Tim Gunn bowling. Those are the only three words necessary to explain why Project Runway season 15’s penultimate episode was so strong, though we can add five more words: Michael Kors and Virtual Heidi Klum.
But it really was all about the bowling. I would watch a series where Tim Gunn tried a new sport every week, mostly because he is just a good sport, willing to try and do anything. Even when he seems out of place, he doesn’t seem uncomfortable.
“How does one actually pick a ball?” Tim first asked when Rik took him bowling, cutting to the heart of own of bowling’s greatest mysteries. Then, Tim approached the lane—which the editors enhanced with Flintstones sound effects for his many steps to get there—and threw the ball. As it slammed onto the wood, Tim said, “Yikes! That was an awful noise.”
And then the ball rolled and rolled, and knocked over every single pin. Yes, Tim Gunn got a strike on his very first attempt at bowling.
Unfortunately, the video clip below cuts off before the best part. After a bowling montage, Tim said, “Look at the shocked look on my face. Just think: at my age, I’m becoming a jock!”
Season 15 has delivered
From strong personalities to creative challenges that have produced equally creative work, this season has really been fun so far.
Other highlights from the season so far for me:
- Heidi Klum appeared via satellite for the pre-Fashion Week critique, and actually somehow seemed like she was in the room, looking in the right direction depending upon who she was talking to or who was talking. I can’t even handle Skype, so bravo, Heidi.
- As a bonus, Michael Kors appeared in studio for the preview runway show. Zac Posen has grown on me as a judge, and excels at delivering pointed and/or withering critiques. But Michael Kors is still the king, and managed to be both specific and broad in his advice, most notably explaining exactly what the point of a Fashion Week show is, and what they’d need to accomplish with just 10 outfits.
- Tim Gunn used his Tim Gunn Save—which is mostly amazing because everyone including Tim has started to use “Tim Gunn Save” as a noun—on Cornelius, who’d pretty much deserved to go home during several previous challenges, but was absolutely was screwed on a team challenge by “mean girls” (Tim Gunn’s words) Erin and Dexter.
- Cornelius was an absolute master of tearing down his fellow designers’ work while generally failing to deliver, the captain of the Titanic pointing at other boats and laughing at how buoyant they are.
- Erin, meanwhile, has had a fascinating arc with both her designs and her behavior: starting high, dropping low, and then rebounding.
- Last night, Erin got a vocabulary lesson from Tim. He said her discordant collection was “a fashion cacophony.” She repeated it back: “A fashion cannaphody.”
- Many designers seem to have a thing this season—Laurence creating big, structural shoulders, Erin going all Hildi Santo-Tomas and glueing things all over her garments, though unlike Hildi’s homeowners on Trading Spaces, it usually worked out for Erin.
- Laurence’s collection has one of the most coherent and/or understandable themes that I can remember, and communicates her life’s arc since she was a 17-year-old mother whose father disowned her.
- There were three unconventional materials challenges, including two back to back, one of which had a bonus absolutely unnecessary product placement trip to Texas, to go along with the bonus absolutely unnecessary product placement trip to Orlando.
- Best of all, the season finale next week will be followed by the premiere of Project Runway Junior.