Project Runway Season 5, Episode 1 - Gristedes

First things first - "girlicious" is not the new "fierce."It's not an even accurate description of the clothes created by the man behind the coinage, the uber-tan Blayne, but it was featured heavily in the first episode of Project Runway, Season 5, aka its Bravo swan song before Runway jets to Lifetime in the fall.It was just a dime-a-dozen phrase trying to be original.Which, it turned out, could also be said of this season's designers' first efforts.Co-host Tim Gunn started the show with the promise of the most diverse group of designers Project Runway had ever seen - then, 24 hours later, lamented that they were producing clothes much too similar.Gunn woke them up at 4 a.m. for their very first challenge - a trip to Gristedes Mega Store in New York City. The grocery store was the site of the very first Project Runway challenge in Season 1 and that challenge's winner, the cartoonish Austin Scarlett, was the season's first guest judge.The designers were given $75 and 30 minutes to use anything they found in the store to create a look for the next morning's catwalk judging. Unfortunately, the designers didn't exactly take the idea of a "mega store" to heart and instead made a beeline to the tablecloths for an easy bit of "fabric."Hours later, as Gunn visited each designer to talk about their look of choice, the tablecloths started piling up. There was Suede with his blue and white checkered strapless, Korto with her beautiful but boring yellow kimono, Jerry with his white "slasher flick" combo of a tablecloth and shower curtain and Keith with the beginnings of what turned out to be a summer halter dress.Not exactly what you'd call "diverse."The visit left the designers second-guessing, whiny puddles of uneasiness. Of course no one wants to be eliminated on the first challenge, but seriously, people, you are supposed to be creative. You dug your own graves in the checkout line.Thinking he was creative was "girlicious" Blayne, who created what can best be described as a jump-rope bathing suit with a couture Huggies tucked in for good measure. It was ugly, but it was, as he says "girlicious" or at least it was labeled as such, as he took what looked like magic marker to his poor model's leg and wrote the word on her thigh. Not creative as much as just a plea for us, the viewers, to make it the new hit phrase: "Oh, please, make him the next Christian Siriano, last season's winner and the force behind "fierce" and other quotables!" Sorry, Blayne, you're not that quotable and you don't have Christian's talent either.In the end, the judges agreed that girlicious wasn't fierce or cute or even wearable, putting Blayne and his tan in the bottom three. Also ending up there was Jerry and his outfit that was described by the judges as "what you'd wear to kill someone." Rounding out the bottom three was Stella, the punk rock designer who counts Blondie's Debbie Harry as a client, but who couldn't make due with some of the cheapest trashbags known to man.Unfortunately, the judges decided to keep Blayne, his tan, and the term girlicious around for another week, leaving Jerry and Stella, arguably two of the most successful contestants outside of the show, to compete for dead last and barely safe. They picked trash bags over slasher flick and sent Jerry packing.Winning the challenge was the ultra-creative Kelli, who used vacuum bags, dye, bleach, a wire notebook and coffee filters to create a cute little dress that was anything but tablecloth dull. Also scoring were Daniel and his plastic cup sweetheart dress and Korto with her kimono, which she dressed up with yummy-looking fresh veggies.Let's hope next week finds the designers less nervous and, how do you say? ... creative.Anything but girlicious!


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