‘Project Runway’ Season 17 Episode 2 Betting Odds

by James Murphy in Entertainment  / March 18, 2019

  • ‘Project Runway’ is returning to Bravo for its 17th season.
  • Model Karlie Kloss and designer Christian Siriano are the new hosts.
  • ‘Project Runway’ Season 17 Episode 2 airs March 21 at 8:00 PM Eastern on Bravo.

I’m not really sure what to say about Episode 1 of the Project Runway reboot. I like Christian Siriano in the ‘mentor’ role–he’s got the design chops and based on the first episode at least he comes off as empathetic. Some people are apparently still pissed that Siriano used what was described as a ‘transphobic slur’ over a decade ago. In case you’re wondering the term ‘trannies’ is now a ‘slur’ even when an openly gay man uses the word. Proving that being perpetually offended is not a recent phenomenon here’s the quote that drew the ire of those who spend their time policing the English language. Asked to explain the ubiquity of drag in the gay community he gave this very benign answer:

“If you think of heterosexuals, they have white-trash women and trailer parks, and we have drag queens and trannies. I don’t know if I’m the one who can explain it. It’s, like, drag queens are just there. These answers are hard!”

Fortunately, the Siriano witch hunt never gained any traction though he did have to release an ‘apology’ where he used this great line: “I completely support the fabulousness and amazing fashion inspiration that most transgender people provide.” As should all decent people, even if they have the temerity to use the ‘wrong word’.

STRONG START FOR CHRISTIAN SIRIANO

Siriano’s performance was one of the more intriguing components of the Project Runway reboot aka Season 17. He has a rep for being something of a prick. TIME Magazine used the more politically correct term ‘sassy arrogance’ but then concluded that “his thoughtful, surprisingly soft-spoken critiques feel more practical and specific than Gunn’s mini therapy sessions, if not quite as endearing.”

The ‘Gunn’ they refer to is of course the iconic Tim Gunn. Nothing against Siriano, but Gunn is irreplaceable:

“Around nine minutes into the series premiere of Project Runway, which aired way back in December 2004, a star was born. Dressed for academia in a navy sport coat, khaki pants and wire-rimmed glasses, Tim Gunn, then the 51-year-old chair of the Parsons fashion design school, greeted his mentees in a warm baritone that would become TV’s most comforting sound. He uttered his first “make it work” soon after, followed by a round of critiques in which he showed even his most difficult pupils remarkable patience. By the finale, Gunn was an icon of empathy, grace and good taste—a role that yielded several book deals, a C-suite job with Liz Claiborne and nearly 15 years as the heart and soul of the show that made him famous.”

STERILE AND DEVOID OF PERSONALITY??

Karlie Kloss is just fine in her role–Judy Berman in Time Magazine referred to her as ‘merely competent’ while her predecessor Heidi Klum was ‘amusingly mercurial with loads more personality’. The sobriquet about Tim Gunn being the ‘heart and soul’ of the show is right on the money. The debut of Project Runway 2.0 was fine but feels devoid of the aforementioned ‘heart and soul’. The fact that they practically trip over themselves trying to be ‘inclusive’ and ‘inoffensive’ strips away any veneer of personality. For some reason, the new production team feels that they need to serve as a proxy to atone for the misdeeds of disgraced Hollywood power broker Harvey Weinstein who once owned the production rights to Project Runway.

To be fair, there are those who applaud the new ethos of the show but even they give the caveat that all of these ‘warm fuzzies’ don’t exactly “make for especially fascinating reality TV”:

“Still, the message is clear: this is a warmer, fuzzier “Project Runway” that wants to be for the people instead of decreeing the grand laws of fashion from somewhere above them. So far, that doesn’t make for especially fascinating reality TV, a genre that is usually better off for allowing a little more room for rougher edges. But if the vanguards of the fashion world are truly finding it in their hearts (or at least their savvy business brains) to open the doors for talent and designs alike just a little bit wider, it makes for an intriguing new direction nonetheless.”

