Thursday, February 09, 2006

Dear Producers,

Dear Producers,

Okay, we can accept that we will be heartbroken after just about every episode. We miss Andrae. We will certainly miss Nick. But, hey - how about balancing the sadness with a little levity? Last week (Flower Power) was a fun episode even though we lost Andrae. This week - not fun at all. No entertainment value. Nothing. Worst episode ever.

It was worse than merely sad, worse than merely bad - it was all the way to offensive. If this had been the first episode I had ever seen of Project Runway I would have switched the channel at the "Eating my own feces" remark. This was quickly followed by several more outrageous remarks, childish bickering and excuses. Disgusting. Where is the entertainment value in this discussion? With the hours and hours of film that you must have - why choose to air this? Was everything else worse? After watching the bonus videos I might believe that everything else WAS worse. I seriously think you should remove some of this from your website. It's completely vulgar. And, unlike Michael Kors, I know what vulgar means.

Starting with Danyelle's tearful farewell, the "Makeover" episode was just depressing. When the show was over I felt..disappointed. And not just about Nick. I'm just sick of Santino. I'm sick of TPTB refusing to eliminate him. I'm sick of the way the RULES SEEM TO CHANGE EVERY WEEK. I'm sick of feeling like there is an element of unfairness to the whole process. Last night was the last straw. I'm just sick.

Why on earth would anyone want to watch a show that is depressing, vulgar, and unfair? Please fix this. I feel like a fool for watching.

Part of the fun for the viewers of any competitive reality show is "playing along." We try to guess who will win and who will be out. But with this show - there's no logic to the judging, and we are robbed of this potentially cheering element. Instead we have frustration and anger. Is this how you want your viewers to feel?

These are the final episodes - they should be fun and exciting - yes, a little heartbreak mixed in - we understand that - but mostly we want to feel like "Wow, this is a great show! I love Project Runway. I can't wait to see the collections!" Instead I feel like "This is ridiculous. I'm sick of it. I don't even care."

Laura Kluvo


isejanus said...

Oh, Laura! To quote a still-missed Daniel Franco, "This sounds like truth" to me! I only hope TPTB read your blog and take it to heart. Surely Tim will.

AJ said...

I couldn't agree with everything you said more! I feel like my intelligence is being insulted by the's kind of infuriating.

ChooseSuccess said...

This week's show was most disappointing in every way. I, too, was embarassed to have recomeded to so many of my friends that they watch. I gushed about how "addicted" to the show I was. I think they will question my taste level as well as the content of the program and level of creativity and quality design of individuals who will aspire to charge thousands of dollars for a design creation.

rev808 said...

It's very funny, but I was looking at Kara's website. It seems she was MAJORLY influenced by Santino. She has a hat just like his, a jacket in his style, and EVEN A JUMPSUIT that's all Santinoed up! And guess which model she has employed!?!?!

I'm glad Santino stayed in because I really am interested to see what he's doing for his collection if he's the final 3. Also, his came off bad because he spent TOO MUCH time helping Kara on her outfit for him.

Esq. Lady said...

I thought I was the only one who felt this way after last nite's show.

Thanks for putting my thoughts into words.

The Scarlett said...

You know, Laura, you have eloquently expressed my feelings. Another Daniel Franco quote, "Follow your bliss" ... well, this episode had no bliss. None. And you're right ... the rules changed.

This was painful on many levels that had nothing to with Nick's elimination.

Tom in KC said...

You hit the nail on the head, Laura. Last night, Project Runway joined the pack of the other tasteless "gimmicky" reality shows.

I'll continue to watch the remainder of this season -- I'm already "invested" -- but I won't be back for Season Three.

It sad that PR once had more of a documentary feel to it...and now it's just about maniuplating "great" television moments.

LNLisa said...

Thank you for saying that. I so agree. This is what always happens when I begin watching a reality show. I get so excited watching the people with genuine talent, but then the producers/judges/whoever makes these decisions chooses instead the cheap drama.

In this case, they have not only sacrificed a single episode, but the quality of the final appearance at Olympus Fashion Week. There is no doubt in my mind that Nick would have brought wonderful talent and vision to that show if he'd been in the final three.

I'll be watching the rest of this season, but rather sadly, wondering what might have been.

johnny darling said...

I dunno about the vulgarity -- It's a different tone than what we're used to, but it's somehow much more real and believable than many of the hyper-posed sitautions we often see. For many of these shows, so many of the designers have gone out of their way to "perform" and "act" like the character they play, coming across as being contrived. In any case, every fashion designer I have ever met (at least here in Los Angeles, where I live) has without fail talked like a foul mouthed sailor, particularly when they're under the gun. And, meanwhile, though I was very sad to see the delightful Nick get voted off, let's remember BOTH Santino and Nick's designs were terrible this time -- and it was the third "swing" judge who seemed to be voting for Santino to stay. I have a feeling that if it were just up to Kors and Garcia, Santino would have been "auf'ed," but with the stylist guy the voting appeares to have come down to a split. It was almost precisely like the time last season when a crack headed Nancy O'Dell stepped in, scrambled everything up, and got Austin Scarlet voted off. Blame the swing judge. Many thanks for the wonderful blog site!

miriald said...

Thanks so much for writing this. You've already proven yourself to have the ear of some influential people, so maybe someone will hear this. It was bad enough that Santino got away with a garment that was literally falling apart on the runway, but what's worse is that he lied about why it was falling apart. Just bald-faced LIED and got away with it.

I loved this show and now I'm beyond disappointed.

Deb R said...

If they do a third season of PR, I'd like to see them totally change the judging.

