Project Runway recap: Silk Chiffonzies vs. the Elena Volcano

The designers split into teams, which is never a good thing. Elena goes absolutely nuts, and it's a beautiful sight
Ep. 05 | Aired Aug 16, 2012

SUBTLE AS A HAMMER None of the designers like working in teams, but Elena really should never be on any type of team, ever. Like, ever.

Barbara Nitke

This episode was brilliant. Not so much for the challenge, which I found a bit all over the place, but for the ridiculousness of these characters. Pat yourself on the back, casting director. I was laughing out loud the whole time, which I guess is a better way to kill 90 minutes than watching Bachelor Pad (debatable).

I was going to skip past the beginning where all the designers reacted to the previous night's runway, but did anyone else hear Melissa say, "I don't want the next person [to leave] to me be"? I heard it very clearly — sounded as if she were channeling Yoda.

"Stickler" Nina Garcia struck fear into the designers' hearts when she joined Heidi in explaining the next challenge. The words "team challenge" put the fiercely solitary and anti-social designers on high alert. Everyone had to split off into two groups; each group had to create a "fashion capsule collection" that would be part of an editorial photo shoot that they would direct themselves for Marie Claire at Work magazine. Instantly, I predicted that the two losers who'd be chosen last, dodgeball-style, would be Raul and Elena, so color me surprised when Sonjia chose Elena first. ("I'd rather eat dirt than work with Elena," quipped Gunnar). And sure enough, Raul was the last one picked. So the teams ended up being:

Team 6: Sonjia, Elena, Melissa, Dmitry, Alicia, and Raul

Team 5: Nathan, Ven, Chris, Fabio, and Gunnar

Raul's declaration of love for Chris was a little creepy: "I made this awesome connection with Chris, and I haven't felt that way in a very long time." It devastated him that Chris didn't choose him for Team 5.

Of these two teams, I instantly had a better feeling about the Fab Five — they're just like the Olympics women's gymnastics team, only I doubt Ven can land a vault. The only person who wasn't happy about the team's vision was Gunnar, who hated the turquoise and "Barney purple" fabrics his teammates chose. And then Elena ... oh, Elena.

Team 6 fell apart right from the beginning, mostly because Elena and Raul refused to be team players. Raul was thinking about defending himself in front of the judges even in the planning stages of the challenge — he insisted upon using lace (blegh) and expected the rest of his team to work around his fabric preference.

NEXT: According to her fellow designers, Elena is both an animal and a volcano. Watch her attack, then explode!

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