Siriano wrote an editorial for NBC News explaining that the show is now “more inclusive because the fashion industry is (finally) evolving”. There’s likely some truth to that but the reality is that this trend started under the Gunn/Klum regime when they started to use models of different body types. I’m all for inclusivity but that’s not really the issue with the tone of Project Runway. It feels devoid of personality. Given the near desperation from everyone involved of being inoffensive, inclusive and politically correct there’s an undertone that anything that might make the show entertaining or at least interesting is being suppressed.

Another concern is that all of this is starting to influence the judging process. My preseason favorite–Cavanagh Baker–was unceremoniously eliminated in Episode 1. There’s a sizable number of hardcore fans that think the other ‘bottom two designer’–Frankie Lewis–should have been the one sent packing. A poll on the essential Gold Derby website indicated that 58% of respondents thought that the judges made the wrong call.

JUDGING NO LONGER ‘TRUE TO THE SPIRIT OF THE SHOW’

More problematic–that decision appeared strongly influenced by the perception that Lewis is the ‘nicer person’. Baker got what has been referred to as the ‘bitch edit’ and portrayed as aloof, arrogant, snooty, or whatever else you want to call it. 23% of the respondents in the aforementioned poll thought that ‘Frankie is a nicer person but she doesn’t have what it takes to succeed on Project Runway‘. One commenter made the sharp observation that the judging wasn’t ‘true to the spirit of the show’. Another opined that “Frankie would have been eliminated on the old Project Runway“.

A few random viewer comments highlighted on Gold Derby:

“The choice to keep Frankie instead of Cavanagh was a joke. They lost this viewer. I’ll wait for the Heidi & Tim show on Amazon Prime series.”

“Frankie’s bodysuit was beyond tragic. Have watched every season and I can’t think of anything that bad that survived. Clearly she should have been sent home. Cavanagh’s design may have been something of a Simplicity 2-hour-ish project, but it was flattering to her model. I don’t think the judging was true to the spirit of the show and I really hope personality and background don’t carry weight in their decisions.”

“Totally destroyed the show. No talent, politically correct, and hideous decision at the end to keep Frankie. Loved the show for 16 seasons but we’re done with this mess of a show. Tragic.”

“Political correctness appears to be the main criteria featured on this new disappointing season. From the selection of models to the absurd non-elimination of Frankie who produced the worst excuse of an outfit ever “created” with help from a bevy of enablers for her juvenile hysterics and incompetence, the show forced a viewpoint. Disappointing.”

REALITY TV, ONLY WITHOUT MUCH ‘REALITY’

This could all portent trouble for the new incarnation of Project Runway. There’s a sizable block of longtime fans that simply don’t like what the show has become. If they actually do ‘tap out’ on Project Runway the show as it currently exists is going to have a hard time winning over new fans. Maybe Cavanaugh was a ‘bitch’ but that’s not sufficient justification for her dismissal. To the contrary, there’s plenty of precedent on reality TV in general and Project Runway in particular that these contestants are precisely the ones that make for the best television. I’ve started referring to this phenomenon as the ‘Buitendorp Factor’ in reference to the Buitendorp Twins from Project Runway Season 16. The audience initially despised both twins and practically begged for them to be eliminated. They were kept around for quite awhile and by the end of the show had become not only a source of compelling television but two of the more intriguing contestants.

The interplay between arrogance and talent has always been a fascinating dichotomy and Project Runway explored these (inextricably linked or not) personality components better than any reality show on television. If we’ve reached the point that ‘niceness’ is prioritized over ‘talent’ you no longer have a fashion design competition and there’s no real reason for the show to exist.

