Well, we've finally made it to the top four, which—if you can believe it—means that the next episode will be the big final challenge! But first, we've gotta get to the top three.
As always, this episode starts with Tim and Heidi doling out a challenge to the designers. And, uh, not to put any pressure on the remaining four contestants (Sander Bos, Esther Perbandt, Jonny Cota, and Megan Smith), but Tim prefaces the challenge by saying, "You are facing the most important and pivotal assignment yet."
Heidi then reveals what the designers will do, saying, "Weeks ago, your very first assignment was a brand snapshot. So we want [you] to take the experiences that you’ve had on Making the Cut and infuse them into your next collection. You need to show the judges how you’ve grown and how you’ve evolved."
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Things get pretty emotional for the designers as they come up with looks inspired by their MTC journey. For Sander, he's always known that his aesthetic is "very different" but has gotten to a place where he's proud of his "modern art expressed as fashion" design outlook.
Esther's main struggle on the show has been how to make her looks dynamic when the only color that she works with is black. So for the assignment, she mixes a lot of materials and textures and even incorporates some white, if you can believe it! But her journey is about more than using color—"Being here and discovering my creativity, I also discovered my femininity," Esther says.
And finding a feminine side has also been a growing point for Jonny, who says that he wants "to show the new sense of femininity in this collection." But of all four designers, Megan is the most worried about the challenge—"I do sort of feel like I’m the underdog, cause I haven’t won any assignments yet," she says.
Megan's evolution on the show has been about showing more refinement in her brand, and she wants to add some edginess to her three looks. Oh, and while the designers have two days to pull off this assignment, Tim and Heidi are going off to get Sake drunk:
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Tim's advice for the designers is to "give no less than a thousand percent," so they're pushing themselves all in different ways—Megan adds a lot of crocodile leather into her looks, Jonny puts a male model in a dress, Sander designs with black (which is new for him) and Esther, stepping way out of her comfort zone, writes "Top Three" on one of her shirts. "I’m so fed up with making myself smaller and holding back all of the time," she explains.
The fashion show takes place on a boat in a harbor, and it's pretty gorgeous. And with only four designers, the judges (Heidi, Naomi Campbell, Joseph Altuzarra, and Chiara Ferragni) can really take their time talking to each contestant. First up is Esther, who says, "Tonight symbolizes leaving behind the Esther who was always stepping back, who is always giving the space to others...I am here and I want to be part of the final three."
Luckily, her gutsy move pays off, and the judges love her shirt. Naomi comments, "Bravo, I see strength, integrity, daring, risk-taking. Very modern and chic," and Joseph calls her show "very emotional." Plus, Esther is named the winner of the challenge!
Then it's Sander's turn, and per usual, the judges love his looks. When talking about his collection, Sander explains how his looks represent his journey of figuring out how to make his designs accessible. Joseph responds, "What I think is so wonderful is this evolution from that raw creativity to something really wearable and sellable." Naomi adds that Sander's creativity is "amazing," and he joins Esther in the top three.
So now we're down to Megan and Jonny, and only one of them can move forward. The judges decide to speak with each of them before choosing who to send home. Megan is called up first, and Heidi asks how her collection describes the growth of her brand. Megan responds, "I was walking this fine line between going all the way and not going all the way...and now I’ve put all of this depth and this refinement into my brand." But—oof—the judges aren't really into her collection. "I think you experimented too much; it looked messy," Heidi comments, while Chiara points out that the clothing doesn't fit Megan's models right.
However, the judges also have issues with Jonny's looks. Even though he reflects on the growth of his brand by saying that his collection shows how he's found that "softness can be just as strong as armor," it doesn't translate in the looks. The judges point out that his pieces have mostly been done before, and Heidi says, "Was it exciting for me today? It was not," while Naomi adds, "I needed something else."
But Jonny advocates for himself, saying, "Give me the opportunity and I know I'll make you proud to say, ‘I believed in Jonny before the rest of the world knew who he was.'" Jonny ends up making the cut, and an emotional Megan is sent home. So there you have it—Esther, Sander, and Jonny are our final three! What do you think?
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