After being in the top last week, Benjamin is feeling much more confident. Michelle, on the other hand, is starting to seriously question herself after repeatedly being in the bottom - usually more due to her teammates than herself, but still. The episode begins with the button bag yet again. Michelle is the only designer no longer in a pair, so Heidi draws a name to decide the pair for which she will become third wheel. Since Michelle says in the interview room she absolutely doesn't want to work with Patricia, of course Patricia's name is drawn. Michelle manages to produce a creditable fake smile to seem OK with the assignment.
This week's challenge is to create a look for a senior citizen. Each designer gets to make a completely independent design with a mature lady, so the team mates are just there for feedback and not for purposes of making a collection. This seems like it could go a little better than lasts season's disastrous "real woman" challenge, since as the ladies are all introduced they none of them seem like the type to put up with passive-aggressive emotional abuse.
In the workroom, we see a newly-energized Ben falling back into the micromanager trap and setting his sights on making Amanda "push the envelope." Daniel seems to be overwhelming Samantha with questions. Tim is concerned that Harvey hasn't cut anything out. (Here is where you imagine the trademark Tim chin-on-hand with concerned eyebrows) Tim then sets off a round of blushing and giggling when he refers to the Michelle/Patricia/Layana group as "Team Threesome." Speaking of which, Patricia is creating a look, the showpiece of which is a poncho, that is going nowhere fast. Her companions in threesomeness have been trying to convince her it's no good, but it's not until Patricia actually puts it on her client that she agrees. So she starts over at the last minute. Happily, in the end everyone finishes a look for his or her lady without too much drama.
I know - whenever teams are formed now, I think Tim should be in charge of naming them. No more horrible cliches like "Dream Team" or (shudder) "Team Keeping it Real."
Also good at coming up with pithy, albeit embarrassing statements? Joan Rivers, who is guest judge. I must admit that pretty much the extent of my experience with Joan Rivers is repeated viewing of Spaceballs. So just imagine Dot Matrix doing the judging to see what life is like in my head.
Amanda's look was based on a print that really grabbed her - though the appeal of it escaped me, personally. It looked like contact paper you'd put inside your cabinets to stop your glasses from chipping. Then, unfortunately she made it into a dress that seemed like a random assortment of pattern pieces. Weird neckline! Fluttery sleeves! And let's not even talk about the disaster that was the back. Benjamin's teal party dress, I initially liked, but on a second look I saw the things that the judges called him out for. The fit on top was too tight and the poofiness of the skirt didn't do it any favors. But it seemed like a dress that could easily look quite nice with just a little tailoring. Their combined efforts easily landed them in the bottom.
Also in the bottom were Kate and Tu. Kate's printed skirt was nice, but the top was very weirdly fitted - why the sausage-casing torso when a simple, easy t-shirt shape would have worked just fine? Tu has produced a green wrap dress. When he admits that only the belt it's accessorized with is holding it closed, Joan Rivers literally screeches at him. She tells Kate that the top gives her client "dumpy boobs."
Team Threesome is safe, so we don't learn what exactly the judges would have said about Michelle's possibly-sun-dress-possibly-holiday dress with an interesting print, Layana's cute twenties-ish dress, or Patricia's hasty wrap jacket over blue skirt. However, before they get dismissed from the runway, the judges do tell them that had Patricia's look scored higher, Michelle's and Layana's looks would have been in contention for the win. Cue the backstage montage of Michelle and Layana trying to be supportive of Patricia, say "I told you so," and avoid strangling her all at once.
Richard makes a cute colorblocked and smocked dress. Joan loves the above-the-knee length, and when Richard reveals he had to coax his client to have it that short, Joan says he was right, and to her "you have great knees! Show them, b*tch!" Harvey makes a purple bolero suit that looks pretty good, but has some fit issues in the crotch. Joan Rivers approves of it - "Bingo!" I expected someone to make a seniors/bingo joke at that point, but no.
Daniel inevitably made a black suit. The proportions of it looked way off to me - the waist of the jacket was too high, making the curved hem of the jacket look like a valance over a looooong expanse of, well, crotch. At least it's a well-fitting crotch. Either I'm blowing it out of proportion (not that it needs help with that HA HA HA!) or the judges didn't mind it like I did, because they have nothing but praise (at least in the editing). Well, Joan does indicate it had more pizzazz by way of saying she wished she "looked more like a GILF." They are more mixed on Samantha's cheetah-print skirt with overly-sweet yellow top. Joan likes it though - which makes sense, since it totally looks like something she would wear. (Or maybe just something Dot Matrix would wear??) The key Joan phrase here was "menopausal kitten."
Stanley wins! BINGO! Amanda and Benjamin are the bottom two. Everyone, especially Amanda, seems sure that Amanda is out. Amanda is then stunned, tearful, and completely taken aback when Benjamin is eliminated. This prompts a "whoa it's getting real now" moment backstage before he is escorted off.
Next time: duct tape prom dresses!