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There’s more to Project Runway‘s Cornelius Ortiz than his bad attitude

Combine blacklight with emojis and you have one memorable Project Runway concept. It’s only fitting, then, that the most memorable look of the episode came from the most memorable cast member — Cornelius Ortiz, the most hated contestant of the season.

More: 7 reasons I stopped watching Project Runway

The challenge of the evening was the most intriguing thus far: transitioning from day to night. And not just any night on the town outfit something that looks good under blacklight. I am all about multi-purpose outfits, so I was eager to see how the designers would take a basic, conservative look and transform it into a flashier, nightclub-worthy design.

Cornelius Ortiz
Image: Lifetime

I learned a lot about blacklight fashion and seductive style tonight (including this very important tidbit: Tim Gunn’s not a nipple guy). But the biggest lesson? The person everybody loves to hate often has the best ideas. Ortiz took a simple, tailored dress and transformed it into a barrage of emojis under blacklight. Normally, I’d scoff at the thought of an emoji dress, but this one was pretty cool.

More: I hate to say it, but Tim Gunn was so wrong to trash Emily Ratajkowski’s dress

I’m still not sure if Ortiz’s concept resulted from laziness, condescension or a genuine love of emojis. Perhaps a mix of all three? It quickly became clear that he didn’t take the challenge seriously and was merely hoping for a quick laugh. Ultimately, however, it didn’t matter, because he brought a smile to the judges’ faces, just as he wanted. Klum even said that she loved the look because it was so “now.”

Cornelius Ortiz
Image: Lifetime

The judges seemed to like Ortiz and his design a lot more than the show’s viewers. While some critics took issue with the emoji-based design, most were more annoyed by the unsavory personality of the person responsible for the outfit. Ortiz is known for his shade, and he was just as condescending this evening as ever. His superior attitude and rude behavior could have made witnessing a fall from grace super enjoyable, but as annoying as he can be, you have to admire his ingenuity.

Personally, I like having a “love to hate” character on the show — especially one with just enough talent to deserve to be there. I get why viewers want Ortiz out, but they’ll just have to wait. He’s too talented to go home just yet.

More: We swear Heidi Klum’s been on vacation all year — just look at these photos

What did you think of Cornelius Ortiz’s emoji concept? Is he in tune with the times? Or lazy? Comment and share your opinion below.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

Project Runway finalists slideshow

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