Project Runway
What The Elle?

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Jeff Long: B+ | Grade It Now!
What The Elle?
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Previously: the third season of Project Runway happened. And now it's down to the final four. The final four! I feel a little sick to my stomach. This is why I don't watch sports. Well, one of the reasons. I feel like I subconsciously start intuiting who the loser is going to be and I start rooting for them, and I'm inevitably left heartbroken at the end. I may also be like that as a voter, which I try to deny -- but how else do I explain Bob Dole? In this case, though, I don't think I know who's going to lose, so I'm finding myself rooting for all of them. Yes, even Jeffrey.

It's morning at the Atlas apartments, and Uli is greeting the tag. She interviews that all of the remaining designers are talented. One of those talented people won't being going to Olympus Fashion Week, so it's all very nerve-wracking.

A shirtless Jeffrey tries to rouse Michael from bed. He tells him, "It's time to fight." Indeed. Jeffrey interviews that he has a really good chance of making it to the final three. He says the four of the designers that remain all do things that are very specific. Uli, for instance, does "peasant blouses, big and flowy." I, uh, am not sure those adjectives are very complimentary. Michael does "run-of-the-mill, friendly fashion." Again, "run-of-the-mill" is probably not a term he wants to use. It doesn't do much to highlight the admiration Jeffrey no doubt has for Michael's work. Laura, he says, makes "moth balls and chicken soup." I see where this is going. If you want to "live a little dangerously," like Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, and Britney Spears -- those wild bitches -- you'll choose Jeffrey. Whatever, he's good television. He gives them something to use every time he sits for an interview. While sounding like a jackass, he actually emphasizes why Laura and Uli are in the final four. They each have a clear, easily capsulated point of view. "Friendly fashion" doesn't really evoke much. However, neither does "living dangerously." Pilots and crocodile hunters live dangerously. I don't see them selling collections at Barneys.

Anyway, Jeffrey clearly knows what he's doing when he says this garbage. I'm only frustrated that he's been so effective. With me, at least. ... Wait, I'm going to sort of take that back. I kind of want to believe that he is just shrewd and says a lot of inflammatory stuff to increase the impact of his time onscreen. What I really think, though, is that he's allowed himself to be as nasty as he wants to be. We all have thoughts that are nasty, right? We all think someone we work with is an idiot. Someone is untalented. Someone has bad breath and stands far too close to us when we're merely trying to make a fucking color copy and could you please get off of me HELP! But we don't tell them. Because it's rude. And not only will it hurt someone's feelings, which we should probably care about; it will also only serve to ostracize us from society. People won't like us. And it's just a matter of time until we're in a room or a playground with all of the people that don't like us. And they all have rocks. And, well, it's too late at that point. (A more realistic outcome is that people won't want to work with us, but I like the violence of the stoning scenario.) Later, I have no doubt that Jeffrey will couch all of his previous statements in his inability to be anything other than "honest." But that's bullshit. Feeling that someone's work is not very good is not permission to say it. And he never just says it, anyway; he always adds a bunch of hyperbolic shit that makes it just sound like schoolyard taunting. He's trying to hurt someone's feelings. I feel like there's a real attempt to just be mean. And again, maybe it's the pressure of the challenges and whatnot. But Uli's not doing it. Do you think she doesn't have anything nasty to say? Sure, she said she doesn't want to be roommates with Angela, but for the most part she just keeps to herself. Or maybe her nasty comments aren't as TV-ready as Jeffrey's. In that case, is it so fucking important to be a TV star? Get a freaking talk show then! What are you wasting your time designing clothes for? ... Oh, I don't know. Do you remember when he was all crying to his mom about how the designers weren't all good people? That's what I go back to when I try to reason that he's just playing a crafty little game of "Reality Show Villain." Because I feel like he was having an honest reaction then, and he was still a total asshole. His goddamn eyebrows. Why?

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Project Runway




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