Friday, October 5, 2012

And then sometimes television breaks your heart.

By Meg Walter

In the Project Runway workroom, Tim Gunn said to Sonjia, "Do I believe that you've been working up to your potential as a designer? No. I don't. I do believe you've been holding back. I believe you haven't been giving it your all. I just know there's so much more in you. You've gotta get it out." As badly as I wanted to disagree and yell at my television, I knew Tim was right and so did Sonjia. Sonjia rallied her spirits and created what she thought would be a hit for the Avant-Garde challenge. Unfortunately the judges found it was a miss, and again I had to reluctantly agree. That dress is not avant-garde. It's droopy and sad and made with mesh.

It's tough when you're favorite isn't the best. Over the past few weeks it's been apparent that Christopher is this season's star, and that although Sonjia is adorable and delightful and an inspiration for short-haired woman everywhere, she does not deserve to win. Is she a better designer than Fabio? Yes. And better than Melissa. But Christopher is more creative and Dimitri is more precise, and in the end she just wasn't going to win.

It's one thing when a favorite is eliminated on The Bachelor or Big Brother. It makes the show slightly less entertaining. But when Tim sends my favorite designer to the workroom to pack up their things, it tears me up. Maybe it's because Sanjia was there to fulfill a dream. Because her mother taught her to sew and it's all she's ever known. She doesn't want to be on the cover of US Weekly. She never said "I'm not here to make friends." She just wants to be successful doing what she loves, just like every one else. But us everyone elses rarely get the opportunity to compete for our dream on television, so we channel our ambitions, pick a favorite, feel their successes and heartaches as our own, and are most often reminded that we can't all live our dreams. There can only be one Project Runway winner. Sadly it's not Sonjia. But she'll keep sewing. We'll all keep trying. And hopefully Heidi's right, Sonjia still has a bright future in fashion, and all us everyone elses have hope yet.

Meg Walter writes about television to justify watching so darn much of it. When she's not on her couch letting her brain turn to jello she's blogging at, playing with her baby girl, or beating her husband in board games..


  1. Just watched it and nearly cried. I was hoping and praying they were psyching us out and would actually send 5 to fashion week...