The Newest Project Runway Loser, to Movieline: 'I was Definitely Shocked'
Another week of Project Runway has come and gone, and another eliminated contestant opines to Movieline about their departure. Was it the cocky, conductor-hatted Emilio? Was it the perky Amy? How about feisty southern-belle Anthony? Hyper-banged Maya? Combed-over Jesse? Ever-silent Ben? We reveal the loser and talk with him/her after the jump.
It's Jesse! The former Disneyworld pirate opened up to us about his untimely elimination, his spat with Ping, and his experience at Bryant Park.
Your elimination was surprising, especially considering Emilio's strangely nonexistent dress. Were you shocked then? Watching it back, are you still shocked?
I mean, obviously then I was definitely shocked. When you're in the moment, it's not something that you fully see coming, or even if you do, you have to hope it's not necesarily that way. I think I was more shocked just watching it back this many months later when I got a new perspective on it, with the separation of time. When you're in it, you're in it, and it's kind of hard to be objective, or to watch it as a viewer at all. Now, seeing it as a viewer -- yeah, it's definitely very shocking in comparison to the way I remember it.
Your fight with Ping during the first team challenge was memorable. What happened between you two?
Basically, that whole experience was the quintessential Project Runway episode. The putting together two people and making them do something in a high-pressure situation, and the two people are polar opposites of anything in terms of personality and work style. Just how I work and how she works, and then her ultimate design aesthetic compared to mine -- we're so polar opposite. Just finding common ground for us to build one look was, I think, half the battle. We were back and forth. You don't have the time to really invest in understanding fully each other when you only have 10 hours, 12 hours to build a full piece. So there were definitely elements of miscommunication that went both ways. I know I felt it strongly from her leadership. She was never able to convey the exact ideas of what we needed to do. I felt like I had more of an understanding of what she was trying to go for, what she was trying to build. I feel like we just watered something down, because we couldn't communicate well enough with each other.
She told us that your claim on the runway about having to teach her sewing skills was false. How do you respond to that?
As far as the sewing elements, I went into that judging knowing I would have to answer for a lot of different things. I knew there was a lot of different drama there. So I basically went into it just with the simple [plan], "I'm only going to be honest about the experience we had in the last two days on this challenge. I'm not going to gild the lily or go overboard as far as pointing a finger, or anything like that. If I were to take the fall for this, it is what it is. But I feel like I shouldn't." Honestly conveying that would be enough. The sewing comment literally came about through questioning and questioning and questioning. It had gotten to that point. There were a couple moments where it was, "How do I do this? Should I cut it here to here? What kind of stitch do I need to do on this section?" There were little things like that. It worried me to the point that I probably took on more work than I should've, because I felt like if she didn't understand some of these things, then, you know -- how could I trust her to necessarily build this other thing? I knew my skills well enough to know I can push myself a little extra harder, and hopefully make up that room here. And then no one would ever know because the whole thing would come out OK. But eventually it all came out on the runway.
I know she said a lot of different comments about me. I've not read them, but I've heard them from a lot of people who know me and revived them back. It just is what it is. She got conveyed for TV, but at the same time, they're not making things up. It was her doing whatever it was that was shown, they just put it together however they wanted. I think I came off that way too -- I looked like I had an extremely short temper when, you know, some things may have been said at the end of the first day, when we'd been working for ten straight hours. That's maybe why I said a certain comment. But unless you're there, you never really know. Ultimately, it was relatively fair on the level of me being angry and unsympathetic and short-tempered. I think that was equal with her, the level of scatter-brained and the craziness. I think we were both represented equally. I'm OK with it, and I've just started to let it be what it'll be.
You got to show at Bryant Park. How was that experience? Janeane said she was disappointed in her collection. How did you feel about yours?
I was definitely surprised to a certain degree. I was obviously extremely excited. I had always wondered how it was going to work out; I'm not a thinker as far as everything goes, like, 'It maybe could happen!' I tried not to get too set on it. I feel like the collection was difficult, and I think we all felt this feeling. When you're the only one building it, you don't know the time it takes to do it -- like, I think it was three months of sewing, maybe -- the amount of time to build 10 pieces or 10 looks in three months, that's a long stretch of time. I didn't have assistants or people who sewed with me at the same time, like a regular kind of business or fashion house, where you'd sew for a month or less -- I just felt like I kept having new ideas. I started at one point, and I'd riff on that for a little while, and I'd kinda get this new spark. And I'd think, "Now I want to use this in the collection too." My hardest thing was kind of containing all the ideas and giving a clear, sharp example of what I am as a designer. Going into it, it was me building a resume -- my fantasy looks, like if I could have my own company, and do what I wanted to do, this is what it would be. That's what I wanted to kind of put out there. I feel extremely happy with what I showed, and I love what I did. I would love to continue to do that and give more collections and follow that through more and more. I feel fortunate to have been in that position, and I am very happy with how I showed. The whole experience was amazing, and I wouldn't trade that for the world.
Movieline's Previous Interviews With Project Runway's Eliminated Contestants
· Ping Wu