Project Runway Recap: Clocked Out

A word of warning to all future Project Runway contestants: Make a bland, dumpy skirt once, shame on you. Make a bland, dumpy skirt twice, extra shame on you. Make a bland, dumpy skirt three times, then prepare to be air-kissed by Heidi Klum, because you’re totally getting auf’d.

That was the harsh truth learned this week by hapless Becky, who, after whipping up a trio of prototypes of her unexciting mini, was ultimately dissed by Nina Garcia for delivering a garment with “no design whatsoever.” To make matters worse, she chose to create said frock in an unfortunate print that failed in its attempt to evoke the rapid passage of time for today’s harried woman. Noting Kimberly’s decision to ignore the homemade fabric created by Team Nuts & Bolts, Michael Kors summed it up with this hilarious bon mot: “Maybe Kimberly was smart to realize that not a lot of women want to have [the word] ‘cancelled’ on their crotch.” And nope, the presence of the adjective “delayed” didn’t help matters, either.

But let’s go back to the very beginning, moments before Joshua decided to unbutton his shirt down to the South Pole and give us all the snapshot of his chestscape that none of us actually requested. Our designers divvied up into two groups of five, then were asked to use HP Intel technology to create three original textile patterns (which had to be used in a minimum of three of the five looks the team would present) as well as a video installation that would serve as the backdrop to their runway shows. Bert, naturally, mumbled under his breath when he realized he’d have to interact with fellow Earthlings, and then fabulous alien person Betsey Johnson dropped by to show off her cartwheel skills and encourage the teams to be cooperative and do away with any notions of ‘me! me! me!’

This obviously turned out to be foreshadowing of a screaming hissy fit. Team Chaos (Anya, Viktor, Bryce, Anthony, and Olivier) settled on an ink-blot test theme, joined arms, and skipped off to Mood. But Team Nuts & Bolts (Joshua, Laura, Bert, Becky, and Kimberly) couldn’t even agree on a theme for their fabric patterns. Would it be amoebas, sea creatures, or maybe the circus? Suddenly, Joshua was getting genuinely excited about creating female versions of the Village People because he’s apparently addicted to having Nina Garcia question his taste level. No, wait, it would have to be clocks. “Clocks?” said Laura, looking ready to have a case of the voms. “Really? What is that?”

In the end, though, timepieces trumped cowboys and construction workers, but when Bert’s printer malfunctioned and he couldn’t show his teammates his ugly sketch of an old-fashioned pocket watch, they voted on the remaining textile patterns without taking his into consideration. And thus began a brouhaha of ridiculous proportions. “So much for my friggin clocks,” Bert mumbled under his breath, in his standard-operating “cranky old man who wants to throw shade without a direct confrontation” mode. Joshua, however, reacted as if the Piperlime Accessory Wall had been used in a way that was somehow less than thoughtful. “I will not have it!” Joshua screamed, then demanded Bert back away (as if Bert’s proximity somehow represented a real physical menace). When Bert played dumb and pretended he hadn’t dropped a “friggin” and a “f******” into his grumble, Joshua exploded into a high stakes game of Mad Libs. “Your WHAT clocks?” he seethed, his angular eyebrows vibrating with rage. “Your WHAT clocks?” In the end, Laura had to take Joshua out for a walk, and by day’s end, he apologized to Bert, his entire team, and everyone in the work room for his “insanity.” The gesture seemed genuine to me, but sourpuss Bert took to the confessional to question Joshua’s motives and insist the apology should’ve occurred one-on-one in private.

But the Nuts & Bolts discord didn’t end there. Becky took offense when she found Laura discussing her work with team-challenge rival Anya. “Such a plain skirt, in that fabric, it might read math teacher,” Laura told Becky, which made Becky think her teammate was preparing to throw her under the bus. No, Becky, throwing you under the bus would’ve been giving you the math teacher note on the runway; telling you your garment is a mess early on Day 2 is actually being helpful.

Tim Gunn then dropped by the workroom, and while his soothing words and expressions of concern were perhaps a little too late to save Team Nuts & Bolts, it still gave us an opportunity for a Project Runway first: Tim instructing the discordant quintet to join hands in an effort to reach some sense of cohesion.

