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Annie Versus Will, Point/Counterpoint

As promised, yesterday’s Point/Counterpoint, today. But I think know it was worth it. This week on deck we have our intrepid director of partner relations Annie, matched up against our fearless leader, Will matching wits and points as they really delve into one of life’s mysteries. Project Runway. Who REALLY runs the show? Heidi Klum, or Tim Gunn? Auf Wiedersehen, indeed.

Tim vs. Heidi: Who really runs the show?
He had me at his very first “Make it work”. I’ve been a fan of Project Runway since day one, and despite my girl crush on Heidi Klum (sexual preference aside, you’re a liar if you say you don’t have one), Tim Gunn is the main reason the show has gone into its fifth fierce season.

Tim is the glue that holds the show together (that’s just a metaphor; please don’t use glue in your garments). When he first appeared as the contestants’ mentor, I don’t think I was alone in wondering “Who is this so-called fashion expert, and does he really talk like that in real life?” Was he just playing a character? The answer is, yes, he is, but he’s playing Tim Gunn. His non-distracting uniform (nice suit, smart glasses, and conservative haircut) is defiantly not trendy, yet he has an eagle’s eye for cutting-edge style. He remains adorably distant from all things pop culture, making his reactions to the colorful personalities on the show refreshing and genuine. (“Holler at your boy? Holler? Do you mean Hollow? I don’t get it.”)

His soundbites are unarguably the best, with my favorite being actually from a trailer from an upcoming episode: “It looks like a pterodactyl from a gay Jurassic Park.” !!!!!! And it’s made even better because he is not only NOT a drag queen, he is actually asexual. He is understated and doesn’t try too hard, and that is why I love him.

Heidi, aka “The Body”, sure she is hot and cool and married to Seal who is a badass, but let’s face it, she makes no valuable contribution to the critique of the designs, and it’s glaringly obvious that they have to dub her VO because you know she just messes up her lines all the time. Tim needs no redo’s, no cue cards; he needs to just be himself and to always be on Project Runway so I can continue to adore him.

The bottom line is, they could change the host from Heidi Klum to another supermodel, and the show would still retain at least 80% of its success. But lose Tim Gunn? You can say auf Weidersehen to your entire fan base.

Heidi Klum is the lifeblood of Project Runway.
Why Heidi and not Tim? Let me break it down by her qualities:
Genius: As executive producer, it was Heidi’s big brain that came up with the entire idea of Project Runway. Like she says, “It’s not just some stupid show where people blend up worms.” Take that Tim “I was hoping to do a worm show” Gunn.

Selfless: A lot of reality show hosts center everything on themselves. They can’t get their narcissistic mugs out of the spotlight. Not Heidi. She’s barely on camera, and that really helps Runway. She also gives each contestant a free bottle of one of her two signature perfumes, “Heidi Klum” or “Me”.

Private (and Normal): Tim Gunn’s always yapping about himself. “I believe in you.” “I want you to succeed.” Jeez, Tim, is it really all about what you think or want? With Heidi she never talks about herself and not once has she mentioned how she keeps a small bag full of the teeth she lost as a child as a good luck charm.

Succinct: In the time it takes Paula or Simon to berate some poor knucklehead, Heidi could dismiss an entire season of American Idol contestants with a few terse “you’re outs.” That keeps PR moving. And keeping things short and sweet comes natural to Heidi, mother of Henry Guenther Ademola Dashtu Samuel and Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel.

Respectful of Boundaries: A lot of shows take it too far, and in Tim’s hands PR would surely devolve into the standard reality fare of thimble swallowing and ironing fights. But Heidi never panders to pain or humiliation. Who could forget the “Ruin Your Favorite Thing In The Entire World” episode where contestants had to tear apart the one object in their hopeless little lives that gives them some glimpse of meaning? As Heidi says, “They lost their favorite leather jacket, or they lost their favorite pair of jeans. I’m very proud of that. I came up with that myself.”

Yeah, Heidi is the brains and the personality behind Project Runway. So if it comes down to booting someone off the show, Heidi, that means you are in.


Comment from dylan
Time: August 22, 2008, 7:42 pm

This was a well-fought battle. Kudos to both Annie and Will for standing up for what they believe in.

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