Project Runway Recap: The Top 5 Go to the Circus

And we get sold a bill of goods on the circus!

The views I'm about to express are mine and mine alone, and I can't not say them: You know Cirque du Soleil, that fancy-schmancy human-centric circus that proves you can be entertained without cages, bullhooks or the resulting abused animals? Yeah, if you watched Project Runway Thursday night, you might think that was the kind of circus Ringling Brothers Circus was. The designers were taken to the circus for "inspiration," and they and we saw about five minutes of all-human activity: clowns, juggling, acrobats. Very Cirque du Soleil-ish.

But Ringling Brothers is still full of animals, and I'm frankly surprised animal activist Tim Gunn didn't throw down over giving them that big fat promotion this week. Color me disenchanted.

Image: Lifetime

Perhaps that's why I found nothing noteworthy about the pre-runway activities this week. It was just a bunch of sniping about one another's talent and faux enthusiasm for the circus ... and it resulted in a bunch of costume-y crap.

And then they get Cynthia Rowley to join MagicallyPregnantHeidi, MK and ninagarcia on the judging panel, and she's pretty low-key. We could have used a little more lively, Cynthia, that's alls I'm sayin'

So, let's just get to it, shall we, because being a crankypants isn't my idea of fun, either!

As always, click on the designer's name to see the outfit.

1. Jay

Yikes. Jay made a basic pair of black pants, with a basic black tank, and covered it with, yes, a Michael Jackson-y jacket. Tacky. It was very literal, and once again, unflattering. With the jacket on, she looked boxy. With the jacket off, it was entirely unremarkable. Worth an auf, IMHO.

2. Mila

Another yikes. Hot pink shiny pants. Hot yellow shiny bodice. Cruella de Ville black-and-white long jacket: a costume, and a shiny, ugly one, at that. Kind of a cross between Morticia and Toulouse-Lautrec. Also worth an auf, IMHO.

3. Anthony

Oh, Anthony, you got a second chance last week, and you kicked ass. But you never were able to have two good weeks in a row, and this week was no exception. While every other designer may have gone way overboard on the circus theme and costume approach, you were way too understated. And not just understated: also cheap and boring-looking. This was a long, plain periwinkle dress with a big slit up the front and two big shoulder flaps. It was poorly made to the point of amateurishness. Pretty #epicfail.

4. Emilio

Image: Lifetime

Emilio was a unanimous judge favorite with his whimsical big-top-as-evening-gown look. Creating structure with black, white and red stripes, whimsy with polka dots, and figure flattery with an impeccably fitted strapless bodice and a full skirt that hit at a reasonable place and flowed outward from there (instead of coming back in and making the model look bubble-butted), Emilio ended on a high note.

5. Seth Aaron

Another designer, another costume. This time we've got red leather pants tucked into black knee boots and a very large, high-collared white blouse, under a Mila-esque long black-and-white striped jacket with exaggeratedly long sleeves and a yellow lining. In fact, Mila and Seth Aaron's outfits could have been twinsies. It was interesting, but literal and costume-y.

So. I was left unimpressed by almost all of the final outfits, and I don't think the judges were excited, either. They told Emilio and Seth Aaron they were both into the final. They told Anthony he was definitely auf.

And then they were stuck. They needed a third finalist, and Jay and Mila both whiffed this final challenge. So in one more not-that-twisty twist, Mila and Jay were told they have to make a collection, but that only one of them will get to show at Bryant Park (even though we already know 10 designers actually showed at Bryant Park last February).

I've gotta think it's between Emilio and Seth Aaron at this point for the final win, with Emilio having the edge.

But what did you think?

Elisa Camahort Page
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