Thursday, February 24, 2005 · posted at 4:38 AM
Just not that into you. Every season I pick one reality show (okay more like 4 or 5) that I follow religiously. I become "priorly engaged" during the show's time slot. I talk about the people as though they are in my intimate circle of friends. I yell at the tv, I scream, I shout, I cheer, and I rant and I rave.

Recently I have been in love with Bravo's Project Runway. Girls may have heard about this show because, yay, fashion show. Guys may have heard about this show because of the sexpot host, Heidi Klum. Fun for the whole family, whether you like drama ("My agency just dropped me," sobs Morgan), comedy ("My agency just droppped me," sobs Morgan), suspense ("Who will be IN... who will be OUT?"), or just mindless entertainment (umm, well that's just about all 45 minutes).

Yesterday's finale pit Kara Saun "The Professional," Jay "The Wild Card," and Wendy "The Long Shot" against each other during New York's Olympus Fashion Week. I hate when shows take the liberty of stereotyping their own characters. I'm never sure if it's in an attempt to beat everyone else to the punchline, or just a blatant example of how manufactured and produced these shows are. But I digress...

The competition was really Kara Saun's "Aviatrix" collection versus Jay's "Stereotype" collection (complete with dyed-to-match headphones. Kara Saun's collection was flawless - cohesive with rich colors and a very polished touch. Jay's was risky - colorful and innovative.

And the winner of the Elle spread, $100,000 seed money, and Banana Republic mentorship? Jay McCarroll, fluorescent tie hat with ear flaps and all...

I can understand Jay's potential as the next great designer... he's incredibly talented and creative (although he never won any of the Runway challenges). But really, is a mentorship from Banana Republic going to inspire or stifle his mojo? A Banana Republic sales associate would NEVER give Jay the time of day if he set foot in that store, yet they expect a successful creative relationship between him and the design team? Take the seed money and run away, Jay, run away and never return.

More frustrating is that the judges dismissed Kara Saun for being "too perfect." What? Excuse me, but aren't you supposed to reward people for a job well done, not punish them? This reeks of last season's Apprentice when The Donald fired Kevin for being "too educated."

This is the reality tv equivalent of the "I don't deserve you" speech. You let the other party down easily by overloading compliments in hopes that you can trick them into thinking that it's no big loss on their part. Hell, they can do better than you (thus alleviating any guilt on your part for hurting feelings).

If the judges didn't like Kara Saun's designs, if they thought she didn't need Bravo's help starting her own line (totally plausible - she designed Queen Latifah's 2000 Oscar gown afterall), if the network wanted Jay to win for ratings reasons, they should just own up to it rather than mask it with a fake "you're too good" talk.

Although I guess no one wants to hear "Well you didn't win the competition because your voice is too soporific," or "I'm breaking up with you because that extra 5 pounds you gained AREN'T loveable handles."

Because "it's not you, it's me" never means it.

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