Project Runway Recap: More Jackie Yo Than Jackie O

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Episode Title
A Rough Day on the Runway
Season
8
Episode
8

What an uneventful episode. The Everybody Hates Michael C. bandwagon was chillin' at a rest stop this week, and without Casanova and his nipple-bearing V-necks to love or Jason and his irritating bowler hat to hate, there's not a whole lot of drama to keep viewers from wandering off to the kitchen during these 90-minute episodes. We do like that Michael C. is starting to grow a pair, although his insults need a little work. ("Opaque is not a color, but if it was, it'd be called Ivy." Oh, slam! That had to hurt.) We're also liking how Andy South always wears this half-blank/half-annoyed face whenever he's in the same room as Michael C., as if to silently say, "You're still here?"

This week's challenge, Heidi hinted, would be about "looking to the past to secure your future." Gretchen worries that she might have to make a corset, till Tim unveils their muse: the one and only Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Tim tells the designers that the FLOTUS personified "quality, taste, style, sophistication, and elegance," and that she was the walking embodiment of classic American sportswear. Their challenge, therefore, is to create a classic sportswear look that is uniquely their own. Half of the designers seem jazzed; the rest frown upon the "sportswear" category like they might a rabid monkey carrying a hemorrhagic virus. For those of us at home, the whole Jackie O. angle is cool, but this real-life sportswear challenge coming right on the heels of last week's Michael Kors resort wear episode is a total drag. What the hell is this mass-market realism Lifetime is trying to weave into our reality television diet? We want absurdity! More make-a-dress-out-of-ten-bucks'-worth-of-rotten-fruit challenges, please! If we wanted a real-world experience, we'd go do bills or something.

Anyway, it's off to Mood, and then back to the workrooms. The designers are chipping away at their pieces in what feels like slow motion, till Tim comes in and says he has an "announcement" to make. Finally! Something exciting is going to happen! Except not really. Tim's "little twist" is just that the designers are getting an extra day and an extra assignment: Make a piece of outerwear to compliment your look. Sigh. At least Michael D. christens himself "Captain Outerwear" — which you know means he's either winning or going home.

The guest judge for the Jackie O. challenge is none other than sixties icon Betty Draper, a.k.a. Mad Men actress January Jones, who comes across a touch witchy, seeing how much delight she took in piggybacking on the other judges' digs. Michael Kors especially was in fine form; every other thing out of his mouth was hideous-this or grandma-that. So without further ado, let's go to the runway!

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