What an odd little show.
It’s an odd choice to make an all-stars show with a whole new panel of judges and a new mentor. It works rather well, I guess, in that you’re at least avoiding the preconceptions (Heidi Klum always hated Gordana, Tim Gunn clearly wouldn’t spit on Kenley if she was on fire). Angela Lindvall isn’t a bad host, although a little prone to SHOUTING at random MOMENTS to show her ENTHUSIASM! It’s nice that she’s actually having opinions. Isaac Mizrahi is gross and is still just Will Ferrell in Zoolander. Georgina Chapman clearly knows her stuff and is super-pretty and well turned out. Joanna Coles looks like she could be a great mentor, although I confess that I’m hoping for more ‘if Nina came in to work dressed in THAT I’d think she was mentally ill’ and less ‘surprise the judges’. I did enjoy her just stomping off when she’d had enough and refusing to even bother to come and hang around for the results. Clearly too busy eviscerating some poor intern, as is only right and proper.
Casting isn’t too bad, from my personal perspective. I always loved Sweet P and Gordana, so it’s nice to see them back. I hate Michael Costello with the fire of a thousand suns, but he should absolutely be there as a ‘star’, although with Jerell and Anthony to compete with as Sassy Gay Who Isn’t Really As Good At Quips As He Thinks, he’s gonna get lost in the shuffle. Kenley is an obnoxious choad and therefore brilliant TV. We can but hope for more ‘I don’t look at collections’ and ‘Boobs are meant to be up here, Heidi‘. Elisa’s role was always going to be obvious first boot, and she was clearly fine with that. Given that the entire show is clearly set up to give Mondo the win he ‘should’ have had, his presence is inevitable. For my money, throughout his season, Mondo’s clothes were stunning, but his collection was weak and Gretchen deserved the win.
April has no place there in terms of talent or personality, and the silver hair is just ‘Girl, no’, made flesh. Rami is talented but boring. Mila will hopefully continue with insane Austin Powers colour blocking and nothing else ever. Austin and Kara are before my time as a viewer, but ability-wise seem to deserve their spots.
It’s always hard to separate the contestants’ personalities from their designs (or recipes or singing or whatever, depending on the show) so I don’t think I’m going to try, especially for a challenge that is as needlessly complicated as ‘Make an outfit with stuff from the 99 cent store but also make it inspired by your other dress that you showed us earlier but don’t make it too similar’. Rami, Jerell and Mondo did all make pretty things. Sweet P and Gordana did both make duds. The rest are a blur already.
Hopefully next week and onward we’ll get more design time and less ‘We love the judges! We love the prizes! THIS IS TOTALLY A LEGITIMATE SHOW IN ITS OWN RIGHT!’ pieces to camera.