It’s Heidi! And Tim! And…teams? This season, every challenge is a team challenge. It’s almost as if the producers brainstormed ways to make the designers even more miserable. After crossing “shopping at Mood blindfolded,” and “pants only” off of the list, they settled on “team challenges.”

Heidi breaks the news to the contestants who feign shock and surprise. Samantha From New York breaks it down for us and explains that it’s not that she’s not a team player, she just likes to be on her own team. Heidi splits everyone into two teams of eight. The contestants quickly arrange themselves and name their teams Dream Team and Keeping It Real, demonstrating a complete lack of creativity.

The first challenge is to show the judges who you are as a designer, but your team gets to give input so I don’t really get how that works. The inspiration will be New York City. Team Keeping It Real gets to take in the view on a booze cruise around Manhattan, while Dream Team is trapped on the roof of the Atlas Apartments.

Okay, boat first. Patricia’s Native American name is Water Lily, so I’m going to call her Wind Chime. Layana Twain has already pegged Wind Chime as insane, and, yeah, she’s kind of right. Daniel’s head is swimming because he’s both drinking and on a boat, while Richard just realized that he’s in New York City.

Over at Dream Team’s Rocking Rooftop Rally, nothing interesting happens because they’re just hanging out on a roof, wishing that they were on a boat.

At the workroom, Tim Gunn arrives to welcome everyone to the 1407 Building Workroom, the Brother Sewing Room, the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall, the L’Oreal Paris Hair and Makeup Room, and the HP Tablet Snack Bar. Both teams are headed to Mood with $1,200 per team, and they can distribute the money however they want. Kate’s concept for the money is to treat it like an airplane emergency—help yourself first, and then help the child struggling for oxygen 

Dream Team has a bit of charm with Benjamin Blond, who is as likable as a reality show contestant gets. Emily, however is bitch. She thinks she’s “one of the better designers,” but honey, shut up. Wind Chime is painting crap on her fabric because after the show, she’s opening an Etsy store.

Keeping It Real is running with the whole “there is no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’” thing and works together to guarantee that they are the winning team. Dream Team doesn’t get the team aspect of Team Challenge, and each designer goes it alone. It’ll be interesting to see which strategy works.

With eight hours left in the day, Tim Gunn checks in with the teams. He is there to “moderate, participate, and facilitate,” and begins with what looks like a traditional art school critique, with each designer presenting their garment to the group. Cindy is making what is known as a hot mess, TuTu is making an architectural something-or-other, and Emily is getting intimidated because she has nothing. Emily is definitely receiving the Elimination Edit this week.

Over at Keeping It Real, Kate is making a dumpy dress, Lanaya Twain is making something that goes “boom,” Daniel earns a “wow” from Tim, and Wind Chime is just going to have fun with it.

In stomp the models, but we’re not going to talk about them because for once, it’s not about you, models!

Runway show! Heidi’s wearing a bra with not much else because she is single and ready to mingle. The judges are Zac Posen Kors, Nina Garcia, and guest judge Christian Siriano.

Team Keeping It Real: Stanley made a jumpsuit that looks like 1977 did a line of coke off of a model’s ass. Kate made a forgettable shift dress. Richard did a really nifty asymmetrical two-tone jersey knit dress. Wind Chime made a lumpy sack of lump. Amanda made a tank top and pants I saw at H&M three years ago.  Layana Twain designed a very ordinary little black dress. Joseph sewed a bunch of dishrags together. Daniel made a smart little pants suit with a giant scrunchie around the waist.

Dream Team: Daniel made a white shirt and pouf skirt. Samantha designed a chic navy blue number. TuTu made a very modern white crop top with—oh wait! It’s black on the back! Nice surprise. James made a color blocked skirt with a white tank top. Snore! Emily made…a craft project? Are those popsicle sticks? Benjamin’s dress is what Joseph was trying to do. Cindy’s dress looked better on the runway than in the workroom but is still hideous. Michelle made a something-or-other with straps in random places.

Somehow, Team Keeping It Real pulls out a win, and the highest scores are Daniel, Richard, and WIND CHIME!?! Daniel’s scrunchie pant suit does look fairly nice, in a Working Girl sort of way. Richard’s asymmetrical dress is super modern and, as Zac Posen Kors points out, also flattering. Wind Chime’s look was inspired by the building windows blah blah blah still talking, still talking, shut up shut up and finally Heidi cuts her off. I don’t mind what she did to the fabric, but it’s just not a good cut.

And now for the losers. James, Cindy, and Emily have the lowest scores. James made a meh color blocked pencil skirt that Zac Posen Kors calls “pedestrian.” Emily tries to explain what she meant to do, and Nina Garcia says that in eleven seasons, she has never seen such an unfinished garment. The team explains that as of this morning, Emily had nothing, and they did what they could to help her out. Emily is about to cry, which is kind of hilarious because she was so damned cocky just one day earlier. Nina questions Cindy’s taste level by suggesting her dress might feel more comfortable in Ohio, circa 1996.

And the winner is…Daniel and the Scrunchie Skirt! Hrmph. I really liked Richard’s dress.

And the person with the honor of being the first person kicked off of Season 11 is…EMILY! Ha! And that’s what you get for walking into Project Runway with an attitude. Never, ever underestimate the power of the Elimination Edit.


Linda Sue Strong is the founder of entertainment blog and an occasional attorney. Her life has not yet been turned into a reality television show. Follow her at @themisslinda.