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'Project Runway': It's a jungle out there

August 14, 2008 |  8:34 am

Nup_131288_0013 While I haven't been able to form many attachments to the contestants on "Project Runway," there are several I find irritating, and what made last night's episode aggravating was that two of them would have made excellent candidates for elimination, but instead, someone undeserving got the "auf." 

Specifically, Blayne Walsh or Daniel Feld should have been eliminated.  Daniel is a terrible sewer which he seems to think is mediated by his "impeccable taste."  It was incredibly bratty of Kenley (who flirts with annoyance herself) to burst out laughing at this comment, yet incredibly gratifying as well.  Signs of Daniel's impeccable taste have been hard to find, which left his partner, Kelli Martin, to her own devices during the Brooke Shields "Lipstick Jungle" challenge. Sure, her design was, as Michael Kors put it, "slutty, slutty, slutty!" but at least I could see what she was aiming for.

Then there was Blayne's design, which achieved neither of the challenge's goals of creating an outfit meant for (fictional) work or evening.  It was shorts! Poorly-made shorts.  And when the judges accused Blayne of not paying attention during the challenge's direction, he all but said "you should have known better when you gave me this challenge."  He was being, as Brooke Shields put it, bratty.

When the bottom two came down to Blayne and Kelly, cynical me predicted that Kelli would be sent home, despite, as she pointed out, her previous success on the show, as Blayne is allegedly an entertaining character and the producers/judges want him around.  Yep.

But I am not all complaints about last night's episode: The challenge did yield some decent designs.  Jerrell Scott and Stella Zotis's leather-and-silk collaboration was an interesting, tasteful and well-made success, and it helped that their model resembled Ms. Shields in a way.  And Keith Bryce's outgoing taste and Kenley Collins' more conservative style came together for a beautiful, well thought out design that did deserve a win -- both the fluttery skirt and flowy top were intriguing on their own and came together well.  And least of all, I'm glad that Suede Baum and Terri Stevens' outfit made the cut, even though it didn't really look like workwear, just so that Suede could escape Terri's implications that his worries made him, well, a woman.

So while the show's two worst personalities/designs did not receive the treatment they deserved, at least the talented team on the episode did.

--Claire Zulkey

Photo: Signs of designer Daniel Feld's impeccable taste have been hard to find. Credit: Bravo