We get a quick shot of Amanda crying and then we whip off to the challenge. This, my dear readers, is what we call a cliff hanger. I was expecting a big To Be Continued... screen in between the confessional and the challenge. But they're suspense building wasn't that obvious; which is actually a compliment believe it or not.
The contestants sit in front of a rocked out alter, and a few of them guess that the challenge will be to design a wedding dress. Sure enough, Tim walks out with the amazing and resplendent Dita Von Tesse, and informs everyone that they are indeed designing an unconventional wedding dress and also a companion look for the reception afterwards. The rules are that there ain't no rules, Tim says (though with a lot more refinement and better grammar), and they mostly want to see the designer's unique aesthetic shine through. Since the designers are asked to create two looks and since two day challenges are the things of the past, this will also be a team challenge. Or at least a pairs challenge. And guess who gets paired together... Of course this is totally random, and by no means were Amanda and Korina's names purposefully left out of the button bag in order to ensure this very eventuality.
The drama between the girls continues as they debate what they're looks should be. Amanda's aesthetic is wild and hip and crazy, but Korina's is more simple and streamlined. Korina of course refuses to design anything expansive and Amanda refuses to design anything simple and boring. And they glare at each other while Korina explains during her confessionals that if they end up in the bottom, she'll be the one to go home since the judges love Amanda for some reason. Of course, any drama manufacturer knows all of this is just setup for the team either bringing it together and getting a win, or falling apart and fulfilling Korina's doom prophesy. To Be Continued...
Amongst the other pairs are Fade and Emily who are happy to be together as their both older and married and trust each other's aesthetic. Kini and Sean create the obvious dream team with both of them fresh off of a challenge where they were both in the top and Sean won, but Sean's immunity immediately places Kini on edge. And a reluctant Char finds out she's paired with Sandy.
The pairs head off to Mood where Amanda and Korina at least have agreed on a kind of Tux inspired look for both of their outfits, and start looking for black and white fabric. Meanwhile, a reluctant looking Char concedes to Sandy's love of color and agrees to work with the loudest yellow fabric Mood has to offer. How can this possibly go wrong? That was rhetorical, let's not list all the ways in which a garish yellow fabric can go wrong on a wedding dress challenge as we'll be here all day if we do.
Back to the workroom and back to the drama. Char mockingly imitates Amanda's excitement over the challenge and she and Korina laugh about it for a bit before Amanda storms out to blow off a little steam. She runs into Fade and shares her frustrations with him. To his credit, Fade listens and offers some helpful words of consolation as he tries to figure out what Korina and Char's problem is. He points out that it might be jealousy over the fact that Korina was in the bottom but Amanda was in the top Again last challenge. I found the stress Fade put on the "Again" to be interesting. I think he was intending to imply the way that Korina felt about Amanda's continued success, but I also think it could have been a little bit of a slip on his part to showcase how everyone feels about Amanda's success. To his credit, I don't think Fade's support of Amanda is ever about any kind of veiled criticism on his part, but it's fun to read the situation that way. They end their conversation with Fade assuring her that if she ever wants to talk, he's totally here for her, and I think what we're seeing is the start of a really cute friendship.
Tim's visit is really lackluster after the whirlwind that was Heidi's visit last week. He points out that Alexander and Samantha's looks probably have too many applique elements and look too similar to one another to be easily distinguishable. He tells Char and Sandy that their construction is going to have to be perfect in order to overcome the horror that is their yellow fabric. And then there's the meeting with Korina and Amanda... Tim gushes over Amanda's "not another fringe dress" look, citing its innovation and cool design. And then he bluntly asks Korina what's so special about her Tux look. The entire time he's talking to the two of them, you can seen Korina's seething over his unwillingness to admire her simplicity and demonize Amanda's exuberance. It's enough to make you wonder if she's ever even watched the show before.
In the end, Amanda and Korina are left in just about the same place as they were before Tim's visit: Korina has no desire to spice up her look and Amanda refuses to tame her's down. This is a group that is not in agreement at all, that can only spell disaster. To Be Continued...
Runway day sees a lot of people scrambling to finish their looks. Sean, having spent so much time on his tuxedo pants, doesn't have a blouse ready so Kini steps in to make one for him. "He could sent a topless model down the runway and still be safe" Kini acknowledges as he bitches about Sean's immunity once more. He's not wrong, but I expected a little more excitement on Kini's part to be paired with Sean, and I was wrong. Likewise, Korina's spent so much time on her jacket that she didn't have time to make pants. Amanda steps up to make them for her, but not knowing her model's measurements, the pants end up being ill-fitting and Korina just has to fix them anyway. And so the end of this drama and ultimate suspense is coming. It's on to the runway for us!
Dita Von Tesse is there to judge and some fashion writer or something is there to waste space and time. Sorry, but when Dita Von Tesse is on my screen, I tend not to care about anyone else.
Kini: I like it a lot, but I'm also starting to feel like we’ve seen a lot of this big bulge/ruffle on the hip silhouette this season. It’s well made, and fits her perfectly, and I love the story of who their girl is. So I don’t want to take anything away from it, but is this just going to be the season of the big hip ruffle?
