First of all, Kelli's gone and she's taken with her a little piece of my recap-loving heart. Secondly, when we get our first shot at Atlas Apartments, it's one of Stella. And? Woman looks ROUGH. I don't know if Stella doesn't understand that those men holding shiny black electronic equipment are CAMERA GUYS, ready to broadcast whatever image she presents all over the world, or if she just can't help looking seriously road hard. Either way, get that lady a hairbrush, stat!
The designers meet Heidi on the runway to find out their challenge and are faced with an ebullient Chris March (he of the infectious laugh, over-the-top designs, and underdog status from Season 4 of Project Runway), dressed as a Tranny Viking Queen. With Disco Ball Boobs. Or Something. Stella claps her hands and giggles, reverting back into her preferred mindset: happy 3 year-old. Chris lets the designers know that this challenge is to design a signature look for a drag queen. He brings out the "ladies" who will serve as models for this challenge, and they all introduce themselves. Let's see, we have Farrah Moans, Sweetie, Hedda Lettuce, Sharon Needles, Annida Greenkard, and Varla Jean Merman, who is, frankly, terrifying. One thought I had was that Annida Greenkard's name makes it sound like she's not even from America. Kidding! I'm only kidding - Hannah and I have totally kissed and made up. Hi, Hannah! Chris encourages the designers to be as "over the top" and theatrical as they want to. Oh good, because otherwise this challenge was gonna be totally vanilla.
Everyone picks their queen of choice, and when Korto picks Sweetie, saying it's because she likes sugar, Sweetie responds with "better be careful, just might rot your teeth!" What does that even mean?
Tim meets the designers in the workroom at Parsons and warns them that each queen has a very specific persona, and the designers need to maximize - go big and go crazy. Then he sends in the queens. Joe is so incredibly uncomfortable and out of his element on this challenge - a body language expert would have a field day with him. He's leaned away, arms crossed, eyebrows raised, half-grimace on his face - it might be less obvious if he painted a sign saying "YOU MAKE ME FEEL WEIRD" and hung it around his neck. In interview, Joe reminds us that he has a daughter, and is married, and is NOT GAY, just in case we forgot. I think he may struggle with this one.
Daniel says he's going "couture" with this challenge. OH PLEASE, Daniel, the day you show me couture is the day I show you my massive package. What? This episode is all about pushing our boundaries!
At Mood, we are treated to our normal fabric-finding frenzy. Stella gives us yet another of her brilliant, advanced explanations, telling us that the main part of the challenge, for her, is that her model "wants to look like a lady". Ding ding, Stella! Congratulations, you officially seem to have understood the concept of cross-dressing. Kenley's going to do something Old Hollywood - maybe with a 40's vibe! Shocking! I hope Kenley's queen gets annoyed with her and smacks her silly.
Joe actually seems to be getting into the challenge, as he prances around wearing his queen's bra (filled to capacity with the largest chicken cutlet inserts I've ever seen). I think this is a case of stepping SO far outside your comfort zone that you get to a new level and maybe do some awesome work. Joe, I'm rooting for you! Stella notes that although Blayne (currently dancing around the workroom with pink fabric draped over his head and tied with string around his neck, using "licious" as the suffix for EVERYTHING) is "cute", he "knows nothing". Pot, meet kettle. Dumb, meet dumber. MethHead, meet Melanoma. I mean, isn't this Stella/Blayne thing getting old to anyone else?
Jerell's dress, thus far, looks gorgeous. We get cut to an interview snippet where Jerell tells us that he comes from a lower/middle class family and learned to believe in his dreams; anything he wants is out there for the taking; work hard and you'll achieve greatness; and other such wholesome anecdotes. Jerell, I already liked you from the surprising and genuine niceness you displayed last week, you don't have to push it.
Suede smoked some of Stella's meth and has a vision where his grandfather appears to him and starts sprinkling seeds all over his dress. Suede is thrilled and inspired by this development. I think this is going to go down in Suede's history as a Bad Drug Trip.
Kenley snarks about Keith. Kenley snarks about Suede. Kenley snarks about everyone.
The queens come back in for a fitting, only they are dressed in street clothes. Blayne seems shocked that his queen, Miss Understood, is a BOY, named ALEX. I mean really, Blayne looks flummoxed. "He's just a short Mexican dude!"
