Oscar Guns for Finale

Recap of episode 10 of Project Runway: Under The Gunn

The dust from the emotional departure of Michelle Uberreste last week hadn’t quite settled when episode 10 cranked-up.  Tongues and tempers were still acidic.  To make matters worse, for this do-or-die team challenge the outspoken Asha Daniels was paired with the designer deemed the weakest link—Natalia Fedner.  Even mentor Mondo Guerra was a sourpuss, who anticipated a negative scenario from having to collaborate with Natalia’s mentor Nick Verreos: “Some of my personal eUTGshanmotions are going to get in the way.  This is going to be a disaster.”

Sam Donovan on Team Mondo credited Natalia with making “the most progress in this competition.”  But he overlooked that Oscar Garcia Lopez has evolved from an aesthetic that over-draped Cuban cha-cha drag queens from the 1940s, into a powerhouse able to deliver and edit modern ideas with Fifth Avenue finesse.

Either way you pair the designers you hope advance to the finale, Oscar is a winner. This recap series concludes before the final show airs.  Garments in the final show reflect Oscar’s flare for well-draped elegance.  All three mentors walk the red carpet at the final show, which was recorded December 16, 2013.  Actor Neil Patrick Harris joins the delicious Heidi Klum who dons red kinky boots to judge the collections that will determine the overall winner.  Shan Keith Oliver saved the day for Team Anya, and earned his invite to the finale.


Designers Shan Keith Oliver and Oscar Garcia Lopez collaborate on a mini-collection. Top: Shan’s blazer walks the runway. Below: Blake Smith (l) and Sam Donovan. Bottom: Oscar’s maxi dress. Photos: Under The Gunn/Lifetime TV

At this week’s judging, Oscar and Shan were praised for bringing “obvious genius” to the mini-collection team challenge they won.  Sam and Blake Smith escaped judging unscathed.  Asha and Natalia had their necks on the chopping block for an awkward dashiki and ill-constructed dress.  “It looked so much better before I put the pleats down,” cried Natalia about the messy bust of her dress.

UTG01-ep10-episode8The facial cue of judge Jen Rade usually says enough, but her critique is incomplete without her colorful narrative:  “I love a dashiki, but this looks like she yanked a curtain off a motel and wrapped it around herself.”  “This dress is mirroring the worst construction ever seen, why is one nipple over here and one up here?!”  Their collection made “even the models look uncomfortable,” added Rachel Roy.

UTGoscarWhen Tim Gunn revealed the vote to cut Natalia, mentor Nick cried: “This has been life-changing to see how much she has developed into a great designer.”  “Pursue your dream,” he told Natalia, “Thank you for letting me grow.”  Though Team Nick is on its last leg, Oscar is a consistently strong and favored contender.

As her 15 minutes dwindled to seconds, Natalia told the camera: “Although I let the criticism and lack of respect to get to me, I did not take it out on anyone.  It showed me that under pressure I’m a good person.”  That offers a usable takeaway.  To which I add, win or lose, being chronicled with a slight side of pepper, benefits the popularity of those who willfully step into the critical lens of reality TV.


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