Sean: Here’s the thing: I hate a high waist line on just about anything. I always prefer a low waist or a bit of stomach showing. I don’t like what a high waist tends to do to a person’s torso. So I can’t say that I love this look, but I do see how it’s unique and innovative, and I also think it’s a brilliant take on this challenge. So objectively, I’m impressed, but subjectively it’s not the look for me. That top is perfect though, and their mix of masculine and feminine is really brilliant. The same woman is certainly wearing both of these looks.
Alexander: I think there’s a lot of almost about Alexander’s look. It does look different from the other things he’s put down the runway thus far, the open back is a nice touch, and I really like the lace fabric. But he went a bit too crazy with the floral applique.
Samantha: I like this look in spite of myself. It’s certainly the most interesting thing I think Samantha has put down the runway thus far. I think they ended up with something nicely cohesive and yet still stayed away from making the same dress twice like Tim was worried about.
Korina: I find it boring. I like the fabric, but I find the look itself to be boring. I don’t know if it was just my computer screen, but I couldn’t see anything wrong with the fit of the pants, so either they pulled it out at the last minute, or they made a big deal out of nothing, but I’m still bored.
Amanda: I’m bored with this too. As much as she says it isn’t another fringe dress, it might as well be another fringe dress. The looks match up at least in color scheme if in no other manner, but I honestly found them both to be a snooze. I wouldn’t want to get married in either.
Emily: I’m not going to lie, I fucking love this. It's artistic, but also functional. I think I can see how it lends more funeral than wedding, but I also think there’s honestly a client out there who would just love to get married in this look.
Fade: Conversely, I’m not sure I buy that there’s someone who wants to spend their reception in Fade’s dress. This isn’t to say that I don’t like it, because I do. But there’s something about it that suggests it’s a look for the wedding night more than for the wedding reception. And I don't think these two dresses go to the same woman.
Sandy: There’s just something so homemade about the bodice to me. It looks cheap. And the draping on the dress looks messy. And the color offends my eyes. I can’t see anyone wanting to get married in this look.
Char: What the actual fuck? I knew the look was bad on the dress form, but I had no clue it was this bad. Holy shit that looks messy and unfinished as hell. Like she just stapled fabric to the model and let it fall where it would. This is a huge step back from Char after weeks of being safe. WOW.
So after a full episode of sniping between Korina and Amanda, the pay off has to be them being in either the top or the bottom. And given how boring both of their looks are, the suggestion is that they're in the bottom. I was so ready to watch them cat fight it out on the runway before Hedi tells us that they're the only team that's safe. This is an entire episode in futility. The editors wanted this episode to be as dramatic as possible, and framed it through the lens of Korina and Amanda's animosity, but what do you do when your contestants give you every aspect of a dramatic arch except a conclusion? The answer to me would be to edit all that shit out and find something else to focus the episode on. But what do I know?
The judges are split on every teams looks except Sean and Kini's who the love. Zac and Nina hate Emily's dress, while Heidi likes it. I don't find any of this surprising, but what I did find to be a little surprising was Dita's point about Emily's dress looking like a parody of goth instead of like an actual goth look. I loved Emily's dress, and I won't make apologies for that, but I also don't disagree with Dita's point. I also agree with Nina's point that the veil and the sleeves are a bit too much and she should have gone with one or the other.
Another good point from Dita comes when they're looking at Char and Sandy's looks. She points out that given this dress she doesn't trust Sandy's ability to construct good clothing at all. I watched this moment thinking to myself, And so say us all. I haven't been impressed with anything Sandy's done this season, but the construction issues on this look are just embarrassingly bad. But as bad as Sandy's look is, I think Char's is way worst.
As the judges gush over Kini and Sean's looks, they ask them both who deserves the win. Sean quickly points out that Kini's amazing and has been in the top a number of times and totally deserves the win here, and Kini agrees. The thing about this is that I don't think that Sean's admission that Kini should win is born of a need to be humble or anything; I think he honestly feels like Kini earned this one. But neither of them mention to the judges that the only piece on the runway that Sean designed and constructed were the pants. If the judges had known that Kini was responsible for the dress and for the blouse, maybe they would have given him the win? Instead Sean collects his second win of the season. Char is sent home, and as much as I hate Sandy, I can't disagree with this decision. If there was ever a look someone deserved to be outed by, it was that one.
--Tim hates weddings? WTH, Tim?
--Can I just say how much I fucking love Sean and Kini's woman? That they went with a lesbian wedding was amazing, and then to add to that her career focus was so moving. All things told, this was a good week for marriage equality on reality TV. As I pointed out in my review of this week's So You Think You Can Dance. Sorry for the shameless self promotion.
--What the fuck is Zac doing during the judge's closer look at the clothes? He's talking in some accent and playing a role and it's really fucking annoying. I usually excuse a lot of Zac's choices and such, but this is one that I simply can't get behind.