So this is the episode where we aren't allowed to say anything mean. I think of the distinction between picking on the contestants in the show and their mothers like the public figure doctrine of First Amendment defamation law. Basically, the premise is that if you put yourself out there as a public figure, it's game on when it comes to getting picked on. But when it comes to your mother....hands off.
If you happen to be a huge nerd like me, you can check out the Falwell v. Hustler case for an obviously more eloquent interpretation of the case law. Or rent "The People Versus Larry Flynt."
So, on previouslies: The designers had to work with trash! But it was really clean, PC, enviro-friendly trash. Allison got kicked off despite Vincent's insane-asylum-escapee routine. The world learned a little Yiddish.
Back at the ranch, Jeffrey stretches and laments that Allison was his best friend and that he will miss her most of all. This is clearly a set up for the fact that he will have difficulties during this challenge. Michael is politely enjoying his second victory, and no one seems to mind because everyone likes Michael and he is clearly going to be in the final three, if not winning the whole enchiladas.
Heidi scoots up to the runway and informs the designers that they will be designing for the "everyday woman." Then the "models" come out and they are the designers' moms and sisters!! Angela shrieks as if they somehow resurrected her mother from the grave for this challenge. Everyone else smiles and looks happy. Angela cranks up the waterworks, as does Laura, which is kind of a surprise, given her previous Tin-Man personna. But hormones are a bitch, as we later find out.
I heard there was some speculation that the challenge in this episode would be to design for Rachael Ray, given that her magazine references the every day thing. Let's just say I was extremely happy this was not the case. I would rather scratch my eyeballs out with a spoon and then pour EVOO in the sockets than watch her ruin Project Runway.
But there is a twist! Each designer must pick a different mother/sister to design for! The horrors!!
They all pick and seem relatively happy except when Heidi pulls out the last button (why pull it out? you know what name is on it) so that Jeffrey can "pick" Angela's mom. As Jeffrey says in his interview, "It's like God got drunk." Angela looks like she is about to burst into more tears, because she is obviously a daughter who is clearly over protective of her mother and envisions that if Jeffrey designs for her, her mother will spiral down into the pit of despair or something.
Then Tim tells them before they have to sketch and sew their little hearts out, they are going to a party! At Tavern on the Green! (warning! don't eat the food!) With Michael Kors! And his mom! Who looks exactly like MK!
They drink champagne and the secrets tumble out.
Obviously the moms were told to bring baby pictures and we learn that Jeffrey was nerdy as a teenager, but ended up an alkie junkie on the street. This only serves to enhance the feeling that things will not go well for Jeffrey during this challenge. We also learn that Michael was adorable, of course, and that Kayne was a chubster!
We also find out that Laura is preggers! Much to the surprise of her mother, which is the best part of this scenario. We also learn that she likes to keep her children in a "heap," that she doesn't care how many she has, and that her husband has the best swimmers on the Upper East Side. Like laser beams to her eggs! They should study him at Cornell's fertility center or something.
Anyhoo, back to the Sweatshop for a little destruction of the designers' dreams as to what they will be able to do. They shop and the sewing begins.
Tim comes around to check on the progress. Michael and Uli are making fabulous things as usual. Angela and Laura's mom are a total mismatch, and Laura's mom is intent on torpedoing Angela if at all possible. Robert has a stream of loser talk spewing from his mouth like the Nile. I begin to get the sinking feeling I know who is going home.
Vincent seems to be talking to Uli's mom like she's retarded and deaf. Hello! She is German, she can still hear and her English is probably better than yours. Kayne has a lot of work to do and Laura is making some kind of cruise outfit for Jeffrey's mom, who is totally put together and chic. Shocker!
