Another season of “Project Runway” has come and gone, and one of the questions that you have to ask in conjunction with this is simple: Was it really worth our while? There’s almost an interesting dichotomy when it comes to this show. From one standpoint, you want to see the favorite win because they deserve it, but then you want to see the underdog win because that will create a little bit more of a surprise. Sometimes, the right winner makes for a boring episode, and we don’t really think that this finale needed to run for as long as it did.
But when the dust settled, there was a conclusion that almost any fashion fan saw coming a mile away: Dom Streater defeated Alexandria von Bromssen, which allows her to be the winner of season 12. (If nothing else, Alexandria wins the prize of best name that would fit perfectly in NBC’s upcoming “Dracula” series.) Justin LeBlanc was third, and Bradon McDonald was fourth.
Dom’s win came down to use to a culmination of a strong final performance for sure, but also history. She was the only person in the final four to never be in trouble, and that sort of consistency has to be rewarded in an industry where a client always expects you to be on your game. You can’t just be brilliant half of the time and miserable the other.
In the end, though, season 12 will give many viewers the same sort of reaction as a number of other seasons before it. If you love “Project Runway,” you love it. What the show does, it does very well; it casts good designers, has a great tandem of hosts and judges, and often gives you that sort of opulent fashion that is unattainable in the same way that “Top Chef” does food. You watch these shows for the ideal. Are the eliminations sometimes questionable? Sure, and the show occasionally chooses to run on fumes. But 12 seasons in, almost any show would.
It’s hard to have a ton of confidence in Dom given that not all winners have the best track record after the show, but at least she’s got the notoriety and the title. It’s certainly better than not giving this a shot at all.
We’ll figure out how excited we are about next season after we see the contestants and the twist. At this point, that matters more than watching something that could become routine very quickly. Grade: B+
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