Rubbernecking Recap: Project Runway , Episode 5, "Off the Track"

Alternate Titles:
The Amazing Race
Chiffon Addict
Bertzilla Rides Again!

Warning: Excessive Drama Ahead. Egad. (Like they were saving it all up and releasing it like a storm surge all over our TV screens this episode. N'est-ce pas?)

As our not-all-that-intrepid gang of designers come awake in their Atlas apartments yawning and stretching, there's a surprise waiting for them in the form of boxes full of sports gear with their names on them. Bertzilla apparently can't even see the boxes when they are directly in front of him which is what you might call a metaphor for him in general. He's getting older, meaner, and ickier every week, and I keep asking myself: why is he still here? Oh yes -- because he makes for good television. This week, he shares that he hasn't even bothered to learn the names of the other designers because he doesn't consider them "significant."

Meanwhile, Cecilia can hardly drag herself out of bed and is having second, third, fourth and fifth thoughts about even being on the show. Holy Pinking Shears, girl, you must have watched past seasons. This ain't no party, this ain't no disco! And why the frig didn't you speak up on the runway while poor scrappy Julie was kicked to the curb? She at least really wanted to be there. Sourpuss eventually gets dressed in the track shorts, t-shirt, and running shoes they're all expected to be wearing, and they all head down to an indoor track where a smiling Heidi and Tim are waiting for them. Perhaps the show is about to turn into... The Amazing Race!

No one seems thrilled when physical endurance enters the equation.

Au contraire, they are to race around the track and the first four who make it will be named team captains for this week's challenge. On your mark, get set, but first a little Drama from Cecilia, who prefers to stalk off in a huff and go back to Real Life. And off she goes, it's a safe bet no one is going to miss her, but I will miss her accent when she complained that her model had huge neeples. And they're off!

As they prepare for their dash around the track, I need to point out that it looks like Bert is trying to get frisky with Viktor here.

There's another steamy helping of Drama as Olivier passes out, drops to the ground and has a purple shiny bruise on his knee. He says it was a panic attack (no doubt due to him worrying if he had perhaps signed up for a different, more sports-oriented reality show instead of this one).

The team captains turn out to be Viktor, Josh, Bryce, and Anthony. The challenge, it is so ordained, is to create three denim or suede looks to go with Heidi's New Balance sneakers. Of course no one wants Bertzilla on their team so he's the last one chosen and ends up on Anthony's. The teams are: Josh, Anya, Becky; Bryce, Kimberly, Danielle; Anthony, Bert, Laura; and Viktor/Olivier. Since Cecilia removed herself from the show, Viktor gets to pick one of the designers who have been eliminated to come back and be on his team. He chooses Josh C., to everyone's delight, and Josh joins them later that day as if by magic.

You're not Bert!! Yay!

A trip to Mood ensues, and it's clear that there are just some folks here who cannot play nice if their lives depend on it. That would be in particular Bertzilla and Josh M., both of whom need to visit a psychiatrist and work out their many problems. Josh M. is just flat out cruel to Becky, making her cry and hide in the bathroom. He obviously has very little regard for her skills and just sees her as a seamstress who can flesh out his and Anya's designs. When Becky storms out of the room after Josh M. insults her and calls her work 'dowdy', he spits out viciously to the others, "Her demographic is between 40 to death."

Bertzilla, on the other hand, is everyone's nightmare teammate -- unless it's his idea, he hates it. I think I saw his picture under the word 'Supercilious' in the Project Runway Dictionary. He and Josh M. nearly come to blows over a sewing machine - I'd love to know what they were both like in third grade. Oh, wait, apparently they are still in third grade. Being bossy, officious, cruel, and annoying.

