I don’t know about you, but it sort of took me by surprise that Thursday night’s episode was the last regular challenge for this season of Project Runway. I know that they said it at the end of the previous week’s show, but I still wasn’t expecting the season to be almost over when I fired up the DVR to watch on Friday morning.

But I guess it is! We were down to five designers and two were to be eliminated so that we would have three Bryant Park finalists, but that didn’t happen, because that never happens. Well, it happened last season, but I think we all know that last season was an anomaly and we should pretend that the whole thing never existed. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s review how our final challenge shook out.

I’m not sure about you guys, but I loved the challenge and thought that it was one of the best and most creative of the season. The designers were treated to a mini circus performance (with no animals, thankfully – circus animals always make me kind of sad) and then instructed to create a look with it as their inspiration. Since designers use all kinds of wacky things to fuel their collections, it was nice to see our contestants forced to incorporate an idea that isn’t necessarily clothes-oriented at its core.

And, of course, they did it with varying degrees of ability and success. Seth Aaron and Emilio made outfits that were predictably great. Jay and Mila made outfits that were predictably mediocre. Anthony made the dress that you heard referred to in commercials as the “giant blue condom.” I’m not entirely sure that it looked condom-esque to me, but it was made out of a similarly synthetic fabric.

Let’s deal with Emilio and Seth Aaron first, since both of them are going to fashion week. Emilio won the challenge with a multi-patterned dress of stripes, polka dots and tulle that Princess Michael Kors said was his favorite look of the entire season. I’m not sure that I was that enthusiastic about it (it had something of a front-bustle that confused me slightly, but it was only noticeable from certain angles), but there’s no question that the dress was impeccably constructed (he even lined the skirt and train – you always win if you line things!)

Seth Aaron’s look edged out Emilio’s ever-so-slightly to be my favorite of the evening. I could look at the jackets that the man has made this season forever and not get bored. His outfit was a striped (there were lots of stripes in this challenge) ringleader’s jacket that defied gravity and looked absolutely impeccable on his model. It might have verged ever-so-slightly on “costume” territory, but I’d rather that a designer err on the side of the fantastical in a challenge like this.

While they were being critiqued, producers showed a mini montage of several of Emilio’s and Seth Aaron’s looks from the competition thus far, and it was readily apparent that they should both be put forward to Bryant Park – and they were! They’ve probably been the two most consistently good out of everyone, and I think that it’s been clear for several weeks that they should both go.

Which leaves us with the pesky problem of that third spot. Jay, Mila and Anthony were the three vying for it, and let’s go ahead and deal with Anthony right now. His dress was correctly judged as being the weakest of the five circus looks, and he made the poor choice of polyester fabric, which actually compelled Princess Michael Kors and Heidi out of their chairs in order to feel it for themselves. They were horrified and I don’t entirely blame them, no matter my love for Anthony (and it is huge, I tell you. Huge.)

His look just didn’t embody the magic and wonder of the circus in the same way that the others did, and he was sent home. Hopefully, if there is any justice in this world, he’ll get his own show or something. Or maybe I’ll just run in to him in Atlanta one day. That would be great. I guess it’s time for me to start stalking Anthony now.

But yes, right, there are still two designers. Jay and Mila. Their circus looks were both obviously not as good as those made by Emilio and Seth Aaron, but neither of them were bad, either. Well, ok, I thought Mila’s was kind of bad. It was a striped jacket over bright pants, and Seth Aaron’s version was so obviously better that the comparison of the two standing side-by-side on the runway didn’t do Mila any favors.

Jay’s was a Michael Jackson-esque military mini jacket with a pair of pants that Nina Garcia apparently liked quite a bit, although I had a tough time seeing the details on my TV because they were dark pants against a dark runway background. The only thing that bothers me about Jay’s aesthetic is that he often does a really wide-open neckline that won’t work on the majority of women (and will look really skanky on the rest of them), and I wish he’d modify his approach to the v-neck. Other than that, I think that his work this season has been mostly great, and I’ve enjoyed it more than I have Mila’s.

That doesn’t mean that Jay is in, however. He’s sort of in. And so is Mila. Really, they shouldn’t bill the final challenge as the thing that chooses the final three because, as often as not, it chooses the final two plus two more that will make collections and vie for the third spot. Jay and Mila will both head home and create collections, and…well, we all know the drill. This happens all the time.

I’m rooting hard for Jay to make it into the final three, and I think it’ll be fun to see all of our designers at home with Tim Gunn, as always. Who would you choose – Jay or Mila?

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Kristen.

    Jay for sure.

  • Sofia Nolan

    I`m gonna go with Jay :)

  • tadpolenyc

    absolutely jay. mila has been designing atrocious looking things all season, and the fact that the judges thought her sad, poor man’s seth aaron knock-off of an outfit was good enough for her to still be in the running for the third bryant park spot is a bit insulting to the viewers. even nina, who i’m convinced has been the one saving her arse from elimination the past few episodes, couldn’t muster up the energy to defend mila’s lackluster work any longer.

