Season five cast announced; Tim Gunn: “their personalities are so potent that I’m exhausted”

Two days before the premiere, Bravo has announced the cast of Project Runway 5 via USA TODAY and its own web site.

The paper has brief bios of 15 of the new designers, even though there are 16, but all are included in the a slideshow with photographs and comments about each designer. There’s also a story featuring interviews with the executive producers.

Jane Lipsitz says, “From an aesthetic point of view, it is the most diverse group. … it reminds me of Season 1 a little bit.” She also says “there’s a lot of comedy in this season, which we didn’t necessarily have last season.” They’re not that diverse in terms of age, as two-thirds of the the designers are in their 20s, three are in their 30s, and two in their 40s. Five are from New York.

She adds, “We’re not just about making black-and-white characters that are very clear: They’re the hero, they’re the villain. Sometimes you like them, sometimes you don’t.”

Tim Gunn seems a bit, let’s say, annoyed by the group. “This season has an entirely different DNA. They’re from different parts of the country and their personalities are so potent that I’m exhausted when I leave them. They are excellent as designers and as technicians, but they’re doing a lot of second-guessing. They’ll say, ‘What do you think, Tim Gunn? And what do you think the judges will think?’ I feel sort of drained,” he told the New York Post.

Perhaps as a result, he says he’s ready for the changes coming with the move to Lifetime. “After five seasons, I think it’s time for us to embrace a new threshold. As much as I love and would die for the Magical Elves producers, I really am a change agent. I think it can be a healthy thing to have new producers come in and look at this, unencumbered,” he said.

Project Runway 5: bios [Bravo]
They’re ‘Runway’ ready and Get set for ‘Runway,’ Round 5 [USA TODAY]
‘Project Runway’ Season 5 [New York Post]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.