Our verdict on ‘Project Runway’ 17’s unconventional episode 4, ‘Survive in Style’? We declare the judges guilty of bad choices [WATCH VIDEO RECAP]

The great outdoors stood in for fabric emporium Mood (once again, we are denied a Swatch sighting) this week as the 13 remaining Season 17 designers on “Project Runway” made a mad dash around a woodsy and soon-to-be-wet campground to scrounge up materials for the always nerve-rattling unconventional challenge. But while Gold Derby senior editors Daniel Montgomery and Susan Wloszczyna were relatively relaxed and dry while watching the contestants struggle to make high fashion out of twigs, leaves, fishing lures and sleeping bags, that did not stop them from venting their disappointment about the winning and losing designs.

“You texted me before when you watched this episode that you disagreed with the judges,” says Daniel about Susan’s fit of bad-calls pique. “I watched the episode and I disagreed with the judges. But we didn’t specifically say in what way we disagreed.”

Let’s just get to how the judges Elaine Welteroth, Brandon Maxwell, Nina Garcia and host Karlie Kloss went horribly awry in an episode where Christian Siriano, no fan of nature and the elements, seemed to be settling into his mentor role and had some fun with it while trying to offer good advice. For one, both Daniel and Susan thought the judges were wrong to eliminate Afa Ah Loo for designing a look that reflected his Samoan heritage more than the stylish camping attire that was required. They both loved his plastic flowers. But Susan notes his one flaw: “I think Afa is very talented, OK? But he did one thing wrong. He kept true to himself … reflecting his culture. But he didn’t make camping chic, which was what the challenge was.”

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Daniel and Susan agree that his ensemble was the best of the bottom three.  Certainly it was better than Sonia Kasparian‘s, which as Susan says “consisted of duct tape, Reynolds Wrap  and twigs ” and the dress was too long, causing her model to nearly fall on her face. Then there is poor Kovid Kapoor. “I love Kovid so much,” Daniel says of the most exuberant and joyful of the designers. “But the model looked like a woman went camping and then some serial killer came, wrapped her up when she was in her sleeping bag and threw her in the trunk of his car.” Daniel also gave a shout-out to Brandon, who can be overly snide and smug sometimes, for his on-point description of Kovid’s campground travesty: “When he said it was like the Scarecrow meets the Tin Man … that was a very Wizard of Oz character.” For that alone, Kovid should have been the one to say bye-bye.

If you think they were upset about the loser, just watch the video to hear Susan and Daniel get even more incensed about which design they chose as the winner.

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