'Project Runway' Recap: Who's Going to Fashion Week?

Jill Baughman

Project RunwayWe're down to the final four contestants on this season of Project Runway: Andy, Mondo, Michael C., and Gretchen. On part one of the finale, they have to design the collection they wish to show at Fashion Week. But not all of them will make it -- four will become three by the end of the episode. They were given $9,000 and six weeks to finish their collections.

But luckily we get a lot of Tim Gunn. He visits each of the contestant's hometowns and meets their friends, families, and significant others.

If I ever were to have a celebrity guest visit my house and meet my family, Tim would definitely be in the top 5. He can get along with anyone. Except maybe the catfish.

First he goes to Oahu, Hawaii to visit Andy. Andy admits he's had to do a lot of farming and fishing, freaking Tim out by showing him some catfish. Andy points at the whiskers and quips that they look like Chinese men. "I've never seen a Chinese man look that unattractive!" screeches Tim. But luckily Andy's family seems supportive of his design ventures, which isn't the case for some of the other contestants.

Then he jets off to visit Michael C. in Palm Springs. Michael seems to be suffering from his common case of indecision, making 12 outfits and showing Tim the other 6 rejects. Tim warns him to avoid "design diarrhea" and hone what the best looks are. However, Michael C.'s parents think he should marry a woman and didn't seem to care about his fashion aspirations until he got on the show.

In Denver, Tim visits Mondo and his family, as Mondo admits that he signed up to play baseball just so his family would let him take piano lessons. His parents wishes he could be more "masculine." Finally, Tim goes to see Gretchen in Portland, who came home to a failed relationship and empty bank account. This is when I suspect Gretchen will make it through, as it seems the show is trying to make her more likable, even though she's been the villain throughout the entire season.

When everyone finally gets back to New York, the designers find out they have to make an eleventh look in two days with $300. They could send two looks from the collection as well as the new design down the runway. The judges will then make the decision as to who will go to Fashion Week based on these looks.

So let's get to it!

Project RunwayProject RunwayProject RunwayMondo: His inspiration came from a vintage Mexican circus combined with the Day of the Dead. The new look is the outfit with the blue top. The judges like the skirt on the new outfit, but are torn by the polka dot dress. Heidi loves it, while Nina says it's too "wacky-tacky." Perhaps it could have looked better without the sleeves, but the dress looks very Mondo.

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Andy: His new look was the green dress with the pleats. The judges love the workmanship that went into the pleats and believed that his eleventh look was the bikini. However, they're worried that he didn't choose a diverse enough sampling of his collection and seemed to just throw that bikini into the mix with two other evening dresses. Heidi also warns him about his accessorizing, as those headpieces are pretty weird. And I really don't get that bikini look.

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Michael C.: Michael's new look was the long silky evening gown. The judges appreciate how well the dress looks and how nicely it moves. Michael K. thinks it looks effortless. But they worry about his monochromatic color scheme. Heidi's favorite piece is the top with the fringe, while all of them aren't fans of the feather skirt. Still, they wonder why Michael chose these outfits for the runway, as they believe the looks are all too similar to each other.

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Gretchen: The green dress is Gretchen's new look. It has some sort of pouch on the butt, which is pretty weird, even though Heidi seems to like it. Michael K. is worried that her outfits don't look expensive. Nina calls them "granola" and thinks the collection lacks drama, while Heidi doesn't seem to have too many complaints. She says they look very "Gretchen." Hmmm.

The first one who's safe? That of course would be Mondo. Then the judges say Gretchen is safe. Gretchen?? Um, wow, anyway, it's down to Michael and Andy.

And the underdog of the season, Michael C., is sent home. He breaks down and sobs about how he can't face his family after coming so close. He's afraid they'll make him move back home and marry a woman and give up all of his fashion aspirations. Poor Michael's definitely been through a roller coaster this season, and of course it takes encouraging words from Tim to put this experience back into perspective. Michael C. should be proud of how far he's come.

Do you think Michael C. should have been sent home? Were you surprised by the final three?


Images via MyLifetime.com

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