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Paging Dr. Whitfield!

Darlings, someone's going to have to explain this one to us.

Oh, don't get us wrong, we're happy for Carol Hannah. She's been pretty consistent all season and deserved to get some recognition.

And we even think her entry was the best of the lot. The problem is, she won a "design a costume for Christina Aguilera" challenge...

Model: Lisa Blades

By designing a costume for Mariah Carey. Does no one else see this?

It's a great dress, no doubt. But it just doesn't look much like a Christina Aguilera look to us.

Way too formal and mature-looking, to our tastes. Not to mention understated.

Sure, you could argue that sequins and feathers are hardly understated but come on, we're talking Bob Mackie here. You give Bob Mackie a pile of sequins and feathers and he's gonna give you this back:

Now THAT'S what we're talking about!

Okay, we don't want to step all over the poor girl's long-deserved win. It was a beautiful dress.

And she really did do an amazing job with the feathers.

We agree with the win, really we do. We're just disappointed with the lackluster entries. It's a great dress, but it shouldn't even be in the same room as Bob Mackie. You can barely see the details on it from ten feet away. It's only going to read as a black dress from the cheap seats. We may not be Christina Aguilera's most ardent fans but even we know the girl needs a little more than that.

Extended Judging Video:

[Photos: Mike Yarish/ - Videos: - Screencaps:]

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I was really glad CH FINALLY got a win, she's been producing great stuff all season, but I was just kinda is this Christina? Can she even move on stage with this?

Then again, rather CH than Peppermint Patty's iceskating costume or Althea's dress that I bought the short version of three years ago from Forever 21

Thank you! I kept thinking, "Glamorous, yes. Well-deserved win, yes. Appropriate for Christina Aguilera? Not on your life."

Right. Like I keep muttering, "Where are the headdresses?!" This was not a time for tasteful understatement.

Of what was put forward last night, Dr. Whitfield's was probably as good as it got....but that's truly not saying much.

Where did things go astray with this challenge? How did they not get the exuberance and flamboyance of a Mackie look? Not to mention the COLOR which was almost nonexistent.

But glad to see Dr. W win....just sorry they didn't show a close-up of Irina when the win was called.
for all her bitchiness, she woulda deserved that!


Bob Mackie said at the beginning of the show that there was a big difference between red carpet wear and stage wear. How does this play to the stage? Also, so much was made of how CA has to move. How can she move in this? (I like the dress btw just not for the purpose for which it was created).

TLo, you have said in the past that the final collections often show differently in peron on the runway than they do on T.V.

It was so hard to see the details of this dress, even with HD, that i am going to have to say that it must have shown the details better in person.

but honestly, if this is the most drama they could find amongst the entries, well (yawn.) this must be why I keep falling asleep as I watch the show. Thank goodness for TiVo.

I'm really happy she finally won but I also think that this dress was way to formal for a Christina Aguilera stage costume. I kept thinking "this is a Christina Aguilera red carpet dress". Beautiful dress just not very well suited for the challenge.

I also continued to wonder where the headdresses were. Granted this wasn't a challenge to design for a Las Vegas showgirl (though I must say I really don't even want to know what they would've come up with had they had that sort of challenge) but I think even Xtina would've been okay with a headdress type of thing. She's toned down her look in recent years but she can still be pretty over the top and none of these reflected that at all.

Still way to go CH :)

I have no problem with this (or Althea's) entry, for the simple fact that it's a dress for a ballad, not for a dance number. Not every song Xtina does is "Drrrty," some are "Beautiful."

I agree with the judges winning decision this week. But overall felt short changed again with the final output from all the designers. Could project Runway franchise be nearing its finale? Bob Mackie might be great at designing for stage and the glitterati but most of his show pieces are rather one hit wonders that have ended up in the pages of "the worst dressed list". Using him as an inspiration and platform for a new challenge was ahh a bit blase. Good taste and sequins rarely belong together and I certainly felt that watching last night's creations.

All I kept thinking was "Chris March/Kayne/Christian Siriano would have killed this challenge".

It was a beautiful dress but not worthy of winning a Bob Mackie challenge. No GLAM. No WOW. No SHOWSTOPPER.

TLo, you summed it up nicely. She did a great job on the dress, but did not live up to the challenge at hand. Bob Freakin Mackie and Xtina, and this is the result? Nicely made but boring!

Ooo, someone else mentioned Kayne. You're right, he would have slayed this challenge!

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Last night was the first show I've skipped since PR came on the air. Seriously. That's how bored and disappointed with this season I am. I might watch the Bryant Park finale, but I'm through with this season, except for reading your awesome blog.

Maybe Lifetime will get it right next season.

Was it just me or did Christina seem less enthused about this dress than the other two? I wonder if the other judges (and/or producers) pushed CH hard because she was the only contestant left without a win.

I don't understand this season. This was a very pretty dress, but for a stage performer, it was a glittery, feathered strait-jacket.

Once again I fell asleep. I saw the winner, didn't catch the loser. When I realized who they aufed, I went BWAAA!! This winning dress surprised me. Like you, I hardly saw any Xtina in it. For the first time Irina's snark grated on me.

This season is boring! Boring challenges with boring pretty dresses... Please do some screen shots to keep me interested...


Agreed with the understated comment. My TV isn't the best, so I didn't even see the feathers and intricate details at first. I thought it was a plain slightly-sequined black dress until the judges pull it back out and showed the close-ups during the review.

Was it just me, or did the way the feathers were arranged make Lisa look pregnant in some angles? There were a few moments when she was walking down the runway where the light and shine and angle of the feathers and satin gave her model a weird belly.

Now if CH had made THIS for the pregnancy challenge...

It was an OK dress. I like Nicolas's for the win but I think I just like him. I was happy for CH she is technically skilled and sticks to her POV. She made it work without too much acting like a baby. She's OBV. top 3, right? She's right in the middle of all the story lines, she's likable, she has an arch enemy now.

My first response was "Mae West." And on that basis, I can see it as a Christina Aguilera stage costume, because I can see Christina "doing" a Mae West look. Especially if Carol Hannah had gone through with the initial break-away intentions (if she could've managed it without it looking like a skating costume).

Wasn't Suede ultimately auf'd on the Music Genres challenge because the judges said the textural play of the fabrics on his outfit wouldn't register at stage distance? Wouldn't the same be true of Dr. Whitfield's dress?

