“Big Daddy’s here to protect you,” Tim Gunn said at the start of the reunion he hosted of the Project Runway cast. But Big Daddy wasn’t going to take any crap from this season’s crazier contestants, who were pretty insistent that the show was rigged, and proved himself to be a far better reunion host than Andy Cohen.
The reunion mostly served as a reminder that they cast some really unstable people, who added some unpredictability and entertainment but have definitely already overstayed their welcome.
Sandro, for example, responded to Zac Posen’s criticism of his work (“trashy”; “walk of shame after an awards show”; “slutty cat toy”) by saying the judge was “just really, really, really, really jealous when somebody much more talented and more attractive than he is.” Tim Gunn eventually said, “you’re a hot head.” Oh Tim, so polite, but I think he meant “delusional moron.”
After confessing “I was menstrual twice,” Helen was upset that Tim Gunn wanted to talk about her “very quirky process,” which involved self-flagellation and meltdowns. She insisted it was “embarrassing” to highlight her meltdowns. So maybe don’t act that way? But Helen seemed oblivious, staring down Alexandria.
While Ken had Justin’s support over the move-in meltdown, he surprisingly took responsibility, saying that if he had to do it again, “I would have moved” out of Alexander’s way. But then Ken reverted back to his familiar self.
The accusation of rigging started with Ken saying “the judges have their pets on leashes,” adding, “the judges have their favorites. they’re going to look out for the contestants they really like.” Helen said that criticism was “justified,” adding later that “there were more cases than not where it seemed fishy.” Alexander said “I felt it was” rigged because “it’s a TV show,” and said he felt “pigeonholed” and that “none of the judges took me seriously.”
While Tim told Dom that she won because of her talent, and said “the fact that you happen to be a lovely, wonderful person is an enhancement, but it’s because of your work,” Alexandria insisted the judges make decisions “because of who we are as a person.” Odd that Alexandria would say that when her closing argument about why she should win basically amounted to, IT’S MY TURN AND I DESERVE IT BECAUSE I AM SPECIAL SO GIVE ME THE WIN OR I’LL STOMP MY FEET AND CRY AND I WILL NOT TAKE A NAP WAAHHH.
Is it mere coincidence these charges were being leveled by bitter losers?
Tim Gunn tried to shut this down by wielding his most powerful weapon: his reputation. “I have entirely too much integrity to be part of a production that forecasts what’s going to happen,” he said.
But Ken couldn’t resist an opportunity to, you know, be Ken. “In order to have good TV, things have to be thought about and pre-arranged to get your ratings,” he said.
And then Tim Gunn blew up more than I’ve ever seen him blow up: “That is bullshit! Absolutely not. You are completely and totally wrong.”
Sandro called in from the alternate dimension he lives in to challenge Tim by arguing that the producers’ asking for bios for the contestants was evidence of rigging. Then he said the judges go online to read about the contestants during the competition. Tim wasn’t having that bullshit: “Can I please put a whole in your ego?” he said, so exasperated that he finally just said, “please. This is preposterous.”
Tim’s final argument was the an excellent point: “If this show were manipulated and rigged, Mondo Guerra would have won season eight.” It’s just our luck that this season, the most talented designer happened to be one of the nicest people, not a horribly bitter twit with no self-awareness whatsoever about their own fallibility.