First it was Project Runway, and then American Idol this past week was also all about some Elton John and Rocketman! This was definitely going to be an interesting runway and I finally feel most of the designers stepped up in being given such a huge budget and another 2-day challenge! For this challenge, the designers were tasked to create an over the top look inspired by the movie about Elton John, Rocketman. They were to create a look as if Elton John was coming to them for a performance look. It needed to be larger than life, spectacular, and showstopping!
The designers followed a yellow brick road near their workroom building to meet Christian and learn more. The actor playing Elton John in the movie, Taron Egerton, sent a video message to give encouragement and inspiration. Julian Day, the costume designer from the movie, joined Christian to also give the designers a bit more insight into the costume work for the movie. Julian would also be a guest judge this week.
As this was such a huge task at hand, the designers were given some extra hands. So yes, that meant all of the eliminated designers were back to assist. The button bag was brought out to select the order each designer got to choose who they wanted to work with. Garo went first, choosing Sonia. And last picked were both the first 2 eliminated designers, Cavanagh and Frankie, no surprise there! This would be a 2-day challenge. And in addition to a $400 Mood budget, the designers also got to visit a sequin trimmed notion store, Trims & Feathers, where they received another $300. Christian also announced there would be no more immunity given for the rest of the competition.
This challenge would also bring us some lovely male models! While shopping at Mood, we saw some great partnerships formed, such as Bishme and Afa. Venny was not quite as sure about choosing Nadine and listening to all of her opinions. It was then off to Trims & Feathers, which was full of so many shiny, sparkly items! And then, back to the workroom for day 1 of this challenge. The male models were creating a distraction for some, such as Tessa! And we saw Lela was choosing to expose some booty. Sebastian seemed a little lost and slow to get going.
The day winded down with some dining and wining with all of the designers. Day 2 began with some Siriano sessions. Christian needed more from Sebastian. For Venny, he needed to keep the fit in mind. We also saw that Garo was way over working with Sonia. As the day continued, coming to model fittings, Hester really needed her jacket completed, to really tie in the whole look together. And then as always, the morning of the runway rolling around, everyone was crazed, running around with so much to do. Someone had left glue on an iron, so that went all over Lela’s look when she went to use it, yikes!
But glue on a garment or not, there was just no saving a few of these looks! However a couple were supremely amazing, a knockout! The safe looks were Hester and Sebastian. Given Hester had immunity, she was safe, so it didn’t make quite as much sense to put her in the bottom, although she really deserved to be there. This is the 2nd time she has created a disastrous look when she knows she is safe, and can’t go home. So I would think the judges would cool it with overpraising her and giving her these wins, a couple of which were absolute undeserved! Elton John is all about some fun and quirky looks, but I don’t see him needing a Thanksgiving inspired, turkey look. Hester should have been able to do much better here given quirk is her thing!
And then with Sebastian, this was absolutely a safe look. The look felt too relaxed and sporty, not super Elton John-esque. There was also not enough sparkle and shine, it just kind of fell flat! As for the top looks, the only one I didn’t care as much for was Jamall. I am just not a fan of his work, and I see that now. I felt he was trying to be too modern, when this felt like more of an era challenge. And also with this look, I didn’t necessarily see Elton John, but just more of a gender fluid type piece. The reason Jamall was not in contention to win is because it didn’t fully fit the challenge parameters.
I had a hard time choosing between Bishme and Garo for the win. Both were great and would have deserved it. I think I would have given the win to Bishme though because it felt like Elton John, but not in a super expected way. There were just so many amazing things about this look. All of the details, the jacket, the hat, the t-shirt, I mean the list just goes on and on.
But I still loved what Garo created as well, so definitely would not take away from him on this win. It was sad to see so much focus on his work with Sonia in this process, but if there was ever a show-stopping, performance look, this was it. All of the bells and whistles were here, and they were ringing in the right way!
As for the bottom 3, I was surprised Tessa was there. I really liked this look and felt it was much more Elton John than Jamall. Clearly Brandon was the only one who was really hating on this look. Guest judge Julian loved it, not necessarily for this challenge, but it was not a bottom-worthy look, not as compared to the other 2 looks in the bottom. I was impressed that Tessa did find a way to make her minimalist style work here, and she did that well.
So that left it between Venny & Lela in jeopardy of going home. I can’t argue with Lela going because I didn’t see her lasting much longer anyways. And her look was worse than what Venny created. But the fact that the judges aren’t paying attention to Venny’s inconsistency more is baffling to me. They talked about feathers, flashed to 2 previous looks of his using feathers, talking badly about both looks, yet one of those looks, they put him in the top for?? I mean come on judges, don’t backtrack now on when you undeservedly put him in the top! I’ve said this before and will say it again, the judges don’t seem to get why he can be in the bottom and then be in the top. Duhhhhh! It’s because he doesn’t deserve to be in the top the times you judges put him there! All that aside, this look was just very costume-esque, not Elton John, and the coat looks like a bath robe. Very unimpressive undergarment jumpsuit here as well.
So that left Lela leaving this week, which I knew was coming. She hasn’t done anything super impressive all season, and was nowhere close to being a contender for the win. And really, this look was bad. Glue issue aside, it wouldn’t have mattered. The fit was off. The fringe did nothing to really set this look apart. It was really just a snooze. And when you think about it, $700 to make this. No way! It looks like it would cost about $150.