Where's Andrae? Turns out, our favorite emotional basket case of Season 2, Andrae Gonzalo, is likely back at MOOD, preparing for the second season of Project Runway All Stars. Lifetime announced the new crop of contestants given a second chance at the title, and, based on the line-up, the network is ensuring that fans will see more drama than Tim Gunn sightings.
Of course, that's to be expected, since our Tim Gunn sightings will equal zero — former Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles will once again serve as mentor in Gunn's stead, with judges Isaac Mizrahi, Georgina Chapman, and host Carolyn Murphy at the helm. (A tragic development, considering we were looking forward to witnessing Gunn's many Red Lobster dates with Andrae. What happened to Tim?) Still, the cast of All Stars' second season is encouraging — whereas last season was an elaborate way to make up for Mondo Guerra's maddening loss to villain Gretchen Jones in Season 8, it seems there's no undercurrent driving the upcoming season, which premieres Oct. 25. Also: Wendy Pepper. Returns. Yes.
So, without a clear front-runner like Mondo, who will pick up All Stars second season win? Let's weigh the odds:
Wendy Pepper: It would be easy to assume Season 1's über-villain — and arguably one of the main reasons Season 1 of the reality underdog picked up steam — would be shown the door if she designed anything like this again, but think again. Season 1 became instantly entertaining because of the reviled designer — why would All Stars pass up the intrigue the second time around? Pepper's definitely something to sneeze at. Odds: 25: 1
Andrae Gonzalo: Like a bully in a playground, Project Runway won't feel satisfied unless it makes Andrae ugly cry at least three times. Of course, that may happen by Episode 1's end, but the Season 2 contestant's facial expressions alone should be enough to help him last a few challenges. Odds: 35: 1
Kayne Gillaspie: The Season 3 charmer finished fifth during Season 3, despite his limited design experience. No doubt the pageant king has developed his skills throughout the past six years, but, competing in an All Stars cast of characters more boisterous than his Season 3 cohorts, Kayne's camera-ready star might fade in the early episodes. Still, his association with former Miss USA Tara Conner — who wore a Kayne design during 2007's Miss Universe Pageant — may give him enough camp cred to help him last. Odds: 50: 1
Uli Herzner: During Season 3, Uli was inoffensive, unremarkable — and incredibly talented. The fact that some felt the Miami designer was robbed of the title by Jeffrey Sebelia bodes well for Uli — will her sunny designs brighten up All Stars enough to help her nab the title the second go-round? Will New York finally welcome Miami? Odds: 5: 1
Suede: This. Even Suede would wonder whether Suede has a chance. Odds: 500: 1
Althea Harper: Like Uli, Althea was a victim of her season. Not only did many think Althea should have won over the unlikeable Irina Shabayeva, but she also had the unfortunate distinction of being the only amiable character on Lifetime's dreaded first season. Still, the contestant has found success since becoming Project Runway's runner-up, and should make a strong case for the win. Odds: 4: 1
Emilio Sosa: The cocky designer is talented, indeed, but his confidence might have been shaken following the slice of humble pie he tasted following Seth Aaron's surprising win. Then again, the designer was nominated for a Tony for his costume work in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. So probably not. Look for Emilio to cover his designs with his name once again, whether or not he can tag the Project Runway win with his name. Odds: 5: 1
Peach Carr: Your grandmother loved Peach's designs, but, unfortunately, that likely won't be enough to carry the Season 8 contestant to the end. Still, her stellar sewing skills — and her sweet nature — may make the judges keen on Peach. Odds: 55: 1
Casanova: Season 8's man with one moniker is one of Project Runway's most eccentric characters (who isn't Season 3's Vincent), but he's more likely to catch the attention of Joel McHale than the judges. Exhibit A: This. Odds: 1,000: 1
Ivy Higa: The Season 8 contestant was as talented as she was self-absorbed. If she can get along with her fellow designers, she has a chance at finishing high during All Stars. But she'll have to learn first that there's no Ivy in Team. Odds: 33: 1
Anthony Ryan Auld: The Season 9 designer was a triple threat: Able, likable, and extremely dreamy. It will be easy for judges to root for the cancer survivor, even if his bizarre designs are more difficult to connect with than the designer himself. Odds: 30: 1
Laura Kathleen: The season 9 designer's flirty designs were as well-made as they were infectious. Still, it would be nice to see the girly-girl add a little more spice to her sugary designs. Odds: 20: 1
Joshua McKinley: The runner-up with clothes as loud as his personality, Season 9's Joshua should make for good TV and good fashion. And, hopefully, at least one good Wendy Pepper run-in. Odds: 3: 1
Who's got the best shot? And where's Andrae?
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[Image Credit: Richard McLaren/Lifetime]
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SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg understands that to turn what is in essence a series of 10-minute segments into a 90-minute feature it's necessary to keep things very simple. With that he's envisioned a sort of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure for SpongeBob in which the hapless hero sets out on a quest to find the balding King Neptune's treasured crown. We all know it's been stolen by that tiny green megalomaniacal one-eyed sea creature known as Plankton--who sold it and has framed SpongeBob's boss Mr. Krab with the crime so he can be rid of him and rule the world--but the rest of Bikini Bottom doesn't including King Neptune who wants to turn Mr. Krab into an appetizer. Now even though he has just been passed over for the promotion of his dreams SpongeBob still believes his boss is innocent and convinces the king to spare Mr. Krab's life long enough to allow SpongeBob to go retrieve the crown. Along with his best pal Patrick SpongeBob embarks on the treacherous mission battling any number of obstacles in order to save Mr. Krab's life restore order in Bikini Bottom and prove once and for all he can be a real man…wait a grown up…er a big bad sponge? Yeah something like that.
