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Raul Osorio has joined a very small group of Project Runway contestants to be eliminated twice in one season — and he went out with a bang.
In the final moments of Thursday’s episode, which featured a Marie Claire-themed team challenge, the Minneapolis-based menswear designer was seen telling his fellow competitors goodbye when he abruptly turned to Elena Slivnyak — who had already had confrontations with several castmates, including Osorio — and said, “I hate you.”
Since then, he told reporters Friday in a conference call, the two have since apologized and made up.
“We won the challenge and made a cohesive collection, so none of us should have gone home,” he said. “I guess seeing Elena’s reaction, it made me very upset, and I exploded. I’m not proud of treating Elena the way I did.”
And, perhaps surprisingly, he now has high praise for her, calling her the “most talented person on the entire show” and saying he thinks she could win the entire competition.
“She thinks at a different level when it comes to fashion, and she is very good at what she does,” he added.
He also praised Christopher Palu, who “has the talent and the personality to go far.”
But Osorio had harsh words for some of the other designers, including Gunnar Deatherage, whose aesthetic he called “very questionable.”
“But at the same time, there is a designer for everyone. How boring would it be if everyone looked the same?” he admitted, before adding: “There’s clients even for Buffi [Jashanmal, eliminated in last week’s episode].”
He also explained friend Palu’s comment in the episode about why he didn’t pick Osorio for his team, citing Osorio’s clash with fellow competitor Ven Budhu.
What viewers didn’t see is that “during the entire show, Ven and I did not get along,” he said. “I was very honest with him multiple times: ‘I can’t stand you.’ His attitude, his ego is horrible. But a lot of people think my ego is also horrible; maybe that’s why we don’t click.”
Osorio, 27, was first eliminated from Project Runway two episodes ago — when he was paired up with Alicia Hardesty to create a red-carpet look for past contestant Mila Hermanovski — but in last week’s installment was asked to return amid the shocking, sudden departures of two contestants.
In his final episode, the designers were tasked with designing a sophisticated line of clothing that could be worn by women in the workplace and asked to direct a photo shoot as well.
Although Osorio’s team won — their photo shoot will run in the pages of new offshoot Marie Claire at Work — the designer was eliminated because both teams received the same scores, meaning everyone was vulnerable.
“I hate team challenges,” Osorio said, adding: “Imagine six people with different backgrounds trying to achieve one [cohesive collection]. It’s difficult, especially … in such a short period of time.”
Still, he stands behind his contributions to the challenge: two tops — a vest and a sleeveless blouse with ruffles — that were paired with skirts made by Sonjia Williams. But he also believes that his team could have done better if each person had designed one complete look, similar to the other team’s strategy.
Osorio said he’s now looking to move to New York and continue focusing on menswear. His goal is to launch a line that is available online and “accessible.”