Man, these entries were SO not Mackie-esque. This was the best of the bunch and lovely, and congratulations and all, but...

(Though I don't agree that this was more suited for Mariah Carey. Have you seen her? She likes to be quite naked.)

I got a kick out of Dr Whitfield's quote about not considering herself the middle of the pack even though she had never been in the top or the bottom...

Alexis: you forgot to mention she has a love interest too in

The dress was probbaly the best of the group which sadly isn't saying a lot. At least CH had the excuse she was working outside her comfort zone and was trying to do the best she could

Yes Kayne could have killed this challenge. hell even Laura, a dominatrix of beading, would have done better than most of these people.


I could more easily see Beyonce in this dress. Congrats to Dr. Whitfield anyway. We saw more of the Logan/CH romance developing.

I didn't that any of the garments were appropriate for Christina Aquilera. If Carol Hannah's was a Mariah Carey dress, then Althea's was a Celine Dion, and Nicholas was Ice Capades.

Maybe they should have had the Bob Mackie Challenge earlier in the season, before the designers were so sleep deprived & exhausted.

Like I posted last night, I was glad Nina said something about black not being a good color for stage (though kind of ironic as well because they spend so much critique time leading the designers to believe that a lack of color translates to 'sophisticated'). Under most spotlights, black reads as a hole unless it is sparkly. When you see a magician make a person 'disappear' much of the time they are just behind flat, black fabric.

But if these designers ever had any color in them, it's been drained out of them by now.


Oh those dresses were all dull as dirt. At least in Peppermint Patties' Xtina could MOVE on stage. The rest? And oh, oh, oh.....WHY wasn't this a Chris March challenge.

These outfits all sucked, given the challenge outline.

Agree with all TLo's comments except the one about this "understated" dress being something that would be more fitting for Mariah Carey.

Ummmm... when has Mariah Carey ever warn anything understated or classy??????????????

Yes, the dress might look better on Nicole Kidman than Christina Aguilera, but who cares. It's gorgeous.

Congrats to Carol Hannah.

Really thought the win should have went to Nicholas. His looked exactly like something Christina would wear. CH's dress- not so much.

However, I was THRILLED when she won - a slap in the face to that smug, snotty, conceited bitch Irina.

Karma will bite you in the ass every time!

I agree --- the dress did not seem to suit Christina. And on another runway in another season and against other designers, the gown would probably come in somewhere in the middle. However, as a fan of Dr. Whitfield's work, I must extend my congrats to her for her fine work. Personally, I love the gown and compared to all of the other submissions, it was clearly better executed and simply lovely. I got the impression that Christina "liked" it, but did not loooove it. Btw: She seemed a bit pissy. Anyone else get that feeling?

- edina -

Yeah, I'm right there with you. I was delighted to see Dr. Whitfield finally get some Judge Love and I truly thought this was a gorgeous dress, but it didn't nail the challenge. I didn't even see it as a Xtina vs. Mariah thing, tho I see your point. It was a red carpet gown, not a performance costume. While I agree with Mr. Mackie that the black on black on black was gorgeous, it wouldn't play in the Nose Bleed Section.

I hate to say this - gulp - but in a way Nicholas probably nailed the challenge best. Yes, it was a shorter, nicer version of the Ice Queen Prototype, but it looked more costume than couture, and for once that was a good thing.

When Tim introduced Bob Mackie to these numbskulls, I wonder how many were thinking, "Who's Bob Mackie?"

Basically, this was the Drag Queen challenge and they all choked!



this challenge just really made it apparent that everyone is just beyond boring this season.

gorgeous dress indeed, but if that's the best of the lot in such a creative challenge send them all home.

Nicolas's was definitely a contender and probably more appropriate for C.A. and the challenge. But I thought Dr. Whitfield's was a showstopper, and deserving of the win.

Time to see what else is on Thursday nights at 10...

I predicted she'd win from scene number 1 when CH says, "Slow and steady wins the race?"

Pegged it. Winner edit, right there.

I'm telling you, this season's editing pales in comparison to seasons past.

But, congrats to CH. Hers was the best of the bunch, but not appropriate for Xtina.

This would be a pretty gown for a gala fundraiser, but it's way too subtle for a stage costume, and unwearable for a dancer. The black-on-black shimmer is very pretty, but the placement of the feathers added bulk in the wrong places.

Much as I hate to say it, because I think she's way overrated and he's beyond annoying, Althea and Nicolas did much better.

When I heard Bob Mackie and Christina Aguilera, I thought THANK JESUS finally a challenge where they need to make a statement and go a little cuckoo. And then they all made black, bland, white, bland, blah dresses. Hellooooooo, Christina Aguilera, make it loud. Hellooooo, Bob Mackie, turn that shizzit up to 11 folks. But nothing. I did like Dr. W's dress, would have loved it for the challenge if the feahters were hot pink or gold and the bodice was see through with just the feathers covering things. THAT would be more Bob Mackie worthy. Can I just say too, I love me some Bob Mackie, he is so unique.

I may not listen to Christina Aquilera, but I don't live in a cave and I can't see how the designers could have taken a Bob Mackie + Christina Aguilera challenge to such a lacklustre place. The woman sees Heidi's short and shiny and raises it to pasties and a g-string. Where was the glitz?? Where was the color?? I almost miss Ra'mon's insane catsuits (they would have been far more Christina than the gowns we saw). Having said that, yes, CH's WAS the best of the dresses, it's just really disappointing that the designers didn't raise to such a creative challenge. Irina had NOTHING to be so bitchy and cocky about this week and Nicolas may idolize Bob Mackie but it certainly didn't show in his garment.

Brian B said, "When Tim introduced Bob Mackie to these numbskulls, I wonder how many were thinking, "Who's Bob Mackie?" "

I know. I couldn't help but wonder how many of those 23 year olds would know Bob Mackie, and thought of poor what's his name on TFS who wasn't familiar too with Halston.


10/16/09 11:16 AM All I kept thinking was "Chris March/Kayne/Christian Siriano would have killed this challenge".

Oh, to have seen Chris and Kaynebow and Christian design for this challenge. Just to see the three of them fighting to the death for sequins and rhinestones would have been incredibly entertaining, let alone what they would have designed.