Sweetie, Korto's queen, snarks about the dress Kenley is working on ("I'm gagging at the silver sequins across the room"). I love it! Kenley says that Sweetie isn't so sweet. Man, I am seriously hoping for a throwdown. Sweetie would DESTROY Kenley. Fight, fight!
Suede's queen says, in quick succession, that she feels "barnacle-y", "oh my stars", "I'm a little Godzilla", and then calls Suede lazy for making gloves rather than sleeves. Suede is annoyed. Suede has his feelings hurt. Stella says not to worry - it's not Hedda Lettuce - more like Soggy Lettuce! Ha! Stella is thrilled that she made a funny.
Chris March is brought into the workroom with Tim to give the designers some additional guidance. And here we get Tim's oft-replayed sound-byte: "It looks like a pterodactyl from a gay Jurassic Park" in reference to Blayne's neon...dress. I guess it's a dress. It looks like a Tetris game gone wrong, to me. Suede cries to Tim and Chris about how nasty Hedda was to him - "can you believe she called me LAZY?" Tim says that was just mean, and that Suede needs to tell Hedda that he's been to a different rodeo, and "not to 'you-know-what' with ME, sister!" Tim is so adorable it makes me want to just give him a big squeeze. Suede looks appropriately consoled. My brother and his girlfriend, who are co-watching this episode with me want to note that Suede, wearing a striped do-rag, is dressed like a pirate, and that they suspect he is out patrolling for booty. Zing!
Chris hates Keith's fabric-swatchy outfit. Tim and Chris also don't like Daniel's "couture" outfit, which is actually pretty plain and boring. Shocking, I know. Even more shocking is the fact that Daniel A) doesn't seem to care what Chris and Tim think and B) decides to ignore their advice that his top needs more drama. Please, Project Runway gods, send Daniel home this week. I know I've been asking for a Stella/Blayne one-two coup, but I will write nothing but nice things about them both next week if you'll only Auf Daniel!
Suede and Hedda Lettuce kiss and make up after Hedda delivers a "can we just put this behind us" speech with the strangest, most stilted cadence I've ever heard. I mean, I thought my dad was a slow-talker, but Hedda puts him to shame.
Stella makes the gracious, egalitarian comment that while Jerell's outfit looks very nice and classy, she feels that it's out of place, because "these broads aren't classy - most of them wear really tacky sh*t on stage". I guess we should just be glad she isn't re-explaining the challenge to us. (Th' ting is, they're men, but they wanna look like LADIES! Can yew buhlieve it?)
Runway time! And Heidi looks like she forgot eye-makeup today. All the normal judges are present, and the guest judge this week is none other than RuPaul. My thoughts are as follows (in pass/fail format):
Kenley - normal silver sequinny dress (with a poorly constructed, exposed zipper) and a big feather collar. I mean, it looks like she went to Dress Barn For Evening, got a cheap silver dress, and the only drag queen thing about it is that she stapled black and white feathers to the collar. Dumb AND boring. Fail!
Blayne - his pterodactyl wings are crooked, but otherwise the thing looks PRETTY drag queen-ish. I'd say it's passable.
Joe - says his inspiration is Ann Margaret on the Love Boat, and it looks like a shiny, pink, super-tight pantsuit with some nautical details that his queen just LOVES. Pass!
Stella - shiny black leatha (maybe pleatha) and plaid. Looks very 1993 goth-rock drag queen. I guess it's good that the "drag queen" made it in there, but I'm not sure if that's more of a result of the actual queen modeling the outfit. I'd say fail, but I bet it gets a pass.
Suede - hard to see anything more than a green blur because the model is literally running and dancing down the runway, but the skirt is really short and otherwise it looks a-okay. Pass.
Daniel - YOU GOT KELLI KICKED OFF, SO AUTOMATIC FAIL FOR YOU. It's not over the top, it's not drag queen-esque, and as my brother's girlfriend so aptly put it, it's ugly but expected. FAIL!
Terri - way too much going on, there are ropes and sashes and kimono sleeves that hit the floor, and huge platform boots and a bunch of different colors at the neckline and this looks like something that should be in the next theatrical production of Stella and Suede Take Meth Together. I can't make head or tails of the outfit, so, in complete confusion, I will issue a pass.
