This episode had me really thinking. I'm always keeping an eye out for unfairness in the challenges and this ep really seemed to be ripe with capricious and arbitrary circumstances that weighed greatly on the outcome.
Of course that is what makes it fun to watch. Imagine the complications of having to design for a mother or sister of your competitor. Your model has every reason in the world to hope you fail.
So based on how the names are picked out of a hat, one designer gets a 20-something-ish, 120 lb. near-model-quality sister who is easy to work with while another designer is stuck with a 400 lb. gimp who is intent on sabotaging his work. (I'm being callous to make a point)
In the end though, the judges saw past the "unfairness" and did a great job of noting the best designs and denouncing the truly bad designs.
Jeffery designing for Angela’s Mom:
This relationship was the center of the episode. My girlfriend and I were debating as we watched whether or not Jeffery would make a bad dress for Angela’s mom just to embarrass her; I still say he did and some quotes of his on a video clip on Larry King tonight only reinforce my view (something about having fun putting Angela’s mom in anything - and also something to the effect that it was the ugliest design he ever made and thought it was great that he still remained on the show). Another bit of evidence that this may be true: THE DRESS! It was so ugly it is hard to believe it wasn't intentional.
Our next debate while watching was which sister/mother would have such loyalty to their own kin that they’d actually do something dirty to sabotage their designer. I think that is exactly what Angela and her mother were up to; I don’t think it slipped by the judges/producers either. Angela’s mom’s first on-air remarks to Jeffery (who creeps the hell out of me, BTW) are odd, telling him that she wants to “cry” because she feels like she’s “limiting him.” Then she actually goes and cries with Angela (to be fair, Jeffery was a jerk, but so what? These are designers, not morning news anchors).
Next time we see her she is complaining to Tim Gunn - behind Jeffery’s back (she hasn’t even told Jeffery she doesn’t like the color, Tim had to tell Jeffery)about how she hates the colors Jeffery picked. And it’s all downhill from there, with Jeffery referring to Angela’s mom as a "B*tch" (and I don't mean butch. Funny, they can say the word on the show, but I can't use it in my review) to the other designers and commenting rudely on her limp (as I did above).
Winner & Loser:
I was surprised that Vincent won, not because he didn’t deserve it, but because he actually made a nice design; I won’t begrudge his win this week even though I thought he should have been gone last week. I will say that Uli’s was such a close second that it could have easily gone either way. Personally I thought the lapels were ridiculous, but I'm a 40 year old Jeep/motorcycle/Gun guy so what do I know; but I sure do see a lot of older ladies wearing crazy lapels like that in Chicago.
An even harder choice was the loser. It came down to Jeffery and the monstrosity he designed for Angela’s mother’s humiliating catwalk and Robert’s boring solid black and red moo moo. Actually, I see women wearing stuff such as Robert’s design everyday. Jeffery’s outfit… what can I say – he did better with garbage. In the end, the producers and judges had to pick wild/interesting over boring.
Michael’s design, a reversible black and white Shirt/dress was outstanding and may well have won if he hadn’t already won the last two challenges. All the judges loved his design. (he had a big advantage as the winner of last week’s challenge: first pick of model. He chose logically: the hottest, youngest, thinnest one.)
Uli picked a beautiful pattern and made a wonderful light flowing design for a plus-size woman. All the judges also loved Uli’s design.
Laura’s technical skills were praised when the judges saw the “sailor boy” cruise-wear she designed but the outfit itself was unflattering to the model. (Speaking of Laura, she announced to her mother – and the tv world - that she was pregnant with her 6th kid, whom she’ll just “throw on the pile” of other kids.)
Kayne blew it. The judges thought he didn’t serve his client/model well, Michael’s relatively young mother. Kayne dressed her up too old and according to Michael Kors, he should have showed some more skin; Kors really didn’t like it, saying it there is nothing wrong with the word “Young.”
Kors mother was the guest judge. She seemed pretty cool.
As Robert is packing to go, he tells us, “I’m huge in Japan, seriously.” I'm sure I missed a bunch of stuff, but this is my first review... first post really on TV.com, just got my ID tonight. Hope that's a review.