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‘Project’ Funway

Feb 20, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Five days after seeing Santino Rice slide into the final three of “Project Runway 2” with a gold gown Tim Gunn dubbed “Attack of the Paillettes,” The Insider is still D-U-M-struck.

She left the Feb. 10 taping of the four-collection runway show that would determine the winner of the second season convinced that Santino was the red herring, albeit a red herring that had finally listened to a long line of judges who had told him cut the crapola he was piling onto his creations for most of the season.

The “Project”-iles around her in the beyond-SRO crowd agreed as they watched his uncharacteristically classic, almost goddess-y gowns (except for a leather-and-satin number) swish the length of the runway.

This was only moments after Santino, looking very urban Che Guevara, had immodestly presented himself as “Not just good TV, I’m a great designer” and then immaturely made his mother stand in the front row while he shouted: “My mom’s the s***!”

It was a go-outside-and-sit-in-the-truck moment if ever there were one. It was not the behavior of a guy who can be trusted to not embarrass sponsors or anyone else who invests in him.

Meanwhile, Kara Janx, who was “auf wiedersehen“-ed last Wednesday, proved to be the red herring of the runway taping and exited with style. Her collection of mostly evening wear showed a confidence she struggled to attain all season. And she gets The Insider’s First Annual Jay McCarroll Vision Award for her decision to accessorize the gowns with chunky, confetti-colored knit caps and boho-chic hair on the models.

Daniel Vosovic let his inner Adrien Brody out with a stylish new shag and a black dinner jacket and T-shirt and jeans. He didn’t embarrass himself in any way, but neither did his contemporary classic pieces make The Insider want to go buy, buy.

Chloe Dao used the most luxe fabrics chosen by any of the finalists, but her bare-back fetish began to seem repetitive.

Bottom line: The Insider, who left last year’s runway show knowing that Jay McCarroll had stolen the show, has no such feeling now. She can hardly wait for the March 8 season finale-when “Will & Grace’s” Debra Messing will be a guest judge-to what has become one of the most addictive reality shows yet. “The Apprentice” should be so savvy and entertaining!

In the meantime, The Insider predicts that next year the crowd clamoring to get into the runway taping will be as large as that determined to wangle invitations to premiere parties for HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

And Bravo still won’t have to wine or dine a one of them, just let them mingle with returning “Runway” competitors prior to the taping.

The Insider also thinks that Mr. Gunn this season has developed genuine star quality. His voice is as mellifluous as James Earl Jones’. His gimlet eye misses nothing. He is suave. He is droll. He’s “Project Runway’s” Jeff Probst. He should be on People’s sexiest-men list and red-carpet patrol during Hollywood’s awards season.

Finally, The Insider has this message for Austin Scarlett, the most flamboyant of “Runway’s” first class of competitors: William F. Buckley’s wife, Pat, called and she wants her weekend-in-Connecticut jacket and slacks back. And her hairdo and makeup.

Keep the scarf. That double-wrapped-and-tied style is sooooooooo Benjamin Franklin.

That’s the end of the snippy comments for this week.