Jerell - Big, fat PASS! I love it! The popped collar at the end, as Jerell noted, is quite a treat, and the whole dress looks very well-constructed, expensive, and generally awesome.
Korto - huge, red and poufy, with a removable skirt and curly flames coming up from around the neck. Drag queen paradise, so PASS!
Keith - his outfit looks like he ran some black and white fabric through a paper shredder, and then taped it to his model. It looks like it's falling apart as she walks down the runway - if she had to go 15 more feet, the whole thing would be on the floor. Now if this were drag queen striptease, I'd give a pass, but since it's not, FAIL!
Leanne - very cool skirt. I didn't care about the rest of the outfit, nor did I pay much attention to the sleeves (black) and the top (also black and with some of the same skirt layering/triangle things). Anyway, the skirt alone makes it awesome. PASS.
Heidi wants to see Blayne, Kenley, Suede, Stella, and Leanne - no wait, she doesn't! They are safe. Well, that sucks. Kenley lives to snark another day. So really we're down to Daniel, Korto, Jerell, Terri and Joe.
RuPaul loves Terri's confusing conglomeration, and all the other judges do as well. They compare it to like, six things, which is, I think, an apt description.
Heidi thinks Keith's falling-apart dress looks messy, and he tries to defend himself, saying rock and roll CAN be messy. RuPaul jumps in with "did a dingo eat your baby too, mate? You seem to have an awful lot of excuses!" Zing! She's totally not feeling his fringe. Nina doesn't even know what it is. MK says it's a sad, molting, grey chicken. Yay, they hate it! I told you, Keith, it's a total FAIL. Keith is pissed.
Joe says he wanted to show off his queen's assets and all the judges laugh for much longer than necessary. RuPaul commends Joe for making a big belt buckle and therefore not showing the "candy" and my brother's girlfriend and I debate whether she said "kitty" or "candy". Heidi says the queen's body looks amazing, and the queen replies that it's not the first time she's heard that! Woo hoo, you go, Joe!
MK is surprised that Jerell's dress is from Jerell. He says it's just normal. RuPaul says it's too long. MK says it's a good bar mitzvah moment, and that this would have been the time for Jerell to "go for it", but instead he settled for knee-length normalcy. Hmm, I totally liked the dress, so I'm not agreeing with the judges here.
Everyone loves Korto's huge red poufy dress, which is no surprise. It's dramalicious. Oh yes I did!
Nina says here's Daniel's fantasy moment, and he totally bombed it. He acts like a huge snob and says that he didn't do sequins because they just aren't high-end, and if he would have gone all gaudy he thinks he might have thrown-up. RuPaul is NOT pleased by this. MK says it's totally normal, RuPaul says "helloooo, it's supposed to be DRAG!" and then goes on to explain that these girls need to be able to make the big bucks, because otherwise they'll end up out in Harlem, selling hormones to make their rent money. Daniel is annoyed. He is SO ABOVE PROJECT RUNWAY, don't we know? I mean, he's TOTALLY OVER US.
The judges discuss their thoughts, and although Heidi skipped out on eye-makeup, she DEFINITELY didn't forget the blush. Oh, and they definitely said "candy" when referring to Joe's queen's hoo-hah getting covered up. Good to know. The judges are sounding very tired of Daniel and his high-end airs, and it seems like they might kick him off. DO IT! AVENGE KELLI!
Everyone is brought back out, and I'm trying to telepathically influence the judges. NO MORE DANIEL!
Winner: Joe! Straight Joe wins the drag queen competition! He covered up the candy! Alright, Joe!
Loser: Daniel! OH YEAH, BABY! The only thing the judges could do right now that would make me any happier is if they brought Kelli back and apologized. Daniel gives a half-hearted "it was really hard to hear that" and appears not to care much. Well, he works up some tears near the end, but I am totally unmoved. Go be "high-end" somewhere else, and may you take this as a lesson: DON'T MESS WITH KELLI.
Now, you tell me: I know I promised up there that if the Project Runway gods would Auf Daniel, I would be nothing but nice to Stella and Blayne next week. But, as so often happens, now that I have what I wanted, I kind of don't want to hold up my end of the bargain. So what say you? Do I need to keep my promise, or should my forced niceties be Auf'ed along with Danny boy?