Heidi and Tim enter the playroom, that is, workroom to check up on the teams' progress, and are so taken aback by the chaos and unpreparedness that Heidi actually gives them an extra seven hours to work beyond what was originally planned. (Hey -- apropos of nothing, my favorite kind of subject -- don't you miss the bitchiness that used to ensue when they all picked their models? Will we see them get to pick models at all this season? This group of models seems rather lackluster to me, but that could be because I keep holding them up against Anya who could out-model all of them together).

This week's guest judge is model and designer Erin Wasson. La Klum herself is in New Balance along with a spangly black jumpsuit. And the show begins!

Team Viktor
Josh C.

Team Bryce

Team Anthony

Team Josh M.

After the runway show, Heidi announces that there is no clear winning or losing team this week due to the fact that each team had both good and bad outfits. First she wants to talk to the two teams with the most Drama; Josh M.'s and Anthony's. Anthony describes to the judges what each of them did and is asked how they worked together. He says he and Laura worked together well, but he felt that Bert "didn't want too much to do with us." Bertzilla disagrees (natch), and says their tastes are very, very different. Suddenly the word S-P-O-I-L-S-P-O-R-T slowly appears in red ink on his forehead (No it didn't! I'm just checking to make sure you're awake - I actually fell asleep watching the end of this episode). The judges exhibit massive eye rolling while the three of them snipe at each other. MK tells Anthony he achieved the impossible; the shorts are loose and tight at the same time and the model has cameltoe. The model is asked to turn around, and MK gasps at the back of the outfit, Bertzilla unhelpfully adding, "she's got camelbutt too." Bert also actually cheers when they point out how bad Laura's outfit looks in the back (It's a good thing Bert's not on The Bad Girls Club instead of Project Runway. This kind of behavior would cause other contestants to pour maple syrup and feathers all over his clothes or in his bed). Bertzilla's outfit is pronounced the only halfway decent one of the three, even though it makes no sense with sneakers.

Team Anthony

Josh M.'s team is next to talk about what their grand plan was. Heidi feels that the extra hours she gave them were only used in this case to bedazzle the outfits. She loves Anya's maxidress and thinks it goes really well with the sneakers (excuse me, what??!) and it is sexy and "now." Nina and Heidi disagree on Josh's shredded black vest (Nina likes it, Heidi is confused). Nina hates Becky's outfit, and Josh M. has the grace to step up and admit he had a lot to do with it. "We had a little... thing," he starts to explain. Becky tells them that Josh didn't want her designing anything, and he agrees that he was afraid her designs would turn out to be dowdy.

Team Josh M.

Next Team Viktor and Team Bryce come out to the chopping block, I mean runway. Viktor explains who is responsible for what in their collection. The judges really groove on Viktor's jacket/dress ensemble. As for Olivier, Heidi says the look is "very farm," and MK invokes The Sound of Music (I'm thinking Book of Mormon or Big Love, myself). "Maybe it's for Heidi's German background, it's very pretzels in the beer garden," MK says merrily. Olivier has a stone face throughout this. Clearly when they handed out senses of humor, he was passed over. The judges love Josh C.'s t-shirt and the entire Road Warrior vibe of the collection.

Team Viktor

Team Bryce is next, and the judges coo over Bryce's cleverly made snap dress. They don't feel that the other two looks are cohesive to the collection, however. MK calls Danielle's blouse "a soufflé that flopped." They like the leather jacket on Kimberly's model, Heidi pronounces it very saleable, but it doesn't work with the shorts. It's Time for A Lil' Chat ... maybe a big chat this time, says La Klum.

Team Bryce

MK opines that Anthony's team may have had the roughest group dynamic in Project Runway history. Erin feels sorry for the model who had to wear Anthony's hideous outfit. Anthony's leadership skills are called into question. Josh M. on the other hand is praised as a good leader for treating Becky like absolute shit. They all feel Viktor and his team did really well (with the exception of the sisterwife skirt by Olivier) and that Viktor really stepped it up (call me crazy, but I always felt he had a lot of potential). They loved Bryce's dress and allow as how his team's collection are the kind of clothes you actually would wear with sneakers. MK calls Danielle "chiffon-addicted." And the judges split over the loser; MK and Nina feel Danielle should go, Heidi thinks it should be Anthony (Not that anyone's asking, but I think it should be Bert. However, I have been thinking this every week). MK says it's not so cut and dried, to which Heidi says she always thought the whole point of the show was that it was cut and dried, "one day you're in and the next day you're out."