I'm happy for CH, but agree with TLo's comments about it being more Mariah Carey than Aguilera.

i dont get it... if this challenge is to design a dress for Christina Aguilera for the Red Carpet then this dress may be in the top 3- its even too demure for Christina for the red carpet.. let alone on stage.....

this is my take on the showcase tonite...

Win- Irina- i hate her personality but i think she should've won. The coat was unnecessary.. and it IS a safe outfit.. but the dress- its beautiful and the back is sexy.. its very christina...although Safe christina.. but most of the entries were safe last nite..
Althea-I love n hate it... its something i've seen on beyonce before...especially the dress.. the feather bolero- feels very bad showgirl... but its well executed... and the dress has drama.
Logan- ok many ppl will disagree with me in this.. but i liked the dress- its toned down X'tina- wild but not stripper... i agree with the judges abt the bolero but i dont think he deserves to be in the bottom...

Carol Hannah- its very red Carpet as mentioned also feels like a black long version of a pink roberto cavalli feathered mini dress Christina have worn before... but less drama....its well made buts thats it

Nicolas- its glamous and its Christina- but its also something which u can find in Christina's wardrobe...the judges gave logan a hard time abt the chains.. but nicola's lack of feathers on the skirt brothers me alot...... u can see the mini underneath n its literally shedding on the runway...

Bottom 2-
Gordana- this is HIDEOUS!!!its like madonna meets marilyn monroe meets the little mermaid....

Christopher- i like the coat.. it is dramatic.. but the corset and the sequined hot pants are hideous..

As much as i love her- shirin deserved the auf... it is like versace meets the wicked witch of the west..

I really liked this look actually. The combination of textures of black was really clever. I think it would work for a slow song.

Also, someone was mocking Carol for saying "I've never been in the top or bottom but I'm not in the middle." In her defense, I believe she meant she was aiming to win and not trying to hide in the middle of the pack.

Funny you mention Mariah as every time I see her photographed she seems to be wearing outfits consisting of dental floss and sequins.

I too thought this dress better suited to (classic) Mariah or Beyonce.

What I mean by "classic" Mariah - Carey went through a period early in her career when she might have worn something similar. If you remember the "Hero" or "I Still Believe" videos, you know what I'm talking about. (See here: OR But today? You're right, she'd probably pass on it for a chance to show her legs.

Even if this bunch of lame designers had never heard of Bob Mackie, they had that great display of his fashions to at least get an idea of his use of color, glitter, feathers and imagination.
Instead of being a wonderfully exciting and fun challenge, it turned into another mortuary-like experience for us.
Oh, to have had Austin, Kayne, Chris March, Laura, and PPS on this challenge!!

i know u havent discussed Nicola's garment. which i was sad to admit it worked best for the challenge, but it reminded me too much of a christina pic i had seen a while ago....

i mean from the back seats this dress is the same...

anyways im glad she won! & yes color was soo missing out of this challenge & NOBODY dared to take this very crazy, like some had done on other seasons. but oh well.

Part of the reason this reminded us of a Mariah Carey costume was this rather adorable video which has been making the rounds this week. There she is, in a concert performance from last week, wearing a black sequined gown with a sweetheart neckline. We're not saying CH's dress looks like this, but it's simply not true that she doesn't wear this type of dress anymore.

I thought CH made an elegant, pretty dress...

and that has nothing to do with Bob Mackie or the peroxide princess.

But since the judging criteria seem to change on the fly, I'm glad she won; I like her work.

I'm happy for Carol Hannah but still disappointed that she complained the whole time she was making the dress. I realize that over-the-top isn't her style. But it's Project Runway. Like Jeffrey Sebelia said during the couture challenge, "It's like they're giving you permission to build a nuclear bomb."

That's the attitude to have.

I did not see that attitude from any of the contestants last night.

I actually think Carol Hannah managed to style a Gloria Estafan lookalike for her "Mi Tierra" tour.

oceans of stars

I don't know... I think that at this point in the competition, people are just trying to stay in the game. Agreed - CH's entry was good but it wasn't anywhere near Bob Mackie in design. But the line between Mackie and costume is SO INCREDIBLY THIN (how many times did they nail Chris March for tripping over that line?) and considering how often they've been throwing out 'this looks like a halloween costume' line, I can see why they might go for something more subdued than over the top, no matter the challenge design.

Also, and I hate to beat this dead horse, but the judging has been SO inconsistent this season. I think that the contestants in the past have gotten to know somewhat over the course of a season what sort of things Nina values or Michael values or Heidi values and that is part of tailoring your aesthetic (like they do to the individual challenges) - this is a competition after all and they are the judges. But since it's been such a round robin with only Heidi as the consistent one, it doesn't suprise me that they are playing it safe.

"Oh, to have seen Chris and Kaynebow and Christian design for this challenge. Just to see the three of them fighting to the death for sequins and rhinestones would have been incredibly entertaining, let alone what they would have designed."

Or even Santino. His gold monstrosity for Iman would have won this hands down.

This is not a stage dress, though it is beautiful.

Really the only ones appropriate for dancing would be Irina, Nickolaus, & Logan. And all three had problems: 1) it's a basic dress; 2) it's an ice skating costumer; 3) it was boring & not stage wear.

Had to be CH-
Peppermint Patti made a skating frock, and Irina made a sequined nightie.

Dull dull dull. Where was the flesh colored fabric? Where were the crystals, the fake nudity, the vavoom?

One time on Top Chef the results were all so bad that they made them go back and remake it again. That is what they should have done last night. No one had a winning look. Xtina looked very dissapointed and these results were a slap in the face to Bob Mackie.

I'm happy for Carol-Hannah, but I wish she had used another color. What's with all the black and gray?

While this season's designers may be talented, they are also pretty lame.
What a bunch of boring garments from a challenge that should have provided some amazing, over the top crazy-ass slutty outfits.

I thought Nina looked really bored and disappointed.

Bob Mackie told the designers to go wild, that it wasn't "fashion" and still they decided to stay within the confinements of safe and mostly boring.

I think she won because Bob Mackie liked what she did with the materials - and because the other designers didn't produce a single outfit that was truly impressive.