And now for some notes from the runway show…

* I’ve got to admit I was happy Olivier didn’t take home top prize for what Michael Kors called one of the strongest tailored pieces he’s seen in Project Runway history. I guess the cut of the shoulders and chest were a magical fit, but that flared bottom kind of widened his model’s midsection, did it not?

* That said, I’d have given the win to Viktor: His sheer-topped black gown with muted cow pattern was chic and expensive-looking, and the train moved with the ferocity of Catwoman’s whip as it came down the runway. Anya’s print minidress was certainly cute and wearable, but I thought the degree of difficulty was perhaps a bit low to earn immunity.

* Bryce was really lucky to be on the winning team this week. His loose red blouse sat so sadly on his model’s frame that it looked like it had blown in from the street and accidentally attached itself to her torso. To quote La Kors about the way Bryce’s look fit into the collection, it was as if “urban sophistication went to the mall.”

* Who else died laughing when Michael referred to Nina as “madam here” when he noted why Team Chaos probably felt the need to work some color into their collection.

* I also got a chuckle at Bert declaring his mid-calf dress “pretty much perfect” as Anya whispered “the length is terrible.” (For the record, I’m with Anya on this one.)

* I can’t be the only one who didn’t feel any suspense during the judges’ deliberations, right? I mean, Joshua’s jacket was a little overworked, but there was no way it was getting him auf’d over Becky, no matter how hateful his outburst. (I mean, her best argument on her own behalf was that she sewed three versions of her ho-him skirt and two versions of her dreary tank.) Plus, if Joshua had been going home, then why did the producers devote an entire segment to helping us understand Joshua’s tantrum occurred around the second anniversary of his mother’s death? I’ll admit his tearful confession about missing so many family milestones — and hoping his sacrifice was worth it — put a little lump in my throat. Hey, I’m a mama’s boy myself, so it’s allowed!

* Michael also nailed it when he said N&B’s video installation looked like footage from the morning after a “hooker convention.”

What did you think of this week’s Runway? Did Anya deserve the win? Did the right person go home? Was Joshua’s tantrum unforgivable, or did you feel a little sympathy for him when he explained the core reason for his outburst? Sound off in the comments, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Reena says:

    Really thought Viktor should have won this one LOVED his dress and the flow I also liked that team chaos didnt cross that line of it being a cow print…their designs were chic and modern and I would wear all of them even Bryce’s shirt even though it wasnt the best the back of it was HOT! i also liked that they incorporated the square shape to the back of some of the designs…now as for team nuts & bolts I am very back and fourth about Joshua as good as (some not all) of his designs have been each week I dislike him more and more his I am better than you attitude is just getting on my nerves he does over style each week and i am starting to question his taste..i felt back for becky but it was not shocker that she went home…both Joshua and Bert need to learn how to start working with others cause if you want to be a designer you are going to need a whole team of people to help you and seeing their attitudes each week isnt going to make someone want to work with them…on another note I am excited from the previews for next week’s episode should be interesting to see what happens…oh and did anyone else laugh as hard as i did when laura stated if betsy johnson and oscar de la renta had a love child it would be me quote

    • Lucille says:

      Anya won not just because of her garment but also for the print and the video background which were all part of the task

    • Joseph says:

      Regarding the winners ,
      It is true that the jacket was sharp, but those pants had a horrible fit. if Oliver had done a better pant fit, with the jacket and used a print as a top I would have given him this win. But in the end he made one piece well that did not work at all well with the print.
      I agree with you about Anya , if this had only been about the clothes then this should have gone to Viktor. The use of the print by Viktor was so powerful and for me the outfit by Anya looked forced.

      • jj says:

        While I loved Viktor’s dress, what most impressed me about Anya’s look was that she incorporated two different prints SEAMLESSLY. I had to look twice to realize that it WAS two prints. I’m not a huge print person and I would love to wear that dress. But I’m a big fan of her aesthetic, in general. She’s been in my top three every week pretty much, even though the judges kept putting her in the middle.

