‘Project Runway’ preview clip: Sebastian Grey’s ‘Aladdin’ look would probably even rub a genie the wrong way

After four episodes, Sebastian Grey is perceived as the man to beat on the 17th season of “Project Runway.”  When we asked fans of the show whether a male designer would have an edge over the female contestants, 59% of the respondents to the poll agreed. And a substantial 83% chose the Colombian native Sebastian as the guy most likely to go all the way, with Hatian-American Venny Etienne making do with 13% of the vote and just-eliminated Afa Ah Loo sneaking in with 4%.

What’s interesting is that three women — Tessa Clark, Hester Sunshine and Renee Hill — have won challenges while Sebastian is the lone man to do so with his fantastic futuristic look on episode 2.  He even helped teammate Tessa to better her outfit. Otherwise, he has been declared “in” twice and  ranked high in top-to-toe print challenge. None too shabby.

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Therefore it is somewhat unnerving to watch Sebastian struggle in this episode 5 clip below in a challenge that requires creating a luxury streetwear look — in just 11 hours no less. This guy just used wet leaves gathered in the woods and stuck on duct tape and made them look as if they were a real fabric in the unconventional materials challenge. No sweat, right?

Not this time. Rakan Shams Aldeen spies Sebastian’s costume-y design with its floppy sleeves and shiny gold skirt and says, “I like this design. She looks like … Aladdin.” Bishme Cromartie takes a gander and blurts out, “Oh, (bleep), no.” Tessa then chimes in: “This is something from a nightmare Aladdin. Not good.” To his credit, Sebastian laughs, but maybe just to keep from crying. Rakan repeats again that he really likes it. Tessa accuses him of wanting Sebastian out, and Rakan snaps back, “No, honey. I’m not you!” The bad news is this isn’t a Disney tie-in challenge and he only has two hours left to fix it. Let’s hope our front-runner makes it work.

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