The Last Auction Heroes
Project Runway meets Storage Wars. Uh, FINALLY!!!
The weirdest thing about a challenge that starts with the premise of Storage Wars is that Lifetime and A&E are both owned by the same media conglomerate and yet the actual phrase Storage Wars only actually comes up as a throwaway line in an interview? Feels like a lost product placement opportunity in an episode that also features shout-outs to Samsung tablets, Philip B. (more than usual), and the upcoming Runway spinoff Threads, in the person of Threads star/guest judge Christian Siriano. Anyway: Tim brings the designers to some warehouse, puts them in teams (Amanda/Kini; Emily/Korina; Char/Sean), gives them some fake money, and has them bid on the contents of each container with an eye to making collections out of whatever junk they find within. Some junk is cool! Most junk is junk.
They're supposed to make two looks, but there's a "twist," because of course there is, and the twist is a third look. I'll pause here and let you collect your socks, which I assume just shot across the room in your shock.
Amanda and Kini end up on top thanks to a collection built around a crazy psychedelic yeti painting (with Kini emerging as the week's winner thanks to a cool honeycomb-looking strapless dress made of cut-up soccer balls). But when Korina and Char are in the bottom, the judges "can't decide," and have them do a one-hour challenge as a tiebreaker, with the assistance of their main-challenge partners. Korina goes into the tiebreaker bitter as fuck that she's facing off against her mortal enemy Char, and when she chokes -- apparently because she thinks it's beneath her, from what I can tell -- and gets booted, she decides to make herself look REAL shitty on her way out. How do the episode's most notable elements stack up? Let's go through them from first to worst.
Kini & Amanda
Amanda is generally not my favourite, but she and Kini are so excited to work together, and not even in a fake way: they really seem to feed each other's excitement about the challenge and bring out the best in each other. And Amanda wins back a lot of the goodwill she lost with me over the course of the season (okay, "goodwill" is a strong word: let's say "neutrality") when she talks about Emily and Korina's collection as being really busy, and then admits that she knows she's not really one to talk. She's not! But I love the hot pink brocade she brings back on her own and I super-love the cigarette pants she and Kini made, and he is certainly the obvious and just winner this week.
Sean's pronunciation of the word "gaudy"
He thinks it's like Gaudí. I ain't mad.
This sweater from Korina & Emily's collection
Someone tell me when it's up for sale at Anthropologie.com, TIA.
Congratulations to Emily for being paired with the episode's undisputed shithead and staying above the fray. Because that cannot have been easy.
Sean & Char
This is certainly not a good collection -- Korina has a point (she does!) when she says she wouldn't wear a dress she couldn't walk in, "or two dresses I couldn't walk in, actually" -- but they took a risk AND worked within the spirit of the challenge by integrating the lampshades, and the blue quilted coat is legitimately cute.
Having a team competition when there are six contestants left
Let's put this in the category of "having no sense of what makes the show good and making dumb decisions to save money," alongside "You have one day to complete this challenge!" Boo.
Tim's stress zit
Hang in there, buddy. Season's almost over.
I don't know if you've heard, but Char's already been eliminated once. If you haven't, Korina's here to tell you fifty more times. The worst thing about Korina's shitty attitude this week is that I'm ALMOST WITH HER for a lot of it. Whatever to the save, but it does suck that Char's been skating by as long as she has when she has a widely acknowledged lack of technical skill -- I mean, just last week, she got extra time to fix a busted zipper, which if she knew what she was doing wouldn't have busted in the first place. But the thing is, Korina doesn't NOT deserve to be in the bottom alongside Char; Char IS still in the competition, according to fair rules to which everyone agreed (...other than that zipper thing, which really was bullshit); and Korina DOES get a chance to show off how awesome she is and blow Char away. But instead, Korina decides to fixate on the injustice of Char having even still been around, bitterly laughing to herself all the while and enlisting her model in her loud and obnoxious shit-talking. The result? See below. Korina gets so enraged about the whole thing that the judges all start handling her so gently, it's like they're scared she's going to come back tomorrow with an Uzi. I mean, come on, Zac Posen. You like that it was graphic? No you don't. The piping doesn't even line up!
But Korina's assholish behaviour on the runway is nothing compared to how uncomfortable she makes everyone in the lounge afterward. This could have been the time for her to rescue it with an apology to Char, but Korina is so far into cold fury that the concept of grace is but a distant memory to her. Korina is SO RUDE, in fact, that Char has no choice but to chuckle about it. When Korina finally goes up to clean up her workspace, Tim comments, "The result was cool, calm, sophisticated, and elegant," and even though he's speaking of Char's tiebreaker look, all those adjectives are SO opposite to Korina's childishness that the remaining designers all laugh in relief, which actually becomes the episode's best moment.
All that said...am I sorry Korina will be back next week, apparently to act EVEN WORSE?!
No. Duh. I can't wait.