Now, that her use of materials would be lost to view on stage, and that this dress is completely inappropriate as a stage costume for Christina Aguilera - um, "dance" numbers, anyone? - you'd think would disqualify her from the win, but hey, it's PR people. Why let murky, unspecific judging criteria get in the way.

Personally, I think it's funny - I wonder if Mackie, whether by force of personality or just his reputation - intimidated at least one other judge to jump on his bandwagon. If I recall, they didn't exactly do that for Diane von Furstenberg, or several other "big names." I *had* thought that Althea's might win because Ms. Aguilera, who's never gotten rid of some of her "mommy" weight, seemed to like it's figure shaping effect.

Doesn't Christtina sometime perform a la chanteuse? This dress could be for that type of performance. She usually has several costume changes anyway.
I think CH's dress isn't as well made as Nicolas . He was probably stroking out when she applied the feathers with a glue gun.
I would have been happy with this or Nic's winning . I could see her using both dresses in the same show. It's a shame they all used black and white (or grey) but these is a good black dress.

Yet again, the instructions for the challenge didn't match the judging. Mr. Mackie himself (didn't you love the way Tim called him "Mr. Mackie"?) warned the designers that a stage costume is not a red carpet dress, but the most red-carpet of all the entries won the challenge. Go figure.

I never thought I'd say the words "Pocahontas was robbed," but he was, and I would have put Irina in second place. Both Carol Hannah and Althea would have never made it to my top 3, regardless of execution, because neither dress came close to practical for a dancing, prancing Christina.

The only good thing to say is thank God Nina was back -- but is it too late to save this season's train wreck of judging?

I wonder how much weight Christina herself had in the final judgments. CH's dress was beautiful and appeared to be beautifully made, but wasn't Nicolas's dress much more Christina-on-stage?

It's hard to make much sense of the results of this challenge, given what a disappointment it was overall.

It's true that the dress does look more like Mariah than Christina, but that may be what helped it to win. It's clear she wanted a look that was very different for her, and there's not a lot out that that she hasn't done! So something like this does make sense as being right up her alley (in this context).

TLo said...
...We're not saying CH's dress looks like this, but it's simply not true that she doesn't wear this type of dress anymore.

I stand corrected. I had no idea that Mariah was covering up again!

I think what would have really helped this dress is if either the dress or the feathers or both were something other than black. As long as they were different colors but still complimentary, it would have made a much better dramatic statement. And to make it less glamorous, it would have been great to cut a slit up the dress all the way up to her diamond studded crotch as the judges said.

I will say that listening to CH's video blog for this episode, she made an interesting point. They weren't told what the client wanted or was really looking for, so they were all flying a little blind. But on the other hand, what they needed to do was pick a direction and run with it, and just about any direction would have worked. Instead, most of them just floundered about wondering what to do.

My guess is they were all still a little stuck in the wedding dress challenge. Seriously, color would have made a world of difference in this challenge.

Did anyone else get the idea that only Peppermint Patti got who Bob Mackie really IS??

I swear to God, I could have whipped out a Mackie style in no frigging time--let alone 2 full days and come up with something for the stage.

What is UP with these designers? Are they so into being "professional" and "stated" that they can't think outside the box? All the dresses on the runway were feh...this is BOB MACKIE!!!

UGH, if there was EVER a time I so wanted Chris March back it was last night. I wanted to see what Bob would say about his 10 foot boobs! LMAO.

Lackluster, boring and just not right---I can't imagine any of these designers making it in the real world if they can't follow the simplist of directions.

To those of you criticizing CH's win because her dress is not appropriate for dancing, I submit the counterpoint that most singers don't wear one dress for an entire performance. They change once, twice, or more, and this dress could easily have been in the repertoire. Not every dress for Xtina has to be for dancing.

The doctor is in!

This doesn't in any way seem like a stage costume for Xtina - it's far too elegant and beautiful. I think of a comment I read once about the Diiirty Girl - that just seeing her on tv could give you an STD - but the good doctor's dress was by far the best look and really is one of the best things done all season. So I'm quite happy that she won. I think she's been denied the top spot a time or two this season.

CH did a great job. But I agree with Nina, it would have been fantastic if the skirt came away to reveal something that Xtina could dance in. Because that dress, is more suited under the spotlight for her torch song (Beautiful). Even if it just had a bodysuit/swimsuit type bottom (but with diamonds on the crotch, natch.)

I think Peppermint Patty was a close second. He would have nailed it if he came up with a crazy headdress. Which considering he idolizes Mackie, he should of thought of it. I am puzzled by his weird obsession with the color white. Is that some russian thing?


I was disappointed in the lackluster of the garments this episode, too. But, of the bunch, I think CH's had the most going for it.

On the other hand, I wonder how many hours Bob Mackey spends on his garments. My guess: more than 48. I didn't really expect any of them to reach his level of WOW--but I would've liked ANY attempt at colour or accessorizing (head-dress, anyone?).

Also, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought Nic's looked like an ice-skating costume--and a yawn-worthy one at that.

~ Ri

You'd have thunk that by this time in the production schedule, *someone* would have figured out that this bunch needs some more firm hand-holding and would have made damned sure that the group had a bit of a very direct tutorial before being allowed to sketch for half an hour.

Something along the lines (off camera, of course) of "this is what Bob and Christina are NOT about [exhibit: black, tight, flowey] and this is what stage craft IS about [colour, non-traditional, humour, easy movement]. Do think about this and Tim will critique your sketches as well as you partially created looks to help you."

This group needs something to make up for the lack on judging continuity and I would have much preferred the producers quietly gave them more guidance than previous seasons and given us a more exciting episode.

If the designers failed after this help, then they failed entirely because of their own skills and not because of anything the producers did.

As for CH's gown? It seems to me that if you put *that* on stage, no one past the third row is going to see the feathers, anyway.

It simply failed as stagewear.

But with the model's styling, it did seem kinda Black Dahlia-ish. Which is something, I guess.

Yeah, I'm happy with the win because it was probably the best and CH keeps getting ignored for making good stuff, but, also yeah, for what it was supposed to be, a little on the tame side. To say the least.

I'm with the people who wish she'd at least used feathers of a different colour. They even could've been subdued colours (really dark purples and reds, say) and made it more interesting.