Then things go horribly wrong. The moms/sisters come in and immediately Angela's mom and Jeffrey get into a tiff. She hates the fabric and the colors, telling Tim that she has never worn periwinkle. Seriously? I think she could look really good in periwinkle. Jeffrey gets mad defensive and starts being really mean to Angela's mom. Look, I don't like Angela either and I do think her mother was being kind of weird about the whole challenge and passive aggressive about it, but this is her MOM. There is really no call for being nasty to her. Jeffrey's mom tries to smooth everything over, but it's a no go.
After some sponsored product placement makeup and hair shots, with a little dash of Angela telling her mom to submarine Jeffrey, it's on to the runway show!
Now, I did think this challenge was a little unfair because some people had to work with moms who were plus sized and some people got models who could actually be models. However....
Michael's dress was totally cute. Robert's sister is also a major hottie! I could see her being a big inspiration when he designs things for Barbie. But at the same time, I think he got off a little easy.
Vincent's dress was very plain. However, Uli's mom clearly knows how to work it (I guess it's that "European air" she somehow has. It's almost as if she is FROM Europe. Weird, huh?) and he ends up winning. Merciful god, drunk as he may be, there is no immunity for this win.
Uli totally should have won. TOT-AL-LY. Her outfit was interesting, slimming, well made and it made Kayne's mom look great. Methinks that the producers might have exercised a little shady power in having Vincent win. If you believe this, check out Tim's Take where he expresses his clear disapproval of the winner selection. Politely, of course. Stick it to the man, Tim!
Laura's outfit made Jeffrey's mom look like a stewardess. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Angela's outfit for Laura's mom was completely bizarre. When did Audrey Hepburn wear fringe? Did I miss a scene in Funny Face or something? Why all black? Why pants under a wrap? And I'm sorry, but is that another fricking rosette?? I'm about to lose it with this chick. Seriously about to leap into the television and smack her around. And WHAT is up with the bubble skirts she wears?? She has them in like twenty patterns!! Arghhh!!!
Ok, I'm back, I took an Valium from my boss' desk (just kidding...or am I?)
So Kayne's outfit for Michael's mom was a little mumsy. Whatevs, bigger fish to fry in this episode.
Jeffrey's dress for Angela's mom was truly awful. It looked awful and I don't know where on Earth it would have looked good on anyone. I get that this is not his thing, but this was really bad. And poor Angela's mom kept pulling at her sleeves and the waist. It was a little painful to watch actually.
Robert's dress for Vincent's sister was just very plain. When she said she likes red and black, I thought, couldn't you at least have a pattern, or something? Also, I'm not sure if it was just my television (which I'm sure it's not, actually, since my boyfriend did research for eight months before buying the TV to make sure it was the best one possible. And I'm not kidding.) but the red color was eye searingly bright. And my eyes haven't fully recovered from last week.
Basically, I felt that this was Robert's time to go. I think he kind of gave up, since the judges kept picking on him week after week. Which is really too bad, because I keep thinking about that first dress with the white and the red sash and the necklace built in and wanting to have it remade for me.
I guess I'll have to wander the aisles of Toys R Us to see what he's up to now...
Also! My favorite part of the episode, other than Laura's mom's mouth hanging agape at the news that her daughter was pregnant AGAIN at FORTY-TWO, was when Heidi busts out the German to talk to Uli's mom. My translation:
Heidi to Uli's mom: You know that Vincent's a total fruitcake, right? You should have seen the crap he sent down the runway the past challenges. You got so lucky with this POS.
Uli's mom: Oh yeah! Totally wacko! He talks to me like I'm an idiot then puts me in this totally plain dress with a tan collar. Ugh, my daughter is totally going to win this thing, right?
Heidi to Uli's mom: Well, she will if I have anything to say about it. But the producers have us by the balls, y'know? Also, like my Cartier jewelry? Seal gave it to me as a push present. It's French, but those surrender monkeys make great stuff!
Uli's mom: You are so right, rock on sister.
Heidi to other judges: I was asking if she liked her dress...she does.
You know the drill: Tim's Take, Blogging Project Runway and the Entertainment Weekly interview with Robert are fabulous tools of procrastination.