The contestants who attract the most attention on Project Runway are not always the most talented or hardworking designers, as is abundantly clear this season. Yes, Erin Robertson and Cornelius Ortiz have their talents, but while they're hogging the spotlight, Roberi Parra is patiently doing his thing — and getting closer and closer to a win.
Parra's quiet dedication reminds us a lot of Laurence Basse, but he doesn't always get as much credit from the judges. Although his work typically satisfies the judges, he's received some harsh critiques — but he takes the criticism with excellent composure and grace. This week, he received the praise he's deserved all season, but the judges' response to his impressive avant-garde look should have been far more enthusiastic.
The latest challenge was one of the most intriguing of the season: Grab metal from a warehouse and combine it with textiles to create an avant-garde look. Parra crafted a sculpted outfit with stunning shapes. The look incorporated bronze in a unique and appealing way. No, it wasn't the most original look of the episode, but it was certainly better crafted than Erin Robertson's, which had visible glue on the backside.
Ultimately, despite the glue, Robertson won the challenge — perhaps because she took a greater risk with her look. But as far as we're concerned, the judges' enthusiasm for Robertson's look and lukewarm response to Parra's is further evidence that Parra is underappreciated on this show.
There's something really appealing about a contestant who sticks to himself, avoids drama and consistently puts forth a good product. Parra's creations aren't always the most attention-grabbing, but they are typically well-made and fitting with whatever the challenge is at the time. Parra may not have received the full praise he deserved this week, but tonight's episode was nevertheless a step in the right direction. The other contestants better watch out — Parra just might clinch a surprise victory on Project Runway.
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