Heidi's A Mess Of A Muse

Few get inspired by the challenge to make her a red carpet-worthy look for the Creative Arts Emmys; even the top looks are tired!

It's "design for Heidi" time! The contestants have to create a red carpet look for her to wear to the 2014 Creative Arts Emmys. I really can't imagine a simpler task than designing a fancy dress for a model. Long legs, pert boobs, can't lose...right?

Well, these designers shoulda had a V-8. From the sketch session to the sewing room -- and every crucial moment in between -- they show a dire lack of inspiration, creativity, and drive. Maybe they're intimidated by designing for a judge. Maybe they're confused by exactly what Heidi's style actually is. I mean, she did show up for her workroom walkthrough wearing mixed-print retirement home separates.

Some poor souls miss the mark by such an embarrassingly wide margin that they're granted clemency in the form of a second trip to Mood. Cop-out di tutti cop-outs! And even with this reprieve, they still can't get their acts together. On the whole, this crew is prone to pouting, devoting more energy to licking their wounds than to cranking out good ideas. Teenagers who draw formal gowns in the margins of their class notes on any given weekday would like me to inform you and these alleged designers that it's really not that difficult.

Sussing out the best of the bunch is really quite a chore, because they were all pretty lackluster. But, unlike the designers, I'm giving my challenge some gusto.

Kini

He earns the title of "fastest sewer in the workroom" and, though unoriginal, his swiftly-executed design is well-made and luxe-looking (save for an ever-so-slightly warped neckline). The only real "con" about the vampy, slinky villainess he created is that tacky knotted rhinestone necklace (he did not use the Aldo accessory wall verrry thoughtfully).

Mitchell

To be clear, Mitchell rose to the cream of the crop here for his personality, not for that pitiful pillar of a dress (which he rightly dubs the "janky-zipper Hot Mess Express"). He gets the most screen time of anyone this episode, which is fine by me because his clueless, "Duh...what?" expressions make me snort with glee. If there were a drinking game based on how many times you could find freeze-frame shots of him looking like Karen from Mean Girls, you'd be soused before they ever made it to Mood. Mitchell sings in the sewing room: "Heidi hates it! I'm startin' over!" He sports cut-off sleeve cowgirl shirts. At his deepest moment, he thinks aloud, "There's an internal struggle between that fabric and I. [Sigh] That bitch is winning." He is the oblivious doofus every reality show needs, which is why it's a shame when he's one of two designers auf'd this week.

Sean

This guy's had it rough from the very beginning and I'm frankly surprised he's made it this far. Seeing him finally put his nose to the grindstone and actually prove his worth is a pleasant surprise. He wins, and I ain't mad. (I'm not particularly wowed either, but it's slim pickins this week.)

Samantha

Her black side-drape number is a bit cougarish and doesn't deliver on the potential she first exhibits in the workroom. But when so much goes so wrong elsewhere on the runway, whatever-ish dresses like hers actually stand out as worthy of praise. Golf claps.

Sandhya

I thought she'd get higher scores for this. I mean, I don't like that black pan dulce-looking print. But, what with the plunging back and all-over shimmer, I figured Heidi and her dubious sense of style would eat it up. Props to Sandhya for taking advantage of the Mood save and cash allowance boost. It's not her fault if none of the other designers were smart enough to go around begging for charity. I mean, it seems like an additional $400 would make for a much more glorious look, but her hustler's spirit is commendable.

Zac

His facial expression when Mitchell's dress hits the runway is well worth this week's paycheck.

Screen: Lifetime

Screen: Lifetime

Fäde

His optical illusion Caché dress? No comment. His "Huh?" T-shirt? Yes, please! In fact, he needs duplicates: one for perpetually-confounded Mitchell and one for Alexander, whose eyes are blank and jaw slack in every shot.

Char

#TBT. She takes it back to Junior Prom and, as usual, skirts by to safety. When is she going to break out and make a big impression?

Amanda

Is it me, or are the judges rating Amanda on an entirely different scale than the others? "This is very you." "This design is very good for you." What barrel does she have the judges over? Her beaded boho mess got way higher marks than it deserved. I'm seeing red-tagged Free People dress at Nordstrom Rack, nothing more.

Emily

Her futuristic escort look is scandalously short in both the front and the back. Even the model isn't sold as she hesitantly teeters down the runway. I'm surprised she doesn't catch flak for its lack of class.

Alexander

I see a repurposed burlesque parlor window valance and the judges see a whole lot of model butt-cheek. No one sees anything noteworthy.

Korina

Her first dress -- all deep green and snakeskin-accented -- looks like a costume from V. She cries a lot, hits up Mood again, cries some more, then ultimately comes up with something even worse than her initial flop. Everybody's pissed over this one-note green swath of fabric: the judges, Korina, the model, and me. She ends up in the bottom but manages to be the only one of the three to escape elimination.

Kristine

Damn, son. If you weren't gonna try, you should've stayed home. She makes a weak retread of Mitchell's already shot-down idea and predictably gets trounced for it, and auf'd along with Mitchell. Her heart hasn't really seemed in it from the very beginning. Definitely not reppin' Brooklyn.

Nina

The only memorable thing about Nina this week is her animal print dress. Did she and Heidi coordinate their outfits beforehand? Are they going to take pictures together at Six Flags after judging?

Heidi

She shows up for judgment day wearing an animal-printed smock that looks like Naomi from Mama's Family's version of an LBD. It's no wonder why this troupe of designers can't eke out some glamour on her behalf.

Lindsey Vonn

Of Kristine's dress, she quips: "It's like The Devil Wears Prada, except it's actually a devil." Stop it. I was already wondering why a mall clothes-clad US Ski Team racer is qualified to judge in a fashion competition, and weak-ass commentary like that does nothing to plead her case.

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