Previously: Dude, that was so long ago.
Okay, fine. Zulema had a brief, shining, but eminently annoying "who's your daddy?" moment when she demanded that all of the models balance balls on the end of their noses and clap their flippers for her amusement. Nick lost his model and spent the rest of the episode gnashing his teeth, rending his garments, and reminiscing about that time he never strolled down the beach in Mykonos, neither with with Paris Hilton
nor MyScene Barbie. The designers, under orders from Michael Kors all hopped up on Hawaiiana in the 40s, menaced innocent New York city pedestrians, flowers and graffiti with their Olympus T digital cameras in order to create the most uninspiring "inspired" designs ever. Jay did not stab any bitches in his visit to the judges' chambers, Michael Kors almost had a clue, and we fell on our knees in gratitude that Anne Slowey was not around to pass judgement on the visibility of our tooties. Daniel V.'s befuddling homage to vegetation in unflattering silhouettes won,
while Zulema's befuddling homage to cluelessness, overagression, blanket false statements and general unpleasantness got her kicked out. We celebrated this,
woke up with a hangover, and turned our bleary, bloodshot eyes to the first week since, like, thediscovery of plate tectonics that we don't have any credible spoilers. Drag out your hankies!
After the longest "previously" in the history of previouslies, the designers comment on Zulema's departure. Nick, who unfortunately has not let up on the unattractive whining tone he adopted so unsuccessfully last week, attributes Zulema's departure to karma. Already I'm annoyed with him again -- not because I don't believe Zulema will be reborn as a dung beetle, which I do - but on the grounds that if you use karma to explain Zulema getting kicked out, how do you explain your own getting-screwed-ness at having your model stolen? Isn't that karma too? Or did the "Yay for Nick, always!" message not get through the network of slutty heiress attaches on Mykonos that does Nick's bidding with the support of the Deity?
The other designers say various things about Zulema, but it boils down to: "F**k it. That bitch was sheisty."
Kara says that it's a nice surprise for her to be in the top six, which the editors cleverly intersperse with Michael Kors saying that her "inspiration" design of tarted-up duct tape was crappy. Also, I want to bring a little gift bag for Kara, filled with concealer and a hair brush. I do not get the drug-mother look at all.
The designers go to the runway. Heidi tells them they will have to design dresses for a garden party. In the model-choosing, Daniel V. of course picks the gorgeous
Rebecca again. Tarah leaves, as we all knew she must, and Nick lays a guilt trip on Daniel V. by saying, to no one in particular but with keen grief, "what just
happened?" Daniel V. hears him, but looks forward, stoically, because manipulation that obvious should not be publicly addressed. Nick, all Stella effing Dallas, interviews that he loved Tarah partially because she "looked up to him," which I doubt because Tarah is like 8 feet tall, and also because this is yet another of Nick's ways to make the Tarah thing all about him. And my list of things that are "all about Nick" is getting a little long now and I don't want to start a new looseleaf notebook, okay? So ease up, brother.
Tim visits the designers to tell them about the field trip. Chloe answers the door in a cute strapless dress, hair all curled, looking fab. She makes some cute small talk with Tim, and generally shows off some pretty good social skills that are all the more comforting because Kara looks like she hasn't showered in weeks and gives the apartment an awkward crack-den vibe just by being there.
Tim takes them off on their long-awaited field trip. Chloe has taken her beautifully curled hair and is working some lame-ass pompadour that's very Real World tween chic, which is to say not chic at all. Broken-Record Nick speculates that they're going to visit some fabulous Park Avenue gardens. Just the way he speculated way back in the BR challenge that Tim was going to take them to some Park Avenue socialite's house. And Nick? This is what you have to know about New York: in the great urban-planning fight between walk-in closets and beautifully landscaped gardens on Park Avenue, the closets won decisively and all the gardens retreated to lick their sap in Central Park.
Tim takes them to the Flower District in Chelsea, which is the greenest place in New York outside of Central Park, and tells them that they all have to submit to anal probing from aliens. Oh, sorry. He actually tells them they have to make dresses out of leaves, but they just react as if he said the alien thing. Personally I find the clothes-out-of-leaves thing delightfully recherché. It's like the Caveman Diet, but for clothes! Nick, the incumbent candidate of the Whiny Party, reminds us of what ingrates we are for not appreciating his fabulous fabulosity by sputtering in an interview, "Of course, I had to stay long enough for the f- f-reaking-dress- make a dress out of flower challenge!" Apparently, the Mayan peasants forgot to sacrifice a virgin to save Nick from having to actually compete.
Santino buys some mesh and ficuses. Ficus trees make me think of Jack Tripper, because they had a ficus in the Three's Company apartment. I'm so sad that John Ritter is gone. Anyway. Andrae, all this one time? At band camp? reveals that he once worked for a florist.
They shop some more. Andrae interviews that his goal all along has been to get to the final four. "Just get to the final four and let God sort it out," he adorably describes his plan. And, not that I was an Episcopalian minister in a past life or anything, but once again I worry about the somewhat shoddy grasp of theology the designers have, because Andrae's all like, "Snap, snap! Manservant! Get me some divine intervention, and make sure it happens by two. I have a hair appointment."