I'd like to see each judge give each outfit a number score between 1 and 10 and then they'd be averaged and the high score would win and the low score would be Out, and the producers should have no say in it unless there's a tie, in which case I would grudgingly grant them the privelege of a tie-breaker vote.

And here's the BIG thing....I'd like to see the scores be cumulative from week to week. So the first week everyone scores between 1 - 10. The second week's scores are added to the first so that everyone ends up with a score between 2 - 20, and so on, and so on.

That would reward the designers that do consistently good work, perhaps allowing them to survive having one bad week; and it would gradually weed out the ones who do mediocre crap week after week, only to pull out the occasional good design at a key moment.

Under the current judging system, timing and personality are way more important than talent and it means some people stay longer than they should, while more talented people get home early. By then end of the season, that's annoying and discouraging.

Real fans want to see the best designers make the final three, dammit!

Anonymous said...

Very well-said.

memee said...

I'm not sure I would call this episode vulgar. If the mood of the designers was depressed, then it was accurately reflected in the show. The producers aren't going to put something sad out there if it wasn't the truth - I'm sure they'd much rather go for entertaining. It's a little unfair to pan the entire episode because you are offended by Santino's jokes and don't like seeing sadness.

I often enjoy reading your posts, but this time I have to disagree. Though it wasn't the best, I thought it was a decent episode.

JRT said...

like everyone has already said, very well said. and thanks for standing up for the viewing public laura and voicing our beliefs and opinons, or at least the majority of us. nonetheless, thanks so much for eloquently saying exactly what I believed.

JRT said...

i agree fully debr, the producers, despite the fact it is their show, should have ABSOLUTELY no say in how the judging goes. they have hired a panel of 3 judges that are very qualified. if they cannot trust that they will make the correct call, then why have chosen these people. or are they just a pawn to what the producers want to see on their show? it makes no sense whatsoever. i just want to scream, producers do your job, and judging a runway is not your speciality.

Mike Gibson said...

Addendum to debr's excellent judging ideas:

In later episodes add a "blind" judging, ie, the twist is the judges don't know who's creations they are scoring. They can guess, but the obvious identifications would be at least muted.

Imagine applying that to last night's episode ...

Anonymous said...

When I saw the way Karen was crucified (and rightly sew) for her Strawberry Shortcake meets Mary Poppins [meets Marc Jacobs 2006 Fall RTW collection (BTW)], the PR double standard in the name of "entertainment value" sent me reeling into the 11th dimension crying foul, or maybe just plain crying.

I, for one did turn the channel after the reference tohuman waste knowing full well the producers would sacrifice another designer for Santino's drama factor.

Anonymous said...

Wow...I am totally speechless after this episode. And that rarely happens.
I totally agree with Laura's every word. I, too, am SO tired of the rules changing every week. A little continuity from the judges PLEASE!
And really, I thought this was a show about designing clothes...not a clown act with one very obnoxious ring leader and a bunch of other, normal people trying to actually compete.
Well said, Laura!

Anonymous said...

lighten up it's just fashion

Dorian said...

I am very upset Nick got booted and I think Santino has been kept on for wrong reasons but your assessment is way too harsh for me.
I especially dont see why you got some upset over the feces lines. Santino is immature and they wanted to show it.
I agree that blind judging might work but think of this. If yesterday's had been blind, we may have lost Daniel as well ! They really seemed to hate his dress.
I dont know ... I am more upset that Santino lied on the runway and Tim G. isnt allowed to step in. I dont want the producers to intervene but I want Tim to tell them what goes on on each dress behind the scenes.

Anonymous said...

I agree with almost everything you said. I was ok with showing the little spat between Santino and Nick because sometimes being tired can create that situation so that is real. The issue I have is that while both were in the bottom one design was falling apart and I can't believe that anyone other than Santino could have gotten away with that and I don't know why he does. The minute Kors said that Nick made vulgar designs last week I knew he was a goner.

praddicted said...

Well said, Laura and I totally agree. I really loved this show and now I feel-duped. I could (sort of) justify some of the similar decisions in season 1. I have to say though, that all in all-I think Andrae was a bigger loss than Nick-just my humble opinion. He had grown so much and I would have loved to have seen a collection by him-he would have been a real contender. I fear Nick would have been a little less versatile, but no matter-end result the same. Last night was a showcase for Santino from his offensive ramblings and his sad need for constant attention and it ended badly for all of us. Guess what PTB-if you had let the judging alone, drama would have happened anyway. Or at least a story that we would enjoy would have emerged without you *creating* it. I'll be back for Season 3 if things change. IF not-you're out.

eric3000 said...

I have to disagree about this episode. I thought it was really exciting. Did people just hate it because Nick is out. It's not the first time we've thought the judging was bad so why are you more upset this time? While I agree Santino's scatalogical comments were disgusting I didn't let that ruin the whole episode for me.

I was expecting it to be really bad because I didn't think it would be fair to judge menswear against womenswear; I thought it would be like comparing apples to oranges and I didn't know which would be at a disadvantage. I also was afraid that it would be possible for a designer to sabbotage another designer. But I was pleasantly surprised by the episode. I loved how the designers worked together and seemed genuinely interested in making everyone's design successfull.

While Santino's jumpsuit was probably the worst, Nick's suit was really bad too and I think it is unfair to assume some kind of conspiracy. I thought the ice skating episode was much worse; the outfits were all terrible and my favorite designer was out (I think unfairly) but I didn't let one bad episode ruin the whole show for me.

JohnK said...

I have been trying to get the way I feel written down. Laura you have said it for me.

I just feel over the whole show after last night.

Anonymous said...

At the beginning (when the judges don't really know anybody yet) and end (when everybody should be pretty equal) of the competition, contestants should be cut or kept on the basis of the individual garments. In the middle, I'm kind of okay with giving a pass to designers who have shown promise, but who have bad weeks here and there.

