Monday, October 02, 2006

I wonder if . . .



. . . project runway used a point system?



(note: you can click on the chart to see a larger version)

What difference would it make?
Of course it is impossible to know all the variables that could change the outcome. However, for the sake of argument, here are a few of the things that might have been different had they used this kind of scoring:
  • Vincent would have been out in the first weeks (note how he is the lowest scorer Every Single Week! Even after he won!!
  • Malan probably wouldn't have been auffed in the second week; he may have recovered from his error and stayed on quite a bit longer.
  • Alison probably would have stayed on longer (and had a good chance of getting to the finals): she was tracking with the top group (Laura, Uli and Michael).
  • Jeffrey could have made it to the finals but it would have been much harder for him.
What difference wouldn't it make?
If they had used a point system such as the one above this past season the following things would most likely remain the same:
  • It would not diminish the role of the judges: the judges would be just as important but they wouldn't be able to make outrageous decisions that ruin the credibility of the show.
  • The producers could break ties but they wouldn't be able to intervene in a way that makes the judging look like a joke.
  • It still could have come down to the same final four but there would be some serious competition from "wild cards" like Alison and Malan.
  • At a commenter's suggestion I'm putting up another chart (click here to view) that attempts to put the designers in the order that they would have been auffed using this system. What it actually shows is that there is really no way to predict this most of the time since there are so many ties. I think that they are all close enough that there would still be a suspense about who would be auffed. For example, with the point system Jeffrey could have been "auffed" early on or he could have made it to the end.

How this chart shows why Alison's auffing was bogus:
  • At that point in the season Alison was one of the highest scorers: when she was "auffed" she was tracking in the top group with Uli, Laura and Michael.
  • She had twice as many points as Vincent.
  • In the epsode when Alison was auffed there were three designers in the "worst" group: Alison, Vincent and Kayne. This was Alison's first time in the "worst group." This was Vincent's 5th and Kayne's 3rd.
  • Whether you like her or not, I think it is valid to say that her auffing was a bogus decision.
Would this system have made the show more interesting?
On the one hand the answer to this question is: "it's a matter of taste."
  • I think it would have been been lighter and funnier if we had people like Malan and Alison instead of Vincent and Jeffrey.
  • There may have been more focus on the reparte of Kayne and Robert and Laura.
  • If Bradley had been on for longer there would have been more goofiness.
  • And remember -- for the first half of the season we didn't think that Michael was very interesting but once the cameras spent more time with him everyone fell in love!
The producers obviously thought that it would be more interesting to keep people on the show who would cause a lot of conflict. I'm not convinced that those people really did make the show more interesting. They just made it more irritating. But there may be people who prefer the bickering and drama. Chacun à son goût.

If you don't want the designers' past work to be a considered in the judging then you wouldn't want to use this point system. The problem is that while the judges claim they don't consider what the designers had previously done, in fact, the do. It is just that they aren't consistent about it. The judges often commented on what the designer had previously done (for better and for worse). The problem is that they gave the "benefit of the doubt" to some and not others.

On the other hand, whether or not you liked the fighting, I don't think very many viewers were happy with the way the show was being so obviously manipulated. As a result the show lost a lot of credibility. Using a point system could be a way of making sure that doesn't happen again.

It is all hypothetical of course. It' s not like Bravo producers are going to read this and say: "Why yes! That's brilliant! Let's change something that involves millions of dollars because some random cranky blogger suggested it!"

It's just a thought. What do you think?

5 comments:

seaturtle66 said...

This is really interesting. How about regrouping your chart (aka - add another chart)to show who would have been off earlier. You have the data there, but, it's hard to read in the current layout because you've ordered the designers by when they left PR. If you grouped them again, in the order that your point system would have sent them home, it would illustrate your point (pun intended) better and be easier to read.

Thanks for taking the time to do this...have a great day! Christa

trixie b said...

Great idea. Thanks for the suggestion!

Ruthie said...

Maybe Bravo won't say it, but I will... That's brilliant!

I couldn't agree more. I was extremely disappointed by the blatant manipulation of the show this season.

bungle said...

You are awesome Kora. This post of yours was so perfectly prescient I can't heap enuff praise. This entry goes up, and lo, there it is revealed on the reunion show that they have A POINT SYSTEM! Not quite what you laid out, but they have one. I had no idea what was written on the cards... well, except when H. Klum read what Ms. Malandrino wrote of the couture dresses.

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