This week the designers wake up to find that athletic gear has mysteriously appeared in their rooms overnight. This was definitely a departure from the high-stress, high-style tone of last week’s Nina-centered challenge. (I have to say once again—Nina looked really phenomenal in the winning ensemble.) The twist this time around was that the gym clothes were for the designers to wear themselves. And so, they were whisked to the New Balance Track & Field Center where Heidi and Tim (well appointed in a charming combination of sneakers and jeans with a blazer, tie, and pocket square—we love you Tim!) awaited them.It was another team challenge and this one was going to be bad. The designers were working in four teams of three and the saying, ‘Two’s company, three’s a crowd.’ has never been more apt. A race (yes, as in running) determined the team leaders. These poor souls had been hunched over sewing machines 24/7 and were so out of their element. Viktor summed it up nicely, “I never run unless someone is chasing me with a gun.”

At this point Cecilia, who had been wishing she’d gone home instead of Julie, stepped up and eliminated herself from the competition. A Project Runway first! She left without much fanfare, and the race was on. Within minutes we had a man down—Olivier fell, injured his knee, and promptly fainted. Medics arrived, he recovered, and it was back to business. Let’s get these guys back to the workroom stat!

Finally, the challenge: Each team was to create three cohesive looks that fashion-conscious women would want to wear with Heidi’s line of New Balance sneakers. Denim and suede had to feature prominently in each look.

One more surprise: Josh C. returned to take Cecilia’s place and he may still be crying….

Back in the workroom the bickering and sniping began almost immediately. Something about trios makes cliquiness ten times worse. Bert(zilla) is being ostracized and being very difficult. After calling Becky’s demographic “40 to death” behind her back, Josh M. said her designs were dowdy to her face. After tears, apologies, and hugs in the girls’ bathroom, everyone grudgingly soldiered on. Things were not looking good for the runway.

Guest judge, model/designer Erin Wasson joined Heidi, Michael, and Nina (in sparkly 3.1 Phillip Lim) on the runway. There were a lot of grey clothes on this runway, and a lot of vest/shorts combos. Anthony Ryan’s drapey and singularly unflattering romper was a standout. Michael put it bluntly, “The shorts are big and tight at the same time! She has a camel toe!” When his model was asked to turn around, the judges recoiled in horror ando Bertzilla added, “And a camel butt.” Oh boy.

Within the bottom two teams, everyone threw everyone else under the bus while the top two teams waited backstage, relieved to be safe. After an equally contentious discussion among the judges, it was time to find out who was ‘out’. This week it was Danielle—ultimately her addiction to chiffon was her downfall. It’s just not a fabric one can wear with sneakers.

And the winner is…Viktor! With a fabulous motorcycle jacket over an adorable feminine frock. Nina loved his team’s cool Road Warrior look.

Off the Track: Project Runway Recap, Episode 5Off the Track: Project Runway Recap, Episode 5

And…Josh M.!

All of the judges praised his leadership skills although Anya actually designed his team’s winning look. Josh M. is officially on ego watch for next week, which promises high energy and drama. The previews revealed hyper children, Michael referring to “Valium clothes,” and Olivier admitting to gluing a top to his model. So against the Project Runway rules!