‘Making The Cut’ Recap: The Rising Stardom of Papi and Bébé

Meg Zukin

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SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the third and fourth episodes of “Making The Cut.”

Three words: Papi and Bébé.

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In the third episode of “Making The Cut,” the contestants were tasked with a collaboration challenge and “Papi and Bébé,” aka Sabato Russo and Sander Bos, won the runway with their three-look mini collection. The pair made the cut, of course, as did Bos’ iconic one-liners:

On his collab partner, Russo:
“He’s 40 years older than me. He’s not a fresh leaf like me. If I have to drag this bitch all the way to the finish line, I will.”

“He’s the kind of person who lives in a cloud. … He’s a f—ing Italian!”

On his childhood dreams:
“I always wanted to become a farmer when I was a kid. Then I realized I was gay as hell so I was like, ‘OK, well, I guess I’ll get into fashion.'”

Meanwhile, Esther Perbandt and Will Riddle were fine; Rinat Brodach and Ji Won Choi were good; and Jonny Cota and Megan Smith combined their respective leather and lace aesthetics for an overall decent collection.

Not all pairs were so blessed, however. Josh Hupper and Troy Arnold sent a smorgasbord of loud prints down the runway, resulting in three disjointed looks. Judge Naomi Campbell was not impressed. “What is that? Wait a minute. … This is just a mishmash,” she said, while eyeing the models.

During elimination, Hupper made it clear to the judges that he disagreed with their critique. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. And Campbell seemed to think so as well and gifted the designers some words of wisdom: “If you think it’s gorgeous, that’s fine, but we’re here to tell you it won’t sell.” And, after all, the entire point of this show is, say it with me now, creating the next big global brand. Sell-ability is key (and the entire reason for the Amazon e-commerce tie-in).

Back to the criticism: After the judges aired their grievances with Hupper and Arnold’s looks, each designer had the chance to fight for his safety.

“I’m really not sure I should stay, actually. I think it’s probably time for me to head out, but I had a really good time while I was here,” Hupper said before promptly leaving the work room.

Arnold, who was at risk as well, narrowly missed getting voted off this fashion island. In his plea, he managed to convince Campbell and the other judges that he deserved at least another week, despite the fact that host Heidi Klum remained unimpressed.

Heading into the fourth episode, all eyes were on Arnold, and he knew it. In a pre-show pow wow, Tim Gunn and Klum agreed that the designers were “snoozy” and that they needed a “Project Runway”-esque wake-up call.

For the fourth challenge, the designers were banned from fabric shopping and instead forced to use old fabric from previous weeks. And, plot twist, they only had seven hours to create their final looks. And to the dismay of the designers who can’t sew, there were no overnight seamstresses this week.

With just hours until the runway, Arnold was still struggling, at least in Gunn’s eyes. He swiped Russo’s sewing machine, replacing the red thread with his own. Russo stalked off, channeling major mafioso vibes. “He’s going to get what he deserves,” he said.

And he did. Arnold bit off more than he could chew and ended up scrapping his original plan. He sent a simple, uncertain sheath down the runway and in turn got sent home — but not without a quick scolding from Campbell.

“These words are not sounding sure of what you’re doing, and this is how your clothes look, unsure,” she told him.

The judge then went a little farther, saying that modeling Arnold’s outfit would be her “nightmare,” before delivering the most devastating line: “We were rooting for you. … You let us down.”

Riddle was also sent packing. He knows his brand, but continually missed the mark when it came to taste. “It lacks sophistication and refinement,” said judge Joseph Altuzarra about his runway look.

In Episode 4, Cota, Smith, Bos and Perbandt all received good critiques from the judges, but Cota rose from the ashes of last week and won the challenge — and coveted praise from Campbell.

The seven remaining designers were then told to pack their bags and say au revoir to Paris. Next stop? Tokyo.

“Making The Cut” streams new episodes Fridays on Amazon.

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