Season 16 of “Project Runway” has brought together 16 up-and-coming fashion designers — down to 11 as of this writing — to compete against each other. They all work together and design in the same workroom, so a little friendly collaboration between contestants is common — inevitable even. But the Buitendorp twins seem to have mistaken the show for a tag team competition. Claire Buitendorp and her sister Shawn Buitendorp work together so often that their fellow competitors have taken notice, and they’re not happy. Neither are our readers. We ran a poll asking what you think of the dynamic, and the results were clear. Check out the complete results below.
A whopping 91% of respondents say the Buitendorps have an unfair advantage because of their constant collaborating, while only 9% argue that they should team up as often as they like. It’s true that other designers have bonded this season and sought each other’s input — Brandon Kee and Kentara Kameyama have become friends, as have Michael Brambila and Margarita Alvarez — but they’re not actually teaming up on all levels of the design process. In “We’re Sleeping Wear?,” Shawn’s model even complained about being neglected while Shawn helped Claire with her model fitting.
But the “Project Runway” judges are only evaluating the finished designs. During the team challenge in “An Unconventional Recycling,” it was clear to Shawn’s teammates that she would be unable to finish her work on time so they helped her. Unfortunately, they lost the challenge anyway, and though her teammates quickly called her out for being unfinished and unprepared, it was Sentell McDonald who was eliminated instead.
Both Shawn and Claire have finished low in the judges’ scores more than once this season so far, but they have narrowly escaped elimination each time. Would the judges evaluate them differently if they could see what was happening in the workroom? And is their time running out?
Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Thursday on Lifetime. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.