The group meets Tim and the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and they're all thrilled to be in such a legendary place with the sparkle-clad dancers. Suddenly, a curtain lifts and there's Heidi, also sequined to the nines. She reveals that the contestants will be designing a new costume for the Rockettes. The winning outfit will be worn by the Rockettes in one of their future shows. Hurrah!
They also get to meet Linda Haberman, the director and choreographer of the group. She tells the designers to make something versatile and wearable year round, while Heidi reminds them not to forget to make something dynamic enough to be seen by people sitting far away. Tim wants them to make sure to keep a modern aesthetic, and he gives them 30 minutes to sketch and a few examples of past costumes to work with.
After putting together some ideas, it's off to Mood to choose their fabrics. Christopher's looking for materials to make the New York City skyline on his outfit, while Sonjia is struggling to find inspiration and is worried about what she's going to do. Ven is whining yet again about how Mood didn't have the right crystals that he wanted, which may keep his piece from reading well on the runway. Yeah, it's the crystals' fault. Finally, everyone manages to settle on fabrics and accessories - for better or worse, though Elena runs into a problem when she's $150 over her budget.
In the workroom
After getting their materials back to Parsons, Tim tells the designers that they'll have only until 7:30pm to work on their pieces because... they're going out to dinner! Yay! They'll have tomorrow, as well, so not to worry. It seems they're going to need that time, as well, as mostly everyone seems completely flummoxed on what to do. Melissa, Sonjia and Elena are all having issues. Ven seems pretty confident, though, insisting that he's going to keep it "simple" - probably not the best idea for a Rockettes costume.
It's time to quit for the day before they know it, and the designers are off to dinner. They enjoy some wine and good food and even the social side of things are shaping up. Elena apologises to Dmitry for being a bitch, Ven opens up about how he used to "play in the snow by [himself]" and explains that this is why he keeps to himself a lot. Aw, isn't that heartwarming that everyone is kissing and making up!
But the next morning, it's back to work. Everyone is a bit off their game and has to struggle to focus, particularly Sonjia, who still hasn't decided on a solid design to go forward with. Melissa has 18 pattern pieces to her dress, all of which are lying around on the table and still not put together. Talk about a time crunch. Christopher, however, is making good progress with his NYC skyline costume and hey, look at that! It's time for Tim to check in.
Tim notices that Sonjia is looking "very disabled" and she admits that she has no idea where to go with the rest of the piece now that she's made her feathered skirt. Tim is worried about her but warns her not to delay too much longer and to begin cutting the top. Elena's costume strikes Tim as a band outfit, causing him to exclaim, "Yikes!" about exactly how much she still needs to figure it out.
Dmitry has got a lot of work accomplished, which is a short, cut-out dress with beaded fringe. Tim doesn't have much to say about it and leaves him to it. Coming to Fabio's silver and black outfit, Tim instructs him to "bitch slap that bitch!" in order to get it done right. As for Christopher, the shortness of the skirt is a bit concerning to Tim, who also wishes that he had more accessories to embellish the top.
As for Melissa, she's way behind and has a very plain outfit - not to mention she's making a rather complicated dress. Tim tells her to make some decisions and try to make something dynamic before moving onto Ven's design, which he sees simply as a "short dress" rather than something meant for the stage.
Finally, Tim gathers the final seven to tell them that he's majorly concerned as they need to design with more urgency and their supplies aren't very good. So, for the first time ever, Tim says that they're all going back to Mood, where they'll have $100 and 15 minutes to get more stuff. Everyone is thrilled, except for Fabio, Dmitry and - yep, you guessed it - Ven, all of whom decide that they're satisfied with their initial purchases and would rather stay behind. The others look on blankly as he says this, particularly because he's giving up a second chance.
Back at Mood for round two, you'd think it'd be easier than it is, but mostly everyone still doesn't know what they want to do. Melissa can't afford anything that she likes, but Christopher gives her $50 to allow her to buy more. Sonjia is still struggling, as well, admitting that she doesn't feel too much better than she did the first time around. Even Elena chokes again and only ends up buying more fabric.
