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The Challenge: Remaining designers Leanne, Korto, Jerell and Kenley get hit with two challenges during this second to last episode. First, before they leave NYC to create a 10-look collection, Heidi tells them they must "design a wedding dress that represents you as a designer and is a reflection of your line."
Cut to Tim cruising around in his (show-sponsored) Saturn to check on the designers' progress from Little Rock, Arkansas to visit Korto to Portland, Oregon to visit Leanne to LA to visit Jerell to Brooklyn to visit Kenley. Our favorite moment is when Tim hops on the back of a tandem bike with Leanne, which is just so friggin' precious.
Cut back to New York, the four designers are reunited with Kenley still on the outs, but she makes a half-hearted apology—"I'm sorry I was being a bitch and everything; I just want to be cool with everyone"—and the others half-heartedly accept. The next day, they find out about the other challenge; they have to create an accompanying bridesmaid dress to the wedding gown with $150. Bummed faces all around. But then Tim tells them, tearing up, how proud he is of them, and everyone starts crying. Korto even professes to the camera: "I love everyone in that room, even Kenley." Though Kenley feels like she's been "knocked off" by Korto and Leanne because they shortened their bridesmaid dresses, since she's clearly the first one to ever designer a non-long bridesmaid dress. She's seriously insufferable.
The Winners: Kenley and Leanne hold the top two spots, while Korto comes in third. These are the three competing at Bryant Park.
Though we really don't like Kenley, we can't deny she deserves to be in the top three, even though as Michael first points out, and Nina concurs that her wedding dress "is a dead ringer for the McQueen dress that just walked the runway," referring to Alexander McQueen's dress from fall '08 in the first photo above on the left (via Style.com). But ultimately, the judges love it. From Michael: "It's romantic without being syrups. I think the funny thing is, even though I know it looks like the McQueen dress, it still looks like Kenley. The bridesmaid is the cutest damn dress I've ever seen." And from Heidi: "I could see you wearing that too on your wedding day. I think it's crazy good."
The judges can't say enough glowing things about Leanne's dresses. From Michael: "I have to say this is so chic, beautifully crafted and right away, the minute it turned the corner, I knew it was yours." Nina thinks "it's modern, it's dreamy and it's you. I love the bridesmaids dress. It's absolutely beautiful." Heidi loves it too: "I think you did a fantastic job."
Korto's dresses garner a fair amount of criticism—the wedding dress for being "overworked" and bridesmaid dress for being "uderworked"—but she still slides into the third place position.
The Loser: Jerell goes wrong again by being "messy," a theme for him during the series. Michael comes with the best line of the night: "I like the wedding gown from the empire line down, but the wings under the boobs, plus the jeweled boobs, plus the jewels under the boobs, and then she's got a flowerpot growing out of her head. It's a little garish." Nina worries about the rest of the collection based on this dress, and Heidi doesn't know what to think about it.
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