This week was the third challenge where I would have cut Santino, the other two being the lingerie challenge and the skating challenge. I cut the judges some slack on the other two, 'cause I figure they'd already decided Daniel and Emmett weren't going to make it and they wanted to see if Santino's talent would pull through. But the jumpsuit he made for Kara was bad on pretty much every conceivable level: Poor fit, poor conception, unwearable, poorly executed, unfinished, unflattering to the wearer, clearly disliked by the client.

Nick's was so-so in execution, but a good conception for Daniel. If you remade it with better material and more time for tailoring, he would be all kinds of hot in it. Plus, Nick isn't a Marla who has never done anything worth looking at. Cutting him (or Daniel, if they'd been able to) in favor of Santino just seems incredibly unfair.

Anonymous said...


LauraK said...

Even though the lingerie episode and the ice skating episode were unfairly judged they were still FUN. Right? I'm looking for entertainment as much as the next person. This episode as lacking in any entertainment value. Did anyone smile? Maybe a tearful farewell smile at the end - but any out-and-out laughter? I doubt it.

I give credit to Santino for his excellent Timpressions and even his adorable singing. But this episode was just gross. Ugly. And I'm not talking about the designs.

Sam said...

I think the producers have made a big mistake by banking on Santino as this year's drama queen. He's nothing but an annoying hack. The obvious comparison is to Wendy Pepper, but she showed some heart and designed wearable clothes. The whole thing has devolved into the Santino Show. What happened to the design process?

Anonymous said...

I think some producers need to be "out". I know the drama they create needs to be there, but why on earth are they rationalizing who should be kicked out based on menswear, when the show never was about design versatility across drastically different disciplines? The only possible reasonable person who should have been out last night was Santino, but of course we knew they wouldn't let that happen.

The producers underestimate the loyal fans' intelligence. We know its never a fair fight. We know decisions are made behind closed doors to propel the next episodes. However, we still like the show, and mainly because even if the "fix is in", the ultimate rationalizations made still at least resemble fairness.

The production team got lazy with the construction of this season. To use the words of the judges, this season seems rushed, unfinished, and unprofessional. The flower challenge needed to be earlier. The Banana Republic challenge got lost based on the use of teams, and the window voting playing any role in the outcome. The skating challenge, though inventive, seems so ironic when, in the flower episode, Daniel V. emphasizes that this competition isn't about costume design, and figure skating skating "fashion" is all about costumes!

I think the program needs a makeover. Season Two just isn't as crisp as Season One. I agreed with an emmy nomination for Season One, but based on the quality of the episodes this season, any such nomination next year would be a gift.


Anonymous said...

Santino is there for all the wrong reasons! He makes good tv. His outfit was terribly made, glued together, unfinished and he was picked OVER NICK!!! I'm so upset!

eric3000 said...

I agree that the episode wasn't as much fun as some of the others, and you're right, I don't think I laughed. But the only reason the last couple of episodes with Nick having a nervous breakdown were not depressing is because of Santino's impressions. So the only difference I see in this episode is they didn't edit in enough funny scenes, which I think is a completely fair complaint. But your letter suggests that you now think the entire structure of the show is bad, which seems to be pretty harsh just because of one bad episode.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

lighten up it's just fashion"

The problem here is that if it were indeed *just* fashion, most of us could "lighten up" because a certain desinger who clearly has NO clue what he's doing would have been cut a long time ago. Project Runway is no longer about the clothes or the design process. And I think that's why most of us here are up in arms...

talida said...

I agree with all you've said, but I have to add that there was one moment of laughter for me!

Santino to Kara: Are these space pants?
Kara: What?
Santino: Because my ass looks out of this world.

Elaine said...

I agree that the immature potty humor is embarrassing to watch and interferes with my enjoyment of the show, but I found the Red Lobster story equally banal, although admittedly less foul. Yes, Santino does a funny Timpression, but it moved out of funny and into contrived and awkward with the Red Lobster fantasy sequence.

PR's ratings have continued a meteoric rise which is only signaling to the producers that viewers are more interested in personalities, drama, and squabbles than in aspects of the design competition.

Curly Glamour Girlie said...

PR Addict,

I agree - I think Andre was a bigger loss - I would have loved to see him do a makeover outfit. I would also have loved to see Daniel F do one as well.

I sgree that the rules do seem to keep changing and this makes for an unfair playing field. Why tell Nick one week to "be more ambitious" and then penalize him for being "too ambitious"?

At least when Santino's been on the chopping block before and it's been a question of what's worse, not taking any risks or taking too many, I can see the value of rewarding risk-taking. But last night was just....odd. The build-up of the drama is too much. Yes, it's reality tv and there is a sense of drama, but there's plenty there without stirring the pot. Let the designers design and let the most successful garments make it to the next round, not the best drama.

Blind judging - excellent idea, especially at this stage of the game.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Laura. It's become just another gimmick show that's not about reality but more about ratings, obviously. I don't think the episode itself was that bad and Santino crassly rants and is arrogant, I accepted that long ago. But the contradictory judging and the blatant use of the "Santino effect" drama for boosting ratings is obvious and off-putting, to say the least. Contestants should progress due to creativity, skill and talent - and such considerations should be assessed on ALL ensembles and the each of the desginer's pieces not just one episode when someone makes one less commanding ensemble but has a good track-record and obvious skill. Keeping those who repeatedly perform poorly reeks of production ulterior motives. I'm trying not to let this sentiment ruin PR for me, but when Emmett left and cleary others there were less talented in fashion design and less skillful, then Andrae and now Nick gone when it is clearly obvious those constestants deserved to stay over the work of others. Even more so considering the "rules" which pertain in earlier episodes that ironically keep changing standards - I'm irritated, disgusted and my interest in waning in the entire series. Now, granted Santino is talented as an "avant garde" artist or even a pop-culture artist - NOT as a fashion designer - even Vivian Westwood on her worst day still made "wearable art" - Santino only makes an "artful mess" that one could wear, if so desired and even the models do not want to don his creations! And Kara, who while skilled and creative, has not won a challenge, lacks a certian command of her creations I feel she was at a loss on "Flower Power" possibly even using influences from Andrae to finish her skirt since she had no idea from where she started - there was no creative base. Then Kara seems to have some creativity with this last episode taking Santino "preppie" but then he took over and the ensemble may as well been designed by him.

