Project Drag Queen and the Seasons of Hair
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This week’s spectacular episode of Project Runway brought back season four finalist Chris March, who charged down the runway in an oversized Viking ensemble, complete with disco ball breast plates. Chris was back to announce the latest challenge: create a fabulous new look for an established New York drag queen. America’s favorite queen, RuPaul, helped judge the outfits before they were auctioned off to benefit the Broadway Cares charity.

The Highs:

Korto stitched a fiery number for plus-size drag queen Sweetie, who loved the red sequined mini-dress, faux flaming collar, and breakaway skirt.

Modern day Kabuki inspired Terri to transform Acid Betty into the tallest Samurai queen ever to hit the runway.

The Best Dressed Queen In New York:

Buxom redhead Varla Jean Mermon was queen of the runway this week in the pink sequined nautical jumpsuit that Joe designed. Although he was confused by the challenge at first, and he looked frightened by his model, Joe found inspiration in the chaos. He described his design as, “Anne Margaret, if she were on the Love Boat. And a man.”

The Lows:

Suede had a whiny tiff with statuesque Hedda Lettuce, who thought that her green outfit looked a little too Godzilla. She was right—but Suede was spared the axe this week by other disasters.

Keith created another dress covered in strips of fabric, which he referred to as “tiling.” The garment bored the entire judging panel, as well as the leggy queen Sherry Vine. Even though he was in the bottom two and accused of being predictable, Keith was also safe. By an inch.

The Very Bottom:

This week, we said goodbye to Daniel, whose creamsicle colored cocktail dress didn’t compliment his Latino queen, Annida Greenkard. The simple gown was the least theatrical garment on the runway, and it disappointed the judges, who didn’t think that Daniel was willing to take advice that would help him grow as a designer. Daniel and his great haircut will be heading home, leaving us with only eleven designers left on the runway.

This week on Shear Genius, host Jaclyn Smith’s personal stylist, Jose Eber, was the guest judge for this week’s Short Cut Challenge: create a hairstyle that captures the client’s unique personality. This week’s evil little twist: contestants were only halfway done with their models’ hair when Jaclyn stepped back in to announce that the stylists had been double-booked with their client’s twin sister!

If all that drama wasn’t enough, the winner of the Short Cut Challenge would also automatically be immune from further elimination and guaranteed one of the three coveted spots in the season finale.

All four remaining contestants worked their magic with scissors and dye, but it was Nicole, the little blond pixie, who took a dramatic risk by changing one of her models from fair-haired to brunette. She was announced the winner as a round of eye rolls and cursing erupted from the other, more experienced, stylists.

The pressure was on in the Mane Event that followed. Contestants visited a professional photo set in LA, where they had to create an avant-garde hairstyle inspired by one of the four seasons. With only two more spots in the finale, nervous stylists ratted and sprayed like maniacs.

Nicole, who could have done anything she wanted, since she was immune, fought the fake snow of winter as she repeatedly combed it out of her model’s flowing hair.

Even though Dee produced a great asymmetrical bob haircut, it didn’t photograph well when her model jumped off the leaf-covered trampoline on the fall set. Lucky for Dee, her clipping skills were enough to earn her a spot in the finale.

Surprisingly, Charlie’s frizzy rendition of spring took the highest mark of the day. Charlie was thrilled to win the challenge, even though he didn’t like the ratty style he produced—or the photographer he had to work with. Or much of anything, except winning.

That means we said a sad goodbye to Daniel this week, whose summer ‘do of red braids and purple flowers couldn’t stand up to the mist from the set or the scrutiny of the judges. Daniel, always a gracious southern gentleman, thanked everyone for the wonderful opportunity to be on the show. He exited with a wave, saying, “I’m going back to Dallas, you guys. Hair ain’t big enough for me here!”

Bravo’s hit show Top Design will return to Wednesday nights, beginning September 3rd, as Shear Genius comes to a close. Host India Hicks will be on hand to watch 13 contestants battle it out for $100,000 cash and a four-page editorial showcase in Elle Décor Magazine.

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