  2. Ana says:

    Michael, I just love your recaps. And I love Michael Kors comments as well, they always make me laugh.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Victor didn’t have a cow print on his dress, it was a Rorschach test. He mentioned he had to be careful not to get into cow print territory, but it didn’t look cow to me at all.

  4. Renee says:

    The flaring on Oliv(i)er’s blazer is a peplum, and it’s meant to show off the waist. I didn’t think it fit that well, and would have given the win to Victor as well, but since the judging seems to be one week late (last week, if the judges really liked Anya’s creation so much she should have won), this is par for Project Runway.

    Josh’s meltdown on the anniversary of his mother’s birthday is understandable, but the drama rhymes with witch queen had too many bullying moments before this to get any sympathy. Darling, you are not all that, as Tim Gunn tried to point out, and you ended up almost going home for good reason. Good thing Becky blew it on her design, and complained that nobody helped her make a better outfit. It was a mercy auf.

    • kate says:

      the more episodes i watch, the more i can’t tell whether olivier can’t make flattering clothes for women, or whether his model just looks bad in clothes. this happens almost every week with him. no matter what, his model’s boobs look frakkin weird. i don’t understand it.

      also, i am SOOOOOO glad bryce was on the winning team because his look was, by a longshot, the absolute weakest. i love him (i don’t really know why) so i was SO SO glad.

      i also thought laura was going to crap her panties when anthony ryan picked anya over her. it made me giggle that he and josh switched fruit flies for the week.

  5. cat says:

    Joshua is insufferable. Fast forwarding every time his face is on, is becoming unworkable. Last night I solved my problem. I turned off Project Runway. I was hoping I could rejoin the program next week, but I saw in your journal Betsy went home. I will check your website and once Josh is gone, I probably will come back because I really like the rest of the characters.

    • debi says:

      i did the same- josh is making the show unwatchable to me…more childish than my young daughters! there are really no stand out designers this year…pretty boring cast of characters on the whole.

    • Edward says:

      John and Burt are both completely unwatchable at this point. I watched the entire episode, but fast-forwarded through much of Joshua’s drama. He is more of a caricature of a fashion designer than actually one. As the judges say, he is a bully. Hope he goes soon.

  6. Bunny says:

    I also thought Viktor should have taken home the win; there was a lot of serious work and thought that went into that design and it moved better than anything else that went down the runway. Joshua reminds me of so many prior headstrong designers that have been on Project Runway and he, hopefully much like them, will not make it to the final 3 or 4 this season.

    But where oh where would we all be without La Kors comments each and every week?!?! Priceless.

  7. stevenjaba says:

    I’m not buying anything Joshua is selling. I don’t believe his mourning-over-Mom act. It’s been 2 years, why does he feel the need to do it NOW, while on TV? Even if it’s real, it’s no excuse for bullying ppl.

    • susela says:

      It was her birthday. It’s perfectly natural that he would remember her and wish that she were there to celebrate. And two years is not a long time when it’s your mom.

      • Judy says:

        True, it was her birthday. But expressing your sadness by bullying other people is not okay.

        • CA says:

          Agreed. I think that is what disturbs me the most about Joshua. He isn’t just getting angry or frustrated — he bullies people and it’s such an unattractive quality in any person. And equally disturbing is that he thinks its ok to be like that (he one apology notwithstanding). Where is the charming, fun guy we met in the first episode?!

          • Gretchen says:

            Yeah, I agree. He seemed to be making excuses for his bullying…and then to dramatically apologize to the entire room was just another chance for Josh to point the spotlight at himself.

            I have seen nothing interesting from him and bullies should not be rewarded with wins and staying on. He is abusive and disgusting and his ego is not backed up with much talent at all. And what’s with the comb-over greasy hair? Yuck.

            It’s too bad they don’t have a fan unfavorite, he needs to be told flat out that his attitude is beyond horrid and infantile.

