There are just under 3 weeks remaining in a mildly interesting baseball season, and our fantasy league is currently in the throes of a 3-way tie between the last three teams to win it all, proving either that this year's draft was inconsequential or that the other 9 of us really don't know what we're doing. Given that the pennant race has been analyzed by everyone in the mass media and trade publications like BP, and that I'm not in the race for the fantasy league, let's try branching out a hair at the Gazette and handicapping the best reality show on television: Project Runway. This is especially topical, given that today they're showing the final contestants and the decoys at the NY fashion week show.
After Wednesday night's objectively poor show with a bunch of random items (bringing back eliminated designers for no reason? eliminating 2 contestants for no reason? the planetarium party where it was too dark to see the outfits?), we're down to six contestants. We'll put aside the fact that last year's finalists Rami and Jillian are light years better than anyone left on the show, and the fact that we've had some really goofy/stupid challenges this year (the Saturn car fiasco?). Let's countdown in reverse order who's most likely to win the show. And remember what it takes to win on the show: (a) not being eliminated, which means consistently not sucking, and (b) being able to succeed at the fashion show, which means having the ability to make a diverse range other clothes.
6. Suede. Not to be confused with Blayne, the other over-the-top blonde who was eliminated this week, Suede has perpetually found himself on the wrong end if runway questions from Nina Garcia and has yet to exhibit any of the panache the other 5 designers have shown. He may survive another week but it's tough to see him at Bryant Park. Odds: 30-1.
5. Joe. The Bret Saberhagen of the group, Joe manages to alternate beautiful designs (like last week's) with utter disasters (like the week before's). Given he's already been close to auf'd recently, it's hard to see him going forward. Odds: 20-1.
4. Jerrell. Until this past week he'd been pretty anonymous, neither setting the world in fire nor disappointing everyone either. That's a fine way to duck losing early, it's also not a way to win. It's also notable that his win last week wasn't the judges' decision, it was the decision of the prior designers in the Gimmick of the Week. We're still shy on evidence that Top American Designer Michael Kors actually likes a single thing he makes, which ain't going to carry the day here. Odds: 12-1.
3. Kenley. The first designer left who actually has a plausible shot of winning the damn thing, her early promise and 60s-stewardess style cuteness has been trimmed a bit in the last two weeks with some poor designs and a horrendous display of attitude. While the producers are probably loving the fact that the other designers can't stand her cockiness and laugh, it's spilled over into shouting matches with Heidi and Nina, which will not curry their favor. Additionally, Top American Designer Michael Kors has correctly noted that Kenley, while talented, often prefers to do what she wants and not follow the rules of a given challenge. This, problematically, leaves her susceptible to getting knocked off in the final 3 challenges, as she does run be risk of missing the boat badly in a given week. Still, if she makes it to the finals, she's got the talent to make a neat and diverse line that would appeal to the judges. That is, assuming that she was lying last week and actually knows what work other top designers have done. Being a bumpkin is not a winning trait for this show. Odds: 5-1.
2. Leanne. Unless she actually dances around naked on the runway with Seal in her arms, she's a shoo-in to the finals. Her work is flawless, she performs well in the challenges, and has a creative eye. And she'll probably have the ability to put together a diverse and smart line for Fashion Week. Odds: 2-1.
1. Korto. So why is she the favorite? Look to the past seasons for guidance. The judges have routinely picked a designer that's more progressive And daring than one that's flawless and traditional. (examples: Christian over Rami; Jeffrey over Ulee and Michael; Jay over common sense.) Her designs are neat, different, innovative, and well-constructed. If the judges decide that it's time for sticking with the conventional or she bombs badly in Fashion Week, then you have to like Leanne's or Kenley's chances, but beyond that, she's the clear favorite. Odds: 7-5.