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Project Runway Is Officially BACK

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    NEWSLETTERS

    We’re down to 10 contestants on this seventh season of “Project Runway” and I think it’s fair to say to say, after watching the beginning of this season, that the show has officially returned to form.

    Everyone is back in New York. Michael Kors and Nina Garcia have been on every episode. Tim Gunn looks happy. The challenges have been lively (and tonight’s hardware store challenge looks tremendous). And, most importantly, the designers are competent. They even use colors! Who knew such a thing could be used in fashion?

    I’d go so far to say that this is the deepest pool of designers the show has had in a very long time. After they got around to booting that one girl who cried all the time last week, the ten remaining designers are all fairly talented. We’ve quickly surpassed the “Can we just get rid of all the crummy designers already?” phase of the show, and now we’re squarely in the good stuff. Nice place to be.

    Right now, it’s hard to pick out a favorite from this pool. Usually, the favorites on shows like this announce their presence within a few weeks, but such is the depth of this group that it’s hard to pick out one designer and say, “Hey, they’re clearly the best.” This time, it appears anyone can win. Here is my best shot at handicapping the remaining field.

    Jesse (30/1) - He looked to be among the dregs up until last week, but then the dude who looks like Chase from “House” bounced back with a solid kiddie/mommy outfit that landed him in the top 3. Could have been a one-time deal. Or, perhaps, he’s finally over Cameron and ready to show Dr. House he means business.

    Maya (28/1) - The token hot girl of the group was (SPOILER ALERT) not in attendance at some recent Project Runway event, while all the other remaining contestants were. This is a shame, as ScarJo’s hot dwarf sister has spent the past six weeks fluttering her lashes and throwing her bangs all over the place. She’s delightful.

    Mila (25/1) - Also known as Maya’s mom, Mila won a challenge and placed in the top 2 right after that (for that star dress that was the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen the judges fawn over). Since then, she’s been outed as a one-trick pony, and the one annual member of the cast who is treated like an unwelcome in-law by the rest of the designers. Emilio says she doesn’t do anything but “color blocking.” I don’t know what this means, but I agree with it. COLOR BLOCKER.

    Anthony (20/1) - My favorite contestant. I’ve heard some in the gay community slag Anthony for being too stereotypical, and to those people I say BAH! My boy has EARNED his blazing flamboyancy, I tell you. And he listens to the judges and improves every week. YOU CAN’T STOP MY LITTLE SOUTHERN FIRECRACKER.

    Amy (15/1) - Got crushed for her petal pants last week, which made her model look like a deformed peacock. Also, the stud in her lip completely distracts me.

    Jonathan (15/1) - Was in the bottom last week, but excellent at construction (you need to have those construction skillzzz), and the judges clearly thought his outfit last week was an aberration. Also, his Michael Kors impression is SPOTLESS.

    Emilio (10/1) - I’m waiting for the background story of his lisp. I can already see the segment now. Born with a speech impediment. Learned to express himself… THROUGH FASHION.

    Seth Aaron (9/1) - Also known as the guy who’s far too old to still try and dress like he’s Scott Weiland. Seth Aaron won last week’s challenge and has the clearest identity of all the designers. But I give to demerits to any guy who wears fingernail polish AND lets it chip. Seriously. Makes me nauseous.

    Ben (7/1) - Thom Yorke’s quiet twin grinds out a passing design every week, and seems on the verge of busting out with something more impressive.

    Jay (5/1) - Hard to anoint Jay as the favorite when there really isn’t one, but he’s been as consistent as Ben, only with a win and other top finishes in his pocket. No color blocking from Jay and his semi-fauxhawk.