Friday, April 21, 2006

How Do You Feel About Immunity?

Admittedly, I didn't watch Season One until late in the game (Postal Challenge). I finally watched that entire season on a snowy weekend in the middle of Season Two. Looking back, I found myself intrigued by the use of immunity so often in the competition that first season and so very little this year. I've got my own ideas how immunity could be used (and Team BPR spoke to Tim Gunn about immunity at 'The Blog Producers' Meeting'). But I want to know what you think about immunity ... is it a good thing or a bad? Do you see ways to use immunity to make the competition better? Do tell us!

You share your ideas and I'll share mine.

19 comments:

Laura K said...

The great thing about immunity is that it causes the designers to try harder to win! There is generally less mediocrity.

Of course you can almost predict that the following week the judges will say, "Well it's a good thing that you have immunity because without it, you would be off this week!"

Anonymous said...

Immunity is only good in a competition where there are teams. If the challenges are between individuals, immunity is not a fair prize.

LNLisa said...

I like the idea of immunity being used sparingly. I think though if they're going to hand out immunity, they really shouldn't wait until so late in the season where it can so drastically tip the final results.

Anonymous said...

The great thing about PR is that it really is a merit based competition and it is judged throughout by experts in the field. No audience voting so no pandering to the lowest common denominator. I think some contestants may have made it further in the competition than they would have due to immunity but I'd hate to see someone mediocre kept on while someone better got eliminated because they didn't have immunity. I say use it VERY sparingly and I agree that it should only be used early in the competition. I hate Survivor and all the other "reality" shows because the winners come down to whomever the producers showcase or whomever appeals to the most of America. Who wants to see fashion designed by middle America? If I want to see that I'll check out the Kathie Lee collection at Wal-Mart. Stick to what makes this show so good and what the critics all tout as it's best feature; honest, real judging. Immunity would make it seem more like a game of chance. I'd rather see the judging be more consistent (I thought it was somewhat inconsistent this year) and I'd like to get rid of the uneasy feeling that the producers may occasionally intervene even though Tim and Nina and Michael swear they don't.

Jennifer said...

I really, really don't like the use of immunity. It's really the only reason La Peppper made it to the final three in Season 1.

Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings about immunity. It does allow designers that should have failed a challenge to coast on through.

On the other hand, right now there is no reward for taking risks and trying to win a challenge. In fact, it's in your best interest NOT to take that risk - because it means you might lose. And until the final three, winning doesn't matter - not losing matters.

A lot of the judges' comments were about designers playing it safe. Well, that's because it was set up so playing it safe was the best strategy. Immunity is one way to make risk taking a more attractive strategy.

Marcia.

Anonymous said...

immunity is great as a motivator for the designers to take risks and not play it safe like we saw so many times in season 2 (borring)...but it seems like many times immunity bites the judges in the ass the next week as the winner has little motivation ro really listen to what the judges say cause they know theyre safe (even santino said he wanted immunity so he cud send out some outrageous piec)...so how do you motivate designers without another wendy pepper situation or even with daniel this year? up to the producers, although maybe a better incentive to take risks and try to win challenges wud be like extra money for the net piece or something fun like on ANTP where they get to go shopping or to a party

sallahdog said...

Say what you like about Santino, but he was the only one who seemed to take big risks this season.

It did seem to me that people knew to a certain extent how the competition would be set up, and decided to play out stradegies based on what they thought would keep them in. Interestingly enough, I would say that Daniel, Chloe, Santino and Nick, were the only ones who seemed to be genuinely trying to win each challenge, so the only person who really managed to get far on "Good enough for this round" was Kara (who while the decoy, designed a kick ass collection for fashion week)
I remember Marla saying a few times, that she wasnt trying to win a particular challenge, she was just trying to be good enough to get to the next challenge. She wasnt the only one, either.

I don't know if immunity would solve this problem, but it certainly gave people something to shoot for. I disagree that immunity got Wendy Pepper to the finals in Season one... Wendy always seemed to have someone else that screwed up just a little bit more than she did, which got her competition bounced.

Wendy didnt force Austin to make a lovely, but inappropriate dress for Nancy Odell. Or cause Jay to make her a dress in colors she said she hated, or Kara Saun to make a long dress with pants when Nancy was pretty specific that she liked 2 piece outfits because of the mic equip she needed to wear.

While I didn't like how Wendy acted a great deal, she really did try her best to nail challenges, and even won a few. You can't say that about Marla or some of the other also rans in Season 1 and 2.

sallahdog said...

by the way, the one thing I would REALLY change is go back to the way they picked their models in season 1. I thought it kept good models in the competition longer, since they weren't tied to a particular designers fortune.

geekygirrl said...

