Can the Project Runway All Stars Cast Make Up for a Lack of Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn?

I guess I’m naive when it comes to things I love. I just assumed Project Runway All Stars would feature the old gang: Tim Gunn mentoring, Heidi Klum auffing, and Michael Kors and Nina Garcia catting it up in the judges' chairs. The show has tampered with that chemistry before (remember the L.A. season? Neither do I) and it’s been utterly disastrous. But the show is doing it again anyway: The host is Angela Lindvall, some supermodel, the mentor is Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles (who's been a guest judge in past seasons and just comes across as cruel and unlikeable, certainly not the comforting, tough-lovin’ presence of Mr. Gunn), and the judges are Georgina Chapman (a.k.a. Mrs. Harvey Weinstein... GAG), and Isaac F--king Mizrahi. Are you kidding me? Isaac Mizrahi is the worst! No no no no no. Haven’t we learned from the mistakes of Bravo’s Runway knock-off, The Fashion Show? Or his guest appearance on Top Chef? He’s shrill, mean, not remotely clever—he’s just this horrible presence you want to shoo away, like a bad fart. ARRRGH!

Calm blue ocean, pale blue sea. Calm blue ocean, pale blue sea.

Okay, I’m back. Let’s focus on what we do have: We have some great designers from past seasons, duking it out for a second shot at the title and some of the best prizes in the show’s history:

“Prizes include an exclusive designer’s boutique in select Neiman Marcus stores and on, $100,000 in technology and office space to help grow their business from HP and Intel, $100,000 cash from L’Oreal Paris, a feature spread in Marie Claire, for which he or she will serve as a guest editor for one year, and a sewing and embroidery studio provided by Brother International.”

Not too shabby! Now let’s meet our cast, and play a little word association, shall we?

They are:

Austin Scarlett: (New York, NY) Season 1, 4th Place: “Fop.” (top row, third from left)

Kara Janx: (New York, NY) Season 2, 4th Place: “Crunchy.” (second row, middle)

Elisa Jimenez: (New York, NY) Season 4, 10th Place: “Who?” (top row, far left)

Rami Kashou: (Los Angeles, CA) Season 4, Runner-up: “Betty Draper” (front row, far left)

Sweet P/Kathleen Vaughn: (Pasadena, CA) Season 4, 5th Place: “Cool” (second raw, far right)

Jerell Scott: (New York, NY) Season 5, 4th Place: “Huh?” (front row, far right)

Kenley Collins: (Brooklyn, NY) Season 5, 2nd Runner-up: “Nightmare” (top row, second from left)

Gordana Gehlhausen: (San Diego, CA) Season 6, 4th Place: “Goulash” (third row, second from left)

Anthony Williams: Season 7, 5th Place: “Sassy” (third row, far left)

Mila Hermanovski: (Los Angeles, CA) Season 7, 2nd Runner-up: “Bangs” (top row, far right)

April Johnston: (Savannah, GA) Season 8, 5th Place: “Field hockey” (front row, middle)

Michael Costello: (Palm Springs, CA) Season 8, 4th Place: “Why?” (second row, far left)

Mondo Guerra: (Denver, CO) Season 8, Runner-up: “Tim Burton Character” (third row, far right)

The new season premieres January 5 at 9pm on Lifetime.

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