'Project Runway,' Revitalized! Love for Season 7

As we head into tonight's episode of Lifetime's Project Runway (in which the three finalists are selected, at 10 p.m. ET), let's pause to give the show some kudos. Life on this reality show Runway was starting to get a little ho-hum last year, but it's got its mojo back. Here's why:

1. Shocking twists! Like the fact that Maya Luz, a designer that judge Nina Garcia referred to as "a real contender," jumped ship. This was unprecedented on the show—and Maya's weak reasoning (she said she didn't feel she was ready) made it even more surprising. Viewers may have been sorry to see her go, but it did make for some interesting drama, and it cleared the way for another first: A fan favorite who'd been cut—Anthony Williams--got to return for a second chance. ("I knew you'd talk your way back in!" Seth Aaron Henderson told Anthony.) And then he won last week's competition!

2. More Nina! Marie Claire's astute fashion director has made herself more available this season. She's there every week, with credible and straight-forward comments like the one she made about Mila's underwhelming dress last week: "It looks like something that the Housewives of New Jersey would wear."

3. And dare I say…better designers! Overall, this season's contenders have talent to spare. At the start of last week's episode, Heidi Klum told them that it was getting much harder to let a designer go each week. Agreed—the six who competed in the Red Carpet Challenge all deserved to be there (though Jonathan Peters' rushed and drapey effort—his third attempt—was a disappointment, which is why he got booted).

The show's finale is usually filmed during Fashion Week, where the finalists show their collections at the Bryant Park runways shows. This year, Fashion Week arrived earlier in Project Runway's filming process. Eleven designers were still competing, so all 11 presented their collections. So even those who attended Fashion Week don't know who won Project Runway this season. And that's one last reason why Season 7 rocks. No spoilers!

Plus: Christian Siriano's Post-Runway Adventures

Do you think Project Runway has gotten its mojo back?

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