(If you hadn't heard, the show is picking up and changing networks beginning in November).
When the first challenge of the episode was announced - making an outfit out of materials from the supermarket Gristedes - I was a little bit surprised. So now they're recycling challenges? - I thought to myself, as nobody can forget that this was the first Project Runway challenge ever, which brought us Austin Scarlett's magnificent corn husk dress, displayed here.
However, I soon changed my mind because I like the circularity of things, referencing the first season in what will be the show's last (last season on Bravo at least...though we all fear that the show will become a shell of its former self once it makes the move to Lifetime/LA). Besides, this was an awesome challenge the first time around.
However, I wonder if any of these new contestants (except the few lone standouts) even watched the first season? Why would they all think that making a dress out of a tablecloth would fly with the judges? Heck, even the winner of the original supermarket challenge, Austin Scarlett, was there as a guest judge, to remind everyone that he won because his original creation was one of the few that didn't use the most obvious materials!
On top of 75% of the contestants being lame and using a tablecloth as their main material, most of the tablecloth dresses were ugly! Seriously, what a disappointing result from this first challenge. At least Tim Gunn let them know it...(and a random question...is "Talk to me?" some attempt at a new catch phrase; Tim said it to over half of the contestants while they were working - and I didn't particularly care for it).
Of course, there were a few exceptions. Thank goodness for Kelli, who made her gorgeous winning dress out of bleached/stained vacuum bags (and it was pretty obvious from early on that hers was a winning creation) and Daniel's blue cup dress. I do wish though that the top part of Kelli's dress wasn't merely pasties made out of coffee filters. I was surprised that the judges didn't comment on that (I thought it looked tacky), but hers was still undeniably logs better than the rest. I also personally would not have stuck Korto's dress in the top 3 (it looked huuuuge to me), but I understand that they were rewarding her for using the fresh vegetables.
Looking at the bottom: there were just too many to choose from and honestly every single dress in the bottom 3 was an abomination. I think the reason why Jerry ultimately got the boot for his serial-killer raincoat monstrosity is only because the other 2 showed a little bit more potential for the future (based on audition footage and interviews), since Stella's garbage-bag dress was arguably worse (or in the very least showed less effort).
Overall - a disappointing first showing for the new crop of designers in my book - but that doesn't mean that the potential isn't there so I will eagerly await their efforts at redemption in the following weeks...
Update: The designs may have been sub-par, but the premiere received record numbers!