The challenge kicked off with a visit from N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who told the contestants they'd be designing one final garment inspired by the Big Apple itself. Designers had $500 and two hours to find a city landmark that inspired them. Michael C. chose the Statue of Liberty, April and Mondo were drawn to the Brooklyn Bridge, Andy spent time in Central Park and Gretchen found herself wandering the Lower East Side.
In the workroom, Tim Gunn emphasized how important it was for contestants to "wow" the judges. But at times it seemed that exhaustion – and pure frustration – got in the way of designers' visions. Mondo even fell asleep in the break room for a solid two hours. Gretchen came to a standstill with her uninspired design, and Andy doubted his garment, telling the cameras he "gave birth to a Chinese prostitute." Tim warned him he was skewing too Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Still, it was an emotional episode. At least one designer would be going home, so the five remaining contestants shared lots of laughs and hugs. And on the runway, they heard constructive support from guest judge Christian Siriano, Runway's season 4 winner.
Life's a WitchMichael C. showed a flowing black gown with a dramatic slit and plunging backline. Andy's sparkly black cocktail dress looked almost wet thanks its shimmery sheen. Gretchen's model wore a sad leather jacket and red skirt. Mondo produced a cool, multi-patterned frock, and April sent an avant-garde floor-skimming black coat-dress down the runway.
Though Heidi Klum wished Mondo had gone in a different direction with his garment, Michael Kors called his dress "full of joy, full of Mondo," sending him to Fashion Week. The judges praised Michael C.'s black gown for evoking old Hollywood glamour – Heidi even said she'd wear it – and despite the fact that he had no idea what type of fabric he'd used to make the dress, he was deemed safe.
Andy was also in, thanks to his innovations throughout the season and latest look, which Nina Garcia adored. That left Gretchen and April to face elimination. Though Gretchen's commercial combo was quite possibly her weakest of the season (Heidi told her, "You're better than that"), it was April who went home for a dress Michael said was fit for "a pregnant witch."
The remaining four were able to breathe a sigh of relief, but it's not over: Heidi and Tim told them only three will compete at Fashion Week – and that he'd seen them soon to check on their collections during a home visit.
Tell us: Did April deserve to go home? Which three designers do you think will end up at Fashion Week?