For the first half-hour of part one of the Project Runway finale, we were just twiddling our thumbs waiting for all the finger-pointing to start. Sure, seeing Michael Knight’s dad leading a prayer circle was nice, and we never get tired of five unruly Laura Bennett spawns creating havoc in her house while she cleans up turtle poop in enviably glam dresses and heels. And though we were interested in the clothes — would Uli Herzner show up with twelve identical sundresses in mildly different splashy prints? Might Jeffrey Sebelia arrive wearing a tee reading “Save Angela’s Mom”? — what we really wanted to see was the big drama everyone knew was coming: Laura accusing Jeffrey of cheating. And we had to wait almost 40 minutes for that.
Now, we knew they weren’t going to scratch our itch immediately. But it still felt cruel to make us wait: After all, for the last few weeks, Bravo (we presume) has happily leaked information to the press detailing the Great Scandal of Laura’s accusations. For anyone who didn’t hear it, the legend goes that Tim Gunn allegedly commented that Jeffrey had a lot of work to do between his visit and the final presentation, which Jeffrey’s mother allegedly relayed to her new pal: Laura’s mom. This gossip got back to Laura, who relayed it to Tim and the producers, but the truth and/or consequences naturally remained under wraps. And we were dying to know the details. It’s not that we don’t enjoy the whole Tim Gunn Visits People’s Homes section of the finale. We love watching him critique the designers’ process and progress, we adore seeing him meet people’s families — after all, not so secretly, we want to bring him home to ours — and we are thrilled for Jeffrey that his son is so adorable that our heretofore immobile biological clocks nudged forward a tick. But could we get to the “J’accuse!” and bitch-slapping and catfights in the lily pond, already?
It was an enormous relief when, after all that time we spent chewing our fingernails, Laura finally took Tim out onto the balcony and confessed that, based on how polished his work was, she was pretty sure Jeffrey had outside help sewing his collection. Really, it felt like yanking off a Band-Aid: prickly, sticky, but mercifully freeing. Now we could get down to the mudslinging! At last! Bring it on! Sink your claws into each other’s shoulder pads and do it Dynasty-style!
Or not. Because by the time Tim told the group that they were going to be investigating Laura’s accusations, the episode ended, leaving Jeffrey’s fate hanging off the proverbial cliff. Personally, though it does seem strange that he has literally nothing to do once he arrived in New York other than eat salad, we also think that if he were really a big old cheater, he’d be smart enough to manufacture some busywork to cover his tracks. But because the show is smart, it’s stringing us along one more week. Will we see Jeffrey’s clothes on the runway or on the Internet? Will Laura once again wear an outfit from which her cleavage threatens to spill out unabated? Will Michael take those God-awful gold-sequined patches off that white blouse, and will Uli do anything remotely intriguing? Yup: Still waiting.
Damn you, Project Runway. To borrow from the esteemed Mr. Cougar Mellencamp, you hurt so good.