When “Project Runway” first announced that this season would be a special “teams edition,” I knew that things were about to get bad, and fast.
While it’s not uncommon for the fashion design reality show to have group challenges, the concept of having teams for the entire season just didn’t sit well with me. When the season began and I saw what these challenges looked like — poor attempts at collections filled to the brim with rules meant to make team members argue — I thought, “How will [host and former supermodel] Heidi Klum and company pick a single winner if everything is based on groups of designers?”
The program ended up discontinuing the teams about halfway through the season, save a few final challenges. This completely botched the season.
That’s what probably made this season of “Project Runway” the most disappointing one so far — the show’s premise didn’t even play a large part in the season at all. The first few episodes utilized the team aspect, and the show was more packed with drama than previous seasons, but the design work suffered greatly due to designers having to fit their creativity into ridiculous team challenges instead of just designing something in tune with their individual aesthetics, also known as the point of the show.
Michelle Lesniak Franklin, the Portland-based designer who I’ve been rooting for since episode one, ended up winning the show, but definitely not in the way she should have. The show’s two other finalists, Patricia Michaels and Stanley Hudson, were bogus competition for Franklin. Michaels shouldn’t have made it past midseason — her crafty fabric creations didn’t ever enter into her actual designs — and Hudson had clearly not been creating his best work for the final few episodes, ending with a collection that was less than satisfactory. In the words of Heidi Klum: “It felt old.”
While the season definitely had its ups — beautiful designs from Franklin — it definitely had its downs. Ultimately, the last season of “Project Runway” was a total letdown.
Rebecca Docter is a 19-year-old mass communication freshman from Brandon, Miss.