Predicting Project Runway All-Stars With Cynicism And Wikipedia
For real, who let Kate back in?
Project Runway truly is God's perfect reality competition. Even though the show has devolved into a ninety-minute infomercial for Red Robin and refrigerators, starring Forever 21 employees, the main conceit of the competition is so strong that no amount of ridiculous product placement will ever stop me or its legion of fans from tuning in to every edition of the show.
"Welcome to Project Runway Season 67! I'm your host, The Brain Of Heidi Klum Floating In A Protein Tank. And you all know your mentor in the workroom, Tim Gunn's Face Sewn To A Gibbon! Designers, don't clap too loudly now because it scares the Tim. Now I'm sure you want to hear the prize for this year. The winning designer will win 100,000 in tokens to Dave and Buster's, America's Home for Family Fun, the opportunity to be a server at Dave and Buster's, America's Home for Family Fun, a bobbin courtesy of Brother Sewing, and an editorial feature on Marie Claire's Pinterest page -- a prize package worth over 14 bitcoin!"
And the legion and I will cry out "just get to the runway" like we've been doing for the past 50 years.
Project Runway: All-Stars is somehow a more magical beast than the mother series. Its familiar cast, its stupid challenges that involve dressing both a cartoon and a Muppet, its garbage couture perpetuated by host Alyssa Milano. While Alyssa and Zanna Roberts Rassi may not scratch that itch (probably infection) left by Tim and Heidi, it's healthy to get away from them every once in a while. Like when your parents make you stay with your aunt and uncle so that they can get you to appreciate them more and also have sex for the first time in forever.
The only thing more fun than waiting to see which designers get sent back to the halfway house where all the former contestants live is blindly predicting the order of elimination, using cynical paranoia and the previous season's designer progression charts on Wikipedia! Without further ado, my ironclad predictions that will definitely come true. Take these to Vegas.
Winner: Justin LeBlanc
Even though Justin wasn't robbed of a win a la Mondo or Anthony Ryan, he has the most "story" of anyone in the cast. I am not a crackpot, but I believe firmly believe that he was Tim Gunn Saved™ not so that he could win his season, but so that he could win All Stars. Lifetime is crafty like that. Look at Top Chef: Seattle. Kristen was eliminated, then fought her way back through Last Chance Kitchen and won her season. And now that's all the fuck they talk about on Top Chef now. "Oh, even though I got eliminated, I can still win like Kristen!" And that's exactly what the narrative will be from now on on Project Runway. You could win, but also you could lose, and come back and win! Delicious pellets for the lab mice that are camera-hungry fashion designers.
Runner-Up: Michelle Lesniak
It seems that Portland is still the coolest city in the country, no matter how much my beloved city of Austin tries to take that crown. Michelle has made herself look even more cray with a Rufio-by-way-of-Skrillex hair thing, and you know Lifetime isn't letting that shit go. Also she has the previous-winner veneer, so that's going to get her very far. Why eliminate a previous winner so early and invalidate past judging decisions?
Third Place: Alexandria von Bromssen
Third place seems to be reserved for slightly kooky foreign ladies who make clothes with weird crotch placements. See previous All Star third-placers Elena and Uli.
Fourth Place: Gunnar Deatherage
Just as third place is for frosty lady Bond villains, ranking fourth on Project Runway: All Stars means you're flaming queen whom I hate. See previous All Star fourth-placers Joshua and Christopher.
Fifth Place: Sonjia Williams
Project Runway is a lot like Game of Thrones. Both are lead by blonde bombshells who are a little too close to their siblings (Tim Gunn was the wedge that drove Heidi and Seal apart, for sure), both have way too many characters to care about or remember, and both save the most shocking deaths/eliminations for the penultimate episode. Enter Sonjia. Probably the most likeable contestant this season and she's not too bad of a designer, so expect Sonjia to get her brain crushed by Georgina Chapman.
Sixth Place: Dmitry Sholokhov
I'm literally only putting Dmitry as sixth place because I know my dear sweet mother reading this will be enraged that I am telling the world her favorite designer ever won't win. Also, sixth place is far enough along to have a respectable run but still not win.
Seventh Place: Fabio Costa
Similar to the Coco Montrese/Alyssa Edwards showdown on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5, a bitter and most likely producer-manipulated rivalry between Season 10 winner Dmitry and runner-up Fabio has already taken shape for All Stars. And just like in Drag Race, they'll both make it to the last third of the season, have an epic bottom-two showdown, and be eliminated right after each other.
Eighth Place: Benjamin Mach
Benjamin, you may be mostly forgotten by even the most ardent Runway fans, but I remember you. Your beautiful weird half-British, half-Australian accent. Your tall stature cloaked in beautiful designer suits. When you get eliminated for yelling at Gunnar and upsetting Alyssa Milano's unborn baby, you can come over to my place. We can open up a bottle of wine, put on "The Best of Sade," and see where the night takes us. If you need to cry, cry. I'm here for you.
Ninth Place: Helen Castillo
Just as Wendy Pepper returned for All Stars only to fizzle out early without giving us more insanity, Helen will make some passable clothes, then get eliminated when she has to make an opera gown for a YouTube celebrity or something.
Tenth Place: Kate Pankoke
OH MY GOD KATE NO ONE LIKES YOU. WHY DO THEY KEEP LETTING YOU COME BACK?!
Eleventh Place: Samantha Black
OH MY GOD SAMANTHA NO ONE REMEMBERS YOU. WHO LET YOU IN HERE?!
Twelfth Place: Jay Sario
Jay Sario will forever be in my heart for introducing me to the phrase "Cuckoo Chanel," and for that I should give him the win for the season. But his aesthetic in Season 7 was a little too "strappy," for lack of a better word, and the judges will get tired of that quickly.
Thirteenth Place: Chris March
He's the only person from the Bravo years who isn't either Christian Siriano or dead, and the Lifetime industrial machine that pumps out eight versions of Project Runway a year isn't going to let a heretic from the old country come in and ruin this for all of the other designers.
Last Place: Patricia Michaels
The first designer eliminated on All Stars has usually either been super-out there (Eliza), older (Peach), or an ethnic minority (Ari). Poor Patricia is all three, so the odds are stacked against her.
Take these predictions, print them out, and keep them in your wallet/pocketbook to reference back all season long. And every time I am right, look the stars and say to yourself, "Man, that Dylan guy sure knows his Project Runway."