15 September 2013

PR12E08 Heidi Hose

Oh, Tim as a referee waking up the contestants with a whistle. I’m not sure why they are going to such lengths to put Tim Gunn into horrifying costumes well out of his character, but perhaps that was the price of the explicit Tim Gunn Save for the season. Please allow Tim to regain and maintain his dignity! Lovely cutaway comment by Alexander: “Tim and Heidi wearing active wear. What the hell?!!” The contestants all make attempts to outdo each other on the topic of just how unathletic they are. They all win.
We started out with an “athletic” competition…an obstacle course run by the contestants in teams of two. Tim took special care to point out that the teams were only for the obstacle course and would end there on the field (I guess the teamwork thing was really not popular with the audience either). The prize? First pick from the selection of Heidi Klum New Balance fabrics and an extra hour of workroom time at the end of the day. Dom and Justin win. We also point out that Helen, who won the last challenge, will have immunity this time, but it will be the last time this season that someone will have immunity.

When they get to the workroom, there are garments on their dress forms. Time explains that they are examples of items from Heidi’s New Balance collection for inspiration, but that the contestants are not allowed to cut them up! I suppose when you have spent weeks getting people to create fashion from anything that doesn’t move, you do have to be explicit about what cannot be sacrificed to the challenge. Everyone seems quite thrilled to be making active wear, which is a whole different animal from sportswear, which itself has very little to do with sports. I fear I’m starting to get the hang of all this fashion talk.

With Sandro well out of the picture, someone has to step up and give us some drama. Enter Ken. Exit Helen, to go talk to Tim about how disrespectful and inappropriate Ken is toward her, and how she is afraid he is going to stab her with those scissors. Everybody melts down, everybody takes time to criticize either Ken or Helen while keeping their own heads down, and then our referee, now dressed as himself, steps in to help smooth things over. Helen makes him put down his pin cushion before giving him the forgiving hug. And yes, Ken, we all believe that you won’t be doing that verbally aggressive thing again, wink, wink!

Lucky contestants, as Heidi participates in the mid-creation visit and critique. And I do mean that ironically. Some delightful and helpful gems she drops:
  • Helen’s outfit is boring; she really ought to get to work on the jacket part
  • Karen’s first look inspires all sorts of contorted expressions from Heidi and then she says the model will look like a trashy Martian
  • Ken’s looks like a scuba suit
  • Alexandria should charge on ahead with the drop-crotch (aka “poopy”) pants because Heidi loves them
  • Justin is almost unable to say anything because he is intimidated, star-struck and tongue-tied. His ASL interpreter had an easy time of that encounter.
They get back to work, some of them having to start all over again after Heidi’s lovely contribution to their creative processes. We even get to see a little life and opinion from the models, as Helen’s joins the joke after the pants do a hoo-hah peekaboo split (that would be in the front if you’re not familiar with the lingo) and Karen’s starts to express her opinion about the outfit (a big no-no). Karen’s comments on her model and on her look are funny:
  • “Girlfriend, don’t try to tell me what to do with my outfit!”
  • “Hashtag: I’m going home” (this Twitter device does not translate well to the spoken word)
  • “I’m in Worry Town.”
Runway time! As promised, we will get to see the treat of Michael Kors out-bitch usurper Zac Posen, as MK is back as guest judge. Before we get to the judges’ comments, we get some treats from the designers, with Ken opining that his garment looks good, but the model looks like she doesn’t want to wear it (watch your back, model!) and Jeremy calling the purple he used on his pants “hideous”. I laugh that our hapless model is the one stuck wearing Alexandria’s “poopy pants”. They should just give her the model prize for all the trauma she has been through. She will get her own laughs in, meriting an annoyed glance from her designer.

When Heidi tells the contestants that the judges are really all over the place this week she is not exaggerating. When we see a parade of stretchy leggings aping the colour swoops of Heidi’s own collection and someone calls that fashion, that person is exaggerating. (There’s my entry in the Bitchstakes!) There is definitely some bandwagon one-upmanship on the comments, especially for a couple of the looks.

Alexandria’s got the poopy pants treatment all around, with Heidi defending them and Tim pointing out that Heidi had encouraged her to run with it:
  • Nina: “It looks like she went running, ran into a bear and she had an accident in her pants.”
  • Michael: “Pleasure me pockets.” (This caused the model to laugh, annoying the otherwise calm designer.)
Karen having dared to make something that didn’t look like leggings with a skin-tight top got the “fat model” comments:
  • Michael: “She looks like she’s going to a buffet on a cruise and could put cookies in her pockets.”
  • Zac and Michael later compete in naming foods the model might be consuming (and hiding) in her outfit.
  • The model chimes in with her own dislike of the outfit (did she forget that her fate is tied to the fate of the designer?)
There are also a couple of comments about certain outfits being on sale racks or available on the home shopping channel (designer grimaces), but that is apparently a good thing this episode, because we’re all about making sales instead of making things “look expensive”. One of those targeted by the sales rack comment, Alexander of the tiny contrived eyebrows (there’s a scary clown role in his future!), did get a bit of a chuckle from Nina when he answered her “I don’t like it” with an “I can tell”. Good for him!

Zac, for his part, is trying to distinguish himself from Michael by being edgier, having lost the bitchiness contest. He does this by calling Helen’s jacket “Elvira at the gym…I can totally get into that!” and by commenting on Ken’s multi-strap back with a dismissive “I’m bored of harnesses.” He is apparently also bored with English grammar!

Helen’s thigh and ass-concealing jacket (Nina’s praise) wins and she makes a big display of false modesty for all to see. Karen is out and, with a nod to the bitchy critiques, says that it’s “not the way the cookie crumbles”. She has managed to mangle the idiom (that’s the way the cookie crumbles), so maybe her exit is a good thing.

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