Here are the official SPORTS INSIDER betting odds for Project Runway Season 17 Episode 2:

‘PROJECT RUNWAY’ SEASON 17 BETTING ODDS

Gary 'Garo Sparo' Spampinato           +500
Nadine Ralliford +500
Bishme Cromartie +750
Tessa Clark +750
Venny Etienne +1000
Jamall Osterholm +1000
Hester Sunshine +1500
Renee Hill   +1500
Rakan Shams Aldeen +1500
Jhoan 'Sebastian' Grey +1500
Kovid Kapoor +2000
Sonia Kasparian +2000
Lela Orr   +2500
Frankie Lewis +2500
Afa Ah Loo +2500

‘PROJECT RUNWAY’ SEASON 17 EPISODE 2 BETTING ODDS

TO BE ELIMINATED IN EPISODE 2 OF ‘PROJECT RUNWAY’ SEASON 17

Sonia Kasparian                        +350
Afa Ah Loo +350
Venny Etienne +500
Lela Orr   +500
Frankie Lewis +750
Hester Sunshine +750
Renee Hill   +1500
Rakan Shams Aldeen +1500
Jhoan 'Sebastian' Grey +1500
Kovid Kapoor +1500
Jamall Osterholm +2500
Gary 'Garo Sparo' Spampinato +2500
Nadine Ralliford +2500
Bishme Cromartie +2500
Tessa Clark +2500
No One Eliminated in Episode 2 +5000

TO BE BOTTOM TWO BUT SAFE IN EPISODE 2 OF ‘PROJECT RUNWAY’ SEASON 17

Sonia Kasparian                        +350
Afa Ah Loo +350
Venny Etienne +500
Lela Orr   +500
Frankie Lewis +750
Hester Sunshine +750
Renee Hill   +1500
Rakan Shams Aldeen +1500
Jhoan 'Sebastian' Grey +1500
Kovid Kapoor +1500
Jamall Osterholm +2500
Gary 'Garo Sparo' Spampinato +2500
Nadine Ralliford +2500
Bishme Cromartie +2500
Tessa Clark +2500
No One Bottom Two/Safe in Episode 2 +5000

TO WIN CHALLENGE IN EPISODE 2 OF ‘PROJECT RUNWAY’ SEASON 17

Tessa Clark                            +350
Gary 'Garo Sparo' Spampinato +500
Nadine Ralliford +500
Bishme Cromartie +750
Venny Etienne +1000
Jamall Osterholm +1000
Hester Sunshine +1500
Renee Hill   +1500
Rakan Shams Aldeen +1500
Jhoan 'Sebastian' Grey +1500
Kovid Kapoor +2000
Sonia Kasparian +2000
Lela Orr   +2500
Frankie Lewis +2500
Afa Ah Loo +2500
No Episode 2 Challenge Winner +5000

CHALLENGE RUNNER UP IN EPISODE 2 OF ‘PROJECT RUNWAY’ SEASON 17

Tessa Clark                            +350
Gary 'Garo Sparo' Spampinato +500
Nadine Ralliford +500
Bishme Cromartie +750
Venny Etienne +1000
Jamall Osterholm +1000
Hester Sunshine +1500
Renee Hill   +1500
Rakan Shams Aldeen +1500
Jhoan 'Sebastian' Grey +1500
Kovid Kapoor +2000
Sonia Kasparian +2000
Lela Orr   +2500
Frankie Lewis +2500
Afa Ah Loo +2500
No Episode 2 Challenge Runner Up +5000

KEY DEMO RATING FOR EPISODE 2 OF ‘PROJECT RUNWAY’?

0.4 or Over                            -150
Under 0.4 +130

TOTAL VIEWERSHIP FOR EPISODE 2 OF ‘PROJECT RUNWAY’?

Over 1.5  Million                      -150
Under 1.5 Million +130

The previous two TV ratings propositions will be graded using data reported at TV By The Numbers.

James Murphy

James Murphy is a preeminent authority on the international gambling industry and has made frequent appearances in the mainstream media including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNBC and NPR. He has previously worked as a radio and podcasting host where he broadcast to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice. Murphy also serves as an odds making consultant for sports and ‘non-sport novelty bets’ covering the entertainment industry, politics, technology, financial markets and just about everything else.

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