Uggh, Santino. Ok, he's a character and makes for good TV for those who want useless, funny/drama fodder - I thought the PR/Bravo watcher to be wanting of more! Can you imagine a well-crafted, connected and coherent full runway show from Santino???? HIDEOUS!

Nick should still be in!
Andrae should still be in!

And I even think Emmett should still be in, over Santino and Kara.

Soooo, maybe the proof is in the pudding! I don't see Nicki H. wearing a Santino design in the tabloids now!! But as the "Ask Tim" says, look whose names are out there now...

"....already one of the eliminated designers has received a big job offer, another is poised to open a boutique on one of the chicest fashion block in Manhattan, and the executive fashion director of a major, high-end department store has asked to meet with three others. How sensational is that?"

Ummm, wonder who got the "big job offer" - could it be Andrea??? And Nick designing for Brenda Strong and Emmett opening a chic shop in a tony location. So where are Daniel and Chloe????? Ahhh, possibly being kept somewhat underwraps under the final runway show airs - inquiring minds want to know!!

So, Santino needs to stick doing interviews for Star magazine and typing in his blogs with his "art" fans. Let the talented, skill FASHION DESIGNERS utilize and benefit from making it to the final three!!

My heart's hanging with Daniel and my style loves Chloe. Andrae or Nick should have been the third! End of story!

Keep up the great work, Laura!

*Tantalize* (Yikes, forgot my password - how do I get it emailed or get a new one? I know I am lame!)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how effective blind judging would be, as you can pretty much pick out a Santino or Chloe garment. You can pretty much design a Santino or Chloe garment yourself, knowing the criteria for the challenge. Kara and Daniel might be tougher, but Kara's stuff tends to be a bit more ready-to-wearish.

memee said...

Another thing - it's the end of the season, so there's bound to be more tension and less joking around. This is when things start to get more dramatic, and it's more about getting to the end. Just because Nick is out doesn't make the show a disaster, and I at least am looking forward to seeing all the talented designers that are left do what the show is all about - make great clothes.

It's a competition, and it's a TV show. I agree that people should lighten up.

LauraK said...

I'll lighten up tomorrow - I promise - give me one day to stew!

Jamey said...

"This is ridiculous. I'm sick of it. I don't even care."

oh Laura you care,

as articulate and well written as your 'dear producers' post sounds you're just as much a slave to this show as everyone else and i have absolutely no doubt that you'll be watching next week. your 'I'm just sick of Santino' comment falls in line with all the others who truly do love to hate Santino.

last weeks episode's viewership far exceeded last season's finally, and i think they could have achieved that even without the help of your little blog.

Mrs. Garlic said...

1. i called it with nick being out (sadly)
2. i am glad i was on the phone for the majority of the episode (because at the time, i was pissed)
3. santino's outfit made kara's ass look back. she's skinny!
4. does anyone think they show santino getting cockier and cockier? ugh. he disgusts me.
5. i liked chloe's dress. what was their hangup?

AJ said...

This is why I love this blog! Everyone is so well-spoken and able to express their opinions in a way that is smart and creates conversation...

That being said, I have to agree w/ what a lot of posters have been saying. Yes, I'm upset that Nick is no longer on the show, but I will continue to watch with interest up until the final moments. The "poddy" humor (while sometimes amusing) became contrived during this weeks challenge. I feel like the producers were playing up the tension between Nick and Santino to make for a more dramatic end to the episode.

I agree with what Eric said, that Nick's was clearly not up to par with where this competition should be. However, the judges saying he lacks ambition one week, then sending him packing for trying something too ambitious is very frustrating as a viewer. It goes along with saying something is vulgar that isn't, aufing someone for construction problems, but keeping others and just generally contradicting themselves.

It is making the competition difficult to follow and is clearly alienating viewers. This show is gaining popularity because the concept is new and different and the show is done quite well as a whole. I also said before that the audience as a whole seems to be rather well-educated (ie: this blog) and we don't need the tricks and characters that the producers are pushing on us.

I won't stop watching this show unless it goes completely down the toilet, but it still needs major tweaking to be the best show it can be. Having loyal viewers make concise suggestions to the producers will hopefully help come Season Three...

Now I'm ready for tomorrow to see what the Fashion Week collections will look like!

Karen said...

Very well said. And the black background seems very appropriate. Project Runway really blew it on this one.

AJ said...

one more thing real fast, I COMPLETELY agree with debr's comments on how the judging could be better.

A cummulative point tracking would be the best thing for this show. For example, Kara has had two really fabulous weeks in a row but I can't help but remember her earlier mishaps. Should she still be in this competition? What is fair? To boot someone who missteps once or to keep someone who seems to be just hitting their stride?

I think a different way of judging might prove to help designers more and make the elimination process more concise to viewers. I also think that Tim should really have a say in this. He sees more of the construction of these garments then the judges. He may also be biased however, so having him judge on a more minor level couldn't hurt in my book!

Great ideas everyone!

erin said...

