Tim Gunn is back! And past Project Runway winners will act as mentors. Ugh, Anya? She still hasn’t learned how to wear a proper bra. Mondo! Whee!!! And Nick… He’s the one from that episode with that guy, right?

The designers converge on a park-like location in Los Angeles, and Tim explains that the show is all about mentoring. The mentors will each choose four designers who will compete as individuals. Each week, one designer will be eliminated. When a mentor no longer has any designers in the competition, the mentor is also eliminated.

To give the mentors an idea of how everyone works under pressure, there’s a first quickie challenge. Oh, and three people will be eliminated. The first group of designers follow Tim into the workroom and do a patented Tim Gunn Gather Round®. Everyone gets three yards each of six fabrics, and the designers must create a look that represents themselves…in six hours. Polka dots, flannel, gold lamé, a horse pattern, and oh thank goodness, black knit.

The mentors pop into the workroom for a look-see. Brady impresses Mondo with his mix of fabrics and youthful edge. Oscar is making the first of what is likely to be the bazillionth gold and black dress, and Mondo points out that it’s lacking the element of surprise. Melissa is doing just awful things with polka dot fabric. Michelle, oof. She’s an unfortunate girl, huh? But Anya responds to her tenacity, so who knows. Camila is making the second of three gold and black dresses and shows the mentors the same slashed fabric that litters her portfolio. Boooring. Blake is sticking to black fabric to avoid going trashy, but it might be too reserved for the judges. Shan’s bomber jacket impresses the mentors, but will he have time and fabric for a dress to wear underneath? Doesn’t matter, Nick wants him for his team. Natalia is a disaster wrapped in a train wreck. She’s got nothing other than the ability to talk speedy words fast.

The models arrive and Michelle has nothing but a sleeve, and even that doesn’t look so good. With one hour left, Natalia starts braiding fabric, which should be a good outlet for her nerves. Then, Tim announces that the workday is over, but everyone will be back tomorrow. The next morning, straps get sewn, stitches are stitched, hair and makeup, and the saddest little accessory wall ever.

To the first runway!


Michelle’s gold and black dress looks a little Hot Topic, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.



Brady’s look is fresh and cute and so juniors, using all of the fabrics provided.




Melissa’s polka dots sure are polka-dotting themselves down the runway, and not in a good way.




Blake’s simple black halter dress is chic and stylish.



Natalia’s black and blue dress is showing a bit of cooch and looks a sloppy mess (the dress, not the ladybits).




Shan’s bomber jacket covers up a sleek black dress and it is adorable.



Oscar’s gold glitz gown glides down the runway. Blech.



Camila made kind of an ill-fitting black and gold dress with an oddly long length that brings the whole thing to Frumpytown.

It’s time for the mentors to choose their designers. If more than one mentor chooses a designer, The Voice rules apply, meaning the designer gets to choose the mentor.

Mondo chooses Michelle first, which just blows me away. Then Anya and Nick toss their hats into the ring for her.  She goes with Mondo because Mondo is awesome. Anya and Nick pick Shan, and he picks Anya. Nick selects Blake, and so do Mondo and Anya. He decides to be on Anya’s team. Then Mondo chooses Camila for her artistic voice and Nick jumps on board. She leaves Nick high and dry and goes with Mondo. Poor Nick, he’s got nobody. Anya picks Brady, but Nick really wants him on his team, too. And he chooses Anya’s team. Oh man. Nick. He needs a hug and a half.

There are three designers left in this group, and seven that the mentors haven’t yet seen. Nick selects Oscar despite his insane lamé disaster. Everyone else passes, so Nick has his first team member. So…Melissa. Nobody wants you, goodbye. With nothing left to lose, Natalia makes Tim Gunn cry because she is awful and essentially begs for a spot on a team. Mondo offers her a spot, and so does Nick. She selects Nick because he can teach her technical skills. Whatever. I don’t like her, but I’ve been wrong before. Just once, though.

Next week, the remaining designers dance for a spot on a team.

Photos via MyLifetime

Linda Sue Strong is the founder of entertainment blog TerribleTelevision.com and an occasional attorney. She loves a good clutch and a kitten heel. Follow her at @themisslinda.