We're three episodes into this season of Project Runway, and I'm beginning to notice a pattern (besides the weirdo genocide discussed in last week's re-cap). Has all the life been drained out of this show, or is it always this terminally boring so early on? Just kidding. It's obvious what's happened to this show: the humans who used to make it got tired, so someone took all the information about Project Runway, fed it into one of those huge, olde-tyme, gymnasium-size computers, and let the computer be in charge of the new season. Unfortunately, computers can't feel, or get mad, or produce quality reality television, and so now here we are stuck with this lifeless beige simulcrum of Project Runway.


Only in a lifeless, olde-tyme-computer-generated version of Project Runway would we be three episodes in and still not have seen the designers use alternative materials to make clothes; only in that kind of machine-produced Project Runway would a sniveling pile of useless Play-Doh like Mitchell get more screen time than any other designer. This season is so far so boring that R'amon told the camera "I know I'm a strong personality," and it was left in! With absolutely no evidence to back up that assertion besides the fact that he wears Kanye glasses sometimes! And that he hates Mitchell! (but everyone hates Mitchell)  Well, it's a good thing R'amon knows he's a strong personality, because no one else watching this show does. Apparently, the computer just searches the footage for the phrase "strong personality" and edits it in whenever it pops up.

You want to know why Michael Kors wasn't in the past two episodes? He probably took one look at the descriptions of the upcoming challenges, went to the beach, and walked into the ocean. When Heidi "hinted" that the designers were heading for a typical California place that required sunscreen (Hmmm…the Hollywood sign? Lisa Rinna's tanning bed? Ooh, ooh, the exercise yard of the LA County jail?), and then they showed all the designers trudging through the sand to get to Tim Gunn's beach blanket bingo set-up by the ocean, I definitely hoped that all the designers would just keep walking into the water until they couldn't walk any more.

But I digress. Tonight's challenge was to make a "fun and fashionable surf-wear look" in teams of two without making the entire viewing audience fall asleep. It didn't really work—there was lots of talk about macrame, fucking macrame!—until Tim popped into the workroom to deliver a much needed PR twist/slap on the face of the sleeping viewers: the teams also had to make a second, avant garde look. So…an avant garde surf wear ensemble? Sure. Does that even make sense? I mean, I'm sure the mega-computer that generated this episode thinks in its miles of cold, blinking switchboards that, yes, "avant garde surf wear" makes sense, but come on. To living human beings, no it doesn't.


And so, that's probably why the majority of the teams turned out confused, bulbous evening gowns for their avant garde looks—there was Johnny (aka Meth Cryer) & Irina's poo-brown, woven-top Ursula-from-The Little Mermaid-esque gown; there was Logan & Christopher's pile of tulle, which actually came pretty close to looking like "avant garde surf wear" because the top of the gown looked like a discarded Body Glove wet suit; There was Shirin & Carol Hannah's (well-put-together) mountain of turquoise taffeta; and then there was Louise & Althea's zipper-bodiced flamenco prom dress. The only three who didn't do evening gowns were Epperson & Qrystal, who went for a hideous, poofy bathing suit cover-up; Nicolas & Gordana, who instead did an approximation of "Frederick's of Hollywood avant-garde"; and Mitchell & R'amon, who actually came the closest to "avant-garde surf wear" with R'amon's neon green neoprene bubble mini dress.

Naturally, R'amon was the winner, if only for his ability to sartorially interpret the completely nonsensical parameters of the challenge.  Thankfully, Mitchell was (finally) eliminated after Heidi discovered that, whoops!, he can't actually make clothes, and is terminally lazy. And it only took the judges three challenges to realize this! Somebody please re-boot the olde-tyme computer that's making this show before next week.

Grade: B-

Stray Observations:

—Another way you can tell this season is being generated by a non-human: the episode titles. Last week's was called "We Expect Fashion" when all they expected was A Pea In The Pod. This week's is "Rumble On The Runway." What 'rumble' of any kind was there on the runway this episode? Are they talking about Epperson & Qrystal's low-key bickering? Heidi's pin-voiced interrogation of Mitchell?


—Everyone liked that Macrame (fucking Macrame!) detail on the back of Johnny & Irina's surfwear look? Really? No one thought it looked like she accidentally snagged her t-shirt on a Dreamcatcher?

—Aww. Max Azria thinks that Mitchell is a nice guy. (If you missed that, just read the unnecessary subtitles.) He's also responsible for those terrible shiny bandage dresses.

—Yea! Mitchell's gone!

—Tim Gunn + Beach = Wrong