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Posted Fri, October 29, 2010 12:11am EDT

‘Project Runway’ Finale Shocker! Find Out Which Designer Won & Which One Was Totally Robbed!

In the show’s jaw dropping season eight finale, Andy choked, front runner Mondo was robbed and Gretchen, the queen of mean took home the top prize, an outcome that even shocked Tim Gunn!

I was still reeling from the departure of underdog Michael Costello last week– watching him fall short was heartbreaking, especially when egotistical Gretchen breezed into Fashion Week along with Mondo and Andy, going on and on about how much she deserved it. Rude!

This week’s finale started off with a reunion with all the seasons’ contestants. Gretchen got called out for her bad attitude. “You’re mean,” said April and Ivy rolled her eyes and called Gretchen fake when she started to cry. Meow! But for as drama filled as the season was, the rest of the reunion seemed like a love fest. There was an overwhelming amount of admiration for front-runner and HIV positive designer Mondo and newfound respect for Michael Costello.

After the rendezvous, it was back to the workroom and the crunch-time panic started to set in. Mondo was dealing with his models not showing up, Tim Gunn criticized one of Andy’s bathing suits- “it looks like it has hair coming out of the crotch,” while Gretchen was distracted and whining about something.

On the morning of the big day, the finalists made their way to Lincoln Center where the judges were waiting for them, including guest Jessica Simpson in the most unflattering outfit ever. Designed by Michael Kors himself, the saggy and shiny dress added bulk to her curvy frame, the cut out shoulders made her look like a linebacker and that tight ponytail did nothing to slim her round face. No wonder Michael Kors kept those aviators on inside, he was trying to hide! And what was up with Heidi Klum’s Hilary Clinton-eque red paint suit? At least Nina looked chic and qualified to judge a fashion competition!

Gretchen was up first with her collection that she named “Running Through Thunder.” She stuck with her boho 70s aesthetic with flowing maxi dresses, exaggerated black fedoras and brown safari print. It was a very wearable collection and she undoubtedly has talent as a ready-wear designer. My favorite look was high-waisted bell-bottom pants and a v-neck top. But the looks seemed to repeat over and over again which left me bored. Also, I didn’t get how the leather panels worked their way into the soft collection and those brown granny panties with flats? Yuck!

Andy took his inspiration from the Buddha Park in Laos. The collection was entirely silver with pops of bright green silks and he took a risk by sticking with the wacky star galaxy headpieces that the judges had voiced concerned about last week. His detailing was great, the cocktail dresses were smart and that so-called “hair bathing suit” didn’t look like hair at all. Actually, with the flowing cover-up, it was the most exciting piece of the collection. But I agree with Mondo’s observation in the workroom that the collection was two-dimensional with little variety. Andy, who had put out some wild Gaga worthy warrior looks earlier this season, toned himself down so much that his collection was barely recognizable as his. Disappointing.

Mondo’s much anticipated collection, which he dedicated to his grandmother Betty was loud, fun and yes, very Mondo. The fan favorite, who introduced his show in a sharp retro suit, mixed tweeds, polka dots, sequins and beads but remained heavy on the neutrals including just small pops of color. I was practically drooling over the strapless black and white plaid bubble dress. So adorable. No wonder designer Betsey Johnson gave him rave reviews afterward! I will admit the headpieces were odd and the last polka dot gown is a bit Beetlejuice looking but Mondo is refreshing, interesting and true to himself.

In the judges deliberation, they quickly decided Andy was out because of the lack of diversity in his collection. What ignited next was the most heated judges debate in Project Runway history. Nina and Michael were on Team Gretchen and argued that her effortless sportswear was where the future of fashion was headed. Heidi and Jessica were on Team Mondo and said he was more exciting and more original. Team Gretchen fired back saying Mondo wasn’t sophisticated or mature enough while Team Mondo said Gretchen was a snooze. The gloves were coming off!

It looked as if the panel was going to be deadlocked but someone on Team Mondo (I’m blaming Jessica) must have buckled because Gretchen was ultimately named the winner. I think Mondo took the news better than I did, as I screamed at my TV watching the pretentious biatch steal his much-deserved moment. Mondo was humble and grateful for his experience but I couldn’t help but smirk when I could obviously tell Heidi was biting her tongue in annoyance as she congratulated Gretchen.

Who do you think should have won Project Runway this season?

— Ashley Joy Parker