‘Project Runway’ recap: Season 13 starts with four eliminations and a comeback

Project Runway” wasted no time at the start of season 13. After a “Road to the Runway” preview special that introduced us to this year’s 18 contestants, the season premiere began with a final audition that led to the immediate elimination of three: Tim Navarro from Minneapolis, Nzinga Knight from Brooklyn, and Emmanuel Tobias from Dallas.

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But the day after that initial cut, we were reintroduced to a former contestant given a second chance by viewer votes: Amanda Valentine from season 11. Amanda believes she has discovered her true voice and feels prepared to bring her newfound confidence to a new season and win.

Her first hurdle was to survive the season’s first challenge: contestants had one day to create a spring look using five fabrics provided to each of them, though they were allowed to swap between them.

Among the most confident contestants was 25-year-old Mitchell Perry; when mentor Tim Gunn warned him that his planned jumpsuit has an “’80s athletic vibe,” Perry answered back, “I don’t hate that.” But his confidence wasn’t limited to his own work. He was also quick to criticize rival designer Sandhya Garg, whose frayed floral design didn’t impress him.

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Probably the least confident of the group was Angela Sum, who became insecure after judges told her to turn up the volume on her simple designs during her last audition. She took their advice to heart, but possibly overcompensated with an asymmetrical top and pants with revealing slits – or “sluts,” as judge Nina Garcia called them. This week’s guest judge Julie Bowen didn’t pull any punches either, describing the look as “Geisha hooker.”

It wasn’t surprising then that Angela found herself in the bottom three, but Mitchell was surprised to find himself there as well, after Nina called his work “basic and elementary” and Zac Posen asked for more than just “fun” looks from the cocky Mitchell.

Meanwhile, Sandhya was not only among the week’s top three – she actually won the challenge, which makes her immune from elimination next week.

Angela and Mitchell were both spared. Judges were far more unkind to Jefferson Musanda. Heidi Klum called his crop top and short shorts “terrible.” Nina thought it looked like a bib paired with a diaper. It was a disastrous enough first outing that he was sent home, though on his way out he said he stood by his unpopular design.

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What did you think of tonight’s “Project Runway” premiere. Did you agree with the judges’ choices of best and worse? Should Sandhya really have won, and should Jeffrey have been sent home? Click here to discuss the show in our forums.

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