It's a real testament to this season that, going into this episode, I did not want to lose any of the final six designers. Not only are all of them talented, but all of them are LIKABLE. I cannot for the life of me remember the last time that happened on this show.
The challenge this time was to design a baby outfit for Heidi Klum's toddler clothing line. That Heidi has no qualms about whoring out her labels, does she? This is at least the third or fourth challenge in series history that related to one of her clothing lines (we've had at least two in which the designers had to create for her athletic line, and I believe in Season 2 there was one for her lingerie collection). I'm always on Team Get Money Bitch, but this is extreme.
That said, the challenge itself was interesting. Each designer was assigned a mother and a toddler -- I guess they were each around 14 months -- and tasked with using the fabrics and notions from Heidi's line to create a head-to-toe look for the babies. There would be two winners: one for the girl outfits, one for the boy outfits. The winning looks will be sold as part of Heidi's line. (Hope the designers get some kind of compensation for that.) Melissa, Elena, and Christopher got girl models, while Fabio, Sonjia, and Dmitry got boy models. And of course, because this show loves a twist, halfway through the challenge Heidi informed the designers that they had to design a look for the moms as well.
I was fine with that, and I suspect most of the designers at least had an inkling it was coming. But the other twist was totally ridiculous. When the designers went to the workroom in Parsons they found that they had each been assigned one of those terrifying real-baby dolls they dole out in high school (to stop teenagers from having sex, TM Dmitry), which started screaming when they needed to be fed, changed, or rocked. The designers had to take care of their "babies" while they worked on the challenge AND after they went home that night, and it was ridiculous. It's so beneath this show, so corny. (Although it did provide some hilarious moments, like Elena introducing her baby to everyone by saying his name was "Asshole.")
The baby looks that came down the runway were generally good or better, and of course the kids were adorable. I personally loved Dmitry's borderline-costume jumpsuit with a hood that unzipped into a cape (I would have loved that as a kid), the adorable vest on Melissa's little girl, and Fabio's entire throwback look. I actually did not like Christopher's winning dress, which was festooned with cut-out fabric leaves and flowers held on by snaps. The idea was cute, but the execution was sloppy and fussy.
Ultimately it was my beloved Insane the in Ukraine, Elena, who got cut. I thought her jacket for the little girl was cute, if overly frilly (I would point out that Heidi point-blank encouraged her to go with that jacket in the workroom, without any reservations). Unlike the judges, I had no issues with the colors of the other pieces she made. And she made THREE PIECES. One of them a really elaborate jacket. Christopher made a simple dress and a jacket he's made at least once or twice before. I also thought Elena had one of the chicest looking moms on that runway -- I wish we'd gotten a closer look at the outfit Elena made for her.
It was a tough call, because nobody really failed the assignment, and all of these guys are genuinely talented. But I hated to see Elena go. She's kooky, her style isn't for everyone, but her work is SO interesting. Photos from her decoy collection for Fashion Week are on the interwebs, and I strongly encourage you to look at them. Her final collection was, in my opinion, head and shoulders above anything else put out by this season's finalists. (Yes, the lipstick/styling is bananas, but that's Elena.) It's a shame that she didn't make it to the end, because I honestly think that was a winning collection.
Also, I will miss her hilarious talking heads. Go Elena!
Next week: the final challenge gets us down to the Final 4, and Tim tells Melissa point blank that she's not living up to her potential as a designer. Yikes!