"Project Runway" Season 15 continued the 2016 tradition of surprising people with things they should've seen coming.
Lifetime's 2016 season was probably decided somewhere in the first three weeks -- when Erin Robertson won two challenges and was at the top of a third -- but many fans are still upset that she won, especially since that banana design was her showcase finale look. The judges loved it, and it was very much Erin's aesthetic, but to many fans it was just ... bananas.
Granted, there are many Erin fans out there -- people who loved her the whole season, or who just thought her finale collection was superior to the other four contenders. Even some fans who really, really wanted Laurence Basse to win agreed with the judges that her finale collection had no "wow" moments or her usual strong signatures.
The finale came down to this ranking:
4th place: Rik Villa
3rd place: Laurence Basse
Runner up: Roberi Parra
Winner: Erin Robertson
Erin winning #ProjectRunway perfectly sums up the dumpster fire that is 2016.— Shawn Jeffers (@shawnmjeffers) December 23, 2016
Over at TVLine, when asked "Who SHOULD have won 'Project Runway' Season 15?" fans gave a slight edge to Laurence over Roberi (probably for her whole season of work rather than just her finale collection), then Erin and finally Rik. The comments are filled with fans lashing out at Erin, even if it's the judges who should take the heat from any frustrated fans. Erin did her job, and she was true to herself all season.
Some longtime viewers even compared the finale to the much-maligned Gretchen win over Mondo in Season 8, which left fans fuming and sent Mondo over to "All Stars" so he could at least win that show. (Gretchen led something of a group of bullies in Season 8, while Erin was not like that; Erin argued to Entertainment Weekly that editing didn't show how much she and Cornelius really got along.)
Here's a comment under Entertainment Weekly's Q&A with Erin:
This 15th season was a repeat of the Gretchen/Mondo finale. LIke the Gretchen/Mondo finale, this season's finale ended with a clunker. Does anyone remember Gretchen? Mondo, on the other hand, is doing quite well. I think Erin's "editorial" craftsy glue-gun looks will be so passe a year from now. Roberi was hands down the best designer in the group. Erin's looks were okay, but some of them were just plain awful. It's time to get a new crew of judges. Season 15 should be the last time we have to suffer through another season off Klum, Garcia, and Posen. Either that, or the show's producers should get these judges a new set of contact lenses since, clearly, their vision is compromised. Incroyable!
There are more anti-Erin comments in there, but also some support, like this:
Loved that they picked the true winner this season! Anyone else would have been a compromise to fashion sensibility. Erin's looks had that wow factor and none of the others had that. Roberi's was ok, but definitely not worthy of WINNING Project Runway. Ric's "collection" was so unattractive that I had to turn away from the screen every time I saw it. That denim stuff was like a project in summer camp where kids are given tubes of colored glue that they just scribbled onto the fabric. Ugly and unimaginative. He is the most delusional of all in that he had such a high opinion of himself. Always talking down Erin whose talent ran rings around his.
The positive takeaway is that fans still care deeply about this show, and who wins it, even after 15 seasons of evidence that winning usually does not mean much. (Christian Siriano is the most obvious exception.)
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