Long story short: It's the Banana Republic challenge and the designers are broken off into teams. The wildly different Zulema and Kara Janx struggle to make a garment that represents both their styles...
...and come up with a real shitbox of a dress.
One thing about this teamup: for all the ensuing drama, both designers were actually surprisingly self-aware about themselves and where the problems were coming from:
Kara: "I think with this challenge was more about corporation. Maybe us paired was just a bad pairing."
Zulema: "I'm actually a calm person under pressure. Kara was actually so hysterical I had to take over."
Highly accurate, because Kara was right; their styles just didn't blend. And Zulema was right...
...because Kara was completely overwhelmed by the pressure and came undone.
We've often said that almost every single designer, despite whatever complaints you heard about "It was the editing!" was well-represented on the show. But we've met Kara Janx and we know how well her career is going now, so we have to say, the Kara Janx you saw on your screens is not the real Kara Janx. The real Kara Janx is laser-focused and when you get to know her, hysterically funny and bitingly sarcastic like you have no idea.
Chalk it up to exhaustion and pressure, we guess. Whatever the cause, the outcome was that she completely fell apart and it was up to Zulema to put on her bitchpants and take the fuck over, uttering the line that has become legendary among PR fans:
"I don't care if you cry and cut, but you gotta cry and cut, you gotta cut at that rate. Don't stop and cry. "
Pure fucking poetry. Truly, there is a life lesson in there for all of us. We would like that stitched on a pillow or perhaps framed for hanging as a motivational poster. It's a hell of a lot catchier than that "grant me the serenity" dross they always make 12-steppers recite like a mantra.
We suspect the producers were trying to give her the bitch edit but at least in this instance, it wasn't deserved. By the end of the episode they'd produced a perfectly lovely (although not winning) design and managed to avoid the dreaded auf'ing.
Kara herself later admitted that she had absolutely no hard feelings toward Zulema, mostly because SHE WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
Which provides the perfect segue into...
4) MOTHERFUCKING WALK-OFF-GATE"I, today, am going to choose to change models, so I would like to have the models come out. I would like to have a walk off..."
Once again, Zulema utters a line that causes a series of priceless reactions from her cohorts:
"...between the following three models: Danyelle, Tarah and Shannon."
"It's a motherfucking walk-off." (Which is probably also among the top lines ever uttered on the show)
Rewatching the episode Lorenzo, as is typical for him, screamed at the television. This time, though, it was a scream of joy: "I fucking love Zulema!!!!"
Lorenzo just loves take-no-shit people.
Once again, though, with the benefit of hindsight and 3 ensuing seasons, we look back on this and laugh at all the drama.
Don't get us wrong. We felt for Nick. He adored his model and Zulema had already demonstrated a tendency to treat her models like dogshit, so we can't blame him for his reaction. No, it was the reaction of all the other designers plus the clear effort on the part of the producers to paint this as some horrible backstabbing move that all seems so silly now in retrospect. Once the cherry was popped on that little taboo, designers in the seasons that followed traded up models left and right without anyone batting an eye about it.
Once again, Zulema was in the right (or at least, not in the wrong) and once again, she summed it up perfectly:
"I changed models because my model cannot walk, I can't be concerned with Nick. Do a good job, win next week, and take her back!"
TOO DAMN RIGHT.
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