It's already time for the model fitting and Sonjia doesn't even have a top for her model to wear yet. Still, she insists that she hasn't come this far to mess up now. To help raise her spirits, she has a little Skype session with her boyfriend at home, who encourages her to keep going. The talk helps a lot - she gets back into the workroom and gets down to work.
Before we know it, it's the day of the runway show and there's a lot of the usual last minute scrambling. Surprisingly, everyone must be feeling pretty charitable, as Ven chips in to do some hand-stitching for Melissa. Of course, it still doesn't go smoothly as her zipper flies off soon after and she has no idea how to get her model back into the dress, especially after efforts from Fabio and Sonjia to get it back on are unsuccessful. Uh oh.
The runway show
Joining Heidi on the runway this week are the usuals - Michael Kors and Nina Garcia - plus a rather chipper Debra Messing (who Christopher apparently loves). Fabio is the only person who's deemed safe right away, so he gets to leave the runway. The rest have the highest and the lowest scores - you know the drill.
Sonjia's purple iridescent and feathered look doesn't impress Heidi, as it's not a showstopper or magical and looks "boxy" rather than sexy. Nina thinks that for practical reasons, the costume doesn't work as feathers are easily damaged. Debra agrees, and Michael adds that it has no movement and doesn't come off as glam enough for the stage, looking more cocktail than costume.
Heidi loves Dmitry's edgy dress, appreciating the beaded fringe and the movement the dress provides, saying that it's different than anything the Rockettes have ever danced in before. Michael loves that he didn't get lost in the challenge and instead made an impeccable design that's modern and elegant. Nina is also a fan, calling it "chic", while Debra agrees, but is concerned about walking the line between sexy and family friendly.
Ven's silvery blue dress is made in a great fabric but is "really boring" and has no design, according to Heidi. Michael loves simplicity but says that you never want it to turn into a yawn - it looks like an evening dress cut off. Nina would have liked a bit more drama, though Debra disagrees and loves the simplicity and movement of the dress. Still, she is concerned with the uneven hem line.
Melissa's got a "showstopper" on her hands, Heidi says, though the longer she looks at it, the more she sees wrong with it. She enjoys the colour choice but thinks it's probably a bit too short. Michael appreciates that it's graphic and dramatic and loves the rhinestone edging, but he doesn't like that it's like a cut-off cocktail dress. Still, the big "1" on the front is driving him crazy and comes off a little awkward. Nina thinks the colour is vibrant but otherwise, it's a miss. Debra is confused and wonders what type of woman she's trying to present but likes that she put in sparkles.
Christopher's New York City skyline dress is a big hit with Heidi, who loves the message and thinks that all Rockettes would look stunning in it. Nina thinks that the illusion is beautiful and presents New York at its best. Michael admits that if the idea wasn't executed well, it would be hideous. Luckily, he did it impeccably and made a "Bob Mackey moment". Debra calls it "spectacular and dignified".
When it comes to Elena's blue sparkled costume, Michael calls her a "Las Vegas cheerleader" and thinks that it's tacky and gaudy. Debra says that it felt like it would be a beautiful costume for the circus, while Nina pinpoints her fabric choice as the biggest problem. Heidi finds it to be "really cheesy" and thinks that the fabric looks really cheap and lacks sophistication.
Well, it's time to make a decision. Heidi admits that they don't take it lightly but it's difficult as there are so few contestants left and they're all very talented designers. But either way, let's find out. Melissa is safe, so she gets to leave the stage. Meanwhile, Christopher is the winner of the challenge and will be worn by the Rockettes in one of their future shows. That means he's in as well. Dmitry and Sonjia are safe, as well. That means it's Ven or Elena who will be out of the competition.
Finally, Heidi reveals that Elena is in, meaning Ven is the one to go home. Finally! "I'm upset, sad, frustrated. I think the sad part is knowing I could put on an amazing show, but the opportunity is not there," he says following his elimination.
Project Runway airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Lifetime