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Project Runway Recap: Heidi & Gretchen Butt Heads – Twice!

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Barbara Nitke/Lifetime; Soul Brother/FilmMagic

After last week’s touching episode of Project Runway, where Mondo shared his HIV-positive status with the group, it’s fair to expect more warm fuzzies on Thursday. Well, not so much.

For this week’s challenge, designers were asked to create activewear for New Balance, to go with a collection created by none other than judge Heidi Klum. (Not-so-coincidentally, the line launched Friday.) Heidi gave the contestants some of the fabrics she used – and showed them six of her favorite looks from the line – and announced the big prize: the winner would have his or her design produced and sold as part of her collection on

As contestants got busy in the workroom, Heidi joined Tim Gunn to check up on their progress – and things went south. The hostess clashed with both Mondo – who gave her a bit of attitude – as well as Gretchen, who said, in not so many words, that her piece was going to make Heidi’s line classier. “I don’t like Heidi in the workroom,” Gretchen snapped.

Of course, there was a twist: Heidi announced each designer would need to make three looks, not just one, and they’d receive an additional day and some “help.” Not surprisingly, that help came in the form of six recently auf’d contestants, who were each paired with a current player.

Sadly, we didn’t get to see much of Peach or Casanova‘s cute workroom antics, because Ivy stole the spotlight, accusing Michael C. of cheating on episode 8’s Jackie Kennedy challenge by taping his model into his dress. Later that evening, Tim addressed the issue, telling Ivy that since none of the judges or cameras saw the alleged tape, “this [was] a case of non-case.” Case closed!

On the runway, where guest judge Norma Kamali weighed in, April impressed with her three looks (which included a sweater/dress combo, shorts and a goddess-like frock), as did Mondo, whose oversized tops and leggings were cool and casual. But the win went to Andy, whose hoodies and minidress were deemed “exciting, but at the same time super-wearable,” by judge Michael Kors. Heidi also sweetened the victory, telling Andy all three of his looks would be made available on (Check them out here.)

Sadly, things didn’t go as well for Gretchen, Michael C. or Christopher, who ended up in the bottom three. Christopher had worried about his looks throughout the episode – it was his first time creating activewear – and Michael C. drew criticism from fellow contestants for a color scheme that skewed a bit Thanksgiving. Heidi didn’t love his palette, either, and chided him for bringing new colors into her existing collection.

Gretchen butted heads with Heidi again on the runway, and lost points with Nina Garcia for sloppy styling. But ultimately it was Christopher who went home, for garments that Michael Kors called “cheap” and “sadness personified.” We’ll miss his calm demeanor in the workroom.

Only five contestants remain! Tell us: Do you think Michael C. really did cheat? And who do you think is headed for Fashion Week?