02 February 2006

what happened to andrae?: project runway episode 9

I have to admit, I'm pretty much just sad after this episode. The Boys of 35D, Santino threatening to eat people aside, were my favorite quartet since before Will & Grace started sucking. Luckily we get plenty of quality time with them in this episode, and of course no one hesitates to gay it up anymore, so let's get to it!

We start with everyone trash-talking Zulema, with Nick making the new rule "Not to go out like Zulema" and Chloe showing her claws for the first time, really, admitting that Zulema's design "was the worst." Rawrrr. I guess Zulema is an easy target, but that kind of cattiness is old-school Season One style.

We move right on to the model elimination, which for the first time EVER is interesting even without a walk-off. We all knew we'd have to say goodbye to the wonderful, beautiful Tarah, and loyal Daniel sticks with Rebecca.
Goodbye, Tarah.

Nick, of course, looks like his puppy has died.

But, you know, moving on. We get a great montage of the frolicking Boys of 35D, interspersed of course with Nick and Santino confessionalizing that they're all competitive with each other. But look how "Saved by the Bell" they are!

Go Bayside!

For the first time ever we see that this apartment building has a roof, which really shouldn't be a surprise, and the Boys act like girls on prom night and take lots of pictures of themselves in the flattering evening sunlight.
This photo, of course, turns into the one that Nick posted on his blog a few weeks back:

Those Boys really are all kinds of handsome. Then, of course, Santino ruins the afternoon glow by confessionalizing "I'm not going to be happy until I'm the fucking winner." And here I thought all it took was your three boys, a rooftop and some sunshine.

The next morning Tim shows up at 6 a.m. to rouse the designers, who are all awake anyway for some terrifying reason. This visit is much more welcome than Season One's Robert a few weeks back, and of course, Andrae reacts with typical restraint:

Tim makes housecalls! Sign me up!

The designers embark on a field trip with the knowledge that they're designing for a garden party, and Andrae hopes oh-so-futilely that they're going to Tavern on the Green, because "I've been dying to get to Central Park." First of all, Tavern on the Green is simultaneously too kitschy and classy for the kinds of absurd challenges they're coming up with, and second, Central Park is about 15 blocks from the Atlas Apartments and not particularly hard to find. It seems like there would have been an opportunity to get there, but I digress.

They wind up, as we know, at a flower shop! Whoah! I guess I can't blame them for not expecting to literally make clothing out of flowers, but the level of surprise was just a bit over the top. Chloe confessionalizes that her "mouth just dropped" over the following image, which suggests Chloe may not understand just what a mouth does:

Ask Andrae if you want to know what it means for your mouth to drop.

Nick says in an interview "I had to stay long enough for the damn make a dress out of flowers task,” which strikes me as a be-careful-what-you-wish-for moment. He, like Chloe, completely misremembers how he looked, but gives the best "fake smile" I've ever seen so I'll forgive it:
Really, I'm happy! I promise!

Everyone generally groans and acts like they didn't expect at least one challenge with a minimal relationship to actual fashion design, but then, of course, it's "make it work" time.

I have to admit two things here: I watched this episode already knowing who would be eliminated, and watched it very shortly after seeing Season One's supermarket challenge for the first time, which was very similar to this one (i.e. forcing designers to use something ridiculous and make it fashion). I couldn't help but see some Daniel Franco syndrome in Andrae, which is basically talking constantly about how you're not going to be eliminated before, well, getting eliminated. It broke my heart, really. Andrae finished his shopping before everyone else and told the camera "I don't feel like I'm in the deep end of the swimming pool." In the meantime, Nick is looking for bendable plants and breaking the ones that aren't:

He should expect a bill from Plant House shortly.

Chloe is looking for deals and finds ribbon for $4.99, which prompts a "That's my girl!" moment from the bottom of my cheap, cheap heart. Daniel has some kind of flip-out moment amid the flowers:

"Holy crap! I'm allergic to pollen after all!"

The designers all walk away pushing their flowers in those little carts the old ladies in my Harlem neighborhood used to carry their groceries:

We got a great deal on the cat food!

And the designing begins. Tim shows up and announces that the winner of this challenge will get immunity. I waited and waited and waited for my Andrae reaction shot, but I never got it! I'm just going to assume he reacted with his usual panache and use an old screencap to approximate the experience:

I am mildly surprised by this announcement!

Before the break, Santino confessionalizes “It would be really great to win this challenge because then I could do something really offensive in the next challenge and not be penalized for it.” For the first time, I really want Santino to win, just for the look on Nina Garcia's face next week.

