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Ryan on the Runway: PR19, ep 5

Brandon Maxwell. His name is Brandon Maxwell. I keep calling him Brendan by mistake, and I’m sure he hates that.

The episode started with some low-key “get to know the designers” moments in the apartment. Sabrina shared that she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was six and we saw her doing yoga and physical therapy. Octavio did Chasity’s hair. She requested that he put it in two buns and make it tight! It looked fabulous. Aaron said he was missing Darren, who had been eliminated in the previous episode. Prajée said Darren had been his roommate, “But you know what? People live and people die.”

The challenge was announced by figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. The winner’s look would be worn by them during their commentary for the short program at the 2022 Beijing winter Olympics. Johnny passed around cards that randomly paired up the designers - - one designer would make a look for Tara, the other a look for Johnny. Tara and Johnny’s bullet list of tips was a hoot:

  1. Waist up design.

  2. Make a statement.

  3. Dress (Tara likes a dress).

  4. Interesting neckline.

  5. Color.

  6. Full *Hunger Games.*

  7. Structure.

  8. Form fitting.

  9. Not too voluminous.

  10. Special and unique.

  11. Everything.

  12. Nothing.

They went to Mood, bought their fabric, and ran into the workroom. Christian had a gather-round to announce that he had the option of doing a Siriano Save at some point this season - - if he disagreed with the judges’ decision to eliminate a designer, he would override the decision and the designer would stay. I would love it if he surprised everyone with a Siriano Auf, where he would override the judges’ decision and save one designer while eliminating another designer. Wouldn’t that be major drama? How can I sell this idea to Project Runway? Baby needs new shoes.

Anna and Bones ran into a problem. They had left one of their fabrics at Mood. I was relieved that they didn’t do any, “It’s your fault! No, it’s your fault!” business, they just went straight to figuring out how they could make it work with the fabric they had.

The models arrived for their fittings. Some of the male models were on the hunky side, which I imagine would lead to massive alterations for the pencil-slim Johnny Weir.

Poor Sabrina had an arthritis flare-up which led to a small breakdown in the green room. Katie was clearly in trouble with her look, which was no surprise. Christian had some spot-on commentary, a lot of the looks were too Figure Skater and not really Figure Skating Commentator. You see the distinction.

Something I will never understand about this show: when they have a one-day challenge, why do they have two hours of sewing time the next day? And then sewing hems backstage while waiting to go on the runway? That is not a one-day challenge.

On to the runway!

Shantall: nice dress but the color was too muted.

Aaron: ditto, he nailed the aesthetic of Johnny but why did they choose such a dark color palette?

Prajée: a little too Real Housewives of the Ice Rink.

Sabrina: thankfully she was able to work out the Aladdin moment she was having earlier. I liked it but Prajée thought the jacket was too matador. Brandon described it as “Night at the Roxbury.” Crack me up.

Kristina: the dress was shapeless. Did she miss the note about “form fitting?”

Coral: good work for the Johnny look but maybe a little underpowered.

Chasity: cute but way too Figure Skater.

Zayden: love it! Perfect for Johnny.

Katie: total fail, the only interest was under the waist. Again, were they not paying attention when Tara and Johnny told them what they needed?

Octavio: I felt like the ruffles were too out there but maybe the judges will love it…?

Anna: wowie wow, such a winning look. Understated but full of impact.

Bones: that sheer blouse was heaven. Plus both looks worked so well together.

Nina announced how they came up with the top and bottom - - Tara and Johnny chose the top two and the judges’ overall scores determined the bottom two.


Anna and Bones. The judges felt like the icy white color scheme referenced the skating theme but didn’t really hit it on the nose, which was good. Brandon felt like the beading was so elevated in Anna’s dress, he felt like the more crafty placement of the jewels on Bones’s vest cheapened it, in comparison. He asked him to remove the vest and yes, it was much better.

Shantall and Aaron. I was surprised by that, because it was so dark. Tara and Nina were concerned that the dress was too bare on the top and short on the bottom.


Sabrina and Prajée. Johnny felt like the men’s look was a “cartoon version of what a figure skater wears in performance.” Sabrina shared a bit about her physical and emotional struggle and Brandon wisely said that this should have been a moment where the two designers worked together and supported each other but that clearly didn’t happen.

Katie and Octavio. The judges felt like the man’s jacket was too extreme. If Tara were sitting next to that, she would be lost. Nina was disappointed that nothing that Katie does well was present in her design.

Anna and Bones were the winning team, with Anna being the individual winner. I was surprised - - Sabrina was sent home. I was sure it would be Katie. I saw Katie’s look as a much bigger fail. I felt awful that Sabrina was ultimately undone by her arthritis.

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