  • JenG

    Jay is my choice! I am so sad that Anthony is not in it, but I knew as soon as I saw that dress that he would be auf! I thought Emilo’s dress was gorgeous! It would seem that only one of my picks got in (Seth Aaron). I don’t know if he will win it all because Emilio is a strong designer.

  • 19yearslater

    I am once again sad at Anthony’s departure but he’s such a happy person about it it’s hard to believe that we won’t see him again. Seth Aaron and Emilio made really great outfits, and Mila’s was ugly. I hope Jay is in the final three. I was actually surprised the judges didn’t rag on him for making wide-leg pants, as he’s gotten in trouble for accentuating the butt and thigh areas before. I liked them, though. I thought it was hilarious that Emilio predicted his look being judged as the best of the season. He’s actually nicer about the other designers than Mila.

  • marian t

    i am with jay (fb)

  • carrie

    Jay! Mila’s was just ugly. And, it always looks the same. I don’t think the 3rd person really matters…as I think it’s just a contest now between Emilio and Seth Aaron.

  • Pat

    Team Jay. (fb)

  • Barb

    I’m with Jay! I thought Mila’s was the weakest look. (fb)

  • Reese

    Mila = one note and boo! :(
    Jay = Meh, but better than Mila :l
    Anthony = What where you thinking? OMG! He has to come back in some way. I wanted to scream at him when Tim did the consult. The colors were fine, but the rest was a hot mess.
    My ideal would have been a Seth Aaron, Emilio, Anthony runway. I strongly believe Emilio will bomb without his model to hold him back from bad design decisions, and Seth Aaron will put on an over the top show. I really could care less what Jay or Mila do, but since I’m an addict I’ll watch it anyway. :) (fb)

  • Mama M

    Jay, for sure. I agree with Carrie — I think it’s between Seth Aaron & Emilio.

  • Tamee

    Go Jay Go!! (fb)

  • Jane

    I was a huge Anthony fan until I read his article in EW and he blamed all his misteps on Tim Gunn. Which I didn’t appreciate, Tim is there as a teacher, and mentor. Anthony blamed Tim for the reason he chose the polyster. Anyway, I would rather talk about Seth Aaron. I want him to win I love his coats, his paints, and his ability to tailor the heck out of his clothes. He is such an adorable personality who was there to win, but in a truly wonderful way through hard work and talent. He never spoke crap and always made me laugh. I can’t wait until next week when we can see his collection and meet his family. Go Seth Aaron!!!

  • mochababe73

    Call me insane, but I loved Mila’s outfit. Of course, obnoxious colors are very much my style. I am queen of hot pink everyday bag or even a lime green one.

    I am going for Jay because his outfits are alot more interesting than Mila’s even though I loved her hardware store dress.

    As for Anthony, this challenge was totally out of his element. If he were given free reign to design what he wanted, he would put on a beautiful show.

    To be honest, I don’t think that I would buy anything of Seth Aaron’s or Emilio’s. Not my style.

  • ;;

    I think Jay, because I didn’t like most of mila’s designs on project runway. Like that maxi dress she did for the design your own fabric episode? …

  • Jacqueline

    Poo… I missed this episode! I dare not read (fb)

  • Redseouls

    Jay! I can’t stand Mila’s designs.

  • Beth S.

    Wave bye-bye Mila… as I’ve said before, you seem to be a lovely person, but the other designers have it all over you in so many departments. So, here’s to Emilio and Seth Aaron (my fave!) and Jay — my picks for Bryant Park.

  • Rosanna

    Jay has been my favorite since day 1 so I’m hoping he gets the spot. I’ll be super upset if Mila is in the final 3. (fb)

  • Adrienne Zedella

    i LOVE this show! Thanks for bringing education about behind the scenes to us fashion lovers! I’m hooked!
    Unfortunately, i cannot believe i somehow missed this episode. Hopefully there will be a rerun that i can see to catch up on the last and latest challenges. (fb)

  • savannah

    Jay for sure! Its too bad Anthony didnt make it :(

  • robyn

    Jay also….(fb)

  • Karen

    I can’t believe I missed this either!! I need to update my dvr!! (fb)

  • bisbee

    I vote for Jay – I like Mila, but, like many others, I don’t think she’s very creative. She can do what she does very well, but there’s no adventure there.

    I loved Emilio’s dress – not that it would EVER find a place in my lifestyle, but I thought it was stunning.

  • Mai

    I am for Team Jay as well!!! I love the clothes he makes… (fb)

  • Mai

    I forgot to add that MILA annoys me… :( (fb)

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  • Lizzie

    I can’t believe it was the last challenge too!! The season went by waaay to fast

  • Adrienne Zedella

    missed it! (fb)

  • natalie78

    Team Jay! I was sad to see Anthony go because he was so funny, but the dress was really bad. All that fabric to choose from and that was what he grabbed? Just not good…(fb)

  • Joy

    Jay is awesome!
    He just makes the show funny and more entertaining to me!

  • Tiff Chao

    Loved Jay’s outfit! (fb)

  • faith24

    i do not watch the show anymore but i hope Heidi will get into some other show- love to see her smiling face and awesome figure (fb)

  • Jocelyn

    I don’t watch Project Runway but I want to win a Linea Pelle bag pleeeeeeeeeeeeease! (fb)