Santino is clearly channeling a divinity of another kind - like, perhaps, the Devil -when he interviews that he wants to get first place in the challenge so that he can design something really offensive for the next time and they can't do anything to him. Call me a literalist, but they could do plenty if they cut him at the final four in retribution. But. I like what he says on three levels. On the first, he's owning his villainy. On the second, he says "offensive" the way Richard Gere reveals to the shopkeepers in Pretty Woman that the amount of money he is prepared to spend on Julia Roberts is offensive. Third, he does a little clenched-fist shimmy that is very funny.
Chloe describes her dress as a summer dress with straps, which has been
every single dress ever in the limited Chloe Dao oeuvre, and is such a snore
that I almost get sleep apnea, like, right there watching TV.
We see Santino's sketches, which are totally hot. Andrae interviews that his dress is inspired by late 50s haute couture, which he tragically overpronounces the way the whitest news anchor will suddenly get all Cholo when saying "Nicaragua." It's a little disorienting. He says he will make his dress from Spanish moss and other things that would die beautifully. Nice to take on the Gaia Hypothesis Andrae. And it's not like I'll be redesigning the layout of office buildings in Hong Kong any time soon, but I will say that Andrae's design is bad feng shui. Dead things bring bad luck. This is why dried flowers are prohibited as decorations in feng shui. And also in tasteful homes everywhere.
Tim comes into the workroom with a Santa bag full of tricks to freak the designers out. He suggests to Chloe, whose design is made entirely of muslin, leaves and glue, that the glue will not work. Chloe, desperate to prove to Tim that her design is feasible, shakes a piece of muslin with a sad little cluster of overlapping leaves glue-gunned on it. "It's not going anywhere, see?" She says with confidence. The editors give us a hilarious little boing as one leaf is all, Buh-bye. I got somewhere else to be right now and jumps off the cloth. Chloe refuses to freak out. Good girl.
Tim then tries to freak out Kara, who also refuses to bite and says her design is evolving organically. Organically, get it? Get it?
Yeah, well, same to you.
Tim doesn't even try to freak out Daniel. He's too cute.
Next is Nick. Nick is using stems, glued on to a piece of fabric, which look like stems, glued on to a piece of fabric. It looks a bit lame. Even the cavemen are
like, "Dude, step it up." Tim questions whether Nick has enough vegetation to create a decent garment. and finally scores a shot in the psychological warfare because Nick completely collapses and realizes he doesn't have enough to create a respectable skirt.
And we all know what that means: the return of our old friend tootie!
Tim, satisfied at having found a victim, hides his glee and observes dryly, "Maybe it will have to be a micromini," and moves on.
He says "Wow" when he sees Santino's, which could mean "Wow, how great," or "Wow, your crack pipe is so much bigger than I thought." It is unclear which interpretation fits, but Santino goodnaturedly gives him nothing.
Tim wanders outside to find Andrae, who appears to be constructing a punchline with some Astroturf and a spray bottle of water. Okay, maybe he's constructing a dress. But to me, it looks like a punchline.
The editors cut the footage of Tim henpecking Andrae with footage of Santino doing an impression of Tim as a robot that runs out of electricity. So if Tim has no
heart, does Santino have a brain? We will say no more about it. But I would consider it grounds for Tim's assault on Santino.
The designers work and gossip. Daniel reveals that he came out just a year ago to his parents, and Nick is all drag-queen, finger-snap, "Bitch, why you wait so long? Shyeeeet." After chastising Daniel, Nick talks about his childhood and rent-a-dates and Catholic school experience and how he came out 20 years ago. Because as we learned last week, everything, even if it is about Daniel, is really about Nick. Also: 20 years ago we were all wearing slouch socks and we thought Michael Jackson was God. Things change, is all I'm saying.
Daniel frankly responds that his Christian upbringing figured into his hesitation, and interviews, heartbreakingly, "To be labeled a 'fag' in upper-middle-class white America was difficult." He mentions his ex-girlfriend, and he might as well have
said that he dated goats, because Chloe is scandalized and helpfully offers that her biggest fear is to date a gay guy. Right behind tarantulas and "using colors other than blue," I'm guessing.
Daniel shamelessly aids and abets Santino's Timpressions, mewling out adorably, "Do Tim again. But more." Santino totally gets into it and creates a tortured scenario wherein Tim and Andrae have a lover's spat at Red Lobster. I always thought Tim was more of a Sizzler man. The Timpression is hilarious, but we are all, including Chloe, holding our breath at the transgressiveness. Andrae interviews, adorably, "Is there anyone out there in the world like Santino?" He pauses, blinks, and adds, "And if there is, don't call me because one is enough."
The designers toil. Tim makes another visit, all Mua ha ha ha ha to poor Nick about the lack of vegetation, all "I don't know, I don't know, I don't know" to Kara, all disapproving of Andrae's "flotsam and jetsam," and then..well, then, boys and girls, Tim confronts Santino.
