And then there were eight. We’re getting down to the nitty gritty on Project Runway, and the obvious weak links have mostly fallen by the wayside or runwayside—sorry, I couldn’t resist.We know it’s another team challenge this week as Heidi faces the designers drops this clue: “Image is everything.” Tim of Garnier Nutrisse sweeps in and briskly announces the teams. No captain and no last-kid-picked awkwardness this time around.

And the challenge is: Create an image for emerging band, The Sheepdogs. While there are teams, cohesiveness is not as important as individual looks and the winning look will appear in an advertorial in both Rolling Stone and Marie Claire magazines.

Josh, Olivier, Viktor, and Kimberly are team ‘Untitled.’
Bert, Laura, Anya, and Anthony Ryan are team ‘Harmony.’

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Project Runway Recap Episode 9Enter The Sheepdogs, who true to their name, are a scruffy, vaguely 70s, vaguely hipster, foursome. This time it really is a menswear challenge and the designers are nervous; especially Kimberly and Anya who have never done it at all. Josh M. and Olivier are feeling pretty good and Bert happily points out that he’s the only one of the designers who was around in the 70s. Although Anthony Ryan also points out that “…the fact that Bert actually lived through this era is a bonus, but the fact that he can’t remember most of it….” Team Untitled go with a westernish theme and team Harmony agrees on quasi-Jimi Hendrix. And that pretty much sums up the team aspect of the challenge.

And off to mood where Tim spends most of his time shooing Olivier towards the cashier and shaking his head in dismay.

Back in the workroom there is a lot of fabric dye and fringe happening—thankfully boobs don’t come up at all this episode. But many of the designers struggle with making shirts that can’t be called blouses—menswear is trickier than it seems. Olivier is very comfortable with menswear, but he’s extremely uncomfortable with dressing actual people, meaning anyone not built like himself or his dress form. He does far too much complaining about how “big” his model is while the guy is right there looking less than thrilled to be stuffing himself into a tiny pair of pants. And is it just me, or is Olivier sounding more British this week?

After much tie-dying and tailoring and a very masculine trip to the Garnier Nutrisse hair salon and the L’Oreal makeup studio, it’s time for the runway.

But…there’s no runway this week! The Sheepdogs will perform two songs—one in each team’s look—for the judges. Adam Lambert, who definitely loves a great image, is the guest judge.

Anya and Kimberly both dressed the drummer and both managed to make him look like:
“Pocahontas.” ~Nina
“A forest elf.” ~Heidi
“A reggae Jesus in a Brady Bunch dashiki.” and “Peter Brady at an autumn harvest.” ~Michael
“Scooby Doo, Where Are You?” ~Adam
You get the idea.

The judges are split on Laura’s look. Nina hates it; Heidi and Adam love it. I thought her tie-dyed shirt looked a touch more blood-splattered than psychedelic and apparently Michael did too, saying he looks good, but also as though he may have had a shaving accident.

Bert and Anthony Ryan’s looks are okay but not spectacular, although Nina LOVES the braided ‘do that Bert chose to accompany his look, “He looks like a Viking!” Everyone is bored by Olivier’s ensemble, and Heidi points out that the sleeves aren’t finished, which Olivier blames on his model’s size. Bear in mind, this man is not at all overweight!

Viktor’s fringed jacket is amazing and looks expensive to the judges—always a good sign—and his jeans fit like a dream. Adam calls Josh M.’s pants sexy, but they all agree the entire ensemble is verging on costume-y.

And the winner is… Viktor!

And…not a shocker, Olivier is out.
Backstage, Tim informs Olivier he needs to pack his belongings and go. Usually, especially this far into the show when relationships have been formed and bonds made, Tim gets choked up when he has to send a designer home. In this case, it was a quick pat on the back and “Take Care.” No we’ll miss you, no heartfelt hug, not even a backward glance. Hmm.

Anya and Kimberly are still shaky, knowing they both dodged a bullet this week. Cut to scenes from next week where Anya loses her money at Mood and it looks like she can’t buy fabric for the challenge. Oh no! Not Anya! Tim tells Josh M. that Nina gets bristly at his taste level and a shot of Nina saying, “HOR-REN-DOUS.” What’s going to happen? And what is the challenge?