slutty, slutty" – was there even a doubt that she was leaving?) and Blayne and Joe comment on Keith's aesthetic, or lack thereof.

Heidi Klum brings out a guest to introduce this week's challenge. As promised, it is Season 4's Chris March, dressed like an operatic valkyrie, with disco balls covering his chest and a ridiculously large viking hat. Chris explains that the designers will have to create an outfit for a drag queen and brings out 11 lovely ladies so that the designers can choose their models. His one piece of advice? "Be as theatrical and over-the-top with your designs as you want to be."

Keith won last week's challenge, so he gets to pick his model first, and he chooses Sherry Vine because she has great legs. Blayne picks Miss Understood, no doubt because she has bright pink hair and is wearing Kermit the Frog in sequins.

After everyone else picks their gals, they head to the workroom. Tim Gunn warns the designers that they must reflect the unique personalities of each queen with the looks that they create. He, too, tells the designers to go "theatrical and over-the-top." He also tells them that their designs will be auctioned off to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.


The designers meet with their clients briefly. Suede, who’s working with Hedda Lettuce, wants to make something that’s shiny and glamorous, yet tasteful. Good luck. And Stella, working with Louisa Verde, wants to grommet everything. What else is new?

(Ed. note: She didn't say a thing about leather this episode! That's either some serious restraint or excellent editing.)


Leanne wants to create something “Jetsons, but fashion-forward” for Sharon Needles (interestingly enough, Suede’s design is reminiscent of “The Flintstones”), and Joe wants to design a retro catsuit for the “southern Ann Margaret” style of Varla Jean Merman. Doesn’t make sense to me, but it’s still early.

The trip to Mood is pretty ho-hum, just a lot of sequins

(Ed. note: In sum total, still less than what was on Miss Understood's Kermit outfit)

, and Tim announces when they get back that the winner of this week’s challenge has immunity. Game on!

Everyone seems a little tentative initially, except Terri, who has designed some drag stuff before, she says. Blayne decides his drag name would be “Neonlicious.” It’s fitting because his skin is so orange that it actually is neon. Everyone is over the “licious” at this point – it’s pretty clear that it will not become a phenomenon like last season’s “fierce.”

The next morning, Suede tells us that he had a dream where his dead grandfather tells him to put seeds on his dress. Weird.

(Ed. note: He also gets a little misty-eyed when discussing his grandfather. Ohhh-kay.)

He decides to put Bibb lettuce leaves on the gloves of his outfit, apt for Hedda Lettuce. Keith is yet again working with fringe for Shelly Vine, and Kenley says she’s not sure how long he’ll last with swatches.

The drag queens come in sans makeup and costumes for their fitting and are unrecognizable. The collar on Jerell’s “ocean-themed” dress is not a hit with his client LeMAY and looks a little watered down for someone as aesthetically outrageous as Jerell. Varla Jean Merman suggests a nautical theme to Joe for his Elvis-y pantsuit, which comes in a fantastic shade of pink.

Hedda Lettuce complains that she looks like Godzilla in Suede’s outfit and says that maybe Suede got a little lazy in creating gloves instead of sleeves. That statement elicits an “Oh, no, she didn’t” from Terri, and earns Hedda the nickname “soggy lettuce.”

(Ed. note: Hee! How did I miss this bit last night?)

Chris March makes the rounds with Tim today, and in a surprise to absolutely no one, says that he likes the “sculptural” flames on Korto’s fire-inspired outfit for Sweetie and suggests that Korto design a removable skirt. Blayne has wings coming out of his outfit for Miss Understood, which Tim describes as a “pterodactyl out of a gay Jurassic Park.” Blayne thinks that’s the “greatest compliment he can get.” And that’s why I can’t wait for him to leave.

(Ed. note: Snort!)

Tim and Chris love Joe’s work, tell Keith he has time issues yet again, and Daniel admits he’s unconcerned about Tim’s criticisms. Famous last words? He then asks Blayne to try on his neon orange and yellow gown for Annida Greenkard, which Blayne describes as “just an evening dress versus a drag queen dress.” It’s not the first time Daniel completely misses the point of the challenge – remember that


The next morning, Tim tells the designers that they have an hour to send their models to hair and makeup, in which Suede and Hedda Lettuce resolve their issues

(Ed. note: Hedda goes for the ultra-flirtatious way of resolving the issue, which never hurt anyone)

, and Sherry Vine tells Keith she wants more fringe. Really. After last-minute fittings, it’s runway time!

The guest judge this week is drag’s biggest queen, Ru Paul, looking fabulous as always.

(Ed. note: I loved that wig!)

Kenley’s first down the runway, and describes the dress she made for Farrah Moans as “liquid silver.” It’s pretty much what any Marilyn Monroe wannabe wears on Halloween. Next is Blayne, whose wings have drooped. He’s worried about the judges docking him for poor construction. I’d worry about the fact that your outfit HAS WINGS.

Joe’s nautical-themed outfit for Varla Jean Merman looks great. He says it’s “Ann Margaret on the Love Boat.” Suede is up next, and though she didn’t like the outfit initially, Hedda Lettuce really works it when she’s onstage.

(Ed. note: I thought it was eerily similar to what she first came in wearing. Short, green, flouncy ... where's the inspiration?)

Terri has created a samurai outfit for Acid Betty, who is huge, by the way, and looks a little terrifying coming down the runway. Jerell’s outfit for LeMAY is pretty toned down, and Korto’s skirt for Sweetie is a big hit. Keith’s fringe for Sherry Vine looks like toilet paper. Again. Annida Greenkard looks unremarkable in Daniel’s cha-cha dress, and Louisa Verde looks blah in a tartan and spandex creation by Stella. I do like Leanne’s Jetsons-inspired outfit for Sharon Needles – the blue shoes are a great touch! You can see everyone’s designs


Korto, Terri and Joe are the top three, and Daniel, Keith and Jerell are the bottom three. The judges love Terri’s “cross between between KISS, heavy-metal band, and Mahogany,” as Nina Garcia says, and predictably hate Keith’s messy fringe. Ru Paul commends Joe on “hiding the candy” admirably in his pink pantsuit


(Ed. note: Belts were meant to be functional!)


, and Michael Kors is surprised that Jerell created something “normal” for this challenge. I am, too.

Michael thinks that Korto’s outfit, with the removable skirt, has drama and exuberance, and the judges berate Daniel for yet again not getting the challenge. He thinks sequins are “too gaudy” for drag – at this point, is there any question he’s going home?

The designers leave and the judges discuss. Ru Paul thinks Terri’s outfit was like a “Gene Simmons and Diana Ross love child,” which I guess is a good thing. Heidi thinks Korto is very innovative, and Michael says that Keith is not paying enough attention to the body, just manipulating fabric. Jerell’s outfit is a yawn for Heidi (never thought I’d hear that!), and the judges note that Daniel isn’t open to criticism.

Joe wins the challenge, and Terri and Korto are safe. Jerell is also safe, and though Keith sweats it out, Daniel is in fact out. He assures us all before he leaves that he does have a “high taste level,” and somewhere in midtown Manhattan, Kenley is cracking up.

Next week, the challenge seems to involve construction wear, and Season 3 finalist Laura Bennett is a guest judge.

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