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Mondo Guerra Recaps 'Project Runway' Season 10, Episode 10: Designing for the Rockettes

One designer loses steam, another steps outside her comfort zone, and mentor Tim Gunn delivers the best moment this week -- or maybe ever.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Thursday's episode.]

Heidi got a “big kick” this week when she joined Tim Gunn at Radio City Music Hall to introduce the next challenge. She took her signature long gams from the runway to center stage, treating the designers to an unforgettable performance with the world-famous Rockettes!

The challenge was to design a modern look for the Rockettes versatile enough to be worn year-round. The winner will have his or her design worn at one of the Rockettes’ upcoming performances!!! The designers got two days and $250 to create a show stopping costume.

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In the Workroom

Sonjia wasn’t feeling it—between her feathered frustration and lack of inspiration, she’s lost steam. Elena stepped outside her comfort zone and chose bright royal blue fabric. The only problem was that her color choice read high school band uniform. Melissa’s ambition got the best of her as she struggled to construct her 18-pattern-piece dress.

Dmitry hoped his background in ballroom dancing would give him an upper hand in the competition. Ven thought his design was not too much, not too little, but just right. Christopher worked to create a costume inspired by the NYC skyline. Fabio was focused and determined to stand out this week.

After a long day in the workroom, the designers got treated to a special dinner to take their minds off the competition. Elena apologized to Dmitry for her outbursts from the previous week and Ven opened up about his solitary upbringing, helping Elena understand where he comes from. However, Sonjia couldn’t relax and wished she had more time at Mood.

Back in the workroom the next day, Fabio fought with his sequined material, to which Tim responded, “Bitch-slap that bitch!” Best moment at Parsons this week, or maybe ever!

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Following his critiques, Tim made a surprising announcement: the designers got an extra $100 and 15 minutes to shop at Mood. Talk about a major lifeline! Ven, Dmitry and Fabio chose to forgo the Mood trip while the other four designers eagerly took advantage.

On the Runway

Debra Messing joins the judges’ panel this week (to Christopher’s delight). Then it’s time for the runway!

Here’s what I thought of this week’s looks:

Dmitry: It’s sharp, well-made and definitely makes an impact. I love the movement of the fringed skirt and the interest he created with the strong, architectural lines. Really beautiful.

Melissa: Love the bold pink and graphic black combination, but I couldn’t get past the obvious construction issues. Good, ambitious idea, poor execution. The styling was adorable.

Ven: The good news is that Ven didn’t send another folded floral frock down the runway. The bad news is that he used too much restraint and didn’t push himself. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Elena: This look assaulted my eyeballs. Quick—someone call Tanya Harding! Too many details and not modern at all. I appreciate that she tried something new, but she missed the mark here.

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Christopher: Well-executed and eye-catching without being gaudy. Love the inspiration behind this piece and how elegant his model looked. Wish it had more movement, but overall it was a success!

Sonjia: Bizarre. Her model looked like a bird whose body had been plucked, leaving only feathers at the shoulders and skirt. Please return to the kitchen and make something palatable from this bird!

Fabio: I liked the tough attitude and metallic shine of this look, but it seemed armor-like. The skirt had movement, but overall the look felt heavy.

The High Scores

Dmitri: Heidi loved it and called it beautiful and amazing; Michael appreciated Dmitri’s attention to detail and said the garment looked couture-quality; Nina loved how it was bare but covered up at the same time and called it modern and chic; Debra thought it was beautifully made.

Melissa: Heidi thought it was a show stopper, but found more things wrong the longer she looked at it; Michael said it was dramatic and graphic but thought it was awkward; Nina liked the color and cigarette girl styling, but called it a miss; Debra was confused by this look.

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Christopher: Heidi loved the look and the message and thought all 36 Rockettes would look great in this; Nina called it New York at its best; Michael praised his impeccable execution, calling it a Bob Mackie moment; Debra called it celebratory and dignified.

The Low Scores

Sonjia: Heidi thought it looked boxy and that it didn’t have a big enough “wow” factor; Nina said it was impractical and that it would be a turkey-fest if all the Rockettes were dressed like this; Debra was concerned about it looking like a molting flock; Michael called it a disco turkey.

Elena: Michael said it looked busy and tacky and said it looked like a Las Vegas cheerleader; Debra said it would be beautiful for the circus; Heidi wrote “cheesy Las Vegas mall” in her notes; Nina said it was the ugliest fabric on the runway and hated the styling.

Ven: Heidi liked the fabric but called it boring and said it didn’t tell a story; Nina wanted more drama; Debra liked the simplicity and movement of the dress; Michael said it looked like a glamorous mother of the bride chopped off her dress and said Ven’s drag name should be Origami Rose.

The Judges’ Decisions

In the end, Christopher was named the winner while Ven was bid auf wiedersehen.

Dmitry gave Christopher a run for his money, but I’m satisfied with the judges’ decision. I’m looking forward to seeing the Rockettes decked out in Christopher’s look!

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Ven wasn’t able to show range with his designs and I think that sealed his fate with the judges. Sonjia really dodged a bullet this week, though. I honestly thought she was going home.

So congrats to Christopher! It’s back to the designers’ nest for Sonjia and for Ven, it’s time to unfold and open up a bit! Good luck.

What did you think? Do you think the Rockettes will steal the spotlight in Christopher’s look? Was Ven kicked to the curb too soon? Sound off in the comments below!

Denver fashion designer Mondo Guerra earned a runner-up finish on Project Runway season eight then went on to claim victory on the debut season of Project Runway All Stars. In addition to an upcoming guest editor position at Marie Claire, Mondo has also launched I Design, a new HIV/AIDS education campaign with Merck. To learn more about Mondo, visit mondoguerra.com.

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