The Runway Rundown:
1. With great power comes a great superiority complex, if you’re Gretchen. The willowy Portlander has won both of the season’s challenges, and is gradually revealing herself to be pretty damn pleased with this. She is alone in this sentiment: “It’s like she opened up an Urban [Outfitters] catalogue,” snipes a fellow female contestant.
2. This week’s challenge: to design an outfit using party store supplies. Gretchen anoints this task “cheeseball” and sighs, “Nothing about my design aesthetic is cheeseball.” Oh, hush up and go grab some Sponge Bob napkins like everyone else, emo child.
3. Tim Gunn strenuously warns the 14 contestants to avoid selecting fabric-like materials, such as napkins and tablecloths. Dippy Casanova completely disregards this. Back in the Parsons workroom, he whirls into a stuffed dog gleefully, batting it senselessly against the ground and ripping its fluffy puppy innards. “I love the plush puppies!” he exclaims as the other contestants watch the carnage with frightened eyes.
4. Gretchen, when not making an (admittedly clever) metallic fringe skirt and paper-bag “leather” jacket, wanders the workroom dispensing entirely unwanted advice to her resentful colleagues. In turn, Tim Gunn clearly has a case of the giggles this week, and falls to pieces at the male contestants’ randy jokes. His face actually turns red. We like this side of you, Tim.
5. “Why does the Asian girl have the Asian model? That’s fucked up!” cries my friend, before we realize that Ivy does not, in fact, have the Asian model. The point here is: said friend is drunk now and I am, too, because this show is too long now and the extra commercial breaks can only lead to mischief. 6. Heidi Klum now introduces judge Michael Kors as “CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Michael Kors.” Fun fact; the Voice fashion staff voted in the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. It is entirely possible that none of us voted for Kors. Just sayin’. But anyway, bully for him. Emphasis on “bully,” sometimes.
7. Guest judge Betsey Johnson is an inspired choice for guest judge; she loves wacky hardware elements and neon punk flourishes. We love her runway shows. Win all around.
8. On the runway: AJ’s bright pink Barbie bustier and confetti is pure Kira Plasticina, except it has plastic beads and silver tassels hanging down the crotch. Vagina icicles! Is that a thing? Oh Christ, you guys, we’re just not prepared for this. Klum agrees, and calls it a “silly.” Nina Garcia calls it a “hot mess.” Betsey wants him to make it even more outrageous, “a zillion times exploded.” At least a guest judge finally disagrees with the others.
9. Michael’s red dress, comprised entirely of red plastic plates, is spectacular. Peach enters modern times, even if it’s the ’80s, with a zebra-and-fuschia print mini. Andy’s tough, glamorous black-and-silver mini seems covered in bullet shells and stalactites, and is truly gorgeous; Heidi says she will fight Rihanna for the dress. Gretchen’s shirred skirt and jacket are the sole separates of the group, and happily received (of course). April’s one-shoulder silver shift with teal palm fronds is both literal and exhaustingly boring. Casanova does not delight Kors (of korse), who succinctly defines the Frankenstein mutant before him as “transvestite flamenco dancer.”
10. Andy wins, and Gretchen is runner-up. Cheers for spreading the victory around a tad; Andy’s was the showstopper this week, although this crop was generally very strong, and it bodes well for this mammoth season. Casanova, despite having a horrific taste level, is safe from elimination; Sarah, with her tedious palm fronts, is eliminated.