Last night Mayor-for-Life Michael Bloomberg gave the designers of Project Runway keys to the city. Then they designed things inspired by Gotham. Everything was black: bleak, hopeless, and black.

So that was the challenge last night: design something inspired by New York City. Michael C went to the Statue of Liberty, because he is that completely obvious about everything he does. Gretchen went to the Lower East Side because she is also completely obvious. Mondo and April went to the Brooklyn Bridge because, I don't know, they do have that really good bakery in DUMBO, so maybe that was it. Andy went to Central Park and tried to see a play, but it was closed, so he just looked at trees and ate an ice cream sandwich in Sheep's Meadow. Anyway, they all made dresses, except Gretchen. She is still one of the:

Things We Hated:

  • Michael C's Tattoo: Of course Michael C has an I ♥ NY tattoo. Not only does he not live in New York, which makes it strange, but it's like some corporate tourist logo that he ripped off and put on his body. This is just so like Michael C. He seems to have no voice or vision of his own. He supposedly loves New York, but goes to the hokiest of all tourist spots (save for M&M World) for his inspiration. When permanently scarring his own body he can't even come up with an original idea or design, but steals a cliched one. When thinking about this challenge, I had some idea what everyone would do because they have a viewpoint. Michael C has none. He's not as horrible as everyone makes him out to be, but he's no genius either.
  • Grampa Gunn Hugged Gretchen: We're glad they could get over their spat from earlier in the season, but now Tim has cooties. Ew.
  • Peter Butler from Garnier: He's not as annoying as Collier Strong, but just on principal he gets the hate. And do we really need to listen to him hawking his products? We guess so now that you have a bloated and unnecessary 30 minutes tacked on to each episode you need to fill.
  • Goodbye Makeup Daddy: We feel like we hardly knew you. You didn't take your Gloryhole Paris T-shirt off even once. Next season we want more skin. Or maybe a spin off. Something?
  • Black: We get that New York city can be dark and everyone here wears as much black as a convention of Italian widows, but did everyone have to make something black? Well, everyone but Gretchen. And her outfit was ugly (spoiler alert) but at least it had some color. And not just that, everyone was wearing black. April was because she owns no other color because she is emo. Mondo was because he likes to match his model. Michael C was because everyone else was. Gretchen might have been, but whenever I look at her the only color I see is "hipster." Even the judges: Christian Siriano, HRH Queen of Tangerines the Lady Michael of Kors, and Nina Garcia Darth Vader of Marie Claire Magazine, were also wearing black. Jesus fucking Kriminey people. Have you never heard of brown or navy or chartreuse or puce or, hello, tangerine? Sure, Heidi looked like a fountain from the mall in a state with square borders, but at least it wasn't fucking boring black like the rest of you.
  • Heidi Talking: Someone seriously needs to tell Heidi to shut the fuck up. Her criticism is always completely worthless and she has this annoying habit of asking rhetorical questions that are really thinly veiled insults. Considering she dresses (and styles herself, since that's an issue on the show these days) the way she does, should she really be doling out advice?
  • Group Hugs: Not only did Gretchen infect Grampa Gunn with her hug cooties she made everyone have a group hug in front of the judges. I wish we could have seen the reaction shots of Ms. Kors and NGDVMCM visibly recoiling from a display of emotion and camaraderie.
  • "Not All of You Get to Compete in New York Fashion Week": This is annoying because they all get to make a collection at fashion week. As do the six other people who were eliminated before them. We know such things exist. We've already seen them. Stop pretending like everyone isn't going to fashion week. And since they're already there, why are we paring down the field to three "finalists." This is all such a stupid ruse and we can all see right through it.

Things We Loved:

  • "The Full Mondo": This is what Tim described when Mondo was buying colorful fabric and sequins. We're not sure exactly what the "full Mondo" would look like, but somewhere in the deep recesses of our mind, we can. And we love it (and it looks like Divine and Hello Kitty's litter of runts).
  • Michael C's Michael Kors Impersonation: In some societies, one can be imprisoned for impersonating royalty, but it was no crime when Michael C busted out his shockingly accurate Queen Tangerine voice last night. Not since Santino Rice's Tim Gunn has someone nailed another person on the show so well.
  • Fierce Judging: I was a little worried to see former Runway winner Christian Siriano was going to be a guest judge. I figured he would be a flurry of his fey tics and catch phrases, but he was surprisingly sober, well-informed, and helpfully critical. He had a bit of sass, but just enough to keep himself interesting without being a caricature. Sure he said the dreaded "old Hollywood glamour," but we can forgive him his trespasses.
  • Everyone Loves Mondo: When the designers were asked the dreaded annual, "Who would you take to fashion week," quesiton, everyone wanted to take Mondo—even Mondo! Also, each designer was picked by one of the other designers. Every year there is usually at least one to be left out in the cold, and it was nice to see that everyone really appreciated the others' talent, as meager as it might be.
  • Season Retrospectives: It was great to see the side-by-side clips of each designer's dresses during the final judging. I don't know if it's because they're boring or I'm senile, but I didn't even remember some that were just a few months old. A refresher is nice, but being talented enough to create a dress we could never forget (remember Jay McCarroll's amazing "Chrysler Building" dress from season one?!) is even more refreshing.

In the end, there was no winner. Mondo easily went on to fashion week with his dress that looked like every handbag in an Upper East Side dowager's closet was turned into one living creature. Andy also sailed through with one of Angelina Jolie's costumes from the movie Hackers. Everyone oohed and ahhed over Michael C's literal interpretation of the Statue of Liberty in black. OK, we need to talk about this for a minute. Never in my life have I so staunchly disagreed with the judges. Maybe it looked much different in person (as black often does) but I hated it. It seemed like a boring, ill-fitting blob of black fabric that made the model look far wider than she really was. Yes, it fit well, but you could buy this dress off the rack at just about every prom store from hear to Walla Walla. What makes this so special? It was the walking equivalent of narcolepsy. I thought for sure he was going to get slammed for being "safe" and not trying to push the envelope, but they loved it. Maybe this is the problem all the other designers had with him all season.

Gretchen made something that looked like it would have worked best on Tempest Bledsoe during The Cosby Show years, but it was April who went home (spoiler alert!) for her witchy woman of a black dress. Don't worry April, it would be a great anime costume!

Next week the two-part finale (speaking of things we hate) begins. There better not be any black.