The challenge was to create an innovative design inspired by the four natural elements – earth, air, fire and water.  Each designer was randomly assigned one (though Jay Nicolas Sario got to pick his as last week’s winner…he went for air).  The results overall?  Excellent and horrible.

Jonathan Peters suddenly realizes that the other designers don’t even view him as a threat, and he has yet to step it up in the creativity department.  So he does.   And he wins. His dress, an ethereal mix of blush and cream with a swooping face-framing ruffle is a delight and inventive.  His element is air, and he is inspired by the lightness of laughter.  Guest judge Roland Mouret (known for his glam, body conscious frocks) is quite impressed as is the rest of the gang.

PHOTOS: "Project Runway" Season 7

Also gorgeous, Maya Luz’ fluttery water-themed dress in blue-gray, inspired by those seductive sirens of the sea– it’s a stunner, though Nina Garcia says that it references Nina Ricci.  The judges like Seth Aaron Henderson’s citified leather coat and patch-front jeans too – his version of air, which he interprets as watching the movement of the city.

For the first time, the bad is so bad that it’s truly shocking.  We haven’t seen anything like Amy Sarabi’s off-the-body stiff cowl that she filled with– eek, eek, eek – the model’s hair.   Her element is fire and she was trying to create a “contained chaos.” Heidi Klum says it looks like “a cat in a baby sling,” while Michael Kors suggests it’s more along the lines of “a barmaid serving her hair.”   They agree that Amy got caught up in her concept.

Then there’s poor Ben Chmura, (such a sweet fellow), who always takes the futuristic route.   That's fine, but with only nine designers left, it’s a lousy time to experiment.  And he does just that with his first-ever pantsuit that is supposed to be related to water.   He’s quite literal and is thinking sharks.  So, there are shark teeth at the cuffs of the jacket...ouch.  The judges hate that, but it isn’t the worst part.  Michael calls the pants, “a jock strap trouser,” and indeed one appears to be built in.   He is aufed, but probably because Amy has been a better designer consistently.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Let us just say, this is overall a very nice group of people.  In fact, Jay actually helps Ben finish his garment because he seems overwhelmed – very rare in this often cutthroat competition. That said, the show lacks drama.  There is no real villain, and though Anthony Williams sometimes borders on it, no one who is really over-the-top.  Where's Christian Siriano when you need him?  (Oh yeah, he's out there making the money.)

Caption: Left, Jonathan Peters' winning dress and the losing dress by Ben Chmura. Courtesy of Lifetime.

PHOTOS: "Project Runway" Season 7