I really don't understand most of the comments on this one. The designers were supposed to create a costume, and Carol Hannah did not create a costume. Is it not absurd to declare her the winner?

I wish this challenge had been on Project Runway Canada. Iman, who holds the contestants strictly accountable to the groundrules of each challenge, might have disqualified Carol Hannah, Irina, Shirin, Gordana,and Althea out of hand. On this basis, the worst creation was Gordana's but, since she had immunity, Shirin's second-worst fully justified her being sent home.

However much you may dislike their creations, it was Nikolas, Christopher, and Logan who actually sent costumes down the runway. Of the three, I prefer Logan's. In my opionion, Logan should have been the winner on merit.

This episode was such a crashing disappointment. Come ON, people! None of what they produced was even remotely Bob Mackie-level stagewear.

Ugh, the more I think about it the angrier I get (which really does not reflect well on me taking this so seriously), but the instruction was to create a dress in the manner of Bob Mackie, BOB MACKIE PEOPLE!!! So this was basically the Hollywood equivalent of S5's DVF challenge, and these designers just would not or could not go there.

Each season has had its ups and downs, but there were always more upsides to compensate for the downsides; this season is a perfect storm of blandness: bland aesthetics, bland challenges, risk aversion, pallid judging (which may be worse than bad judging), blah runway shows, blah models and bland personalities...Zzz.

I'm done. Wake me up when next season starts.

You brought up some good points... Firstly that none of the entries this week were over the top enough and none really epitomized Xtina's style either. I wonder if they got a dossier of her stage looks or anything...

However, this was a gorgeous dress and a great use of different fabrics and textures. I actually can see Xtina in this, but I see it as a slow ballad at the grammys or VH1 divas where the focus is close up shots for TV. That's where this dress would shine.

I'm glad she won....finally. I think she had a couple other looks previously that should have been good contenders for the win.

It's a gorgeous dress. Especially now that I could see more detail from your pix.

BUT.....I really do think she won by default. I really felt like she got it because no other designer even came close. It was definitely pretty, but it was in no way a stage outfit. I mean, I couldn't see half those details until I saw the close up pix here, so how in the hell is anyone beyond row 4 supposed to see it?

I thought Dr. W was gonna land in the bottom 3 because the model couldn't even walk in it.

I disagree. I LOVE the dress and i think in perhaps a different color its totally Agullera (sp?) and I am THRILLED she won. This dress was head & shoulders above the rest =D

I think the problem is that none of the designers gave us something in the style of Bob Mackie, so the judges just had to pick the prettiest dress. I love CH and I do think it was a pretty dress, but all of the looks were disappointments, to me.

And I totally see what you're saying about that being more of a dress for Mariah Carey than for Christina Aguilera.

When the model stopped and posed after walking the runway - it looked like the bottom was slightly sheer.
And I did like the blue that showed through on the skirt - although I don't really see it in the pics TLo posted.

last night while they were in the workroom, I posted that I thought black was not the best for showing detail up on stage and then one of the judges said it also. but of course that didn't stop the win.

My biggest complaint about this challenge is not with the winner or who was sent home. I'm pissed that they wasted the Mackie Challenge on this group. Will we have to wait another 6 seasons before they revisit this? More importantly, given last night's lackluster results, will Bob Mackie even agree to do the show again?

What a wasted opportunity!

Or even Santino. His gold monstrosity for Iman would have won this hands down.

Except that he's more likely to have recreated the Sasha Cohen exploding turkey ice-skating costume.

(OK, but is this a Mariah Carey dress? I thought Mariah Carey only wore dresses that are extremely short and too small for her....)

There she is, in a concert performance from last week, wearing a black sequined gown with a sweetheart neckline.

... huh.

Ah well. I wonder CA can pull a Nancy O'Dell, or something, and have it remade in, who knows, flame red with orange feathers.

Mackie would know better than most that gowns on the caliber of his could not be created in 48 hrs.
I'm sure he spends more than 48 hrs at the drawing board.
The gowns at the exhibit were most likely hand beaded and custon fit. Even the sequins and pallets were in most cases custom dye cut.
I doubt he was disappointed with the result considering the time and budget constraints.

I hasten to add that it is hard to tell what Bob is thinking though, he's sorta mono expression.

Yeah, what you said.

The one time they get to go all-out and not ONE of them chose a color. They all missed the it. I'm watching season 2 of PR Australia right now and it's actually more entertaining than this.

PS -- Why didn't they have Christina explain what she was looking for? Say what theme she was going for on her next tour or something.

I guess there might be a legal reason they couldn't do that? Say, the worry is that her next tour might have designs that somewhat look like one of the PR designs & she could get sued?

The Bloom Is Off The Klum

The #1 problem with the challenges, with the designers, with the season in total, is that this group of designers is only marginally proficient. They are like what you might find in the design classes at the local community college. They are nowhere near the talent or creativity caliber of March, Sebelius, Kayne, Bennett, and all these others past that are pointed to as would have been able to KILL this challenge or that challenge.
Combine suckass designers with suckassier challenges, and you get.... PR Season 6

The Bloom Is Off The Klum
10/16/09 3:52 PM The #1 problem with the challenges, with the designers, with the season in total, is that this group of designers is only marginally proficient. They are like what you might find in the design classes at the local community college. They are nowhere near the talent or creativity caliber of March, Sebelius, Kayne, Bennett, and all these others past that are pointed to as would have been able to KILL this challenge or that challenge.
Combine suckass designers with suckassier challenges, and you get.... PR Season 6

blah, blah, blah, everyone said the same thing about last season.

If they are so untalented, then why did they pass the Tim, Harvey&Co?

Quit lumping all of them in one basket. There were some exceptional, some okay and some suckass in EVERY season.


I'm glad she finally won something, loved her dress!

Cristina Aguilera would NEVER wear something like that.

Gorgeous dress! Congratulations, Carol-Hannah!!!!!

"Chgo_John said...

My biggest complaint about this challenge is not with the winner or who was sent home. I'm pissed that they wasted the Mackie Challenge on this group. Will we have to wait another 6 seasons before they revisit this? More importantly, given last night's lackluster results, will Bob Mackie even agree to do the show again?

What a wasted opportunity!"

I agree, I was expecting sho stoppers, most of the designs were more red carpet than anything else. Nothing that reminded me of Bob Mackie's genius body of work, not even Nicolas. Big disappointment.

