The designers are given yet another surprise: They will finish their designs at the "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" exhibit at the MET. This is yet another example of poor timing—the exhibit is amazing (and full of dresses that imaginably took way longer than 24 hours to make), but it closed on Aug. 10, so don't get any ideas about visiting it.
The bumps in the design road start early as Samantha and Sean pick the same fabric at Mood. This is a rookie mistake for Samantha. Sean has immunity, so if the judges don't like that the fabrics are too similar, she will be the one going home.
And here is the part where we take a minute to praise whomever's job it is to add subtitles. Because they added subtitles for Swatch. That's right—Swatch helped Tim signal the five-minute warning at Mood. It's so ridiculous that it's great.
Back in the workroom, a few things stand out: Alexander is doing a gown in crinkle taffeta, which just sounds like a disaster. Amanda is revisiting the sheer fabric, which didn't work out well for her the first time. Samantha announces that this is her first gown ever. And Kini has problems with his bust cups.
As Tim walks around for his critique, he doesn't hold any punches. He even admits he wants it to be a "good truth-telling session." He warns Samantha that her look is "just a pretty dress," especially next to Sean's stunner. He also gives very specific notes, telling Korina her seams are off by an inch and that Amanda's lines are wrong; I'm sure he often gives detailed critiques, but it's nice to see on camera. This man is a former Parsons chair of design, not just a reality star who runs around saying "Make it work." It's good to have a reminder of that.
Some take his critiques to heart more than others, but miraculously they all make it to the runway on time. Once there, a security team assembles the jewels on the models and apparently tells them to look as if they have broken fingers and wrists to display them.
Heidi must have had a change of heart because she compliments all of the designers on such great work. Fade, Emily, Char, and Sandhya are all safe. Great news for Char that she's still safe, but it would have been a much better redemption story if she had come out on top.
It's a little unclear whether Kini is in the top or the bottom because the judges like the look, but don't love it. Heidi wants the skirt shorter (of course) and they all—including Kini—agree those bust cups are messy. Kini is such a strong sewer that it seems like too dumb of a mistake for him to buy neoprene for a structured fit, but he made it to the top anyway.
"Amanda, do you think you are in the top or in the bottom?" says Heidi. "I think I'm in the top," says Amanda. Everyone in America laughs at how delusional she is during the world's longest pause… "I think she looks great." Wait, WHAT? The judges have to be punking us at this point. Nina agrees, saying that this look would be an Instagram and editorial "sensation." But finally, finally Zac is the voice of reason; he says it would be on the worst-dressed list. At least someone in that judges' panel has some sense. But his opinion doesn't count for too much because she's still on top.
NEXT: It's lonely at the bottom