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Keith says his elimination, Bravo’s highest rated hour yet, showed “a lack of integrity on behalf of the production”

Wednesday’s episode of Project Runway 3, when Keith was kicked off the show, was watched by more than 3.4 million people. That made it “the #1 cable show of the day, and was the most watched telecast in Bravo history among total viewers,” according to a Bravo press release. It even beat the ratings for the second season finale, although not by much.

On, the network’s blogging VP, Andy Cohen, reveals the behind-the-scenes story about the episode and Keith’s elimination. He also interviews Keith, who’s not very happy after watching Wednesday’s episode.

First, Cohen writes that, in the middle of Wednesday’s episode, “we took a break to shoot promos for the series,” which he says are always shot “while we’re still in production to capture the competition.” That’s when the production learned of Keith’s designer contraband, and Cohen writes, “There was a long discussion in order to formulate a verdict about Keith based on what we were hearing from him, his fellow designers, roommates, and the production team. These discussions were occurring during our promo shoot and, unfortunately, came to a decisive finish when Keith went AWOL from the photo shoot, disappearing for several hours.”

He adds that Keith “‘walked out of the bubble that contestant/designers are required to live in” in the middle of a challenge, and thus “had access to Macy’s itself, the internet (which he used to email the production team), and an entire outside world full of people and things that could influence his designs. Our decision about whether we could keep him in the design competition based on having the books was unfortunately sealed by his ditching the photo shoot.”

Cohen also interviews Keith, who is not bashful, saying that “there was a lack of integrity on behalf of the production. I thought it was one-sided.” Keith says, “If I was really cheating then I would’ve said that you guys didn’t make me look so bad but the facts being what I know they are I felt not great.” Cohen points out that “Tim or the show did not accuse you of actually cheating.”

But Keith says he talked to the production about the books and “felt like it was over.” However, during the promo shoot, he says, “I think it was a big strategy that Jeffrey had to let everyone in on what happened with the books. … People were in hysterics that I had these books but I think they knew that I had the books.”

As to going AWOL, Keith says “Jeffrey told the entire cast and they were all crying and accusing me and yelling at me and I was completely attacked. All I did was I went to my boyfriend’s apartment, found his spare key, found an email from the Executive Producer, and asked him to contact me.” In other words, they knew he used the Internet because he used it to e.mail a producer, which perhaps wasn’t the smartest move.

Finally, Keith once again address earlier reports that he’d plagiarized other designers’ designs. He says those sketches were “an overview of styles from Spring/Summer that I presented to a client and I showed them what was out there and popular. It was clear what that was.”

Project Runway #1 Show on Cable Last Night and Most Watched Telecast in Bravo History [Bravo press release]
A Runway First and [Andy’s Blog/Bravo]

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