Project Runway’s results may have alienated the show’s remaining fans

The Project Runway-watching population, or whatever’s left of it, is in an uproar today over the finale of season eight last night, when fan-favorite Mondo Guerra lost to Gretchen Jones.

As Lifetime noted in its press release, Gretchen “ultimately won with her bohemian inspired, fashion-forward collection that won the praise of host Heidi Klum, judges Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and guest judge, Jessica Simpson.” The response was near-universal disappointment, with responses ranging from “NOT HAPPY AT ALL” to “I’m heartbroken. Disillusioned.”

Disappointment in judges’ decision-making is nothing new. But while some people who’ve stuck with the show through its awful first Lifetime season and then through last season’s slight improvement found this season to be significantly better, a disappointing ending may alienate those very people who still care.

As my friend Eric Deggans wrote today, “Runway feels like a boat steaming along without a rudder; unsure of exactly where its fan appeal lies and unable to chart where its new course should go. Handing Jones the crowd may have provided the show with an unexpected ending to please producers, but it may be one insult too many for long suffering fans.”

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.