Project Runway All-Stars Recap: Who Should Make the Final 3?

Thanks to a long and winding American Idol episode last night, I’m a little late to my Project Runway recapping party, so I’ll keep this to three very important thoughts:

1 | Mondo’s wild, patterned Anya-esque dress — and especially that fringe-and-gold trimmed smoking jacket (pictured, right and even bigger at the end of this recap) — was the best look we’ve seen the entire All-Stars season. That outfit was so hot, in fact, I even bought the Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter hairdo. If Mondo and Michael aren’t in the finale, I will personally lead the march to Lifetime HQ to wrestle back control of the Runway franchise and drag it back to Bravo. Who’s with me?

2 | I know I haven’t exactly been an Austin fan this go-around, but seriously, how in the heck did that bulky, Marie-Antoinette-With-a-Gut-Full-of-Thanksgiving-Turkey catastrophe (pictured, left) end up in the Top 2 over Michael’s flirty chartreuse confection and Kenley’s kicky print explosion (with extraordinarily chic jacket)?

3 | Mila’s skirt — possibly made with a discarded gift bag and a pair of pinking shears — was tragic indeed, but the judges did the right thing by finally sending Kara home. I mean, with only seven designers left, some attention must be paid to “Who has a chance at the finale?” Plus, the silver bow and wonky slit on Kara’s skirt was a double-whammy of fug.

What did you think of this week’s All-Stars? And based on their work to date, which three contestants would you send to the finale? (I’d go with Mondo, Michael, and Mila.) Take our poll below, then expand on your thoughts in the comments. And for all my reality TV recaps, do follow me on Twitter!

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. Tania says:

    Can I vote for Mondo three times? I think it will be Mondo, Austin and Jerrell in the finale, sorry to say that I don’t think any of the females will make it all the way through. i want to like Kenley but I don’t know if she’s versatile enough; Kara is likeable but limited as a designer; and I think we’ve seen that Mila is also not very versatile. All have their fine points. I’m on the fence about Michael – he has his moments and then he’s kind of a hot mess – inconsistent in my opinion. I know you didn’t ask about judges, but I like Isaac’s contribution of kooky to the show, as for the rest of them I haven’t been wowed. But again, no matter what I’ll still be tuning in next week!

    • Melissa says:

      I was just thinking, i really just want Mondo, he is just so much better…

      • Tess says:

        When they first announced the cast all I could think was that it was set up to rectify the horrendous decision made by the regular judging panel to give Gretchen the win over Mondo. Most of the folks in the overall group were not good the first go round(Elisa is the first that comes to mind) or overrated (sorry Mila and Kenley fans). Much as I wish there could be at least one female in the finale, I don’t think they set the cast up to have one because they did not pick strong female contestants. I originally thought the final three would come down to Mondo, Jerell, and Rami; but obviously now that can’t happen. I would put Austin in there but he hasn’t been bringing it this season and has had more than one time where he easily could’ve gone home. So that just leaves me with Michael to make up the final three, which is fine because I like his stuff but he tends to be simple with his work and you just never know how the judges’ will take what he does (same way it was in his original season). I always thought Mondo would win and I still think that’s going to be the case; no one else has shown me a reason to think otherwise.

    • Julia says:

      Isaac scares me because he hasn’t really been a Mondo fan all season. Could he sabotage the panel’s vote in the end and send one of those lesser designers to the winner’s circle? I sure hope not.

  2. Louie says:

    Even though it’s almost assuredly preordained to be a final two between Mondo (well deserved) and Austin (well deserved in S1, not so much now), I can’t help but cheer on the Little Michael That Could. He just seems to be such a nice guy and supportive (edited that way?)
    And is it me or is Mila’s stank tude not a result of Kara and Kenley’s giggling but a result of Kara and Kanley not giggling with her? That awkward hug at the end between Kara and Mila said it all.

    • Tess says:

      Mila’s stank ‘tude has nothing to do with the other two ladies getting along…that’s just how Mila is. She was like that in her presious season too – remember how annoying she was about coming in 2nd on one challenge and walking into the back room saying “top 2, top 2” and getting mad that no one congratulated her like they did the person who won the challenge?!

      • Jules says:

        Funny you mention Mila’s stank attitude during her first run. I noticed during this episode that she seems warmer and happier this time around. Could be that I just can’t stand Kenley and Kara, so Mila looks nice by comparison. Really though, they’re all deliciously catty. Even Mondo! And the judges have ramped it up, too. They need to make Cynthia Rowley permanent.

  3. Marta says:

    I especially loved Mondo’s design because it ACTUALLY looked like something a Broadway actress could move, work, and be fabulous in. Some of the stuff was fine on the runway, but would have never translated practically to the stage.

    • topsyturvy says:

      YES! It was one of the few that looked like a costume … an outfit that would “read” from the back of the theatre and fit the requirements. I’m sorry but I can’t see an actress getting into Michael’s backless ensemble onstage in front of the audience, especially not in a theatre in the round where there’s no way to hide (turn upstage) from the audience.

