or, getting the old in and out
The producers' defense of the episode 10 gimmick is that they didn't know ahead of time that the two returning designers would turn out to be the two most annoying (read Andy's Blog). On the other hand, it is easy to assume that the two returning designers would be those who were most recently kicked out. Presumably they would be the next best designers. Of course they were not the best designers because the producers wanted to keep around the nut cases for "drama."
Vincent and Angela's return was pointless. Everyone knew that neither one of them would win. It was also annoying. They had already overstayed their welcome. We'd finally gotten rid of them and no one--least of all the viewers--wanted to see them darken the door of Parsons and the Atlas again.
I don't say this with malice: Angela seems like a fine person who is open minded but sticks to her own fleurchon-festooned jubilee jumbles creative vision. She has been amusing and baffling to viewers but in the end she proved to be a remarkably generous-spirited person. And she lives her life in keeping with values that are very admirable. It is too bad she is lumped together with Vincent who is truly disturbed and evokes in viewers a mix of loathing and pity. (See also "for the record.")
My point is that by the 10th episode we'd seen what they could do -- they'd had more than their fare share of chances and of lucky breaks.
Anyway, it seems like in order to be "fair" they set up a criteria that lacked the flexibility they needed to have the episode make any sense at all. And I'm not sure how fair they were either.
Just for the hell of it, here are a few of the other ways they could have approached this challenge.
THE FIRST TO GO: STACY, MALAN, KATY (KATHERINE)
Why not just pick those designers we haven't recently seen?
The ones who had the least chance to show what they could do?
The ones who didn't get the benefit of the doubt?
This also deals with the "Keith Factor" : that is, the three designers who were kicked off before Keith during the period when he was violating the rules.
(This is particularly an issue for Katy.)
Look at the two outfits to the right and you tell me which one is insanely hideous?
Think of all the trouble wrought by this first of a series of bad decisions.
What ever happend to the old chestnut "we're concerned about taste level"???
Malan made the fatal error of not buying enough fabric and his gown was too short.
His dress was flawed but it was also ambitious, as opposed to a basic sheath with minimal fitting and even that was done badly. It also did not have ridiculous shoulder wings. Nor did it look like a bad prom dress project from the early eighties.
He also demonstrated that he could work collaboratively and be a team leader: it was not "the biggest nightmare of [his] life".
He also is a quirky personality who could have provided the show with a great deal of drama and personal interest and hilarity. He's odd but not creepy. Or certifiable.
Malan is a talented and experienced designer who very conceivably could have made it to the final 3. He didn't but he didn't need to. He landed on the runway at Fashion Week anyway.
There is also the matter of Katherine. In the episode when she was auffed it came down to a choice between her and Keith. Keith was soon asked to leave for violating the rules.
As it happens another set of rules that Keith felt did not apply to him were the requirements for the designers that week. Katherine did.
Her dress was considered too simple.
I thought it was adorable.
it was one of my favorite designs of this season in terms of something I would buy for myself to wear. (I want one in every color!).
She didn't have time to make the hoodie but she showed a "sample" on the dog which was a cute and funny solution to the problem. And it was adorable.
But there was another dress on the runway that was even simpler and lacked any style whatsoever and a major part of the look was leggings that the designer didn't make. The look was then topped off by a beret and sunglasses that just screamed 1983.
You could put together a whole group of people who were kicked off when Vincent should have been. That would be a solid group of designers!
The criteria for who was chosen to return wasn't even consistent. If Angela could get another chance then why not Robert who also worked on a winning team?
Perhaps Robert wouldn't have won without Kayne but it is also clear that Angela would not have won without the help of Laura and Michael.
I'd also like to point out that Robert's design for Jackie O -- for which he took so much heat -- is really not so off base as everyone seemed to think.
Click here for more.
Alison was the viewers choice for who to bring back. She had the most controversial "auffing." There is little question that she was one of the most talented and promising of all the designers.
If they wanted to scare the bejesus out of the remaining designers they should have brought back Malan and Alison.
Perhaps the criteria could have been to bring back the two designers who clearly had the talent and skill to be in the final three but they were cut before they had a chance to really show themselves.
In both cases they were also cut instead of Vincent and Angela -- choices that were debatable if not completely wrong-headed.
NOBODY - or - AVOIDING THE SHARK
The problem with these sorts of gimmicks is that they look desperate and run the risk of being a "jumping the shark" moment. This whole season may turn out to be the "jump the shark" year, given that it is when PR moved from being different from other reality shows to being just like them : focused on annoying dysfunctional people bickering and sniping. One might even say that the decision to have someone like Vincent on the show was a shark jump in and of itself.
One shark jump rule might be that it a reality show has jumped the shark when it reaches down to the ethical dregs and casts a person who is seriously in need of medical attention for psychotic symptoms: e.g., hearing voices, manic activity that includes comments -- or worse -- that are sexually inappropriate, and possessing delusional, exaggerated and paranoidal beliefs that are profoundly and visibly incommesurate with reality.
Just a thought.