Thank you for writing this Laura. It was a downer of an ep last night. I didn't really realize it until now, after reading your post. In thinking about my own comments on the thread, I realize that most of them were about the commercials!

Maybe that's why I was hoping Santino would be out. He seemed to be the albatross weighing everyone down last night.

KCF said...

You can't really have Tim be involved in the judging, guys. That would totally muck up his neutral position as a teacher in the workroom. And, frankly, what can he add that the designers themselves could add (at least when defending themselves)? For instance, he pointed out that the flowers were expensive in flower power, but then went on to say (in his podcast) that he wished one of the designers had said that. They're all grown-ups and can speak for themselves. Tim getting involved in judging would ruin his wonderful objectivity.

eric3000 said...

I agree the judging is rather random. I'm not sure what can be done about it, though. I would love to see the actual point score the judges give to the runway presentation but then it would be difficult to understand how they factor in the discussion they have with the designers after the runway. Judging fashion can't possibly be a perfect science and mistakes and inconsistencies will always exist.

One other comment: I think people are confusing difficulty with ambition. While making a suit is very difficult, I don't think it is very ambitios.

gumdropgurl said...

I couldn't disagree more...I think that most of the disappointed/angry folks are reacting to Nick being cut. Well, JMHO, but outside of the Barbie dress, I can't remember anything all that great that Nick designed. His designs over the past weeks have been less than stunning and he said himself in the Inspiration challenge that he wanted to leave...did he really have the heart to do a line for the final three? He's been skating by with a terrible attitude.

And to be honest, he was just as snippy and self-involved as Santino, the difference is that the producers have cast Santino as "evil" and edited it that way, while people think Nick is sweetness and light.

In all honesty, Daniel should have been out, thankfully for him, he had immunity. I don't see why he and Chloe are the "teachers' pets" of this season, IMO, they are pretty one note.

Just my thoughts. At least Santino was thinking outside the box, Nick did not and had terrible execution.

Yeah, the producers are going for good TV....they are in the business of creating a TV show, much as it hurts, that is the bottom line with PR and any other "reality show."

gumdropgurl said...

One more comment: this show, IMHO, was incredibly realistic as to where the designers are, in terms of being tired, strained from competition, etc. etc. I don't think many of them are feeling silly and playful at this point, so if you want realism, here it is.

And as much as people want it to be family friendly, it is a show rated "TV-14" which means that it might have some not so innocent language and discussion involved. I can understand wanting a squeaky-clean show, but the reality is that it is TV-14 and will have more adult content and not be child-friendly.

TiredMama said...

Here's my suggestions to the producers for Season 3:

Tell us the judging criteria up front with numbers, and then show us the scores at the end so we can see how the judges felt the designers did. We might still disagree with the decisions, but at least we won't feel insulted and manipulated by faceless producers pulling invisible strings. It gives a little more objectivity to the judging process, so the designers don't have to worry (as much) about ticking off Michael Kors and being out because of it.

Here's how I would set up the judging criteria:
- 20 points construction/fit - if you're garment's falling apart you deserve to lose
- 20 points conception/creativity
- 10 points whatever the noun form of "aesthetically pleasing" is
- plus 1 bonus point for every past win, so there's incentive to be the winner.

I also think if there's a guest judge / client, they should pick the winner, and should be able to comment on all the designers, but only the 3 everyday judges' scores should be used to evaluate everyone else.

I think it would be a good idea to have the designers show the judges their sketches and present their garment, explaining their concept, what they were aiming for and where they felt they could still improve given more money/time. I know some people feel that the garment should speak for itself, but I think the designers explanations would be helpful, as well as add some of that drama that the producers are looking for. Plus, with everyone being given the opportunity to speak, the judges don't have to listen to 90 minute tirades about ugly lingerie...

Just my $1 (far too much for 2c)

misterminm said...

i don't really like the idea that the producers picked who they wanted to see advance between Santino and Nick. I think that you can say that there was an error on the part of the judges but I don't think that this decision was made based on entertainment value. Looking at the designers from a distance, I think that Nick provides just as much entertainment value as Santino. I also don't think that the producers would compromise the integrity of the show by making that sort of distinction. I think that they anticipated this viceral reaction that the viewers would going to have when nick was given his auf and exploited it to their benefit.

AJ said...

gumdropgurl, I have to disagree with what you said about Nick not being impressive aside from the Barbie challenge. From the moment I saw what he did with the muslin challenge, I was a fan. I also thought the Clothes Off Your Back, the Hilton challenge and the Banana Republic dress were all really well done as well. I know not a lot of people liked the Banana dress w/ Santino, but I thought the kimono sleeves were gorgeous.

I also wanted to touch on what Eric said about a suit not being ambitious. That's very true, but I think the idea of making a skinny, very European suit with no pockets or buttons was ambitious. He was clearly going to a certain look which, aside from rippling fabric, he achieved.

Had there been pockets and buttons would the judges have found it boring? The execution didn't play out well, but I felt the ambition was definitely there.

JRT said...

gumdropgurl, i don't see your point about how daniel should have been out. his outfit was not gorgeous or even a dress that worked for chloe, but it was still better than nick's and santino in all aspects, concept, construction, colors, and product. i mean he was definitely in the bottom 3, but not sure I would say he should be auffed. I mean other than people just wanting him to go, I don't see how his outfit was worse than the other two.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Laura. A disappointing show. Though I am glad that we got to see Daniel V. show a little sass and frustration with the judges.

After the first few weeks, I believed that the judges were able to act on their impartiality. But, after watching one of the episodes in which Santino should have been booted, I realized that the line, "producers, in addition to the judges, help determine who is out" (I’m paraphrasing) that appears in the closing credits, is more than true.

