Tuned In

Project Runway Watch: Sympathy for the Devil

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Brief spoilers for Project Runway coming up after the jump:

Jerell deserved to go home last night, and Jerell didn’t deserve to go home last night. Based solely on the wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses he did, it was fair to eliminate him; having seen the collection he did at Bryant Park, it was full of the overadorned glitter sheaths the judges hated last night, so he wouldn’t have stood a chance. But having won last week in a challenge that ended in a bogus nonelimination, he has every right to feel it was some B.S. that he was even in this position.

Kenley, on the other hand, should have gone home last week, yet clearly earned a spot based on the pieces she made this week. But what surprised me more was that this episode actually made me feel sympathy for her. It was when Tim Gunn made his ritual visit to the final designers, meeting their families and friends—except Kenley, who met him in her Brooklyn apartment entirely alone, save for a picture of her calendar-girl grandma.

Now, who knows why she didn’t have anyone around; you have to fill in the blanks. Maybe her family lives elsewhere, maybe her friends were all at work. But God help me, it made me think: poor Kenley, she’s not that bad, really. Yeah, she’s kind of whiny. (On the other hand, she can’t help that she has that nasal voice.) Yeah, she appears to have a problem with constructive criticism. But even in the tiny pantheon of Project Runway heavies, she’s no Wendy Pepper. (What do I know? Maybe Wendy Pepper is no Wendy Pepper.) Maybe she was tough to live and work with—I don’t know. But she doesn’t deserve to be all alone. Which made me feel all the more for her when the other three finalists met her in the apartment, giggling together like a clique on the playground.

Oh, damn you, manipulative reality TV editing! Damn you for making me feel!