Tim Gunn‘s unique role as “Project Runway” mentor, for which he won the Reality Host Emmy with Heidi Klum in 2013, gives him the ability to influence the competition in often unexpected ways. Do you think he has used that power wisely this season?
His greatest privilege is the Tim Gunn Save, his one-time-only veto that allows him to overrule the judges’ elimination. He used that power in the middle of the season after the “Rock Wedding” challenge, when Char Glover had a disastrous week partnering with Sandhya Garg and was sent home. His decision to bring her back has had a clear influence on the season: she’s now in the final four.
But he also influences the competition with his critiques, which give designers much needed confidence about their work or nudges them in a different direction. He did more than nudge when he first caught a glimpse of Alexander Knox‘s “Muse on the Street” design. Gunn called it “hideous” and insisted that Knox completely change course. Knox took the advice to heart, but was eliminated anyway after cobbling together a new outfit in the time remaining.
Following Gunn’s advice has been known to backfire. In the most recent street-chic challenge, he warned Kini Zamora about a design that was overly basic, but the excess detail Kini added to his skirt was precisely what the judges disliked; they warned him that he should edit himself, but perhaps it was Gunn who needed the edit.
Gunn also led Sean Kelly astray, warning him against fringe in his “American Girl” design. He took that advice, but finished with low scores for the week, while Char finished high – with fringe. But Gunn made it up to Sean in the street-chic challenge, warning him against a hospital-green addition to his all-white design; Sean dropped the green, and Nina Garcia called the resulting creation one of the best garments she had seen on “Project Runway.”
Gunn giveth, and Gunn taketh away. But fashion is subjective, and no one is perfect, even an Emmy-winning mentor. What do you think of Gunn’s decisions and critiques this season? Vote in our poll below, then make your predictions for who will win “Project Runway.”