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Look, Lifetime. It's great that you have this little companion show to Project Runway that no one's watching. Well, it's not great, really, but what does it hurt? Models Of The Runway is like the tiny insignificant tickbird that sits on the back of the Project Runway rhinoceros—or some other metaphor that makes sense and (preferably) involves zoo animals. But when Models Of The Runway starts to affect Project Runway, that just goes against the natural order of things. Tonight's episode was just wrong—like watching a tickbird poke out the brain of the mighty rhino with its sharp little beak, until the lobotomized rhino could only stare off into space like a dead-eyed zombie.

And it's not just that the designers had to make an outfit for their models. The whole "your model is now your client!" thing has been a Project Runway trope since season one's wedding gown challenge—and it can be highly enjoyable depending on kind of outfit the designers have to make for their models. But that's just the problem with tonight's "Your model is now your client!" Ambien challenge. There was no kind of outfit, besides "whatever the model wants to make her look good." "Make an eye-catching outfit for your model to wear to an industry party"? How about an oversized t-shirt that just says "UGH"?

So, yeah, tonight's episode was basically an hour-long set up for the rooftop industry party where the models, excuse me, Models Of The Runway got to mingle (and hopefully impress! fingers crossed!!) such fashion luminaries as Christian Audigier, the designer of Ed Hardy. Bold move to set up that industry event on a rooftop, Lifetime. How many guard rails did you have to put up to insure that the models wouldn't hurl themselves over the sides once they glimpsed the orange-spray-tanned horror that is their industry?


But I digress. The main problem with this challenge, aside from the fact that "Make a look for the model that you make a look for every week" isn't a challenge but just a bare-bones description of the show, is that the models were dreadfully boring. Most of them didn't have any ideas short of "I like purple." That's a problem, because the terrible, unreasonable, childish, hard-to-manage models were supposed to clash with (at least some of) the designers, thus providing dramatic conflict that would compel the audience to keep watching the show. I shouldn't have to tell you this, Lifetime. Think of it this way: Would anyone watch No One Would Tell if it was a movie about how Fred Savage and Candace Cameron are just a really nice high school couple with no problems? No. They watch it because Fred Savage is a domestic abuser who goes too far, and Candace Cameron ends up dead, and they want to see him brought to justice through the perseverance of her mother, Michelle Phillips. (Also because of the cheesy theme song "No One Would Tell." ) It's called conflict. (And kitsch.)  You need it to keep people interested.

You know what's not interesting? Watching a prom runway show—which is basically what this episode delivered because evidently models want mini prom dresses: There was Christopher's Doublemint gum commercial prom dress; Shirin's early-90s royal blue prom dress; R'amon's Sex & The City flower prom dress; Nicolas' edgy white satin prom dress; Louise's avant-garde big collar prom dress; Johnny's boring plum bridesmaid/prom (it's a fine line) dress; Lucas's tacky taffeta Rockabilly prom dress; and Qristyl's Contempo Casuals black prom dress. Of these, the (Michael Kors and Nina Garcia-free!) judges found Qristyl's to be the most uninspired take on a thoroughly uninspired challenge.

Still, there were some notable exceptions to the prom mini rule: namely Althea (aka Brooke Hogan)'s cool, bubble-skirt-ed, shrunken-blazer-ed take on the suit; Epperson's interesting liquid rags dress (aka Spray On Dress); and Carol-Hannah's whatever-that-was. (Personally, I thought Irina's look was better than Carol-Hannah's. I lliked the silhouette of Carol-Hannah's, but the jewel tone top? And the jacquard skirt? And a black cummerbund thing? All together?  As a person from the South, I think it just looked kinda busy, y'all. ) In the end, Brooke Hogan's suit won, and I'm sure her model totally rocked that look at the industry party. If only there was a way to see what happens to the models of the runway when they're not on the runway. Cause when you think about it, that's really what Project Runway is all about, you know?


Grade: C

Stray Observations:

—"We need to weed out the talentless people." Tell me about it, Nicolas. By the way, who does he look like, besides a flannel-less grunge drummer?


—"Do you feel like you have the kitty cat inside you?" Oh, Heidi. Only your pin-voice and German accent can pull off a line like that.

—Heidi really is boob-obsessed, though. I didn't even notice that model's apparent saggage.

—Aww, Epperson cried. And has a family. Thank you, Top three/Bottom three edit for showing us his softer side.


—Seriously: Where is Michael Kors?