          • KevyB says:

            All that was just an excuse made after the fact. It’s painfully obvious that Joshua wants it HIS way all the time. The second he realized he wasn’t team leader, he was pissed and he just sat in wait until the first chance he got to take it out on Bert or Becky. He didn’t listen to anybody’s suggestions before that point and then just left all the decisions to everybody else. He’s useless.

    • Marla says:

      The problem with the Mom’s birthday excuse is that his antics this week weren’t NEW behavior. It’s not like anyone went, “Hey – what’s up with Josh? This mean, rude, demanding, entitled hysterial drama queen stuff is SO unlike him!”

      No, it was well rehearsed crocdile tears for the camera and a big public apology that would have made bette davis proud in its insincerity. He’s just a good old fashioned douchebag.

    • bob says:

      i think it was normal that joshua would remember his mother more on a significant date, like her birthday, than on another day. i did sympathize with him, actually. HOWEVER, his confessionals seemed so disingenuous. i particularly liked the line “i was working too hard in bars to get home.” not that one can’t be a hard worker at a bar (i have many hardworking friends who are bartenders/waiters–its a tough gig!), i just thought his inflection was hilarious, and, obviously, not in a way he intended. generally, i find him insufferable, his taste far too tacky/campy, and his asides to be incredibly stupid.

  8. emma says:

    The problem with this episode? 21 minutes in, we hadn’t seen a single damn outfit in the making! Some drama is nice, but I tune in to see the process of making the garments. They should cut Joshua just for being an attention grabbing fame whore. Or edit his crap out of the episodes, that would work too.

  9. nodak says:

    Team Chaos did a good job, and I agree that Viktor should’ve won the night. I suppose because Anya had 2 votes from her team (her’s and Bryce’s), they gave it to her. I am tired of Joshua, and I wish Lifetime didn’t give his drama so much attention!!!!

  10. Alicia says:

    Michael, I can’t wait to read your recaps (of any show) but I think you are giving Joshua too much sympathy. I totally agree with stevenjaba – it’s been 2 years, quit playing for the camera. I love my mom and I will be crushed when she is gone, but she raised me to play well with others and to care about people. Joshua’s behavior has no excuse.
    During judging last night, my husband and I agreed that we aren’t rooting for anyone on this season. For the first time, I really feel like each designer is just playacting. And we still have weeks to go!
    Tim’s kumbaya moment made us laugh out loud. Can’t believe he did that.
    Did anyone see the preview where the clerk has to explain what Double-Ds are to Olivier?

  11. susela says:

    I too felt Viktor should have had the win, but it seems the judges gave it to Anya because she incorporated the fabric that the team designed. It doesn’t seem fair: they said only three out of five looks had to use the fabric, but didn’t warn that they would give preference to those who used it. I’m looking forward to what Viktor does in the coming weeks!

    • D says:

      I think they picked her because she got two “votes” from her team. Also, when they were designing the athletic wear, Josh got the win for Anya’s dress. Maybe they thought they owed her one.

  12. Jan says:

    Agree that Viktor should have won this one. Absolutley adore all your recaps, Michael!

  13. kate says:

    as Joshua himself would say:


    during this entire recap. zomg. the south pole line, the angular eyebrows, the mad libs… dyyyyyyyyying.

  14. CA says:

    For me, this season of PR just seems off…right down to the selection of designers. Really, how many times are we going to be subjected to yet ANOTHER Joshua temper tantrum. Is he a disigner or a 5 year old? While I sympathize with his loss, the fact is that we’ve seen, what, three episodes with him melting down and treating the other designers like s**t?

    I was hoping for Becky to pull through. I liked her but I will admit that her designes this episode we weak at best. I really wanted her to at least last until AFTER Joshua gets auf’d…but alas, it was not to be.

    I am torn on the winner. Overall I think Vikor deserved the win but I am ok with Anya winner, too.

    I continue to forget that Olivier is a contestent. I’ve seen paste with more charisma then he.