The design process is pretty slow in terms of action-- with Zulema gone there's no one to shout or make evil faces at Kara, so everyone carries on with their own business. Kara has no idea what she's doing, Nick doesn't have enough material, Chloe doesn't have enough time, Santino has chosen the kind of shiny-ugly plants you see growing in malls (of course), etc. etc. For some inexplicable reason, Emmett's ice-skating outfit is on one of the dummies:

Nick's pink shirt looks downright masculine by comparison.

Chloe, Nick and Daniel are doing some serious girl-talking and talk about coming-out experiences. The full video of this conversation is on the Bravo site, and is actually pretty interesting: Daniel came out to his parents a year ago, and his ex-girlfriend still doesn't know. Nick talks about how he was the "rent-a-date" in high school because he dressed well and was a gentleman, and I flash back to all of my high school prom dates and realize that I will be seeing them all say the exact same thing on national television some day. Chloe admits that she's afraid of dating a gay guy (only to have him come out later), and I have yet another "That's my girl!" moment. We fag hags have to stick together, after all.

And finally, the moment we were all waiting for: Tim confronts Santino about the Timpressions. This time around the impressions are all about Tim and Andrae's love affair taking place at Red Lobster, where Andrae gets upset and throws lobster in Tim's lap and embarasses Tim in front of his colleagues. First of all, to understand how hilarious this is, you must realize that the Red Lobster in question is (most likely) the Times Square Red Lobster. I'm sure the Red Lobster managers thought it would be a great idea to deck their restaurant out in full Times Square regalia, but I think they underestimated how terrifying a neon, upright, rotating lobster can be. I mean, look at this.

Don't go into the light!

Anyway. The Tim and Andrae story is good enough without commentary, so here are the choice excerpts (all done in Tim's voice, of course):

“Andrae you really embarrassed me tonight at Red Lobster.”
“You acting like a big baby throwing a plate of lobster in my lap at dinner is not appropriate.”
“You and me. Let’s make it work.”
“If we continue to fight in front of my in front of my colleagues at Red Lobster, we’re going to have to break up.”

Add to this an earlier Timpression where he calls Andrae "our little lamb," and I am on the floor. Then, of course, Tim shows up and proves at least some of this ridiculous relationship with Andrae exists by commenting on the "flotsam and jetsam" in his workspace:

Andrae: "It looks like I did yard work."

If erotic slash fiction about Andrae and Tim shows up, I am definitely quitting the internet.

Tim finally confronts Santino by asking "What happened to Andrae?" In his podcast Tim explains why this is funny, and it's a long story but worth listening to. In any case, Santino explains it by actually doing the impression, and we all get the worlds-colliding, mind-fucking experience of hearing Timtino have a conversation with Tim himself. Andrae and Nick flip out:

Tim reacts graciously and shakes Santino's hand... awkwardly.

Tim and Santino tell each other they love each other, Santino blushes, and then Tim says he's "verklempt." Finally I have found someone less likely than myself to use Yiddish in actual conversation. Somehow, though, Tim manages to "make it work." Ha.

Back at 35D, the Boys talk about who's going home, and Andrae repeatedly says "It's not me." This show is starting to feel like a Greek tragedy, where everyone but Oedipus knows he's doomed but he just won't admit it! Fie, ye gods!

The next morning everyone flips out and gets to work, with Chloe nowhere near finishes. She actually says that she has "time-management" issues, and I curse Zulema in my head for ever letting that phrase live on. No one is really finished, though, and they're all frantic up until the last minute, which gives Tim Gunn worry lines he probably never knew existed:

You kids are making my hair go gray!

And finally... the runway. Thought we'd never get there. Some general thoughts first, though. The judges all seemed to have it in their heads that they would be getting flowery dresses, and when they didn't get them, they couldn't wrap their minds around what they did have, which were lovely green plant dresses. They completely ignored the fact that the designers couldn't afford flowers and really rewarded the designers who did the closest thing to using flowers. It was really kind of bizarre, and almost an unfair way of judging. That coupled with the fact that this kind of challenge has no kind of business at this stage in the game, I was a little disappointed with how it went. But I digress.

How she managed to finish is beyond me-- she even had Kara gluing leaves for her at the last minute. The final result is nice, even if it is just a very plain muslin dress with leaves glued on it. The main compliment was that "it moves like fabric," to which I screamed at the TV, "It is fabric!" I thought the result was nice but not particularly inventive, and as much as I came to like Chloe in this episode I was happy not to see her win.

Kara had no real plan throughout her entire design process, and she seemed just as shocked as everyone else (including me) that it turned out so well. Michael Kors told her “I think you went wild in the flower market," which is confusing since over half of the damn thing is made of moss. Also a strong showing, but also not a winner. I still think Kara should be out of the competition soon, even though she also grew on me during this episode.