YES! I'm so happy for her! Great work, Carol-Hannah!!!!!!!

I agree on both points; CH deserved win and this was the best of the lot. Not much else to say.

While the debate rages about them playing it too safe - I do wonder about their fear of the TAACKY or SLUTTY monicker?

I jokingly posted last night that I was hoping for a red patent leather bustier.

I wish I knew what part of Chris's outfit earned the tacky label. Was it the design/shapes or the fabrics/construction? I thought the biggest problem was the cheap looking fabric and trim. But a better bustier and hot pants WOULD fit the challenge, IMO.

Having seen Bob Mackies work with cut-outs, practically naked designs - and the comment about the diamonds on the crotch - we would assume that, like Tim implied, that slutty would be good. BUT considering that the winning outfit was the least tacky, slutty of the group - how can the designers trust that if they "went there" they'd still have their heads when Nina got done with them?

The more I think about it, the more I come to believe that they're designing to stay safe/in the middle, not designing to win. A better group of contestants would be vying to win every challenge, not to just not get kicked off. But the show structure isn't helping either. The winners of each challenge need a good prize so that they WANT to win, not just place or show. Top Chef has been doing more with good prizes for the Quickfire and the elimination challenges, and I think PR would benefit from that as well.

That's the image Aguilera is going for now, though. Her last album was all about Marilyn Monroe and Hollywood glamour, not stripping off and dancing in a pee-soaked dungeon with leather boys. Not very Mackie, though, that's true. But it also didn't SUCK ASS, which made it stand out a little from the rest of these losers' efforts.

Not one of them got it. Like others, I was waiting for some numbnuts to say "Who is Bob Mackie?"

Like others, I thought, IMMEDIATELY thought...Chris-Christian would have nailed this and hit it out of the park.

Does not one of them remember that Bob Mackie's imagination let him put Carol Burnett in curtains, for god's sake, in her Gone With the Wind parody, and she looked faboo sweeping down the staircase with the curtain rod still across her shoulders.

This is such a lackluster group. I'd rather they brought back past contestants and do a Master Project Runway. Watching pros compete (as in Master Top Chef,) at least it reduces the catty backbiting time chomping footage and drama that is so draining.

...and regarding the models show...loved the bimbos who can't even read and repeat words on a piece of paper. I especially love watching them eat, praying the cameraman catches them spitting it out later.

All I can say is: FEATHERS! How on earth can you making feathers look boring? Wendy Pepper used feathers hideously, but it wasn't boring. Yes, it was a gorgeous gown... for standing and posing on the red carpet, not performing on stage.

Though, I'm happy for Whitfield's win. It did show growth in her designs.

"Lackluster" is the right word, all right. I can kind of see this being a more appropriate dress for the "newer" Aguilera, as she is a mother now and not a kid anymore -- as opposed to Nicolas dress, which was right up the "older" Aguilera's alley. I can't believe I thought Nicolas should've won, but his really looked the most like CA to me.

Agreed, too, on how not-fabulous all of these entries were. I was hoping that with an extra day and lots of extra money, the designers would actually show us some amazing things. Maybe they're just too burned-out by this point from all the 1-day $50- challenges, I don't know. The garments this season have been very disappointing, overall.

PR seriously blew it by not having this challenge in the first three weeks, before all the remaining designers weren't 1) exhausted, sleep-deprived and at 10/10 on the stress-o-meter, and 2) scared to death of getting auf'd THISCLOSE to Bryant Park, after enduring so much to get to this point. It's basic human nature -- the closer you get to your goal, the more careful you become.

Plus, they got rid of the weirdos right away, not without reason at the time, but much to their detriment here. It's not hard for me to imagine Ari, Malvin, Qrystil, and certainly Ra'mon blowing people away in this challenge. Or at the very least, wouldn't you like to have seen what they might have created?

Like everyone else, I've been waiting for CH to be recognized, loved her dress, and agree it seems only tangentially related to Xtina, who IMHO rarely looks better than "Taste. Less." as someone might say. Very sorry to see Shirin go, but the dress was ugly and she is clearly fried mentally -- I worry that Gordana is too, and may be the next auf, though I hope not!

I have been reading your blog since the beginning and have never commented before. But I just had to say this--the only person worth winning was that FABULOUS BITCH Nina!! The sleeves, the necklace, the shoes...I.DIE. PLEASE show, bring her back on the regular.

I think it's appropriate. This isn't "Genie in a Bottle" Christina Aguilara, it's "Ain't No Other Man" Christina.

I agree with others who say that the reason the show is boring is that the designers are boring.
They think in black, white and grey. Where are the prints? Where are the colors?
If these designers had to compete on any other season, they would be in the middle at best and one by one would be picked off. There's just no imagination.
Even listening to them talk. They're not all jazzed about making a winning outfit, they're talking about being safe -- not losing.
I don't get the feeling that any one of them is trying to win, they just want to survive to the end.
Which makes for a very boring show.

Yes, Anon 4:09, there were good, bad, and ugly in every season, but this is the first season where THEY ALL SUCK ASS! Not an interesting or creative one in the bunch.

Couple of things made me laugh out loud. First was when, with great dramatic effect Xtina was introduced as a Fashion Icon. Really??? Lord.

The second thing that made me laugh was Christina's less than enthusiastic anointing of the winner. "And perhaps one day, you may see me, possibly, perhaps wearing your design onstage. Maybe. COULD maybe. In the Philippines, during a Tuesday matinee. No promises."

Who knows how they "passed" ? It doesn't necessarily take talent or knowledge of the subject at hand to make it onto any reality show.

1969 said...
All I kept thinking was "Chris March/Kayne/Christian Siriano would have killed this challenge".

No kidding! Even that Paris couture gown that got Kayne the boot was far, far better than anything produced on this episode. Or, for that matter, this ENTIRE season.

This season's PR cast seems to have an awfully narrow comfort zone and exactly no enthusiasm whatsoever for stepping out of it.

There's just no verve or willingness to be daring. I'm beyond grouchy at how wussy these guys are.

Lucille Ball could have taken yards of fabric handed to her by Vivian Vance and, with a few feathers and stick-on sequins stuck on hilariously in all the wrong places, created a showstopper outfit compared to this episode.