Either you are a designer who can consistently generate concepts and realize them, or you aren't. If you are that sort of designer, the carrot on a stick of immunity won't make you work harder or better. Kara Saun won lots of immunity in Season 1, but that didn't stop her from crankin' out great designs and winning even though she didn't need to.

If you are an inconsistant designer, immunity may help. I agree that immunity may have helped Wendy Pepper. She was all over the map, and winning at the right time (Bananna Republic challenge) at least let her make it through the next challenge, which her team lost.

I can't really see that immunity serves a purpose. If the goal is to identify a consistently good designer, immunity doesn't contribute to that goal, but instead furthers the "game show" aspect which I think the producers should try to avoid at all costs.

Chiffonista said...

I really liked immunity, and I hope they bring it back. As others have said, without a reward for winning, it's human nature to play to "not lose." Not that anyone would put out less than their best work, but subconsciously it changes the bar. If I were in their shoes, I'd be thinking, "I really need to do better than so-and-so," rather than "I really need to do better than /everybody/." It's a mathematical thing, for me. Say there are 8 designers and no immunity. You risk having 8 designs that are "under the radar" or created (subconsciously, at least) with an eye toward doing better than the weakest competitors. Given the same 8 designers with immunity at stake, the worst that can happen is the following week you end up with 7 risk-taking designs and one mediocre one. Those are great odds, for me, as a viewer. Bring back immunity!

Anonymous said...

While occasional immunity would be OK, I like the idea of having something other than immunity as a prize for winning. It gives them incentive but doesn't affect the outcome of the next challenge. I agree that it's tempting for some designers to just make it through to the next round, so they don't take risks.

The prizes could be related to more time/money next time, dinner at a local restaurant, a meeting with an established designer, a gift certificate at Mood (not for use on a challenge), etc.

sarahlad said...

Immunity is fine. I think early on it can be a good motivator. I also think it caused Daniel V to skate past on the Make Over challenge.... he just didn't give care as much as he would have otherwise. I also think there should be week when more than one designer gets canned. I think that because Wendy was second from the bottom about every challenge except the ones she won...She should not have been in the final three. (Austin was robbed who is Nancy ODell?!) I also liked this season they really seemed to take into account all the work the designers had done.... this leads them to at lease try to be more consistent and find thier "point of view" rather than being lead by teh challenge....

Anonymous said...

Love this site! I'm a frequent lurker. Just wanted to comment on a comment. I didn't like all of the time spent on model selection during Season One. The time spent on Jay's irresponsible model was especially grating.

As for immunity, I'm not crazy about it. If it's used, I think it should only be for teams and in the early stages of the season.

Thanks for such a wonderful site for all things "Runway".

JRT said...

Okay, I am very opposed to the immunity situations because even though the challenge the competitors more, it also ends up letting them do horrific work for the next challenge and get by while having to eliminate someone else that might have done better in that challenge. If you need to see a reason why NOT to use immunity, just watch Top Chef. Somehow the one with immunity always ends up failing in the Challenge, a la Tiffani.

I like the use of rewards, ie Nicki Hilton, Barbie, Iman, etc. That gives them something to work for, but doesn't allow them a 'free' pass the next week. It makes them keep working just as hard.

As far as the model selection goes, I kind of like the way Season 1 did it better, but please producers keep the focus off the model selectiong. We don't need to know who each chose, we need to know what each designer designed and what was said about each design (that is my plea for more of the runway talk on the show, sans Santino's tirade).

Anonymous said...

I thought immunity was a bit too copycat and best left to the likes of Survivor or Apprentice. If immunity appears in Season 3, I'd rather let the immune designer and model have a day off.

Anonymous said...

immunity is a great reward, but so is having a barbie with your designs...

As long as the reward matches the challenge and the judging is consistant, immunity really is just a bonus to me.

I think immunity can make each designers work harder, but that also might be group dynamics.. having some one like Jay and Kara-saun in the work room might push me to be more creative too! where as Santino was always criticized for his pushing limits. Even Guadalupe's creative designs were not encourages.. in my opinion.. I blame lack of creativity on the designers and the judging..
not the rewards.
aka. asiangirl

Anonymous said...

Immunity was a pass...not a challenge. I saw nothing good come of it. The designer loses momentum. I still would like the challenges make them dig deeper...Bananna Republic??? Give me a break.

fluffsters said...

immunity should be done away with.