Tim Gunn was introduced as “objectively one of the best human beings” when he appeared on NPR’s Ask Me Another before the holidays, and it’s hard to disagree. It’s also hard to disagree with his assessment that Project Runway Junior is better than the original Project Runway—or at least, Tim said he’d choose the former over the latter if he had to make a choice.
Before playing one of Ask Me Another’s word games, Tim talked to host Ophira Eisenberg about how appearing in the Smurfs movie affected his wardrobe (“I felt humiliated”); and his approach to mentoring—using questions and empathy to get the designers to arrive at the conclusion he’s reached.
When she asked what Project Runway Junior changed from the original, Tim said:
“I’ll be honest: nothing. The only thing that has changed is the length of our workday because of the child labor laws. Thank god for those child labor laws! I’m telling you: getting home at 9 o’clock at night for me is such a reward. So we actually we play the workday—we have to play that as two days.”
This seems to suggest they combine two actual days into one on-screen day in the editing, but I might be hearing that wrong. Tim continued:
“But other than that, no, it’s the same. The first day in the workday with the designers, I’ll be honest, I was very trepidatious. I was walking around on eggshells, thinking, Oh, I don’t know how much I can really say or how far I can really go. But within five minutes—pow!—it hit me. They really want it all, they know when you’re pandering.
And they’re much more mature about it than the regular Project Runway designers. They accept responsibility for their work, they’re supportive of each other, they’re a joy. If I had to choose between the two shows, I’d take Junior in a heartbeat.”
Listen to the segment, and see if Tim’s admitted “performance anxiety” affected his ability to play the game: