Emmy Nominations – Who Got Served and Who Got Screwed Again

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The 2012 Emmy nominations have been announced and we’ve got all of the major categories listed as well as our initial, emotional reactions.

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Boardwalk Empire
Homeland
Mad Men
Game of Thrones

Reaction: What’s to debate here? All deserve it to some degree. Even in a down season, Downton Abbey is still phenomenal television, even if it’s not your cup of tea. My only gripe is that last year Abbey was considered a Miniseries and now they take the place of an equally deserving show. Nothing is budging Breaking Bad or Mad Men, and there’s no one else more thrilled to see Homeland and Game of Thrones included. Boardwalk Empire belongs too, but again, Sons of Anarchy will sadly never be in the Emmy conversation for whatever reason even though this past season wasn’t its most consistent. There were series that were going to be left on the outside looking in and SOA, The Good Wife, The Walking Dead and Justified were left out this year.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
Elizabeth Moss – Mad Men
Michelle Dockery – Downton Abbey
Kathy Bates – Harry’s Law
Claire Danes – Homeland
Glenn Close – Damages

Reaction: There is nothing but rage, absolute rage. Someone please take Bates out and place Sons of Anarchy‘s Katey Sagal! It’s absolute B.S. And where’s Sarah Michelle Gellar for playing dual roles in Ringer. I’m kidding about that last comment, people, I’m kidding.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn – Breaking Bad
Archie Panjabi – The Good Wife
Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
Christina Hendricks – Mad Men
Christine Baranski – The Good Wife

Reaction: It’s a glorious day to see Anna Gunn break into the category and get some recognition for Skylar White. It’s well-deserved and been a long time coming. Downton Abbey was a bit too soapy for me this past season but I can see why Smith and Froggatt are nominated. The Good Wife is filled with great actresses up and down that cast so there was no doubt that Baranski and Panjabi were going to be nominated. No Joelle Carter this year, but if all goes right, next year could be her year knowing her potential storylines in Justified.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Joan Cusack – Shameless
Uma Thurman – Smash
Julia Ormond – Mad Men
Loretta Devine – Grey’s Anatomy
Jean Smart – Harry’s Law
Martha Plimpton – The Good Wife

Reaction: Good choices, especialy with Plimpton and Cusack. Thurman was one of the few memorable things about Smash, but does anyone believe that show qualifies as a Drama series? It’s more like a comedy…

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville – Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall – Dexter
Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Damien Lewis – Homeland

Reaction: This is one of the toughest categories year in and year out. Anything Homeland is hot, but Cranston is putting on a clinic each week on Breaking Bad. Hall is getting a bit long in the tooth in this category and is a bit outclassed, so I would have cheered more had Fringe’s John Noble took his place who is long overdue for some recognition for playing a dozen versions of his character Walter Bishop. We still love you, John. And Timothy Olyphant was also left out for what was his finest season as Raylan Givens.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito – Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle – Downton Abbey
Jim Carter – Downton Abbey
Jared Harris – Mad Men
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones

Reaction: Again, a knockout category and I’m glad I don’t have a vote for this one. Harris had a season to remember, and I’ve never rooted for an antagonist before like I did with Esposito’s Gus Fring. What’s not to love about Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister? And both Carter and Coyle are strong on Abbey but I’m surprised not to see Alan Cumming from The Good Wife, also no Walton Goggins for Justified? Bah!

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Mark Margolis – Breaking Bad
Jeremy Davies – Justified
Jason Ritter – Parenthood
Ben Feldman – Mad Men
Dylan Baker – The Good Wife

Reaction: How the hell do you leave Neal McDonough off this list? What an absolute crime! He deserves the spot more than fellow Justified guest, Jeremy Davies who is great on the show, but McDonough was riveting. We’ll be rooting for Breaking Bad‘s Mark Margolis (DING! DING! DING!) who got to finally step out of the wheelchair and show people a great performance in the Breaking Bad episode, “Hermanos.” Ritter who got no respect in The Event, did remind people of his talent in Parenthood.

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story
Game Change
Hatfields and McCoys
Luther
Sherlock

Reaction: Even with Downton Abbey leaving this category, it still stacked. BBC is well represented with Luther and Sherlock. American Horror Story qualified and that helped it not to get lost in the Drama series. I’m glad it’s recognized. Hatfields and McCoys made a late charge and it’s fresh on voters’ minds.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Connie Britton – American Horror Story
Ashley Judd – Missing
Nicole Kidman – Hemingway & Gellhorn
Julianne Moore – Game Change
Emma Thompson – The Song of Lunch (Masterpiece)

Reaction: Lots of reliable Academy and fan favorites make this category extremely competitive this season, but something tells me that Moore will get it for portraying Sarah Palin. Judd’s action role in the canceled Missing, AKA TV’s Taken, is a bit of a odd pick.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Kevin Costner – Hatfield & McCoys
Idris Elba – Luther
Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Woody Harrelson – Game Change
Bill Paxton – Hatfield & McCoys
Clive Owen – Hemmingway & Gellhorn

Reaction: – Connect yourself to Ernest Hemmingway in any way, shape or form and you will get attention. I’ll be rooting for either of the BBC representatives in Elba and Cumberbatch because both are so clearly distinct in the massive sea of good television.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Ed Harris –  Game Change
Denis O’Hare –  American Horror Story
David Strathairn –  Hemingway & Gellhorn
Martin Freeman – Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Tom Berenger – Hatfields & McCoys

Reaction: I’ll admit to seeing only Freeman and O’Hare, who I both enjoyed for different reasons. Knowing this Academy, Harris is the front runner in portraying McCain.

Outstanding Host in Reality TV
Tom Bergeron – Dancing With the Stars
Cat Deeley – So YOu Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan – The Amazing Race
Betty White – Off Their Rockers
Ryan Seacrest – American Idol

Reaction: I’m rooting for White. I am not afraid to admit that I watch this show and yes, I do think it’s funny. Also, does anyone really care about the rest of these puppets?

Outstanding Reality – Competition
Dancing With the Stars
The Amazing Race
Top Chef
So You Think You Can Dance
The Voice
Project Runway

Reaction: If we’re talking reality here, why is Dancing with the Stars here? The Voice could be roped into that strange celeb/reality blend too because in all honesty, our eyes are on what Christina Aguilera will wear and say next. The Amazing Race will be the odds on favorite, as usual, especially with Survivor being absent. I’ll still be rooting Top Chef and Project Runway but again, Survivor’s absence is a big surprise. Let’s just be thankful that American Idol wasn’t nominated.

Outstanding Variety Series
The Daily Show
Colbert Report
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Saturday Night Live
Real Time with Bill Maher
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Reaction: It’s the usual suspects except Conan O’Brien is missing. That move to TBS has not done much for Conan outside of security. It seems like everyone’s forgotten what network he’s moved to. I also don’t think this was one of SNL’s better years either.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel – New Girl
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey – 30 Rock
Julia Louise-Dreyfus – VEEP
Lena Dunham -Girls
Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation
Melissa McCarthy – Mike and Molly

Reaction: The Academy is in love with Fey, Poehler, and McCarthy. Fey can do no wrong despite 30 Rock not currently being as great as the earlier seasons. Poehler and Parks and Rec probably had its best season, and it’s probably no coincidence that both that and Veep’s  leads were nominated in an election year. Well played HBO and NBC. I like Deschanel, but I’m surprised she got nominated, then again, I’m not. Dunham and Falco are no surprises here after their seasons but I feel like this category is missing some stronger candidates.  Also no Alison Brie and no Krysten Ritter… double sigh. Waitaminute, does anyone else notice how they got seven nominations when most others had only six? Lots of gripes are going to come at this one…

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory
Merritt Wever – Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig – Saturday Night Live
Sofia Vergara – Modern Family
Julie Bowen – Modern Family
Kathryn Joosten – Desperate Housewives

Reaction: When is the Academy going to grow some balls and nominate Kaitlin Olson for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? I’m eye-rolling at the Modern Family nods but mildly applauding Bialik’s nomination. Wiig is the only thing that saves SNL half the time and I have to admit that I never been desperate enough to tune into Housewives since the first season. Where are the girls of Happy Endings? Cheryl Hines or Allie Grant of Suburgatory? Bah! The comedy nominations get me pissed every single year.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Don Cheadle – House of Lies
Louis C.K. – Louie
Jon Cryer – Two and a Half Men
Larry David – Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock

Reaction: People need to stop recognizing Two and a Half Men, seriously. Every time Cryer and this show are recognized, it shows why Hollywood keeps making brain dead comedies for the networks. Parsons, Baldwin, and David were almost written in months ago. Snooze. Here’s where Louis C.K. gets his nomination along with his writing and directing. Him winning would be an incredible upset knowing these voters, but there’s no one else who actually deserves it more than him.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill – Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson – Modern Family
Ty Burrell – Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet – Modern Family
Bill Hader – SNL
Max Greenfield – New Girl

Reaction: Again, no disrespect to MF, but the Academy should be ashamed at nominating four goddmamn actors from one show in one category. There are other shows out there you know. Damon Wayans Jr. should be on this list. Also Nick Kroll from The League should be here and I also think that Garrett Dillahunt deserves a nomination for Raising Hope. Want another diss? How about James Van Der Beek on Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23. Hell, anyone but a Modern Family cast member–this season anyway.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Big Bang Theory
Curb Your ENthusiasm
30 Rock
VEEP
Modern Family
Girls

Reaction: Wow, Curb Your Enthusiasm made a resurgence in the comedy awards. Was hoping Louie would crack this category once and for all but somehow 30 Rock got yet another nomination even though it’s been sitting in park for the last few seasons. The same could be said about Modern Family. I’m not sure if Archer entered as a comedy or animated series, but it should be here nonetheless. Wilfred is a cutting edge show that requires more thought than just laughing straight jokes but it seems to go over many heads. Episodes was another snubbed victim. VEEP and Girls took away spots normally held by network comedies and that’s nice, but Louie still deserves to be in this category and so does Community. Booooooo!

Outstanding Animated Program
American Dad – Hot Water
The Penguins of Madagascar – The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole
Futurama – The Tip of the Zoidberg
Bob’s Burgers – BurgerBoss
The Simpsons – Holidays of Future Passed

Reaction: Where’s Archer? One episode of Archer is more entertaining than all of the nominees back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program
Regular Show – Eggscellent
Adventure Time – Too Young
Disney Phineas and Ferb – The Doonkleberry Imperative
Robot Chicken – Fight Club Paradise
Mad – Kitchen Nightmare Before Christmas / How I Met Your Mummy

Reaction: Knowing that Adventure Time, Regular Show, Mad and Robot Chicken all have nominations this year but Sons of Anarchy doesn’t sums up the type of twisted turmoil happiness and anger bestowed on people like us who follow television.

 

Other notable nominations and notes:

  • In the comedy writing category, both Community (Remedial Chaos Theory) and Louie (Pregnant) got nominations. So essentially the Butterfly Effect and TV’s longest fart joke got nominated. See how random the Emmys can be?
  • Louis C.K. also got a directing nomination for “Duckling” which may have been the greatest half hour of television last year.
  • Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan got a directing nomination for the series climax, “Face Off”
  • Mad Men dominated the drama writing category with three nominations; Homeland picked up one too for its Pilot.
  • Nominated for Main Title Design: FX’s American Horror Story’s creepy opening, Cinemax’s Strike Back, Starz Magic City, PBS’ Great Expectation, and Fox’s New Girl that lasts less than 10 seconds. How is Game of Thrones not nominated?
  • Burt Reynolds did not get an Emmy nomination for Voice-Over performance in Archer. Dammit!

Well, those are our initial reactions, want to share yours? For a complete list of the Emmy Nominations including the technical categories, click here.

Project Runway All Stars Season Finale: The Winner Finally Gets His Crown

The underwhelming season of Project Runway All Stars concluded last night with part 2 of the finale. The drama was minimal, the hairstyles were all wrong and the judging boring. The episode’s saving grace was that the rightful designer was finally named the winner.

Last night Mondo, Austin and Michael revealed their mini collections. In last weeks episode the designers each had to create 6 looks to present this week at Gotham Hall in NYC. Angela had originally said the guest list included many VIP’s but list was basically just past judges, Miss Piggy excluded. In fact, the most exciting VIP was Nina Garcia. I had my hopes up that her and Michael would be the guest judges but that probably would have been way too much personality for this spin off. The producers went with Tommy Hilfiger and fashion director of Neiman Marcus: Ken Downing.

Just before the runway show Joanna Coles came in to perform her consultation. As usual it was less about the critiques and more about hanging out. At one point she whipped out a lint brush and was dusting off the shirt Mondo was wearing. Maybe someone should have told her the show was about the model’s clothes not the designers. As pointless as her little meetings are, she still remains one of the most likeable regulars on All Stars.

Austin’s collection hit the runway first. The designer came out to explain his inspiration was a Williamsburg Vampire who hangs out with fabulous Hasidic Jews … right. The curls in the model’s hair were terrible but the looks were great. His black lacquered lace dress with the one exaggerated ruffle was gorgeous. His floral ball gown flirted with being too much but it worked with the collection. The two pieces with the leatherette looked way too cheap but his final wedding gown was gorgeous. The judges didn’t think the wedding dress fit with the collection and they were right. Even still, it was exactly what we can expect form Austin, beautiful, sophisticated and a little different.

Mondo was up next andas he revealed in part 1 of the finale his collection was inspired by “Therapy”. The collection was very Mondo: It was cohesive arrangement of unique patterns and prints with little surprises. His overall color story was black and white with small hits of red throughout. The one dress with the inkblot print was so cool. It looked wearable but the print with the one red cuff made it so much more unique. The high waist pantsuit was cut in such a modern way it made going to work funky. His final red polka dot applique gown looked good. The judges were torn on the final dress but ultimately they loved his whole collection.

Michael was last to present his collection based on The Serengeti. His collection was sexy and gorgeous. His cocktail dresses looked much more wearable than his usual looks, especially the more structured one. He definitely took some of the critiques this season to heart as some of his looks worked with bras.  Still everything was uber sexy. I could see theromper on the beaches of St. Tropez. His black and white strapless top with the matching pants was glamorous and the fact that it was two pieces was very unexpected. His final white gown was sexy but a deep –v Grecian gown isn’t exactly the most innovative. Overall Michael’s collection was the most cohesive of them all.

After a long deliberation by the judges the designers came back out for the final time. Angela went through her monotonous speech but added a little surprise. The two losing designers would get a trip to Paris. I’m not sure what that has to do with anything but it’s nice for them.

Michael was named second runner up and thankfully Mondo was crowned the winner. His title was really the saving grace of this season. If he lost again fans would have been outraged. I have to admit Michael’s collection was more cohesive and sexy but ultimately Mondo had a more innovative vision. We can expect to see his work in Neiman Marcus this fall.

If Project Runway All Stars has taught us anything it’s that the designs are really only 45% of the show. It is Heidi, Michael, Nina and Tim who make it a hit. If they make a season 2 of All Stars let’s hope they get a crew with more pizzazz.

Project Runway All Stars Review: Finale Part One Gets Tough

It’s the beginning of the end on Project Runway All Stars. After 11 weeks Austin, Mondo and Michael are the only ones left in the running for the biggest prize in Project Runway history. Part one of the finale gets tough with a surprise twist to keep the designers on their toes.

The final challenge is to create a mini collection of five looks to be completed in only four days. The designers began with a visit to Joanna Coles’s offices at Marie Claire. As editor in chief the designers chatted with Joanna about what she looks for in a collection. The whole scene seemed more like a staged plug for the magazine rather than anything productive. If I were one of those designers there is no way I would want to sit in her office when I only had four days to create a collection.

After the designers spent an hour at mood they hit the new re-designed workroom. Each designer was given his own room to work in. Mondo then proceeded to have a meltdown. He’s always fan favorite but the way he behaved was immature. He couldn’t find inspiration so he shunned everyone and complained that they couldn’t understand his pressure. OK Mondo, Austin is fighting for his mother’s house and Michael hasn’t seen his kids! I love you Mondo but grow up. His “suffering artist” persona was such a turn off.

Thankfully inspiration finally struck Mondo and he was off and working. His inspiration was “therapy” (very fitting) and he ended up using some inkblot prints that he made himself. Michael’s inspiration was African safari (Could he be pulling ideas from Anya’s win last season?) And Austin’s inspiration was “Modern day rock star meets Hasidic gentleman” What? Austin usually turns out some amazing pieces so I’m willing to go with his on this journey. The ringlets in the models hair may be too much though.

While working the designers got separate visits from Georgina and Isaac. Georgina reassured them that the panic and self-doubt they are feeling is natural. This was good advice coming from Georgina because her company, Marchesa, is still a relatively young design house. Therefore she went through all of their anxiety pretty recently. Isaac came in later to give the designers their music and discuss how to present their collections. His advice was to go with your gut even if no one around you understands your vision. This certainly pertained to Austin.

The designers were busy working away when Angela came in to deliver the curveball. The designers had to make an additional 6th look for their collections. The addition of a look is not a new concept in Project Runway. The real catch was that they could only use scrap fabric from this season’s previous challenges. It is extra difficult because hey have to find fabric that works with what they already have and then pray there is enough to work with.

The happy twist was that the designers get to choose an eliminated designer to help them for 24 hours. Mondo chose Mila, Austin chose Anthony Williams and Michael chose April. Michael’s choice of April seemed a little odd since she was always questioning his work behind his back. She made nice for this episode and was committed to helping him execute work to her standards.  Thankfully Lady Antonella was back to add some fabulous anecdotes to help Austin. One comment he made was that Austin’s lace look liked like a “dead white lady.”

After 24 hours the helpers were sent home, again, and the designer were left to complete their collections. The episode concluded with a mini montage of each of the designers’ triumphs from the season. We didn’t get a look at what’s to come on the runway just a peek at what they are working on. We’ll all have to hang on one more week to see who wins.

My money is still on Mondo. Who do you guys think will be the winner?

Project Runway All Stars: The Final Four

It was the final four last night on Project Runway All Stars. The designers got down to business in one of the best and most practical challenges yet. The designers had to create ready to wear pieces for a customer base. The catch was that the designers had to work with a tight production budget. Their business sense was put to the test along with their design skills.

Designer Nanette Lepore was on hand to work with the designers. The winning look would be available in her stores across the country. Each of the designers sat down with Nanette and her Coster to go through all the details of the garment. Each look was budgeted down to the last pleat. Michael had to nix his long sleeves because he didn’t have enough money. It showed that all of the decisions a designer makes not only have to do with the overall look but the costs of production as well.

Mondo had the most trouble with this aspect because he doesn’t sketch. He may be able to design well but if he can’t visually communicate with co-workers he will have a hard time running a successful business.  His stress in his consultation carried into the workroom. He seemed uninspired and burnt out, it was not looking good.

Joanna and Nanette greeted the designers in the workroom for their mentor session. Nanette had a more direct opinion than Joanna, which livened up the workroom a bit. They both agreed that Michael needed to put more thought into what’s actually wearable for a woman. He’s designs are always sexy but usually can only be worn by models. We need bras Michael!

We finally got a glimpse of the firecracker in Kenely from season 5. So far Joanna has questioned her designs but has always been satisfied with the answer. Nanette was not as mellow. She thought Kenley’s dress wasn’t form fitting enough. You would have thought Nanette smacked her mother they way Kenley pulled out her guns and shot right back. It was the most fire we’ve seen from her so far this season.

The designs finally hit the runway for judges Angela, Georgina, Isaac and guest Nanette Lepore.

  • Mondo – His multi print dress was playful but the judges didn’t think it was too flattering. Love it or hate it you can’t deny he has a way with patterns and colors. I personally didn’t like the fullness on the bottom.
  • Michael – His green printed caftan was beautiful. The judges liked that it was sexy but not overly sexual. Nanette reprimanded him for an open back because it won’t sell.  The only issue is we’ve seen him do a caftan before. Thankfully the piece was beautiful enough to been seen twice.
  • Kenley – Her cute peacock print dress was nice but Isaac didn’t think it was inspired enough. It was very Kenley and would sell commercially but it may not have been enough.  Georgina thought the print was fighting with her design. The look had more going against it than for it.
  • Austin- His red raincoat was a hit. It was practical but still unique. The fullness on the bottom made it look like a fun dress. The judges complained that the fabric showed too many wrinkles and may not have been the best choice for the runway.

After a hard deliberation Mondo was the winner of the challenge. The decision seemed to come from left field and even he admitted he thought he was going home. The final cut came down the Michael and Kenley. Looks like her stubbornness got the best of her as Kenley was out. Austin, Mondo and Michael are headed to the finale. I’ve got my money on Mondo to win. Who do you pick to take it all?

Project Runway All Stars, Episode 9: “When I Get My Dress In Lights”

Only 5 designers left on Project Runway All Stars. Each of the designers are talented in his or her own right so the only way to weed them out is through more unconventional challenges. This week the designers’ technological skills were put to the test in an avante-garde challenge. Some went safe and some were a little too crazy. They all ended up as Jerell put it: “either fabulous of fugly.”

This weeks challenge combined technology and fashion. The designers were to put together an avante-garde look using different types of lights. Pharrell Williams was the guest judge this week and the winning design would be worn by one of the artists he works with.

There is still not too much going on in the work. The only interesting thing was Michael and his usual antics. He ended up making an array of dresseds before he settled on his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle look. Another moment of note in the workroom was Austin’s skype with his mom. He learned that his mother’s home was in foreclosure. It was bad news to get at such a stressful time in the competition.

The designs hit the first ever black-lit runway and the judges were pretty impressed. The judges panel was Angela, Georgina, Isaac and Renaissance man Pharrell Williams.

TOP
Kenley – I was a little nervous for Kenley when she started drafting another cute dress; but when her plaid look hit the runway it was anything but ordinary. The way she used the tape to create her own print was really innovative and the lattice fabric coat was cool. The judges really appreciated how she was able to use volume. It’s difficult to have a large top with a large bottom, but she pulled it off.

Mondo – His short black dress with the LED racing stripes was sporty and sleek. The way he shaped the lights around the top made the busts look pointy which was odd. The judges wished he used the stripes to create more of a shape at the waist. It was a great dress but overall it was a bit too safe for an avante-garde challenge.

Austin – His black tulle gown with the swirling blue lights was a favorite of the judges. I thought it was a pretty dress but the lights were just wrapped around it like you would on a Christmas tree. It could have been executed a little bit better. The judges though it was enchanting.

Bottom
Michael – his black dress with all of the green light details looked like a character from Mortal Combat. No one would have been surprised if she pulled out a sword from her back. . The judges thought she looked tough but there were too many details that were off. Ultimately it was overdone.

Jerell – What happened? His dress looked like a bird fell into glow in the dark paint. The proportion was all wrong and there was way too much fringe. He added a long black skirt underneath to cover the models skin and Pharrell thought it made her look like a grandma. It’s a bad sign when the judged think your look is too old.

Austin’s fairy tale dress won this week. He’s one step closer to the grand prize which would help his business and hopefully help his mom. Jerell’s bird costume was out. I haven’t been his biggest fan in this competition but I will admit he made a very classy exit. He was gracious and respected the judges decision.

There is only one challenge standing between the designers and fashion week. It’s still anyone’s game so it will be interesting to see what the producers can come up with to decide the winner.

Project Runway All Stars Episode 8: Raise the Flags

It was a pretty uneventful episode of Project Runway All Stars last night. The challenge was to design a dress inspired by the culture and flags of Jamaica, Greece, India, The Seychelles, Chile or Papua New Guinea. Thankfully guest judge Catherine Malandrino was on hand to add some more insightful critique to the judge’s panel.

The designers met at the United Nations to chose their inspirational flags. Mondo won last week’s challenge so he chose first. The pairings were as follows:

  • Mondo – Jamaica
  • Michael – Greece
  • Jerell – India
  • Austin – Seychelles
  • Kenley – Chile
  • Mila – Papa New Guinea

Everyone got right to work but Austin struggled the most with his bright color choices. It looked like he just grabbed the colors from the flag without a clear idea of what he wanted to do. He hoped the fabric would speak o him but he ended up with nothing. Maybe Kara was helping him more than it seemed.

Mentor Joanna was on hand to attempt to steer the designers in the right direction. She thought Jerell’s looked like a national costume and she questioned if Michael was being ambitious enough. It’s obvious that Joanna is no Tim Gunn but sometimes it seems like she’s just there to chat rather than mentor.

The designers worked until the last second before they hit the runway. The judges were Angela, Georgina, and Isaac with guest judge designer Catherine Malandrino. The judges had a little more life in them this week, probabaly thanks to Malandrino who has long been one of the toughest guest judges on Project Runway. The judge’s commentary was insightful but still not nearly as fun as Michael Kors and Nina Garcia’s usual remarks.

With only 6 designers remaining no one was safe form the runway evaluation. The top and bottom were as follows:

Top:

  • Kenley – Flag: Chile – Her heart like polka dot long sleeve dress with the asymmetrical ruffle skirt was sweet.  Catherine commended her for not going to far and staying true to herself. Isaac did mention that she does that style dress too much. Ultimately the design was very youthful and well made.
  • Mondo – Flag: Jamaica – The black long sleeved dress with the green and yellow detail on the back was sexy. The judges loved it but Isaac wasn’t a fan of the back, he thought it was too literal and he head wrap was too much.
  • Michael – Flag: Greece – His white draped gown with the beaded trim and blue ribbon trim detail turned the judges off. They thought it looked too much like a beauty pageant dress. The elements were pretty but the execution was off. The back was too low and the sides didn’t fit.

Bottom:

  • Jerell – Flag: India – This black and gold dress with the green sari inspired draping was tragic. His embellishments were not well executed and the accessories took it overboard. It looked like a terrible, cheap costume. It was way too much
  • Mila – Flag: Papua New Guinea – Her asymmetrical dress with one side long and red and the other side short and black looked awkward. Maladrino didn’t think there was any thought in the dress. She felt Mila knew what she liked and just did it whether or not it was Chile.
  • Austin – Flag: Seychelles – His multi colored sheer layers were off and unfortunately he didn’t have enough time pull off the detailing. It looked unfinished and the judges noticed the errors.

Mondo was named the winner again. He’s definitely my number one pick to win it all. Kenley came in close second but she’s been warned that she needs to stretch herself from her usual style. Jerell’s hideous dress was safe and Mila was out. I do not agree with the judges this week, Mila’s look was weird but at least it was well executed. Jerell’s was ugly and poorly made.  He dodged a bullet this week.

Project Runway All Stars Episode 7 Review – Puttin’ on the Glitz

The stress got to the designers on this weeks episode of Project Runway All Stars. Drama was in the air and not just in the workroom. This weeks challenge was inspired by the Broadway play “Godspell”. Stephen Schwartz, the legendary Broadway composer, was on hand to explain the challenge. The designers had to make a costume for one of the characters in “Godspell”. The look was supposed to represent a character who is rich, bitchy and doesn’t mind stealing from the poor. The winning design will be featured in “Godspell” with a bio of the designer in the playbill.

The designers got right to work designing looks as rich as possible. After a few hours of work the competition started to get to Kara. She was an emotional roller coaster. When Joanna came in to critique her she lost it. Kara ended up crying and questioning her place in the competition, she really couldn’t push herself any further.

Mondo also felt the heat this week. After last weeks tribute to his mother that crashed and burned he was questioning his skills too. There is nothing worse than a designer who cant trust his instincts. It’s especially disheartening to watch it from Mondo who is the most talented designer on the show.

After a doubt filled spin in the workroom the designs hit the runway. The judges were Angela, Georgina, Isaac and two time tony winner (and quite adorable) Sutton Foster. Unfortunately the ladies were all on the chopping block this week.

Bottom

  • Mila – This week was a miss for Mila. She stepped out of her comfort zone with a white fur jacket and a green optical illusion skirt. The judges thought it didn’t looked wealthy, more like it was on drugs.
  • Kenley- Her red and white brocade coat was beautiful, the cut on the bottom was impressive. Unfortunately mixed with the teal floral skirt and the feather details the judges thought it was too much.
  • Kara – Kara’s red pencil skirt with the fur stole and big silver bow was nice. The judges thought it was so close to being good but it needed too many tweaks to make it right.

Top

  • Michael _ I was not a fan of Michael’s chartreuse full mini skirt and halter top. The judges liked it but but they dint think it was eccentric enough for the challenge.
  • Austin – His silver brocade deep-v dress over the black jersey jump suit was decadent. The look was modern and fashion forward. But I could have done without the leggings.
  • Mondo- His interpretation of an eccentric smoking jacket was gorgeous. The feather details just added to the glamour. The mustard maxi dress underneath with the metallic peeking through was the icing on the cake.

Mondo took home the win this week. He said he felt validated after what happened lat week. It’s good to have him back to his confident self. Kara was sent home. She hasn’t been too strong in this competition. There were a lot of tears but she will be better off designing at home with her family.

Project Runway All Stars Episode 6: Fashion Face Off – The Final 8

The designers went head to head on last night’s episode of Project Runway All Stars. This week each designer chose an overnight bag and inside the bag was a season. With only 8 designers left that meant each season had two designers. They had to create a look based on the season that the customer could take with them on an overnight trip. The catch this week was the each pair would face off on the runway, one designer would have a high score and the other would end up in the bottom.

The pairs were as follows:
Fall: Mila vs. Rami
Summer: Mondo vs. Kenley
Spring: Austin vs. Kara
Fall: Michael vs. Jerell

The pressure of the face off was enough to create some workroom drama this week.Normally I don’t like Jerell but he had a point last night when Michael ripped off his look. Michael had a completely different look in the beginning then threw it out after he looked at Jerell’s. That’s inappropriate. Even Joanna saw the similarities. Joanna had all the designers weigh in and they all sided with Jerell. Michael really didn’t have a leg to stand on. His only hope would have been to let his work speak for itself.

The looks hit the runway but this time with an interesting twist. The paired looks went to the catwalk side by side. The judges were Georgina, Angela, Isaac and guest judge this week was designer Cynthia Rowley.

Spring

  • Austin – His high waist khaki pants with the floral top and cardigan was a little granny. The other judges thought look was too boring.
  • Kara – Her look was very simple with solid white pants, purple top and a grey cardigan. The designers thought her look wasn’t anything special, although it did look effortless and comfortable.

High Score: Kara

Summer

  • Kenley- Her look this week was a polka dot high neck romper. It was cute and read Kenley. The judges loved it, they thought it was simple but it had high impact.
  • Mondo: His black and white shorts with black and white polka dot shirt was a miss. The look was OK but the judges hated it. They thought the shorts weren’t flattering and his styling was confusing. Mondo was devastated since he hoped to win this challenge for his mother’s birthday.

High Score: Kenley

Fall

  • Rami- His royal blue jacket with the suede detail was gorgeous, so unique but still flattering. Too bad the judges didn’t like the green top underneath; the a-symmetrical details made her look lopsided.
  • Mila- Her khaki cape and cigarette pants looked great. The red top peeking through added the right amount of color. The judges thought it was chic and wearable.

High Score: Mila

Winter

  • Jerell – When the Judges commented on the fact that Michael’s and his coats looked similar Jerell basically told the judges he thought Michael took his look. It didn’t matter since Jerell’s coat was beautiful and could stand on it’s own. The judges liked that it was functional and true to Jerell’s bohemian look.
  • Michael – His black and grey wool jacket with black leggings was chic. The judges thought it was polished. Although Cynthia thought it was for an older customer.

High Score: Jerell.

In a tough deliberation Jerell was named the winner of this challenge. We all know I’m not a Jerell fan but his look was truly the best this week. It speaks volumes that he didn’t throw out his look when he saw Michael making the same thing. He stuck to his guns and won the challenge. The elimination was down to Rami and Austin. In a huge upset Rami was voted out. It’s terrible that his jacket this week was one of the best designs of the season. Too bad his green shirt underneath was tragic.

Project Runway All Starts Episode 5 Review: Challenge Results in the Loss of a ‘Ray of Sunshine’

The season started off slow but Project Runway All Stars is slowly turning around. With less conjured drama and better designs All Stars is shaping up to be one of the most satisfying season of the series.

Last nights challenge not only tested their design skills, but people skills as well. The designers met in Central Park to find a muse and convince her to give up the clothes off her back. They were given 150 dollars to bargain with and shop at Mood. The designer’s final look had to be comprised of half the muse’s clothes.

Anthony Williams, or “Lady Antoinetta” as Austin called him, stole the show. His loveable personality convinced multiple strangers to give up their clothes. He even got a young man to give up his jean shorts, leaving him alone in the park in his underwear.

The workroom was as light hearted as usual, though some designers had trouble with the deconstruction aspect of the challenge. It’s often difficult to be excited about one piece of clothing and still find the inspiration to turn it into something else. Michael and Anthony seemed to be having the most trouble where as Mondo and Austin hit the ground running.

The designs were judged by Angela, Georgina, Isaac and guest judge Sean Avery, formerly of the New York Rangers. Avery is not only a red blooded, professional hockey playing male but he also interned at Vogue and is a budding fashionisto. Could we have the next David Beckham on our hands? The guest judges are not usually as masculine as Avery and a majority of the males can be too embedded in the fashion world. Avery was well versed in the fashion language but still seemed to stay true to his own point of view. His commentary was especially refreshing because he voiced what he wanted to see on a woman. Thankfully he had more tact than the men on last seasons challenge “What Women Want” (Ep. 9.8) where the male spouses collaborated with the designers to create a look for their female counterparts. At least Avery wasn’t sitting around talking about boobs.

Top:
Austin – Austin went with a punk/glam look with a cropped jacket and fuller miniskirt. The details on the jacket fit his muse but the look was almost over-worked. At least the look was something different for Austin. Props to him for stepping out of his ball gown comfort zone.

Rami – Rami went with a menswear inspired short suit look. Normally Rami is known for his expertise in draping but no one can deny his skills as a tailor after this look. It was a fun and more casual spin on menswear. The brown plaid was a little safe, If he infused some more color the look would have really popped.

-Mondo – The other designers were envious of Mondo’s ability to mix and match fabrics and prints. His denim and cotton mix jacket with printed shorts were fun and hip. The real surprise came when the model revealed her fun bustier top underneath. The whole look was on trend.

Bottom:
Michael – Michael took a risk with a nude structured top and super short shorts. The look could have been high fashion but the execution was sub par. If he pulled it off perfectly it could have been in the top. Too bad the construction wasn’t there and it ended up looking cheap and too revealing.

Anthony – Anthony’s black and red jump suit was stunning. The ruffle at the hip was just enough detail to be dramatic. Avery commented that he would “do a double take” if he saw a woman walking down the street in his look. The only flaw was that he didn’t use enough of his muse’s fabric

Jerell – What was he thinking? His striped bikini top was cute but the wild print shrug clashed with the amount of skin showing. His ultra low tie dyed skirt just looked like a saggy beach cover up. Isaac said it looked like it came out of “The Lion King”. Avery said it looked like Lady Gaga at Burning Man on Acid. That last critique may have been the most colorful of the season.

After 5 challenges Mondo was finally named the winner. He’s kept his head in the game and has consistently pumped out good work whether he wins or not. He’s easily one of my picks for the top three. The elimination came down to Jerell and Anthony. The judges had a tough decision: do you cut Jerell for making something hideous or do you cut Anthony for making someone beautiful but not in the parameters of the challenge? Sadly we said good-bye to Lady Antoinetta (Anthony). No matter how good your design is, if you can’t follow the directions it’s not worth it. He was a ray of sunshine and his comedic timing and upbeat personality will be missed.

Project Runway All Stars Episode 4 Review: Good Taste Tastes Good

Only 10 all-star designers are left in this season of Project Runway and the producers are working their butts off to figure out ways to weed them out. This weeks challenge was to create a tasteful outfit inspired by gelato, the Italian ice cream. The designers had to pick a flavor by name only without seeing the actual ice cream. Once the designers chose they received a scoop and a swatch.

The Diane Von Furstenberg was the guest this week and she dropped the bomb that the designer had to create the look in only 6 hours! The designers were still drooling over Diane when the news sunk in that this was the fastest challenge in Project Runway history. They had to design, shop, draft, cut, sew, alter and finish a garment in a mere 6 hours. I’m not positive I could whip up a pillowcase in 6 hours. These all stars had their work cut out for them and there was no room for mistakes.

The designers were giddy with stress in the workroom. The pressure forced even the most couture designers

to reach for the *gasp* glue gun.  A majority of the designers went with simple looks. Jerell scoffed at Michael saying his dress was way too easy. Hello Jerell, there are only 6 hours this isn’t the time to make a corset. At least Michael’s simple dress looked stunning. Jerell can take his muumuu apron concoction and get out of here. I’m sick of his remarks when he’s been playing it safe the whole time. Step up and shut up Jerell.

Mentor Joanna Coles popped in briefly to work with the designers. Though it’s not like they had enough time to implement any of her critiques. Did anyone notice Joanna asked Mondo about his accessorizing? It seemed more like she was checking his editorial skills rather than coaching him. Maybe she’s secretly testing him to see how he would fare if he won the prize of guest editor of Marie Claire. Did the producers just give us a hint or are they just trying to keep us off the trail?

When it was time to hit the runway the designers were greeted by yet another high power fashion player: Supermodel Miranda Kerr. She added to the mix of Georgina, Isaac, Angela and Diane. It’s interesting they chose to put Diane and Miranda on the same episode. Seems like the producers are trying to punch up the dull judges row, or maybe they just needed twice the stars to follow Miss Piggy.

Top
Mila – Inspirational flavor: Milk with Sour Cherry: Her sheer red and white dress conveyed her inspiration. Bravo for finally using color. The multiple seams looked sloppy but at least it didn’t look like she just threw some fabric over a mannequin.
Michael – Inspirational flavor: Grapefruit: Michael’s nude caftan looked effortless and glamorous. Diane told him to call her after the show, he almost passed out from shock. It was a great moment for him.

Mondo – Inspirational flavor: Cantaloupe: His modern caftan screamed cantaloupe with the bright orange and green combo but surprisingly it worked. The conservative front looked like a little too demure but the open back helped make it sexier. The judges loved it.

Bottom
Kara – Inspirational flavor: Chocolate Cayenne: Her ruffled mini dress made that poor model look preggers. She tried to explain that the layers of colored ruffles were like the layers of flavor. It’s a nice idea but when the dress doesn’t turn out well none of that matters.
Anthony – Inspirational flavor: Green Tea: He paired the structured green top with the flowing cream skirt to make it feel like ice cream melting. There was just something off with the look; maybe the top was a bit over worked. It was a miss
April – Inspirational flavor: Blueberry: April whipped up a structured look that was too ambitions.Unfortunately the top wasn’t done well and the skirt was too short. She also didn’t embrace the color. She paired a bright purple with a dark sheer overlay that took away from the vibrancy of the blueberry. The whole dress looked sad.

Michael won for the second week in a row. He was the dark horse in his season and now he’s the true all star who pulled out a win in front of his idol Diane Von Furstenberg. Rock-on Michael. As for the loser I thought it was definitely going to be Kara but the judges pegged April to go home instead. Fans will miss her goth- edge. It was an emotional good-bye too bad Tim isn’t there this season to dry her tears.