Tim Gunn points out in his podcast that fan favorite Michael Knight is young and inexperienced, the kind of designer that does better when he has some constraints to work within. In that sense, Project Runway is not only a competition, but an educational experience for the designers (as well as for the audience). Left to his own devices, Michael seems to have fallen back on a “take a sexy woman and make her look even sexier” approach, which to his credit he does extremely well: The models all looked dirty hot on the runway; unfortunately, the judges decided that they looked a little more dirty than hot.

I actually liked Uli’s collection the most. I loved that she switched up her signature prints with more metallic fabrics, which gave her designs some much-needed variety while maintaining the light, fun feel that she has. Her silhouettes remain unchallenging, which is probably why she didn’t win the competition, where more high-concept designs are what the judges want to see — although seeing Michael Kors diss a collection for being too ready-to-wear and not high fashion enough is kind of funny, considering how he made his fortunes.

Laura. Cohesive. Opulent. Exquisitely crafted. Wake me when it’s over.

I wasn’t impressed with Jeffery’s outfits on first viewing, but the more I see of them, the more I like them. I still like Uli’s stuff better, but I see where the judges were coming from when they gave him the win. While the other designers made pretty, accessible clothes, Jeffery made outfits with challenging silhouettes and intricate detailing. And at the end of a season that seemed to contain more forced drama and less design than the previous iterations of the show, it was good to see the final win go to the designer who produced the most challenging fashion, rather than the biggest fan base. American Idol this ain’t. (Jeffery is still a jerk, though.)