  15. jayd says:

    Perhaps for the first time this season, I despised someone more than Burt (well, maybe last week too). That being said, I think they do a great job of editing this show. It’s very insightful to show how people work together (or not) and what they say to each other’s faces and what they say when they’re talking to “just” the camera. I was startled by the fact that I agreed with something Josh said: that this was a design show, and loosely paraphrased, they should be judged on their design efforts, not how they get along with others. He’s being very short-sighted, but in the end, that was how they were judged; at least with Becky. I, too, thought Viktor’s dress was the best of the winners. At first I though Olivier, but I didn’t think those pants went with that jacket.

  16. Barry says:

    I was surprised when I saw that they had given the win to Anya but if you really look at her garment she did a really fantastic job in combining two of their prints into something that was chic and not at all jarring. Since this was the print challenge it ultimately made sense to give the win to her since her use of the prints was the most skilled. That being said, Viktor’s gown was fantastic as well and that entire collection was about the best stuff we’ve seen this season. Even Bryce’s shorts improved dramatically from the fitting. As for team N&B, Joshua is simply one of the worst people ever to be on Runway. He and his over-groomed eyebrows will hopefully be mortified when he actually watches the show.

    • Gretchen says:

      Josh makes me long for the season three drama with Jeffrey and whats her name. Jeffrey also had a bullying, mean-spirited side (I was thrilled when he was called out for outsourcing for the finale and hoped he’d be disqualified), but next to Josh, he looks sweet and caring!

  17. Katie says:

    I’m just glad Olivier didn’t win for that jacket Michael Kors was fawning over. It was OK, but IMO the fit was not good on the model. I think he is pretty blah in general. I agree with most here- I thought Victor should have won.

  18. nancy says:

    We had the Power Outage of All Time in southern California last night, so I missed Obama, the first NFL game, and PR all in one night…

    Josh is “getting on my nervous”, as my friend says. I do have to say that 2 years is NOTHING when you are missing your mom. Mine died 3 years ago next week, and the littlest reminder of her still hurts terribly. Still, Josh, no excuses for being a bully. Really, would your mom have wanted you to behave like that?

  19. Gretchen says:

    As for who should have been auf’ed, I would have voted for Laura. The pantsuit was ugly, ill-fitting and poorly made and boring.

    But it seems that certain designers are in a group that allows them to make horrible garments and remain in because the judges want them pushed further along–the whole “one day you’re in, the next day you’d out” is just words.

    • Stacey says:

      How funny! We are on the same wavelength regarding Laura’s outfit.

      It does seem like the judges do not want to get rid of anyone who has previously won a challenge. Which means Bryce will be gone next–he’s the only non-winner left.

      • Gretchen says:

        Joshua only won that team challenge thanks to Anya’s work. I’m hoping that the bullying from him does him in in the next 2 weeks.

        Really wanted him to go home with a Becky win in the same challenge just to annoy him further.

        He reminds me of that contestant on the first season of Top Chef Just Desserts who was having obvious emotional/stress issues, blew up at everyone, walked out then was ferried off in an ambulance never to be seen again. Were I a producer, I’d be scared having someone so volatile in the group.

    • barbara c says:

      Yes! That sad sagging blue pantsuit was a mess and somehow completely ignored by the judges. Once again, drama really got in the way of fashion this week.

  20. Stacey says:

    I seem to be the only one who thought Laura’s ‘jumpsuit’ was horrid. She started so strongly in the early shows, but is quickly going downhill. And, while I thought Josh’s jacket was really cute, the rest of the outfit didn’t work AT ALL–the blouse was far too loose and diminished the look of the jacket. And, I wasn’t a fan of Kimberly’s mushroom-inspired skirt, either. Frankly, I thought Becky would be safe compared with Kimberly & Laura.

    Although surprised by Anya’s win, I feel it was deserved since she did so much work articulating the vision for team Chaos. Basically, she and Anthony were the co-leaders.

    I don’t understand why there have been so many team challenges this season–it seems like just an excuse to show arguing and drama.

    And, who was that actress serving as one of the judges? When Heidi introduced her, she didn’t even mention any credits!

    Great recap, BTW!

    • Summer says:

      Rose Byrne? She was on Damages, a series on USA that also starred Glenn Close. She was also in Bridesmaids and X-Men First Class this past summer.

