Welcome back to the online party that's more uplifting than a pair of stiletto ballet shoes! Project Runway is back, and we're live-blogging the premiere episode in the comments. Join us!

How time flies: It seems like only yesterday we were swearing and throwing things at our television screens after the judges inexplicably handed last season's crown to Gretchen the Egregious instead of the Mondo the Marvelous. But it was a long time ago … nine whole months! Enough time to gestate and give birth to renewed love for the show we can't live without, right? So let's get to it.

If you haven't participated in one of these live blogs before, here's all you have to do: Settle down in front of the TV with your computer handy, wait for the show to start (at 9 pm Eastern on Lifetime), and then use the comments section below to post a running commentary on tonight's episode. The rest of us will be doing the same. It's easy! Easier than dancing in stiletto ballet shoes, anyway. Also, there's a "Season 9 casting special" on at 8, so you may want to live-blog that too if you show up early enough.

Here are a few quick impressions of this season's contestants, based on the video clips about them that Lifetime posted online. First: There's a lot of them! They chose to start with 20 designers this season, four of which will be eliminated on the first episode—just to be needlessly cruel, I guess. And there seem to be a lot Southern and Midwestern designers this year—from places like Kentucky, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Louisiana and Missouri . Also, as far as I can tell, there doesn't appear to be a "token straight guy" this season, which I think would be a first for this show.

Here are a few thoughts on seven of the designers that seemed the most interesting to me:

  • Anya Ayoung Chee (29, from Trinidad and Tobago) is a former Miss Universe contestant who is notorious in her home country for starring in a sex tape that was leaked to the Internet. I checked out her audition portfolio posted on Lifetime's site, and her designs actually looked quite good. I also watched some clips from that sex tape (just for research purposes, you understand), and … um … well, let's just say that she's a woman of many talents. Multitalented. That's the word.
  • David Chum (29, from Boston) is a son of Cambodian-refugee parents who was trained in fine art (he also paints). He says he uses "anatomical seams" in his designs. I don't know what "anatomical seams" are, do you? I guess we'll find out.
  • Amanda Perna (24, from New York) is pretty and ditzy, and a lot of her creations feature pink fabric, ruffles, chiffon and bangles. In her video, she declares: "I love bangles, because bangles are fun!" If you're the kind of person who also thinks that bangles are fun, you'll probably like Amanda.
  • Becky Ross (38, from Portland, OR) describes herself as "fun and wacky." Her portfolio includes a dress that's entirely covered with pieces of discarded cigarette boxes and other litter. It looked a little trashy to me. (Ha, get it?)
  • Bryce Black (26, also from Portland) would like everyone to know that he's a Lady Gaga fan; he managed to mention her name four times in his Q&A posted on Lifetime's site. He likes asymmetry: His audition portfolio included a "one-legged jean." I guess the word "jeans" is only plural when it refers a two-legged garment?
  • Fallene Wells (29, from Denver) has a tattoo featuring Bambi and flying skulls, and says she likes deer because she was "named after Bambi's girlfriend." So she's quirky. Also, she likes Etsy. She's Etsy- quirky!
  • Olivier Green (22, from New York) grew up in America but has an English accent—apparently because he went to college in London. He may well be a nice guy, but the accent thing makes him seem pretentious to me—probably because it reminds me of this girl I knew in high school who spent one summer in England after her sophomore year, and returned with an English accent that lasted through graduation. That annoyed the hell out of me.

I could share further thoughts about many more of these contestants, but we'd be here all night because there's too damn many of them. Also, it's almost 9 and the show's about to start. It's time to freshen up that drink, limber up your fingers and get ready to start live-blogging. I'll see you down in the comments!

[Photo via Getty]