The truth is that our desire to see Santino kicked out each week makes Ms. Klum and her fellow producers a lot happier than being fair. After all, we are watching this show in a capitalist country, many of us looking to spend our dollars on unnecessary pieces of clothing that make us feel a little less ugly and maybe a little more like a model.

Nevertheless, although the show's closing credits and my own intuition warn me that non-meritorious determinations will lead to inequitable results, I cannot help but resent Ms. Klum for allowing the judges to pretend as if their decision is supported by anything less than what the producers (Klum included) think will bring in the most viewers. Perhaps season three should be called "Project Nielsen" instead.

eric3000 said...

aj, I agree that the suit had elements that were unusual, but I think the lack of buttons and pockets was more a time-saving device than a real thought-out design. I could be completely wrong about that but if I saw that in a store I wouldn't say, "oh cool, a suit with no buttons or pockets," I would probably think, "oh look, they tried to same money on production by not using buttons or pockets."

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that there are other people out there as frusterated as me with this episode. But one of the worst things that happened nobody else seems to have noticed. The challenge was to give a head to toe makeover and "reinvent" a fellow designer's look yet they rewarded the designs that looked like they were already in that designer's closet. Santino would wear that outfit any day, Nick would wear his outfit any day, Daniel would wear his suit any day. The only person that tried to reinvent successfully was Daniel. He gave Chloe a party girl look because it was different from something she would normally wear. Yet he was incarcerated for changing her look. THAT WAS THE POINT! Santino tried also, but that outfit was too hideous for words so we won't go there.

I don't agree that the show was vulgar. I think that working in that environment yields to those kinds of conversations and I found them to be the only satisfying entertainment from the episode. I was glad to see them be goofy and real, instead of acting how they think they should for a camera.

AJ said...

It's definitely possible that he was trying to save time. I sort of got the impression that he did it on purpose to go for a certain look. Then the look plus the fabric ended up looking very femme. Obviously, a slim cut suit is going to look a bit femme, but with the shiny, mauvey fabric, DV looked like a gay

geekygirrl said...

Well Laura, you're right about the show being a downer. But, just as I disagree with editing to make the show more dramatic, I also disagree with editing the show to be more uplifting. It is a fact of life that you're not going to like everyone you work with. There's a jerk in every office. We all know a co-worker who has stretched the truth (or outright lied) to cover his or her bootie. This is the sort of reality that reality shows rarely cover. Eating bugs is not reality, dealing with difficult people in a work environment is.

Unfairness is also reality. So is being judged by an arbitrary set of rules. So is being judged by people who don't know you or what you can do. Knowing you are a talented person, but not having that golden moment when it all comes together and everyone takes notice is heartbreaking, but it happens all the time - ask Daniel Franco. Doing great work but still being perceived as not as good as others is crushing - ask Kara. Having an untalented co-worker stab you in the back, then have his idiotic work elevated over your intelligent work is maddening, - ask Emmett! That's reality. That's life.

There seems to be this widespread belief that the producers manipulate the show for dramatic imact. I have seen no evidence of this, and I feel that we are getting a good idea of what actually happens. No one is claiming that PR is a documentary, but its not a game show or a sporting event either, and I like that.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was just me, but I really liked the overall look on Daniel! Yes, the material made it very difficult to sew, but who are they to judge too feminine? Not to be stereotypical, but Daniel is gay...and he looked very comfortable in that suit! I kept thinking of a sexually ambiguous rockstar...and I thought it worked!

The Scarlett said...

BTW, this 'little blog' has now had over a quarter million hits. Congrats Laura.

Anonymous said...

I also think if there's a guest judge / client, they should pick the winner, and should be able to comment on all the designers, but only the 3 everyday judges' scores should be used to evaluate everyone else.

You are so right, Karishma. I honestly think Santino didn't get aufed this time because Freddy liked the jumpsuit. Just as Diane Von Furstenberg liked Zulema's booty dress.
Maybe I'm being naive, but I don't think the producers would be that wed to having Santino in the final 3 -- because wouldn't they be afraid people would be condemning them at this point? Of course they filmed and produced this months ago so maybe they didn't realize how strong the reaction would be against Santino.

christopher.john said...

I LUV santino...what are you talking about. i do miss andrae and nick and DANYELLE also!!!!!! I feeled robbed of my Project Runway loving...

Anonymous said...

Well, I've just been able to get here since the show aired and I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one who is really tired of all the rationalization to keep Santino on. I totally agree with your comments Laura.

Someone said that the guest judge was the reason Santino is still there and I ask, how do you know this? We never see the scores. And, there have been many episodes when the discussion between the judges was purposely made to look as if a particular designer was going and then that didn't happen. Also, maybe you haven't noticed that in the credits, etc., it plainly states that the producers have a say in who stays. And that is the one and only reason Santino is still there, imo. I wonder if he really is a designer or just some nut case they hired to try to add high drama.

The fact that Heidi could say to Daniel that he was lucky to have immunity or he would have been "aufed" while Kara was standing right there holding her clothes on shows and acting talent that I was unaware of. Imagine she said it with a straight face.

I have to say, I feel very annoyed at this show now. Yes, I will watch the remaining episodes. But I don't think I will allow myself to get this involved with the next season. Their banking of Santino is not going to pay off, imo.

azulskies said...


you are my hero

my heart is literally broken over last night's episode

santino's lies were really the last straw

i'm done with project runway

Anonymous said...

OMG!! I just watched the videos on the Bravo website. That is just disgusting. I'm so disappointed that they would put something like that on their website. I'm beginning to feel embarrassed that I've gotten involved in this show.

aeillill said...

I agree with most of what you said, I don't mind the potty humour really at all, but what I can't stand at all is the judging. There really isn't any rhyme or reason to the way they judge, it's awful

Anonymous said...

