Anthony Williams a couple weeks ago gave me an “exit” interview after he was eliminated from “Project Runway.” At the time, I said I was looking forward to seeing him back on the show’s finale to help out the remaining contestants at some point because that’s what they usually do.
Instead, Maya unexpectedly dropped out during the episode that week and Anthony came back to compete. He won the next challenge but last Thursday, he was nixed again. He finished fifth, just missing having a shot showing his clothing line at Bryant Park. (The top 10 actually all got to show at Bryant Park but his line won’t air on the show.)
“I thought I was doing an exit interview,” he said, when the producers last fall gave him the good news that he was returning. “I was at peace with leaving the show. I didn’t know if I wanted to go back. But I thought, ‘Hmmm…. the universe is calling me. I have a responsibility to answer.”
Williams, who celebrated his birthday at his pad last Friday, has not watched the past couple of shows, says he already lived through it so why watch it?
He said he picked the blue polyester the judges hated because “I had used so much time trying to think up the right color palette. I wanted a fabric that gave me more quantity than quality. I knew I wanted something with volume and movement. It was one bad decision in a moment in time.”
Williams is rooting for his friend Jay to win but respects Emilio’s work (”He makes clothes that’s approachable and wearable. He has a strong chance of winning.”) He thinks Seth Aaron makes clothing for himself, not for a broader audience and it sometimes comes off as too much like a costume. And he has just basic contempt towards Mila.
He defended Maya’s decision to leave: “I think her morals and values played a part in leaving. It had nothing to do with age. She just realized this experience and those challenges may not have been featuring her in the best light. She did what was best for her, not for ‘Project Runway.’ ”
Williams would like to get back on TV. “This is a great catalyst and opportunity to reach so many households,” he said. “I get so many emails that I helped their mom going through cancer treatment. It made them forget about things for an hour.” He doesn’t want to compete in another reality show but is open to other options. He also wants to work on his clothing label, of course.
“This has been an amazing ride, but I want to make sound decisions about my career,” he said. “If I have to disappear awhile to do that, that’s okay. I don’t plan to be a socialite.”
“Project Runway,” part one of the finale, 10 p.m. Thursday on Lifetime