The winner of “Project Runway” will be decided Friday in New York.
But viewers of the Lifetime Television show, where local designer Anthony Ryan Auld has become quite the contender, won’t know the results until the final episode airs, probably at the end of October.
The finale of the show will be filmed Friday during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, which is Sept. 8-15.
The winner of “Project Runway” is decided from among three finalists. But the show’s producers have always included decoy collections from other contestants.
Ten designers currently remain in the competition, but one will be eliminated Thursday night, so nine are expected to present collections on Friday.
Fortunately, Auld won last week’s challenge and has immunity this week. So, barring any reality-show curveballs, the LSU alum should show a collection Friday in New York. However, no one’s saying whether he’s there as a finalist or a decoy.
Auld made his strongest showing of the series last Thursday when he won the challenge, which called for the contestants to collaborate on a painting with a student from The Harlem School of the Arts. The contestants then had to design an avant garde look inspired by the painting.
Auld’s gown with its bold paint brush-stroke motif was praised as a “strong, modern look” by judge Heidi Klum.
Auld, 28, had finished in the top three in at least three challenges before that, but, until last week, had yet to take home a win. The week before he had barely missed elimination after a team challenge filled with infighting and angst.
This week’s episode is another team challenge, with the 10 remaining designers divided evenly. Designer Betsey Johnson is going to be the guest judge.
From photos released by Lifetime, it appears that Auld will be teamed with Viktor Luna, Bryce Black, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Olivier Green for the “Can’t We Just Get Along?” challenge.
That leaves the other team with designers Joshua McKinley, Bert Keeter, Becky Ross, Laura Kathleen and Kimberly Goldson.
Previews show it won’t be an easy challenge — team projects never are — and Keeter, the show’s oldest contestant who has proven to be extremely difficult to work with, and McKinley, a strong, flamboyant personality, will be in the middle of it.
“I will not have it Bert,” McKinley said in the preview, before breaking down in tears over not seeing his mother before she died.
Ah, the drama continues … at least until October.
The winner of “Project Runway” will get $100,000 to start his or her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a $50,000 technology suite and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection on http://www.piperlime.com.