Redemption was the theme of Thursday night’s episode of “Project Runway,” with the designers seeing an opportunity in this week’s Disney-inspired challenge to atone for the mistakes they previously made. For some that meant incorporating more color into their design, and for others it meant proving they can be innovative in their ideas. Which designers successfully turned the page and which designer was eliminated without their happily ever after? Read our recap below of season 16, episode 5, “Descending Into Good and Evil,” to find out.
To set the tone for this week’s challenge, host and mentor Tim Gunn invited the designers to Lyndhurst, a Gothic Revival style mansion in Tarrytown, New York, with special guests Dove Cameron and China Anne McClain from the Disney Channel original movie “Descendants 2.” Using the movie as inspiration for their creations, the designers were asked to create an evening wear look inspired by either good or evil. As the winner of last week’s challenge, Michael Brambila got to assign “good” or “evil” to each of his peers. Amy Bond, Brandon Kee, Kentaro Kameyama, Aaron Myers, Ayana Ife and Claire Buitendorp all received “good,” and Kenya Freeman, Samantha Rei, Shawn Buitendorp, Margarita Alvarez, and Batani-Khalfani all received “evil” — Michael also took “evil” for himself.
With a budget of $300 and a warning from Tim to not go “too costumey,” the designers went fabric shopping at Mood, then headed back to the workroom to begin construction. After falling into the bottom last week, Aaron sought redemption in the form of using the two days to create something more complicated than his most recent design. Like many of her competitors before her, Margarita struggled with the idea of designing for a full-figured model for the first time. And split into opposite sides by Michael, the twins Shawn and Claire still found ways to bounce ideas off of each other and lend each other a helping hand.
During critiques with Tim, Brandon impressed with yet another out-of-the-box concept while Claire worried that her colors and design was veering too close to costume territory. Aaron’s attempt at innovation felt too gimmicky to Tim, but both Kenya and Samantha were asked to push the envelope further than they were. In Samantha’s case, Tim wanted her design to avoid looking too much like a “craft project.”
During fittings, Kenya’s model thought the look “fit like a glove” despite Shawn’s private opinion that it was “heinous,” and Margarita’s model was particularly happy to finally not be so covered up. Aaron continued to struggle, still sewing his garment while Tim was beckoning the designers and models to head to the runway. In an aside, his model even expressed how uncomfortable she was, worried that the dress was going to fall apart while she walked.
Though it held together on the runway, Aaron’s look scored low enough to place him in the bottom three, along with Claire and Samantha. On the other side of the spectrum, Brandon, Kenya and Michael all scored as the three highest. If we’re talking redemption, Kenya not only met that criteria, but exceeded it. Aaron failed in his own attempt, falling into the bottom for the second week in a row.
After a closer look, judges Heidi Klum, Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, and guests Dove and China awarded Brandon the win, his second of the season and fourth time among the top designers. The bottom three were all in danger for the second time this season, but ultimately Aaron’s ambition got the best of him and resulted in a poorly constructed look that left the judges with no other option but to eliminate him. Following Aaron’s exit, Claire and Samantha were left on stage, guarding themselves against a possible second elimination, but in a display of mercy the judges saved them both.
Here are the answers to Gold Derby’s predictions event questions for “Project Runway” #16.05:
Who will be eliminated? Aaron Myers
Who will be in bottom 2, but safe? Claire Buitendorp
Who will win the challenge? Brandon Kee
Who will be challenge’s runner-up? Michael Brambila and Kenya Freeman
Will Tim Gunn use his save? No
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