I can no longer read this blog due to people's total over the top emotional reactions. It's fashion, use your empathy and compassion about something real, not poor Nick who made a purple wrinkly suit, or Santino's "potty talk" - or well... nevermind hang out with your designer Barbies.

Fashion is an art form, all of it isn't for you to like, but to react to, but let's keep the reactions real sized. And, really, I think it's great - with every freak out by the Santino is Bad Club, he does his job for the art and wins.

Anonymous said...

Come on people, let's get a grip. Is it really a surprise that the entertainment value of Santino trumps the less charismatic yet more skillful designers? It's reality tv, not reality. If you expect that you're seeing something that is not manipulated on many levels and also, invest emotional energy onto these people on tv who are actually, unknown to you and vice-versa, - - well, that's a recipe for disappointment. So, to tag on to the 'lighten up, it's only fashion,' sentiment, I'd say, lighten up, it's only reality tv. -ek

Anonymous said...

Yes Karishma! I agree! Please producers, bring on all the guest judges you want to provide variety and boost ratings, but don't give these people any power to auf designers. They don't have the big challenge to challenge picture and often their tootie vocabularies do nothing to justify their opinion on why the design is good or bad

BTW, How come as a producer AND a judge Heidi's opinions don't seem to be acted upon more. She'll comment on something not being appropriate (unfinished work, disregarding the client, or copying another designer) yet her opinion never seems to result in the designer she's upset with being out? I like her more this season and hope she'll continue to be more involved in PR3.

As to something aj said, I have to respectfully disagree about the caliber of the average PR viewer. The average reader's comments on this blog are intelligent, insightful and very often witty but the comments on the Bravo message boards are so one note: "I hate this, so and so sucks, you're an idiot for your opinion..."

I don't often comment here on BPR but you can bet I sign on several times a day and contemplate much of what's written here. Any chance you could take over the Bravo website Laura?

And last, I love, love, love Auntie Mame, keep it coming!

Anonymous said...

i just want to know the reason why santino stayed instead of nick. although nick's creation had several problems, santino's creation was UNFINISHED after all. how can it be okay on this kind of show to prove someone's talent to the world?? i'm just very disappointed...

Anonymous said...

I totally understand that the reason Santino is still on is because the producers think he adds entertainment. I'm just not entertained by him. Especially this last episode and the video they have proudly put on the website. Emmett is accused of being vulgar and eliminated. They talk about Nick being sleezy and he is eliminated. And then they put up that trash on their website? Whatever!!

Anonymous said...

I'm very disappointed in the producers choosing to keep Santino. The show is continually edited to give the sense the judges are not happy with Santino's work, yet he is "in" every week. If the judges were not happy with Nick's suit tailoring, are we to surmise that Santino's rush job and glueing are acceptable. I guess we should since Nick is "out". I won't be back for season 3 either, and several of my friends have stopped watching it all together. Thanks for saying what we've all been thinking. I've actually programmed the Bravo channel off of my remote!! No more Project Runway for me!! Oh, and the obvious voice overs from when Heidi probably flubs her lines is annoying also!

karen said...

Love your letter to the producers. Hopefully next round (because I doubt Heidi and company will fix it for the rest of this round) it will be better and people who deserved to be kicked off will and those who deserve to stay will stay. That there will be set rules and guidelines and they will be followed no if, ands or buts about it.

Oh one can only hope!

fashionasart said...


I feel your disappointment. The show is not perfect nor will it ever be. We have all been disappointed before this with particular episodes and specific decisions (the producers, we suspect, manipulating the show from behind the scenes).

Hang in there. I think the pall that hung over THIS episode was a combination of grief (and that is not to strong a word) over Andrae's departure, experienced by both the designers and the viewers--but ESPECIALLY by Santino.
Andrae somehow kept Sanntino's "malevolence" (maybe that is too strong a word) and proclivity for "acting out", which is exactly what it is, in check.

At least now we are all enchanted with the collections, and should be. And the next episode should be a blast, with the focus on the project and the work, and less, far less focus on what we call in theater the subtext, and the sometimes semi-invisible sometimes blatent interpersonal currents
that flood through the workroom, and elsewhere, in deadly Red Tides.

Your remarks to the Producers are both appropriate and on-target. Unfortunately, the show is already "in the can". I don't know if they would or could edit it further at the point.

Let my tag here "Fashion as Art" be the Blog mantra and help to refocus the show where it belongs: on the raw and often dazzling creativiity of the designers, instead of their weirdness and squabbles and jealousies. And no doubt they are all to some measure guilty of that. It's just that Santino actually says what the others may only be thinking. The best case scenario that can be made for him is that he is (socially) immaature and (occcasionally) unforgivably indiscrete.

I agree that we the viewers cannot, nor should we have to, take another episode like this one. It is unfortunate that the producers have incorporated so many of the sly tricks that for many make unReality
TV so palatable. I do not think that the core audience at PR needs, nor is it sympathetic to, these offensive, distasteful and melodramatic elements.
Their effect is subliminal, not unlike drugs: presto, you're hooked even before you have begun to process or "relish" the experrience. These guys play with our minds, and sometimes our souls.

So what else is new. Isn't this what the world has become in 2006?!!
And isn't it all at bottom about ratings/economics/power within the industry?!!

Laura, I cherish your sensitiviity. It has helped to makke this blog a wonderful place to visit and hang out at. Don't be discouraged (we all are) and keep your eye on the prize.

Affectionately, Don
I know I speak for many of your virtual friends here.

AngellHeart said...

