A dramatic start to the challenge leaves emotions running high – and tempers flaring

By Kate Hogan
August 26, 2011 04:25 PM
Courtesy Lifetime

Designers had the chance to get a leg up on the competition this week, but everyone’s designs came crashing down as Heidi “Klum of Doom” ripped almost everyone apart for their lack of skills.

Contestants awoke to find Heidi Klum for New Balance T-shirts, shorts and shoes in their rooms.

After suiting up, they headed to the New Balance Track and Field Center to meet Heidi and Tim Gunn for a quick lap: the four designers to complete a 200-meter run fastest would be leaders for this week’s team challenge.

But before anyone could even say “go,” Cecilia pulled Heidi and Tim aside and asked to leave the competition, based on her poor performance last week. She said her goodbyes and the race got underway.

Josh M., Bryce, Anthony Ryan and Viktor ran fastest; Josh M. chose Anya and Becky for his team, Bryce chose Kimberly and Danielle, Anthony Ryan chose Laura and ended up with Bert and Viktor chose Olivier (who suffered a panic attack during the race). Since Cecilia left so unexpectedly, Heidi and Tim decided let Viktor choose one eliminated designer to join his team – and rejoin the show. So Viktor and Olivier chose Josh C., who was sent home on the second episode.

The challenge? Design three looks to complement Heidi’s latest New Balance sneakers; the winning looks would be sold as part of her collection on amazon.com.

As soon as designers hit the workroom, tempers seemed to flare. With only seven hours to create, everyone was feeling pressure: Anthony Ryan and Laura sparred with a stubborn Bert, while Josh M. caused Becky to have a meltdown when he called her work “dowdy.” A visit from Heidi and Tim didn’t help: Heidi, nicknamed “Klum of Doom” by several contestants, criticized much of what she saw, and ended up giving designers an additional five hours to work.

Extra time didn’t produce extra quality, though; once everyone’s looks hit the runway, the judges were torn on who was at the top and who fell to the bottom. They spoke to teams one at a time: Anthony Ryan and Laura sparred with Bert as all three came under fire for a collection that included ill-fitting gray shorts, a dated blue romper with a slouchy suede vest and an off-the-shoulder top and skirt.

The judges were fairly sweet on Anya’s gray maxi dress, complemented by Josh M.’s patterned tank, vest and shorts. But Becky’s sheer tank and tight skirt were panned. Viktor’s team had success, too, with his textured gray dress and perfect motorcycle jacket and Josh C.’s gray T-shirt and jeans, but Olivier’s gray skirt was deemed “farmy” by Heidi. Bryce’s perfect black dress was a favorite, though Kimberly’s black shorts and top and Danielle’s green chiffon top and black skirt were questionable.

In the end, Heidi did “one more thing to mix it up” – she named both Viktor and Josh M. winners; the designers’ little gray dress, motorcycle jacket and maxi dress are up now on amazon.com/hknb. Danielle, however, was sent home for her third consecutive chiffon creation.