By David Eckstein
The season finale of "Project Runway" offered a lot less behind-the-scenes drama than we've become accustomed to. But really Thursday's episode was all about the clothes and the announcement of the Season 9 winner, Anya Ayoung-Chee.
The four contestants -- Anya, Kimberly, Joshua and Viktor -- scrambled to get their pieces together for Fashion Week. This presented quite the challenge. Coming out of last week, the designers had an opportunity to reassess what they're doing and incorporate feedback from each of the judges. Luckily, they had a shopping spree at a fabric store and $500 to spend.
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As the deadline drew near, Tim Gunn met with the finalists and began perusing their collections. It was at this time that Gunn offered the harshest criticism to Joshua for overthinking what he was doing.
"The critique with Tim has had my mind spinning for hours," Joshua said.
Anya was working up until the last second. But the four pulled it together in time for Fashion Week. That's when the clothes did the talking.
Each designer's line offered its own distinct style: Anya's reflected her Caribbean roots, Kimberly's was urban glam, Joshua's was about combining soft and hard lines and Viktor's merged his Mexican heritage with city life.
The only momentary drama at the runway was when Kimberly lost her sewing kit and then nearly lost her cool. But thanks to Anya's willingness to share hers, this problem quickly went away.
After the fashion show was over, it was up to the judges to determine the winner.
It quickly became clear that Viktor had a tough hill to climb when the judges told him they disliked his black shear outfits, which constituted four of his final designs.
"It was almost like you showed us two shows," Heidi Klum told him.
Joshua drew high praise from Michael Kors for his tailoring but drew criticism for its overall vision.
Nina Garcia said of Kimberly, "The clothes were great, but she's not there yet."
And this left one, the winner of "Project Runway," Anya Ayoung-Chee.
The gracious contestant beamed with excitement as she thanked the panel.
"It's a turning point in my life that I'll never, ever, ever be able to forget," she said.
And for Anya, future clothing designer, the fun is just getting started.
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