Last night's premiere of Project Runway attempted to breathe new life in the aging series by featuring a new style of introductions. Plus: Tim and Heidi announced that one — or more — designers would be eliminated right away.

Um, doesn't someone go home every first episode?


Tim and Hedi told the contestants that they were "still auditioning" to be on the show, AND YET: we were watching them on the show. So. Instead of sixteen designers, there were SEVENTEEN designers. Mind-blowing, guys. Truly. Fetch the smelling salts.


Anyway. The challenge involved choosing something from your suitcase you'd want to design with — and then, in a ProjRun twist, passing it to the person to your right. Casanova, who had chosen $1,070 Dolce & Gabbana pants from his suitcase, and realized that they would be sliced up to create someone's crappy runway ensemble summed up the situation thusly: "shit happens."

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Actually, "shit happens" is what the runway presentation should have been called. With only 5 hours to whip up something — and fabric from the "Mood Annex" (WTF) — the outfits reached new levels of hideosity.

Highlights and lowlights from the runway:

It wasn't discussed, and he was "safe," but I thought A.J.'s frothy little frock was supercute.

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Gretchen's slinky little dress with beaded details seemed actually wearable, and she was named the "winner" of the challenge.

Somehow this fucked up weirdness that Valerie slapped together did not land her in the bottom six.


Here are the bottom feeders six:

April's item was a tuxedo jacket, which she turned inside-out and ruined. Heidi said it was a "hot mess" and Nina Garcia called it "80s streetwalker."

Casanova created what Michael Kors referred to as an ensemble for a "pole dancer in Dubai." Guest judge Selma Blair "loathed it," but we haven't cared what she thinks since she and Sarah Michelle Gellar shared a long strand of saliva.

Ivy made pants out of pants, and the judges called it an outfit for a "small town hick." I actually thought it was kind of nice?

Jason was too busy checking out his model's breasts to make anything good, so he took a beautiful kimono and churned out this vomitrocious Mad Max-on-heroin thing. In addition, his hat was dumb. And: STAPLES.

Nicholas created an evening gown using the ribbed hem of a bomber jacket, and Heidi thought the result was "boring." Nina Garcia said it was "too quiet" and "a snooze."

McKell's dress — made from a blue dress shirt — was deemed a "butt ugly" "disco apron." She was sent home. And she was the only designer eliminated! It was kind of a cop out, really, to make us think more people were going home. Jason's draggy hairdresser cape was so much worse than this! They should have sent home Jason, April, and Ivy if they really wanted to instill shock and awe in our hearts and make the show feel more tense and surprising.

(Casanova, however, needs to stay. clearly.)


To sum up: We were promised new and different, and got the same old, same old: One person went home, and did so gracefully, saying, "someone has to be the first, and that's me." Yawn!

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At least we got to Hear Nina Garcia speak Spanish. Caliente!

Project Runway: Rate The Runway [MyLifetime.com]