I agree on all points, but the biggest reason I'm glad Dr. Whitfield won?

Because there's NO WAY IN HELL that it didn't piss Irina off. I hope she rubs the win in that bitch's face, but I know she won't because she's a nice girl. Which will only piss Irina off more. Bwahahaha

It might not be Christina Aguilera but it's definitely not Mariah Carey as the skirt doesn't show enough leg.

Someone up above asked about this current "obsession" with fluttery fabric insets..
I just saw Valentino: The Last Emperor, a few days ago. Check out his last addition to his final line, an inspiration that came to him while he was sleeping or something.The gown was a beautiful draped empire bodice with a Fortuny pleated skirt in white and sliver. On top of the skirt, to the pleats, he added inch wide charmeuse ( ?) strips that were slightly gathered, that rippled and flowed as the model walked. Or should I say, HIS minions added them with many hours of hand work. It looked fabulous. His 2008 spring collection had godets like Shirin added. The only thing she is guilty of youthful hubris. Done well, those insets look quite lovely. I would have added a link to the dress, but I can't find it.

Lovely dress, wrong challenge, wrong client. I won't complain this time, though, because really - lovely dress. And I'm sure it pissed off Irina. Heh.

I really liked this dress. Congrats, CH! Finally!!!

The best of a meh bunch. This is a beautiful gown, but in no way Bob Mackie-CA stage-worthy. It didn't read on tv, it doesn't really read on the close-up screen caps, it will not read beyond the first row. Yes, it's beautiful as a gown, but in a color, it would have had a wow-factor. I like the good doctor and am glad she finally had a win but this challenge was a mess.

How about a challenge where the criteria is NO black, grey, white, tan, beige or brown.

Or a print challenge.

Was anyone else creeped out by the 70's porn music when they started playing up the "big" Doctor/Pretty Boy romance?

CH: *giggle, giggle* You're SOOO hooooottt!

Logan: I'll drape my fur on you, baby, anytime.

CH: *giggle, giggle* You're SOOOOO hoooooottttt!

I'm not loving that wrinkling in the back. Or the way something about the way it's lying on her hips (feather placement, perhaps?) makes it look like she's wearing underwear that's too tight and ruining the line. Or the fact that there's an ass frill.

In it just me, or is this making Lisa's hips look enormous? I don't remember her looking like that before.

Still, creative yes, and well made, yes. Personally I thought Nicholas's looked like the clear winner, but Nicholas's also looked like most of the other dresses he's made as well so I can see why this won.

Color me among the disappointed. I love CH's garment, but for a someone singing in a more intimate setting, not as stagewear for a huge concert.

As for most of the "designs" last night, they gave Bob F'n Mackie half-assed amateur crap. One of the best judges EVER and he was totally wasted on this challenge.

Guys! guys! I know what you're saying, but CH was wisely thinking outside the box and remaining true to aesthetic with not giving them the stereotypical sequins and glitz. Both Mackie and Christina were on the judging panel and loved the dress, Christina saying that she would and actually might wear it. They surely could have easily influenced the judges one way or another. Let's not come down on Dr. Whitfield for giving them a clinic in taste.

so carol hannah and logan.... is this real, overblown by the producers, or a great idea on their part to guarantee them entree to the final, no matter what they turn out?

This would have been a kick ass challenge if it was two seasons ago, Christian, Chris M, Rami, and Jillian would have wowed us.
The talent just isn't at that level this year, despite what Irina thinks of herself. Man, she may just be the biggest bitch who has ever been on the show.

Alexis: you forgot to mention she has a love interest too in

THIS! They keep Logan around because they're hoping for a love interest storyline to develop and it's just not happening. He needs to go. I can only handle so much eye candy without good work.

where's andre? i'm getting bored.

I was glad to see CH win ONLY because Irina was a Class AAA Beeyotch about CH. I am looking forward to the reunion show. God, I hope someone throws a drink on her or something.

Totally off topic but...uh...why do you call her "Dr."??

Was anyone else creeped out by the 70's porn music when they started playing up the "big" Doctor/Pretty Boy romance?

YES! Ewww! So wrong! I wanted Tim to come along and hose down... well, something, since nothing was actually happening, but still, surely the proper Sir Tim could have the power to make the cheesy music stop...

I kept thinking Nicolas's Ice Capades outfit looked like something Christina has already worn, but then Chris March mentioned in his blog what it really was reminding me of: Renee Zellweger at the end of "Chicago."

To Jules (10/16/09 6:46 PM)

Something that cracked me up about the timing/editing/irony was that right after Irina was slingin the bitchiness about how CH was so 'mediocre'

she got picked out as the only one who was safe during that challenge, and was told to leave the stage

SO, if her dress wasn't good enough to be talked about, or bad enough to be talked about -- I guess SHE was the one that was mediocre

I guess she put her foot in her mouth right and proper there (I'm glad CH won, I think she's adorable)

I could totally see this as a glam Christina outfit. I didn't get Mariah at all.

On stage? Someone else mentioned this would be the ballad dress and with that I agree. Otherwise, it's not so much stage as it is red carpet.

Anonymous at 10:01 said: Totally off topic but...uh...why do you call her "Dr."??

I can't speak for everyone, but I think it has to do with the 1st episode when CH said something along the lines of "A lot of people think I'm not very smart because I'm blonde and I'm from the South, and... uh... what was I talking about?"

I wish I could find the clip of it, but I can't :-(

(Absolutely no disrespect meant toward CH - I love her!)

I don't know, but with the way all that black melts togetheer, it kind of looks like she's moulting to me. And I'm a little confused as to why Xtina commented on not being able to dance in Althea's dress but didn't mention it about this one.

This was a severely underwhelming episode.

I'm glad to see Carol Hannah get a win, but the challenge was totally wasted on this bunch. It's Bob f*#!ing Mackie and he deserved something spectacular, not the boring stuff this lot put on the runway. I used to think it was just the challenges that were lame, but now it seems there is plenty of lameness to go around. Step it up, designers! It's not just Nina you're boring.

"CONGRATS" to one of the coolest people. Epperson

It's lovely Carol Hannah finally won a challenge, but this will not read well from stage.

I work with costumers all the time and they're always looking at their costumes from a distance-because that's how they will be seen. This dress will be pretty flat. There is a bit of sparkle, but not nearly enough.