  4. Pennagirl says:

    I think it will definely be Mondo and Michael in the final three, swapping Austin or Jerrel for the last spot. I am with Mr. Slezak, if Mondo or Michael do not win…then I will help take the show back to BravoTV. Last season’s debacle of a NON-sewing person winning with the exact same viewpoint the entire season…was as bad as the season when Mondo came in 2nd place.

    • D says:

      I don’t think so. At least Anya was likable. You can say it is about talent and not likability, but you DO have to work with others sometimes to be in the fashion biz.

  5. Karen says:

    I agree with you about Austin’s look this week. I thought it would be in the bottom for sure. But I would like to see Mondo, Michael, and Austin in the finale. Rami should actually be there, of course, but Cynthia Rowley is the devil and Isaac has no taste (Austin’s pants were the best thing on the runway last week? COME ON!). Bitter, party of 1.

  6. chloe says:

    I really wanted it to come down to Rami and Mondo. Since Rami is gone, this is Mondo’s contest to lose. Mondo was the only one that even came close to a rich Broadway look last night.

    • nodak says:

      I agree completely! I really wanted to see Mondo (my favorite) and Rami be in it to the end. Whomever joined these 2 awesome designers didn’t matter so much to me. Michael is fine, but he lacks confidence.

  7. syb says:

    I like some of Michael’s stuff, but I’d take either Austin or Kenley over most of what Michael does. And I definitely preferred Austin’s look last night to Michael’s. For one thing, Michael’s seemed to have little to do with the actual challenge. Kenley’s look would have been improved with better faux fur, and a completely different color palette. Mila’s was horrendous, I’d have sent her home before Kara on last night alone. I didn’t think Kara’s was horrible, although that back slit was tragic.
    Mondo is the best designer ever to appear on the show in any season, and he proves it nearly every week.

    • D says:

      I thought Kenley’s look had feathers, not fur. For Kara to remain in the competition this week, she would have had to have had flawless execution, which she did not. She was skating on thin ice.

    • Lana says:

      Michael’s outfit was by far better than Austin’s, was something wrong with your TV? I loved Mondo’s outfit as I normally do, in fact Mondo and Michael are my two favorites though I do love Kenley because I love the 40’s and 50’s vibe in clothes and I love her Betty Page look, I do miss the bangs.

    • Lauren K says:

      seriously? You think Mondo is better than Christian Siriano? Wow. I mean, I love Mondo and he was totally robbed by Gretchen and I hope to see him win this season but I have never in my life seen someone as talented as Christian.

  8. wendy says:

    Can’t believe Jerell wasn’t at least in the bottom 3 – His blah office-wear in shades of grey and black was so NOT the assignment.

  9. Brigitte says:

    I am also on the Mondo train, and I really do think Michael has some great ideas. He might feel a little stronger getting time to put a whole line together. I like some of Mila’s work, but she does so much color blocking I don’t think she would put together a good collection. As for Austin, he would just do a promenade of floucy dresses, if this “nod” to Marie Antionette is any indication. Normally like jerrell but today was boring and Ken;y seems like her collection could either be a hot mess or some real flirty fun looks.

  10. dawn says:

    All I have to say is Mondo better be in the final or I will be a very unhappy camper. He was robbed his season and this needs to make up for that be him winning. I think Michael should definetly make the final. The third one I’m not sure who that should be. I do not like Kenley’s designs, I have tried to keep an open mind, but for the most part I just do no like her designs. I think the 3rd spot should either go to Austin or Jerell.

  11. Tania says:

    Right on, Melissa. Let’s name Mondo winner now and let the others fight for 2nd place.

  12. Lyndsey says:

    Can we just have a face-off between Mondo & Michael? With Rami gone there’s just no one else I want to see a collection from. Jerrel has no taste; Mila can only color-block; who really wants to see a entire collection of polka-dots from Kenley; and Austin has given us nothing but outdated, ugly outfits all season. So disappointing!

  13. wooster182 says:

    As much as I liked Mondo’s outfit, the top of that dress was cut horribly when the jacket was taken off. I absolutely adored Austin’s though. It was dramatic while still looking almost ready to wear.

  14. nicky says:

    I kind of liked Austin’s ensemble better than Mondo’s, because according to how they described the broadway play character, I could see all of that in Austin’s garment spot on, and not really in Mondo’s. But then again, I’m glad Mondo won, because he needed the emotional boost.
    And, speaking of that, I keep wondering if maybe the judges finally noticed that they were going a little too far with their harsh words for the bottom designers in the last couple weeks. Because they seemed pretty tame this time. I mean, even Kara’s feedback was nice, and then she lost.
    But, then again, I’m thinking Kara did not have to go because her dress was the worst, but because the judges knew Mila is clearly the better designer and they were simply not willing to let her go.
    I am glad that Kara finally did have to go, though. Boy, have been waiting for that to happen for weeks now.

  15. Candace hammers says:

    Come on people….its hands down going to be Mondo or Michael….they are extremely talented….we will ser their designs on the red carpet! They are the only ones that have consistently shared a vision that makes sense with every piece they design….