I was really surprised how little credit this got for being so gorgeous. It's got the classic Santino puffy skirt and really beautiful lines with those leaves. It even manages to avoid being over-the-top with those weird leaves at the bottom. MK criticizes it for being "too shiny," and Heidi defends it by saying "I have no problem with it being shiny." MK retorts that it's "Because you're German." World War Three starts and promptly ends because everyone realizes neither of them would make respectable soldiers.

Sigh. It made me very sad that this design didn't turn out the way he wanted, mostly because he didn't have nearly enough material. The judges, as always, completely ignored this fact, and criticized him for not using any flowers, which is like critiquing someone for not using sequins or ribbon-- you can't actually use every possible material. Michael Kors says "It's hard to make leaves look vulgar," which makes me wonder if he's ever heard of Adam, Eve and figleafs, and that there's a little vulgarity in all of Nick's designs, which makes me wonder if he actually knows what that word means. First Emmett's skating outfit, now Nick's dresses? MK, please get a dictionary.

Daniel-- winner
It seems that Daniel could have won simply because he used flowers, but his design really was gorgeous. They compared it to a WASPy party dress, which made me wonder if that was the real reason I liked it. Still, purple and green are perfect together, and if Daniel is going to be this season's golden child Kara Saun, then I can't think of a better candidate. Still, out of all of them, he probably needed immunity least.

Andrae-- out
Surprisingly, Nina Garcia was the only one who really "got' it, recognizing that it's kind of Audrey Hepburn. As much as my heart is broken over Andrae's elimination, I do recognize that it was the least beautiful of all the designs, which was apparently the only thing the judges were looking for this time around. They criticized him for not being creative, though, which made me want to yank their heads to look at Chloe's dress, which I really and truly could probably have made myself.

Sigh. Saying goodbye to Andrae, it's the first designer I've felt really attached to. He gave us one last little flail before departing the runway:

And we get one last glimpse of 35D (with Kara and Chloe's feet in there somewhere) before the dream team breaks up at last:

Eyes look your last.

Tim is sad to see Andrae go, and I can only hope that, off-camera, they scheduled a reunion at Red Lobster.

Goodbye, Andrae. Without you around I really won't know how to react to any announcements. I'll even miss the short-shorts.

Cue your favorite inspirational music here.

Next week: we get the tiff between Santino and Nick that we've all been waiting for, and a challenge that seems to involve the designers making each other over, and--gasp!-- menswear design! Where is Emmett when you need him? Also, I may be wrong, but I think one of our designers is responsible for shaving Santino:

Also, in case you were afraid Andrae took the exaggerated facial expressions with him, have no fear:

See y'all next week.

Probably too vulgar for Michael Kors,


Anonymous said...

will and grace always sucked katey. get with the program.

Anonymous said...


i really enjoy your recaps.

- katiewalsh

Serena said...

Hilarious. Sigh... I'm sad to see Andrae go too, but it's true that his design this episode, compared to the others, was probably the weakest. I hope it's Kara who's out next week though; even though I love her because she's so nice (like helping Chloe finish her dress), I don't think she's as qualified as the others...

I ALSO thought it was RIDICULOUS the judges kept fixating on the d*mn flowers!!! It's like... okay, you like flowers, but you have to judge what they HAVE not what they DON'T have, sheesh! It reminded me of Andrae's Barbie design--who CARES if he used the wig or not! Judge the DRESS, not the HAIR!!! Gah...

I was actually really really worried for Chloe this time around; I love her and I really want her to be at fashion week, but I was worried that (a) she wouldn't finish and (b) she concept wasn't creative enough... but I'm glad she pulled it off, and the judges got what she was aiming for.

Oh...and I'm worried for all of them this next challenge. I don't understand why they're throwing in the flower challenge and the menswear challenge in during the last two episodes before the Final Four... I mean, come on. The flower challenge isn't even using real fabric, and the menswear challenge is asking them to make something that they aren't here to make anyway (with the exception of Emmett)! SIGH!

But I still heart this show to no end, of course! Go Chloe, Nick and Dan!!!!

AJ said...

Hey Katey, I got the link from BPR over here. Your recaps are always hilarious!

I miss Andrae too :( Thank you for the facial expression montage...I'm going to miss that little lamb...

Laura K said...

Great recap as always Katey. Thanks for the screencaps too. You are amazing!

Jan the Dan Fan said...

Love, love, love that you included the "freak out" shot of Daniel! He's too cute!

Great re-cap, thanks for sharing!

subgenre said...

This was a FANTASTIC recap! Very witty and the screen grabs were awesome! So many recaps don't include pics of the dresses and - really - isn't that why we watch the show?

God bless the little lamb, Andrae, may he find much success beyond PR.

Oksana said...

Nick's my favorite. I loved his dress!

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