  21. fela says:

    I was so shocked when they picked Anya. Her outfit was ok but Victor’s gown was the show stopper. He should of won. What with the black & white prints boring. Remember the seaso with Emilio Sosa they made prints using color . What happened? The show is not exciting like it used to be when the show was with Bravo they had much better contestants. There were so many talented people that it was hard to choose.

  22. kayk says:

    OMG, the funniest recap comment ever: “Joshua, however, reacted as if the Piperlime Accessory Wall had been used in a way that was somehow less than thoughtful.” Thank you, Michael Slezak! I’m STILL laughing about that one!

  23. Corinne P. says:

    LOL on the someone using the Piper Lime wall less than thoughtfully comment. Awesome!

  24. muti says:

    I didn’t like the boobage on Oliver’s jacket and thought the color was..not good. But I liked it better than the actual winner. I liked Viktor’s dress better than Anya’s too.

    They spoke dismissively of Anya’s dress–so I’m wondering why she won?

  25. MichelleR says:

    I lost my mother a couple years ago and it’s tough. I struggle with it still and realize that there is no statute of limitations on grief. I don’t get to use my missing her as an excuse to have public meltdowns now though. If his pain is that acute, he needs to talk to someone. If he’s using her loss as a get out of jail free card for being hurtful to others though, he’s not honoring her.

    And, while I agree he was sincere in his apology, he just seems to be a guy who loses it now, regrets it later, and then apologizes — rinse and repeat. A sincere apology is worth something, of course, but it needs to have attached to it a lesson learned. If the bad behavior is habitual, “I’m sorry” is not enough.

    • D says:

      I honestly think the guy needs some lithium. His dad sounded so normal and nice on the phone too. Hard to tell where he got the abusive behavior from.

  26. romy says:

    Viktor so should have won. WTF. I liked the winning dress but his was really gorgeous. One of the most beautiful dresses ever on PR. Don’t get the judges. But, look who won last season: what’s her name with the often ugly clothes.

  27. PFitzDC says:

    I suspect that what was edited out was discussion of how much Anya contributed to (indeed, directed much of) the conception of the video and her teammates use of the patterns, and that her winning over Victor was for more than just the comparisons of the two dresses. Even though most of the producers’ attention was on the more chaotic team, it was clear that Anya was a driving force on the winning team, so I think she was being recognized for the whole package.

  28. PFitzDC says:

    I wish that someone—judges or recappers–would have commented on how drab ALL the patterns were. Team Chaos had okay patterns and worked them well into their chaos, but when you think about what Mondo and Seth did last year with this challenge? The designers got to design FABRIC, and we wind up with SIX black-and-white patterns???? That’s sad.

  29. barbara c says:

    We just have to remember this show is no longer about design, it’s about drama. They need to give the designers more solo challenges, and more than 45 minutes to design an original pattern. I really want to see the clothes, not the hissy fits!!!

  30. baker says:

    josh is one of the least attractive people i have ever had the displeasure to view on television. and he’s dumb. he’s so, so dumb. he says he’s ‘fustrated’ but would prefer that bert not say ‘f***’? gimme f*** any day over fustrated. f*** doesn’t sound educated, josh? glass houses much?
    that said, he isn’t the worst designer on earth. if only that translated to personal style. anyone else see the terrifying photo of him in a leopard-print tank and underwear (check the website, if you dare)? if you thought the ‘chestscape’-revealing blouse was bad…
    i know they need him for the ratings, but i hope he chokes before the finale…

  31. DH says:

    Josh should have won. His history aside, etc., he should have won!!!! Two years in a row the judges blew it. Really good final show, though..

  32. ladyday says:

    My favorite was Kim. I loved the colors, the sexyness, the boldness. Her style is what young people like so maybe that’s why the judges didn’t. Also, they decided from the beginning that Anya’s lack of sewing skills (Proof?) was it for them. I also really like Josh for a change. His behavior however, is unforgivable and is the reason he will never be successful. Noone is going to want to buy from somoene who could flip on them the way he does – he’s dangerous.