"zippy said: Was anyone else creeped out by the 70's porn music when they started playing up the "big" Doctor/Pretty Boy romance?"

I wondered if anyone else noticed that. Too funny.


Was anyone else creeped out by the 70's porn music when they started playing up the "big" Doctor/Pretty Boy romance?

No way. It was the highlight of the episode, and I laughed out loud. I rewound and watched it again.

Siyah said...

Lovely dress, wrong challenge, wrong client. I won't complain this time, though, because really - lovely dress. And I'm sure it pissed off Irina. Heh.

I think you covered it, Siyah. Great dress + pissing off Irina = big win.

Even if some of the designers didn't know who Bob Mackie is, wouldn't they know about Cher? You'd have to be living under a rock, deep in a cave to not be familiar with her outrageous costumes.

This challenge had to be judged on a curve. Nicholas was the only one who was willing to go anywhere near a Mackie-inspired design. If the judges had really wanted something that was done in Mackie's style, Nicholas probably would have won. But I think the judges wanted flamboyant details, tastefully done. Combine that with CH's beautiful dress, and, IMO, she was the clear winner. So, yay, Dr. Whitfield. Her dress was gorgeous.

All the entries were lacklustre, you're quite right. Where were the daring cutaways or the costumey-shapes or, for crying out loud, the COLOURS?

In fact, what this challenge made me realise was that it hasn't just been the boring challenges and the hopeless judging that have been problematic this season. The other huge problem is the lack of creativity among the designers. None of these were innovative at all.

This comment has been removed by the author.

Maura on 10/17/09 at 9:08 AM said..... Even if some of the designers didn't know who Bob Mackie is, wouldn't they know about Cher? You'd have to be living under a rock, deep in a cave to not be familiar with her outrageous costumes.

Here's the kicker for me. Whenever I see Christina or Brittany, I would always think Madonna. I was wrong. Looking at the Bob Mackie red carpet gown created for Cher to wear to the Oscars, it is plainly clear to me that Christina and Brittany are much more derivative of Cher than Madonna.

IMHO, the winning gown looked more Nolan Miller than Bob Mackie. I think Epperson or Jerell Scott would have also rocked this challenge . Epperson because he knows fashion history and Jerell because he loves over the top adornment.


Zippy wrote: "How about a challenge where the criteria is NO black, grey, white, tan, beige or brown."

...or blue.

Ros said: Where were the daring cutaways or the costumey-shapes or, for crying out loud, the COLOURS?

Do you rememeber the blue challenge? Even when they HAD to make something in a color, half of them couldn't do it. Or maybe everyone is just colorblind.

Did Mood run out of dyed fabrics?

I'm just curious since we haven't seen a single gorgeous color used this entire season!

Someone said earlier the designers are trying to stay in the middle as a stratagy; that only works when the middle outnumbers the best/worst margin. Its high time we saw less "safe" and more design.

Of course, we are all blaming the designers for being lackluster, but if you think about it; can you honestly fault them for it? The winners have almost consistently been designs that didn't necessarily fit the challenge but that were "pretty" and that Heidi would wear. Where as the losers have almost all been people that didn't fit the challenge and made something Heidi wouldn't wear to a dog race. So without strict rules: what would you do? I'd be doing what the designers are--trying to please Heidi regardless of the constraints of the challenge.

Did not someone say at some time that PR was having a difficult time finding qualified designers for season 6 or did I read this somewhere else?


Do you know anything about Mariah Carey? She would NEVER wear that dress. She rarely wears black and hardly ever wears anything longer than cooch-length. She doesn't wear feathered opera gowns. Her tastes veer much closer to "metallic butterfly unicorn fantasy wonderland." I challenge you to find a picture of her wearing anything remotely similar.

Too bad Chris March wasn't around for this challenge.

Actually, CH's gown made me think of Lena Horne in her prime. She'd have worn it with elegance and sophistication.

well Starlite, normally we would bow to your superior knowledge of that obscure, little known artist named Mariah Carey, but if you scroll up, you'll see we posted a video of her from last weekend wearing a floor length black sequined gown with a sweetheart neckline.

ah, but you guys have forgotten that christina did this look for her last album..with the video of her as baby jane. it is christina-ey..maybe for singing a ballad..

10/16/09 6:32 PM Yes, Anon 4:09, there were good, bad, and ugly in every season, but this is the first season where THEY ALL SUCK ASS! Not an interesting or creative one in the bunch

WRONG! Don't question me, chica. I'm always right.

Each designer has their own expertise and obviously the original judges (which, btw, included St. Laura) thought they had something to contribute.

Which is something that has been done EVERY season.

There's good, there's okay, there's godawful. The same rules go for fashion designers as they go for regular people.

This show broke my heart a little more. I love Bob Mackie so much; as a small child I worshipped Cher in his creations. I remember in particular being weirdly puzzled by his singling out about Cher how low you can set clothes under her waist as her best feature.

No one did anything which showed enough skin. And the headdresses: someone should have gone for a headdress. Sigh. A waste.

I know they are so tired, but Bob Mackie? Two days??

Hurray Nina for pointing out two things: detail on black does not "read" well on stage, and the long trains and fishtail hemlines on some of these would not be conducive to the kind of eprforming that Aguilera does. She MOVES, people! I am not a Nicholas fan, but he got the length absolutely right in this challenge, which Christina pointed out herself.

But boo to the judges for not pointing out the near-monochromatic palette on the runway. Where, WHERE was the color? And why did no one mention its lack? C'mon, at least throw some red up there for this one! It's not an appropriate color for every garment or client but, boy, would it have worked for this challenge. Surprised that Nicholas, Mr. "I'm a costume designer" didn't realize that.

It's a great dress, no doubt. But it just doesn't look much like a Christina Aguilera look to us.

Good point. But of the lot, hers was one of the better ones and its definitely about time she should have won.

Sometimes I feel it's like the Academy Awards or something---the certain actress should have for a certain role, but a year later she wins for a rather lackluster performance.

This was a good win. You're right that it wasn't one of CA's design concepts. Comparing it to Mariah Carey stagewear was on the money. And maybe even Whitney Houston of yesteryear.

But Christina would wear it for some songs, like "Beautiful" and "At Last".

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