Project Runway season 7 preview (including Atlantan Anthony Williams)

January 13, 2010, by Rodney Ho

On Thursday night at 10 p.m., Lifetime is bringing “Project Runway” back just two months after the conclusion of a soporific season six. Perhaps this new crew can quickly extinguish that stale odor.

Lifetime was kind enough to send me an advance copy of episode one. I won’t give away who was eliminated (not that it matters much in the grand scheme of things), but it isn’t a “I can’t believe they did that!” moment.

Here are some notable things to watch for:

– The network was smart enough to bring the show back to New York City, in part to give judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia a chance to be regular judges again. (When the show was in Los Angeles, they were bit players, forcing the show to rely on lame guest judges.) In a TV Guide interview, both said it was harder to judge when they weren't seeing the contestants' work week in and week out and questioned some of the eliminations.

– It looks like "Project Runway" will continue to salt in celebrity guest judges. First episode: Nicole Richie. No shocker here: she's a bore.

– “Runway” cast a wider net in terms of seeking quality contestants, landing designers from China, Mexico, the Phillipines and the Ivory Coast (although they all technically reside now in the United States). The age range is also fairly vast, from 21 to 47.

– One quirky contestant isn’t used to using headless mannequins to drape her clothing so she just wears it herself.

– Another neurotic gal in the first challenge takes Tim Gunn's advice to heart and scraps her entire dress and starts over. Typically, this is not a good thing.

– A third contestant doesn’t appear to be close to finished with just a few hours to go. “Nobody has not finished their dress,” Tim warned. Define “finished,” Tim!

– This season’s winner gets $50,000 worth of equipment to help create and run the business and $100,000 from L’Oreal to launch their clothing line.

Heidi Klum is with child again so watch for more fabulous maternity wear fashions on the host.

– Atlantan Anthony Williams may have an ordinary name but he's no ordinary personality. Sample quotes:

“It’s hell being black and gay in the ghetto. My goal is to be one of the gown designers for Miss USA or Miss Universe. I don’t care for Miss America. Anthony needs to rise to the occasion.” [Yes, he referenced himself in the third person.]

A few guys compare their weight. “I’m 120.” “I’m 135.” When it’s Anthony’s turn, he looks at them, frowns and says, “I’m thirsty!”

While he’s frantically finishing his dress, he exclaims, “I’m sweating like a Baptist preacher!”

And when you see his first dress, think two words: “thigh tumor.”

Faith Dawson, who had done recaps of "Project Runway" the past two seasons, has moved on. Welcome Quindelda McElroy (who goes by Q) as our new PJ recap person. She will be guest blogging here every week and providing her sardonic take on the fashions, personalities and mishaps this season.