'Runway’ steps out for new season - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

'Runway’ steps out for new season

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Posted: Monday, July 14, 2008 1:50 pm | Updated: 8:54 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

“Project Runway” addicts rejoice! The fifth season of the Bravo hit TV show will air on Wednesday night in its new time slot (9 p.m.), and mighty Heidi (as in Klum) and company (as in mentor Tim Gunn and judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia) will all be there.

The season is bittersweet for Bravo — it’s auf wiedersehen at the end, as next time around it moves to Lifetime.

But the powers behind the show assure that they are pulling out all the stops. Guest judges range from Diane von Furstenberg to Brooke Shields.

Challenges, as always, will be (to steal a phrase from last season’s winner, Christian Siriano) fierce — and fun — including the reliably wacky “think outside the box” type when contestants have to construct a garment out of unconventional materials for an Olympic uniform design contest judged by gold medal winning speed skater and “Dancing With the Stars” champ Apolo Ohno.

So whose scissors will be sharpest this season? Contestants converge from all over — Arkansas, Florida, Montana, Utah, even Italy. There are surfer dudes, stylists and a 42-year-old rocker chick, Stella Zotis.

When she found out she made the cut, the New York resident says, “You know when you go to the dentist and you get Novocain, you don’t really know what’s happening? That’s how I felt when Tim Gunn said, 'Welcome to the show.’ ”

She may provide some spark this season — she started as a punk rock makeup artist and now produces designs for hipsters including Debbie Harry and Paula Abdul.

As always, the spoils of superb sewing include the big gig at the tents at Bryant Park during Fashion Week in September, an editorial feature in Elle magazine, $100,000 seed money for a business from TRESemme, a chance to sell duds on bluefly.com and a brand new 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid.

The other 15 designers competing this season are:

• Blayne, a 23-year-old from Yakima, Wash., who currently resides in Seattle

• Daniel, a 25-year-old from Great Barrington, Mass., who currently resides in Brookley, N.Y.

• Emily, a 27-year-old from Sacramento, Calif., who currently resides in Los Angeles

• Jennifer, a 27-year-old from East Syracuse, N.Y., who currently resides in Pistoia, Italy

• Jerell, a 28-year-old from Houston, who currently resides in Los Angeles

• Jerry, a 32-year-old from Butte, Mont., who currently resides in New York City

• Joe, a 41-year-old from Troy, Mich.

• Keith, a 26-year-old from Salt Lake City

• Kelli, a 27-year-old from Columbus, Ohio

• Kenley, a 25-year-old from Pompano Beach, Fla., who currently resides in Brooklyn

• Korto, a 33-year-old from Liberia who currently resides in Mabelvale, Ark.

• Leanne, a 27-year-old from Yuta, Calif., who currently resides in Portland, Ore.

• Suede, a 37-year-old from Seven Hills, Ohio, who currently resides in Barryville, N.Y.

• Terri, a 39-year-old from Chicago, who currently resides in Columbus, Ohio

• Wesley, a 23-year-old from Blackstone, Mass., who currently resides in New York City

On TV

The fifth season of “Project Runway” premieres 9 p.m. Wednesday on Bravo.

Read sammit, features editor Sam Mittelsteadt’s blog

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