Project Runway 5 winner is Leanne Marshall

After its first-ever all-female final three, Project Runway has its second female winner in five seasons, and that designer is Leanne Marshall. She won Project Runway 5, defeating runner-up Korto Momolu and third-place designer Kenley Collins.

Michael Kors said Leanne’s “workmanship looked divine,” although Nina Garcia was worried that she might be “too much of a one-note” because of her petal-like designs. Korto was the runner-up; Nina Garcia said her collection “looked effortlessly cohesive,” although she warned that she “need to be careful in going overboard” with her details. While Korto and Leanne were the most consistently talented designers throughout the competition, and clearly belonged in the final two, the decision will probably be seen as an upset for some, because Korto’s collection seemed to be more surprising and inventive, and Leanne’s was a bit more bland overall.

Kenley was out first. Although she had “superbly executed” clothes, as Tim Gunnn said, she was again called out for having a dress similar to other designers, which she admitted happened “at least four times” during the competition. Afterwords, Kenley said, “No one likes to be called a copycat when they know that they’re a true artist. It kills me that’s what they think. I think it’s bullshit.”

Speaking of Kenley, when Heidi Klum announced that Tim Gunn would replace Jennifer Lopez as the guest judge, she said, “Are you kidding? Okay, maybe I should have improved my attitude.”

On the runway, Tim said, “I promise everyone I will be impartial and unbiased and put my relationship with the designers on a metaphorical shelf.” While that’s great, and I have no doubt Tim can be impartial, it’s really weird and fraught with problems because he offered advice throughout the final stage. Couldn’t they have used Fern Mallis or even one of the former Project Runway designers–someone who didn’t have relationships with the designers, which in Kenley’s case, was a rather contentious one.

Earlier, when he tried to offer her advice, Kenley said (read this sentence using the voice of a three-year-old stomping her foot because she didn’t get an extra cookie), “My decisions are final and I’m done with it.”

After his consultation with her, Tim Gunn walked away and gave his best eye roll in the history of the series, a nice way to end Bravo’s run of the show that made him and it a star.

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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.