PR: Kukla, Nina & Ollie

Posted on September 16, 2011

Y’know, if we weren’t so annoyed with them all the time, we’d almost feel a little sorry for the judges; especially Nina and Michael. Why? Because the words that keep coming out of their mouths during the judging sessions are so clearly not their opinions but the opinions that are forced onto them by producers in order to justify decisions that make no sense whatsoever. We feel worse for Nina than for Michael, who’s been spouting pure nonsense with gleeful abandon all season. Nina at least has the sense and good taste to look annoyed by the things forced out of her mouth.

And in other painfully obvious manipulation news, the gender politics of the producers seems to be stuck somewhere in the mid 1960s, what with the way these guys were acting – and “acting” is the operative word here.

“Heh. Heh. BOOBS!”

“I don’t know what my wife wears, what colors she likes, or where she shops. I only ever really notice her when she’s naked or fixing me something to eat.”

“Me am stupid man. Me lose dress. Me scared of angry wife.”

“Ohmigod, don’t call her my wife. She’s my GIRLFRIEND. I think I’m going to be sick.”

Sure, that all plays to the Lifetime credo of “Woman are all saintly victims and men are all assholes,” but we would like to think that Project Runway has a slightly more nuanced view of the world than that. Apparently not. We were embarrassed for everyone involved. The men looked uncomfortable saying their lines and the women kept looking at them with a “Why the hell are you talking like this?” expression on their faces.

And as always, someone in the room was shocked and appalled that people who aren’t models are allowed to wear clothes. We’ll get more into the weeds of Precious Moments’ little meltdown when we do his writeup, but we can’t even call him an asshole (even though he acted like one). If anything, we were embarrassed for him because he obviously has no real world experience and not enough sense to realize that the things coming out of his mouth were revealing that for all the world to see.


So congrats to Josh, who made a very cute dress that you could find in a department store, but which is apparently different somehow from the dresses that were criticized because you can find them in a department store. Oh, Nina. We could practically hear your teeth-gnashing throughout the judging session.

What stood out the most for us with this dress is not so much the design as the excellent fit and execution. It usually gets lost in all the frippery and tackiness he favors, but Josh can sew and fit like a pro.

There was some outcry in the T Lounge last night that Josh had to be directed by his clients to tone down his more flamboyant design instincts and that somehow tainted his design, but as much as we’d like to share in the Josh-bashing, we think that misses the point of client-based challenges. The fact that he listened to the client and gave her what she wanted while at the same time giving the judges something to gush over is pretty much the entire point of these challenges.

It was, as we said, beautifully executed. It also had some nice touches to it that can only be attributed to Josh. We doubt very much the clients asked for that sheer extension on the hem, or the cute detail at the waist. We doubt the clients directed him to arrange the lace in rows across the neckline …

Or to punctuate the back of the dress with it.

No, like it or not, this design was Josh’s to own and he deserved most of the praise he got for it. It’s a very standard dress with some cute touches to it. That’s not enough for a win, in our opinion, but then again, it wasn’t enough for the judges either, given how they criticized other designers for making very standard dresses. But as distasteful as Josh is, and as obvious as it is that the producers are determined to give the most obnoxious contestant even more reasons to be obnoxious, we can’t deny that he did well on this challenge.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t throw up a screencap that makes you want to slap him.

It was the critiques that Bryce’s dress received that annoyed us the most, truth be told.

Say that it’s poorly executed…

Say that it’s poorly fitted…

Say that there’s at least one design element too many; we don’t disagree with any of that.


But don’t sit there and act like this dress isn’t exactly on trend right now, from the color to the shape, and even down to some of the design elements.

What annoyed us the most was the faux “Ohmigod, you’ve accentuated her hips and thighs! Who ever heard of such a thing?” Get off it, judges. You’ve awarded the win to plenty of dresses that did just that. Yes, the pockets were probably too large and placed too low, but the element itself didn’t come out of left field. Bryce was obviously trying to do something modern and if another designer – a pet designer – had done the exact same thing, the judges would have fallen all over themselves lauding it.

We’re not saying it should have been considered for the win, because it shouldn’t have been. But we’ve seen those exact judges sit there and praise dresses to the heavens for being on trend at the moment and we didn’t hear anything like that come out of their mouths. Put it in the bottom for looking sloppy; send Bryce home because he disappointed you one time too many; none of that would have bothered us. But the critiques they offered were lame bullshit that contradicted eight previous seasons of judging decisions.

We keep saying this, but we don’t care if we sound repetitive: The producers have always had pull in how things shook out and who was going to make it to the finals, all the way back to season one. That doesn’t bother us and it never really has. This is reality television, after all. What bothers us is when the decisions of the producers can’t be justified in any way and the judges sit there spouting critiques that don’t make a lick of sense in context.

It was time for Bryce to go and when you look at the entirety of his output, we have no issue with it. But don’t insult our intelligence by jerking the judges around like puppets. As we said, Michael doesn’t seem to care so long as he gets to spout his patented one-liners and Heidi only cares about what makes good television, but Nina looks more pissed off with each episode. Thank god one of these bitches can’t keep her feelings off her face.

And to the majority of readers under 50 who are wondering what the hell the title of this post means, here you go.

[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/MyLifetime.com – Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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