Project Runway: Junior “Red Carpet Teamwork”

Is Project Runway still promoting Finding Neverland?  (Why, when Hamilton is the only show on Broadway anyone cares about?) Didn’t they just do that a few weeks back on the adult version? At least the adult version got Matthew Morrison, who the average television watcher would recognize. Instead the kids get Laura Michelle Kelly. Though I suppose one would say that the kids lucked out–the last challenge that acted as a commercial for Finding Neverland was completely ill-defined. This one is far more straight forward: its red carpet. (What does that have to do with Peter Pan? Does it matter?)

This our second team challenge of the season. Eight designers will be split into four teams, each of whom will make one outfit. The kids are refreshingly ok with this, and Peytie even seems worried that because she has immunity she might be seen as sending her teammate home if she doesn’t work extra hard. If only every team challenge were faced with such good humor. Perhaps we wouldn’t flinch at the button bag.

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When we get back to the workroom, Tim reveals there’s not even a trip to Mood this week, because the challenge isn’t a one day challenge. It’s a half day challenge. But why? No idea, except that this was a really good excuse to bring in “assistants” for each team. If this were the adult version, those four assistants would be the four previously eliminated designers. Not here. Instead the assistants are designers from previous adult seasons. Samantha Black from Season 11, Amanda Valentine from Season 11/13, and Fabio and Sonjia from Season 10.

  • Maya&Peytie: Fabio
  • Bridget&Jaxson: Sonjia
  • Zach&Samantha: Samantha
  • Zachary&Matt: Amanada

Watching the kids freak out like the biggest celebrities in the world have just been assigned to their teams is adorable. The adults are mostly helpful, reminding the teams to focus, without trying to push in any one direction. Sonjia is a little alarmed at how dismissive Bridget is of Jaxson. (Considering I have no idea why Jaxson is still here, I’m not blaming Bridget all that much.) But if anything Sonjia works as a pad between the two of them and keeping any real drama from developing.

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  • Team Samantha&Zach: They hit upon a cape, and the rest is mostly an afterthought. Noted that when Tim points this out, Samantha Black nods vigorously.
  • Team Zachary&Matt: The two of them are an editing trainwreck, adding extra red everywhere. Tim basically assigns Amanda to keep them from going overboard.
  • Team Maya&Peytie: I love their fabric choice for the top. The bottom is really flimsy. Tim calls it messy. He pushes them to change the skirt.
  • Team Bridget&Jaxson: Bridget looks like she wants to punch Jaxson as he presents the outfit and he clearly hates it. Tim tells them this is a bottom look, and they need to fix it now.

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Back in miniMood, Sonjia takes charge and forces Bridget out of a sobbing breakdown and back to focus. She quietly picks up all the fabrics the girl liked in the beginning and steamrolls Jaxson into accepting it. The other team who have to head back to miniMood, Maya&Peytie are questioning themselves at every turn, which means Fabio has to step up and force them to just go with it. Not that they listen. Day of runway they change the entire skirt for a third time.

Thank heavens the adults are brought back for the runway morning to push the kids through. I have a feeling none of them would be finished otherwise. As they are dismissed when the kids head down to the runway, I hear Fabio ask Tim if there is booze.

Let’s see how the judges react to these things.

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I really like Hannah’s outfit this week. It’s cute and fun, and young in a way that Heidi can no longer get away with. She reminds everyone that the Tim Gunn Save is still a thing. She also mentions for the second time this episode that immunity for the winner of the challenge is over. From here on out, even if you win, you could still go home the next week. After all, one day you’re in…

Top

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Team Bridget&Jaxson: Sonjia worked magic here. She diagnosed that Jaxson was to be ignored, pulled out of Bridget what she originally wanted to do in the midst of the girl having a crying breakdown, and made it happen. Jaxson will survive another week by sheer luck of the button bag and a smart reality show contestant veteran. Christian points out that Jaxson’s contributions were the weaker parts of the gown, but the result is not anything they’ve seen before, especially with the fabric choice.

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Team Samantha&Zach: Zach thinks he combined well with Samantha, but all I can see if that girl’s terrible taste in prints and insistence on pants. Sorry Zach, I know the cape was your idea, but there needed to be more of you in the fabric choices. The judges love Samantha though, and they love the cape and the pant. They call it “old Hollywood” despite being made from modern fabrics with an eighties silhouette. They call this look “a close second.”

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Team Maya&Peytie: Fabio may have wanted a drink after helping them get to the finish line, but the results are spectacular. The choice the change that skirt at the last-minute and go straight up Victorian damask minidress–oh wait it’s a romper–with long train overlay was the right one. I am not in love of the styling, but Aya calls it correct–this is what Taylor would wear as the leader of her Glam Squad. They give the win to both designers.

Bottom

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Team Zachary&Matt: Matt was the weak link on this team, and it’s really obvious that attempting to allow him a say in the final design really hurt Zachary. You gotta give it to the kid though. Unlike Matt, he knows it’s a hot mess, but he’s determined to own it. The judges recognize quickly that the good parts are Zachary, and that the over designed parts are allowing Matt to go in the wrong direction.  Aya says “The struggle is real.” Kelly and Christian agree they needed more time to bring off even what Zachary wanted to do, even if he didn’t have Matt hampering him.

Matt’s face says he knows when they are the only ones left on the bottom that he’s done. No way would Zachary go home over him. He takes it in surprisingly good humor. But then again, that’s what we love about the Junior version of this show, no?

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