Recap of episode 8 of Project Runway: Under The Gunn
It was sink or swim time for mentor Anya Ayoung-Chee who has only two mentees left in her camp. The remaining eight designers were tasked to create a relaxed beach look using beach gear, including a volley ball net, mats, fans, and beach umbrellas to fashion wearable garments. But before the pressure cooker was ignited, the mentees and mentors were recorded in huddle formation reviewing the humiliating confrontation between Anya and designer Nicholas Komor who she eliminated last week.
Opinions on how Anya negotiated Nicholas’s critique sessions were mixed. Contender Michelle Uberreste from Team Mondo was outraged by Anya’s gesture and implication. “When I heard she pulled his portfolio and questioned if he really made those things, I think that’s just inappropriate,” remarked Uberreste. But Tim Gunn gave Anya a high-five: “I am so proud of Anya recognizing this so soon and on her own, she really gets it.”
The thick skin Nicholas demonstrated in that embarrassing confrontation is a quality Anya knows is required when she put herself in the hot lights of a major platform. However, Anya’s biggest fan, who accidentally rolled up beside me on Carnival Monday, needs some pointers on how to weather cheeky commentary, because it comes with the territory for those on American TV.
“Anya is now down to only two designers in her group, if she loses one more she’ll be in trouble,” announced Mr. Gunn. “When all the designers are eliminated, the mentor is eliminated, too.”
Playing it safe to get a pass from the judges is what Anya and Mondo Guerra advise their designers not to do. Now is the time to take risks. Anya’s critiques with her team were each about one sentence long. She told us that her “shift in mentoring style [entails] stepping back,” to let designers edit and figure it out on their own. A tactic Michelle disagreed with, then said: “Natalia [Fedner] is the weakest designer in the room, she doesn’t know how to construct a garment; she needs to go.” Giving Michelle on-camera face time with Anya and Natalia might have given viewers some sparks to salivate over. Instead, the show sews on at a lukewarm temperature.
On the runway, Team Anya received another lifeline when the judges flashed the safe card. “At this point in the competition, it’s not a bad thing that both of my designers are safe,” Anya told the camera. “It allows us to refocus and move forward.”
Team Mondo took big risks and aced the challenge. Sam Donovan and Asha Daniels took the win and runner-up, respectively. Sam was praised for his sexy, fun straw mat skirt with a silhouette that would flatter many women. And Asha knocked it out the park with the textile she created. The takeaway: trust your voice and take risks to deliver the wow factor.
Meanwhile, Stephanie Ohnmacht and Michelle are on the line for elimination. Judges coined Michelle’s look: “Austin Powers meets Judy Jetson. The fabrication ends up giving a cheap tacky feel; it missed the mark on the taste level, it looks waitressy.” “This judging has taking me for a loop,” remarked Mondo. Though mouthy Michelle “basically dressed a hooker,” the judges shipped Stephanie off to comb a beach. We’re tuning in Thursday night (or Sunday afternoon) to see if Mondo will reduce Anya or Nick to a team of one.
© SEAN DRAKES
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- Bittersweet Win for Anya
- Anya Targets Team Morale
- Team Anya Eats Dust
- Anya Hits Rock Bottom
- Anya Escapes Unscathed
- Making The Cut
- Anya Goes ‘Under The Gunn’