What about Kara's "crying" incident? Am I the only one who feels that Kara betrayed Nick? She was the VERY one who could have spoken up about the construction of(or lack of) her outfit when the judges asked her how she felt in it. But she kept quiet then "cried" about it later. I don't believe that was genuine at all. Eliminate Nick and it paves the way for her to move on. So, I think she lied as much as Santino did for her own gain.

I agree with the other comments about Nick being told to be more ambitious then elminated because he was too ambitious. PUHlese!! What a fixed judging system! PR has become quite the disappointment this season.

BTW, I would not hire Santino to design anything. He always looks so unwashed and greasy all the time, never mind his attitude and "personality." YUCK!

fashionasart said...


You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but your remarks are far from "angelic".

Try working 8 and 10 hours at a stretch, toiling with fabric and recalcitrant sewing machines, in midsummer in NYc. And our dear Daniel often looked physically frazzled too.

A brief, true incident: an elderly friend, long dead, had a relative who was taking a walk in center city Philadelphia around the turn of the century--make that the 20th Century. Seeing an old acquaintance she crossed the street to speak with him, while her friend demurred, based on the somewhat bedraggled, if not unkempt appearance of the gentlemen.
When she returned, the friend disapprovingly asked "who was that?". It just happened to be America's most distinguished literary figure, Walt Whitman.
Then, of course, she was annoyed at not being introduced.

1) Don't judge the book by the cover.
2) Santino was absolutely spic-and-span presentable at Fashion Week.
3) This whole subject has gotten so tired on ths blog.
4) In all probability you, like everyone else, would trip all over yourself to get to a fitting or private consultation with Santino, if he becomes famous and if you had the opportunity.


AngellHeart said...

Don, aka fashionasart,

First of all, you cannot even get the spelling of my name right for someone who is super critical and is taking a shot at me.

Secondly, ALL of the designers looked frazzled, but none so unclean as Santino. Your comment about not judging a book by its cover doesn't cut it in the fashion world. Presentation is EVERYTHING! Someone that claims to be so enlightened about fashion as you do should know that, right?

That is my opinion, sorry if you don't like it. You don't seem to like my name, either, but that's your problem.

I saw a picture of Santino at fashion week and he didn't look much different to me then he did during the episodes. Can someone tell him what soap and water looks like? Maybe he could wash his mouth out with it, too.

And I still say that Kara betrayed Nick so that crying act of hers was fake.

Now, its obvious you are a Santino fan and you are entitled to your opinion. However, so am I, so just get over yourself. You have no idea what I have done in my life or how many hours I have toiled over anything. So, stop being so pompous and presuming.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I would not go 10 feet near Santino. There are too many other wonderful designers from both seasons that I would prefer over him. Imagine the consultation with Santino - "Now, Angell, let's see what we can do to polish that turd for you, what do you say?"

Lastly, I am sure that this will just make you more crazy and you will post another insult directed at me on this blog (YAWN), but as per my last post about Santino, I repeat "YUCK!!"

Elizabeth said...

I absolutly agree with you. The judging has felt extremly arbitrary this year, and the judges have shown over and over their own hypocrisy and favoritism. One week, a person gets lambasted for a string hanging off the hem, the next somebody gets to stay despite entire seams not being finished.

In the end, you can only hope that we're just losing all of their intelligence and decision making in the editing, because otherwise they stopped making sense about three challenges ago.

AngellHeart said...

I agree with you, meiran.IMO it seems the judges have picked out a "favorite" many episodes ago and that person keeps getting away with things that others get eliminated for. Is this all for the sake of having "someone we love to hate" on the show?

I thought it was about true fashion designer talent and how that designer presents and handles themselves. What a disappointment.

The silver lining in the cloud is that it is good to see some of the designers that were eliminated from both seasons doing so well with their careers after the show. I have seen their websites and have read the press on them. I hope the producers are noticing!


sp8cemunky said...

yeah-this episode just stunk. I felt aggravated and like I didn't want to watch anymore.

I'll maybe watch the re-run next week. Not going to arrange my schedule around the show. Not worth it.

I enjoyed the first few but feel used now.

iREADyourBLOG said...

JRT, you asked the producers to do their job and leave the judging to the judges. Whatever illusions you have about production, a producer's job is to make great television that sells. What that entails is keeping the characters on the show who have promising/exciting/audience-building attributes. It isn't imported whether you hate the cast, as long as it keeps you coming back. Think Wendy.

In my opinion, Kara has the most tendency to provide completely boring/mediocre garments and also boring plotline. Santino at least has big ideas. And Nick & Daniel are both so likeable, it doesn't creat much tension. They have to pick someone who will make great television to make it to the final four/three. There are 3 episodes following the 'final 3' episode and they've got to be interesting enough to keep the audience involved.

Let me break it down for you as of this episode:

1. Kara- boring, probably should not be in final 4 but you can't eliminate her in this episode because her garment was great.

2. Chloe- can be boring and safe, but like Kara, her garment was awesome and there is no way production could eliminate her and justify it.

3. Daniel- garment sucked, personality good, likeable and attractive enough to keep the audience happy, but also had immunity.

4. Santino- definitely deserved to be eliminated with that messy of a garment. BUT Kara didn't rat him out, and it was actually an interesting concept...unlike Nick's.

5. Nick- Ugly garment and pretty complacent/non-confrontational character (in other words: not a Wendy) therefore it makes perfect sense that he'd be eliminated.

So you see, the producers were JUST doing their job, by making sure to keep the cast lively and to keep YOU blogging about it.

After all... where would season one have been without Wendy? ... in the same trash bin as R U The Girl!

Santino makes this show fun. Really, do you think you'd be as enraptured if Chloe, Nick and Kara and Daniel were the final four? Then basically its like "Oh, I don't mind who wins, they are all so nice!"