Tim's opening salvo is a spot-on imitation of Santino imitating Tim saying "What happened to Andrae," which is a lot to unwrap. Santino is completely uncomprehending at first, then catches on that Tim has caught on, and starts blushing.
The designers are hysterical at this point, and Nick is running over to Andrae, all "Ooh, oooh, a fight, a fight!" and Kara is just overwhelmed with
laughter, and it's all very adorable.
Santino, to his credit, decides to go Young Balls-out and not only imitates Tim in front of Tim, but also intensifies and builds on the story and the whole thing is very funny and quite awesome. Andrae gleefully interviews that Tim put Santino in his place in a funny way, but Tim's Podcast calls it a stalemate.
Tim departs, with laughter and goodwill and butterflies following him wherever he goes, and the designers get back to work.
In the suite, the boys, who we have seen in actual daylight in this episode, discuss what will happen. Andrae says they're all safe. But the Black Shadow of Bad Feng Shui around him says otherwise. Andrae insists he's not leaving. Oh, Andrae.
Santino proudly surveys his dress form and says to Daniel, "I sprayed it with shellac. Can you tell?" And Daniel sniffs the air once or twice and then collapses
in a very cute fake faint. It's very graceful, so we can see that Daniel was a gymnast.
Daniel says, worriedly, "I'm sending a bush down the runway." His dress does bear an unfortunate resemblance to an untrimmed hedge.
Tim, still piqued that he has not been able to unsettle Chloe, tells her she needs another pair of hands. That pair of hands turns out to be Kara, which makes me want to call all the drug jokes bygones and embrace her. Very nice. Kara says she and Chloe want to have a woman "representin'" in the top three, and the girl can't drop a "G" credibly to save her life, but I like the thought. Chloe says she didn't manage
her time well. I don't know. I think the girl is being pimped by the producers, but still: It's not like she was playing poker instead of working. She just had a
lot of work to do.
Kara interviews that with immunity, she would sleep. What a go-getter! Santino says if he gets immunity he would be taking it from an undeserving fool, or perhaps a small child. Either way.
The models are sent to hair and makeup alone so the designers can work some more.
Judging time. Heidi comes out in a hideous white dress that makes her look like she is carrying a baby. In her lymph nodes. Guest judges include Badgely Mischka, a design duo I love.
Daniel is first. His design is hedge-y, but with pretty blue flowers. The muslin is not completely covered.
Nick's design has large leaves. The thick, tapered straps look tacky, as does the tootie-protecting batch of baby's breath sticking out of the Delta of Venus area.
Chloe's looks fantastic, with all these little leaves overlapping elegantly.
Santino's is very whimsical and gorgeous, with a crinoline and pretty clusters of flowers. It looks fashion-forward. Andrae's dress looks like what would happen if Ikea built a topiary.
Kara's is made of purple flowers, a halter, a raffia back and an Astroturf skirt. It's cute and clever.
I was sort of looking forward to having Nina back, but she quickly is all, "Remember me? I'm annoying!" by saying that she's disappointed that the designers didn't use flowers. Heidi says she expected them to sew rose petals, which...is that even possible?
My beef is this: who cares if they used flowers? That's like saying, "why didn't you use puppy fur?" or "Why not a belt made of fiberglass?" That's the design. I don't like all this backseat-driving the judges are doing.
Heidi says that the designers used a lot of green. Kors says irrelevantly and falsely, 'green is the new black.' And Michael Kors is the new pointless.
The judges attack Nick for all the greenery in the world, ever, apparently trying to get him back for humanity's dark history for building clothes out of leaves. Nick, dying for all our sins, tries to defend himself, but brings up Paris Hilton and totally blows it, because we're all sick of that nonsense.
They like Chloe's and Karas. Kors says Andrae's dress is stiff and has bad feng shui. Oh wait, that's me.
They love Daniel, his dress, and everything about him.
Nina and Michael Kors complain that Santino's shellacking made the dress too plasticky and shiny. They are wrong and unfair about this. Heidi suggests,
fabulously, that their houseplants need dusting.
Kors calls Nick's design, and Nick in general, vulgar. And ugly, okay, but how is it vulgar? I would like to believe that the judges have a more refined eye than the rest of us, but listen: given Heidi's lymph-node dress, Michael Kors' bright-orange perma-fake tan, Nina's overprocessed highlights, and the dreck that is Anne Slowey's column in Elle (oh, yes, I checked) I have trouble wholeheartedly signing on to this theory.
Badgely and Mischka like Santino as wearable art. Kors is all, "what do you do with a girl like Santino," and shruggy about Santino's conceptual talent.
Santino and Kara are in. Kara looks bummed she didn't win. Daniel wins, as he must. Chloe is in. Nick and Andrae are left. Heidi's hair is plutonium blonde. The judges toy with Nick and Andrae, tell Nick he's tacky and Andrae he's stiff, and then we have to wave goodbye to Andrae, our little lamb, who goes out beautifully and sensitively and I wish him well.