Viktor (who deserved it) and Josh M. (who didn't) are both named the winners and their designs will be sold online via with Heidi's sneakers. Back in the green room Josh M. gives Anya a big hug and then starts to thank Kimberly before he realizes it's Becky in the team with them. His insincerity is so noxious I can practically smell it through the television screen. I think he's actually achieved the title of Meanest Person Ever to be on the show - he's right up there with Jeffrey Sebelia making Angela Keslar's mother cry.

Bert is in (drat!) and dismissed to the green room, likewise Laura, Kimberly and Bryce. The bottom two are Anthony and Danielle. Heidi tells Anthony that if had been up to her he would have gone home, but Danielle is the one dismissed this week for her oh-so-boring, one note look. Back to reading Emily Bronte on the window seat, my dear; gosh, I wish you had been made of stronger stuff!

And .... sew it goes.

Goodbye Danielle

Oh yeah, and goodbye Cecilia

Let's take a look at who's left and who might be next to leave ye olde Atlas nest:

Anthony - Anthony's running hot and cold with me. I like him as a person and I think he's immensely talented, but this week's hideousity really has me wondering if he can actually make it to the end.

Anya - Mysteriously talented, though not rife with sewing skills. She's admittedly a beauty queen and we all know what kind of personality can be below the surface of that gleaming diamond. I think she'll be around for a while at least, and may be even good for a dramatic episode or two or three. She obviously is quite the player; she's everyone's friend; she knows how to get what she wants and needs to succeed.

Becky - She's too emotional for her own good, which on a show like this is like wearing a bullseye and a shirt saying "I'm Next To Be Sent Home." In the beginning I really liked her and thought she could hold her own, now I'm not so sure. I don't see her in the final three, no matter what happens.

Bert - I'm astounded every week that he makes it through unscathed, and how blind the judges seem to be to his snarky remarks and condescending attitude. He's got to go, and soon. And hopefully we'll never see him again, unless someone actually gives him his own TV show or something (I know! Let's put him on The Bachelor!). The sad thing is I was on his side during week one, I really gave him the benefit of the doubt, but he's just too mean and nasty.

Bryce - After boring me to tears for quite some time, Bryce really surprised me this week by whipping up that cute little sportswear dress, so I guess it's okay with me if he sticks around awhile longer. I don't see him as a finalist though.

Josh C. - Interestingly, the few times in past seasons that a designer who is off the show has returned it's always been the one who just left which in this case would be Julie. That unwritten rule was thrown right out the window this time to bring back Josh C. so we could make recapping the show a little more annoying again with two people named Josh. I don't see him lasting; there are way more talented folks here.

Josh M. - Talented, yes. Queen Bitch, yes. This is the sort of guy who always rises to the top on a reality competition show. He's not going anywhere anytime soon is my feeling and could even be at Bryant Park.

Kimberly - In the beginning I was not impressed but I've had to revise my opinion of her, and I think she may last for some time yet, possibly even to the end. She's extremely talented. And I want her to make me a pair of pants.

Laura - She had some promise in the beginning but this week her outfit was just totally icksville. I see her as more chaff than wheat at this point.

Olivier - He proved this week that he's a crashing bore. What the hell was that outfit? And he's such a personality-less twit. I think he's only still around because the judges are holding on to their Golden Boy dream. They want him to be Mondo, but he's not even on the same planet.

Next week: Working with children! Valium Clothes! More Drama! More Bitchiness! More Tears!

Project Runway airs Thursdays at 9pm on Lifetime TV.