Sabrina Spanta on her ‘Project Runway’ elimination: ‘That being my last look to leave on hurts’

“It hurts because I know I can do better than that. That being my last look to leave on hurts,” said Sabrina Spanta in her exit interview at the end of “Project Runway” season 19 episode 5, “Go for the Gold … Sequin.” It was her third time getting a low score from the judges, and two of those low scores, including this week’s, were in team challenges. It’s always especially tough to go out on a team challenge because often the collaboration with another designer ends up compromising your individual vision. Do you think she deserved to go home?

“Go for the Gold” was a client challenge where the designers were randomly paired off to create looks for Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski to wear during their 2022 Winter Olympics coverage. One member of each team would create Weir’s look, and the other would design for Lipinski. Spanta was teamed up with Prajje Oscar Jean-Baptiste, and their ideas never really gelled. Worse, Spanta was struggling with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. The condition required her to have a hip replacement, and she was having a flare-up of pain that made the one-day challenge even more challenging.

Spanta apologized to the judges for her design going astray when she and Jean-Baptiste were announced as one of the bottom teams. Weir thought the matador-style outfit she created for him looked like a “cartoon version” of what a figure skater would wear during a program. Perhaps the judges would have given her the benefit of the doubt were this not her third time at the bottom. But she and Jean-Baptiste were deemed the worst team, and Jean-Baptiste has had a stronger track record this season, winning the “#Streetwear” challenge in week two. That likely played a part in the judges’ decision to keep him and eliminate her.

“I don’t think people really got to see that much,” Spanta added on her way out. “There’s more in me I think. Being here kind of helped me get rid of that intimidation and just go for it. I have a lot to offer the world, and I hope people can see more of that. I can show people more of that.”

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