Is Project Runway Scripted or Real?

Image Credit: Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

Created by Eli Holzman, Bravo’s ‘Project Runway’ is a fashion-based reality show that premiered in 2004 and has remained a fan favorite for almost two decades. Each season of the competition series features a new batch of aspiring designers who hope to take advantage of the national platform and wow everyone with their creativity and skills. Such an opportunity has proved quite fruitful for many of the contestants and has allowed them to forge their own successful careers. However, many have cast much doubt on the genuineness of the show’s results and how certain events are portrayed. So just how much this beloved reality show is scripted? Well, we are here to share what we know about the same!

Is Project Runway Scripted?

It seems like ‘Project Runway’ may indeed be partially scripted. Over the years, many people involved in the show’s production, including some of the contestants, have claimed that the show’s results are often skewed to favor some people over others. Some have also revealed that the judging is apparently biased for similar reasons. The viewers have also often expressed discontent about some of the outcomes, claiming that the results were unfair.

Image Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Consider the claims made by Jack Mackenroth from season 4, who has been insistent that the Bravo series is scripted regarding the results. He has stated that the producers preemptively decide who will stay in the show and edit the events in a way that their favored participant is seen in a positive light by the viewers as well, criticizing the judging for being entirely fake. Season 11 finalist Daniel Esquivel has also agreed with the latter sentiment and stated that the participants were portrayed as the extreme versions of their real-life selves.

Let’s also talk about Gunnar Deatherage from season 10, who was far from happy about his sequin dress and was heavily criticized by Heidi Klum, stating that the dress she was wearing was similar to what he had designed. Another contestant who has shared an account that adds to the perception that some parts of the show are scripted is Diana Eng, who shared that she had been asked to fake waking up when the footage of her actually waking up ended with her screaming after seeing a camera in her face. Other developments that have made people question the validity of the show’s authenticity include the season 9 victory of Anya Ayoung-Chee, with people claiming that she only won because of the love she was receiving from the public.

Image Credit: Greg Endries/Bravo

Despite the severe accusations made by the contestants regarding the show’s scripted results and unfair editing, no one has ever cast doubt on the designs that we get to see in the show. Even Mackenroth has been quite appreciative of the talent of his fellow constants and seemingly remains on good terms with many of them. The credentials of the participating designers are almost always verifiable as they try their level best to wow the world.

Considering all these factors, it seems that ‘Project Runway’ might not be as impartial as one would like. The statements shared by past participants indicate a picture of a show meant to portray a pre-decided narrative of the participants. Though the on-screen designs that are almost always too impressive for words are indeed as authentic as they can be, the results do not seem to be based purely on talent but are decided by the producers and showrunners in a way that will keep the public hooked. However, these claims have been denied by the production team of the Bravo series.

Read More: Where Is Project Runway Filmed?