The whole gang is here including standup comic Tom Kenny who provides the high nasal voice of SpongeBob; Bill Fagerbakke (TV's Coach) who voices the dopey but lovable Patrick; and the booming I'm-master-of-the-universe voice of Mr. Lawrence as the evil Plankton. There are also a few celebrity voices thrown in for good measure including Arrested Development's Jeffrey Tambor as the vain and insecure King Neptune; Scarlett Johansson as his kind and patient daughter Mindy (who looks a little like Velma from the Scooby-Doo series); and Alec Baldwin as a malevolent hit man. But the best cameo of all belongs to David Hasselhoff appearing as himself--in Baywatch mode of course. Hasselhoff helps SpongeBob and Patrick who find themselves in the "real" world get back to Bikini Bottom safely and looks like he's having a ball poking a little fun at himself--as well he should.
Hillenburg a former marine science teacher created SpongeBob after he decided he wanted to do a sea cartoon and thought a square sponge wearing shorts who lives in a pineapple house in a world of real sea animals was just the ticket. Sure we get why the kids love it. The cartoon is madcap slapsticky gross-out fun with SpongeBob and Patrick just big ol' kids themselves living in an undersea community where eating Krabby Patties showing your underwear and blowing bubbles are the bomb. It's the parents you gotta wonder about--the ones who say they are only watching it because their kids do but who secretly look forward to SpongeBob SquarePants episodes so they too can laugh their asses off. "It's about keeping your kid-nature in life and not totally becoming a curmudgeon " Hillenburg explains--but it's more than that. SpongeBob's humor is oftentimes aimed completely at the adults following the habits of some stellar predecessors such as the old Looney Tunes shorts and even more recently Ren and Stimpy. Examples: SpongeBob and Patrick laughing manically for five minutes longer than they should; the two of them getting totally blasted after eating too many ice cream sundaes and then waking up the next morning in a puddle of their own sick; and confused side glances at the camera from some scary-looking sea monsters who stop short from eating SpongeBob and Patrick after the two start singing about being real men er well you know what I mean. Funny funny stuff.
Scooby and the gang at Mystery Inc.--Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.) Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar) Velma (Linda Cardellini) and Shaggy (Matthew Lillard)--are at the top of their game and just about everyone in Coolsville loves them. Even the Coolsonian Museum is honoring them with an exhibit--a costumed display of Mystery Inc.'s former foes such as The Pterodactyl Ghost The Black Knight Ghost and The 10 000 Volt Ghost. Yet at the museum's gala opening the team's stellar reputation is put in serious jeopardy when said monsters come alive re-created by a masked villain who vows to bring Mystery Inc. down. Under pressure from relentless reporter Heather Jasper-Howe (Alicia Silverstone) the gang launches an investigation into the monster outbreak but as the mystery deepens Mystery Inc.'s members end up questioning their roles within the organization. Can macho leader Fred and image-conscious Daphne look past the superficial and find the identity of the Evil Masked Figure? Will brainy Velma let her feelings for Coolsonian Museum curator Patrick Wisely (Seth Green) blossom even though he is a key suspect? And finally can Shaggy and Scooby stop cowering--and eating--long enough to prove they can be detectives? These are tough times for the gang but they've got to pull it together so they can solve the mystery and save the day.
Even though it seems a little ridiculous that Scooby-Doo 2's fleshed-out cartoon characters would try to dig deep to find answers within the returning actors continue to have fun exploring their alter-Scooby-egos. Prinze's Fred has a hipper haircut this time (the original matted blond 'do had to go) and isn't quite the braggart he once was. He is still unquestionably the "face" of the group until he is made to look foolish by the ruthless Heather played with relish by Silverstone who shines in the bad-girl role. Gellar has definitely dropped Daphne's "damsel-in-distress" routine getting all Buffy on the monsters but is still worried that its her looks not her skills that get her attention. Cardellini's Velma on the other hand gets a love interest--and even all dolled up at one point--but can't get rid of her inherent geekiness. It's Shaggy and Scooby who experience the biggest revelation realizing they really are nothing but giant screw-ups. Lillard actually turns in some (and I can't believe I'm actually saying this) poignant moments as Shag grapples with his inequities. They all realize in the end though that for the good of Mystery Inc. it's best to be true to yourself. Thank god.
Director Raja Gosnell goes full throttle in his second Scooby effort with more action and more elaborate theme-parky sets than the original. Even as the characters pause to reflect on their faults these moments are thankfully short-lived before the gang is thrust into another wild chase or fight sequence keeping the kiddies' minds occupied--and allowing the adult fans to laugh at all the monsters they remember from the TV show. One of the criticisms from the first Scooby-Doo was that it didn't provide enough "inside" jokes for the grown-up enthusiasts (and face it there are probably more of them than kids). But Scooby-Doo 2 harkens back to the good old days and even pokes fun at all those criminals whose evil plans and ghost disguises were foiled by the meddlesome quintet. They all gather at their own watering hole called the Faux Ghost where they can throw darts at pictures of the Mystery Inc. gang. Funny stuff. Overall the sequel provides the same madcap fun the original did without requiring the use of too much brainpower.