10 Best Project Runway Contestants, Ranked | ScreenRant
Project Runway is one of the most successful and long-running reality TV shows in history, and the series seamlessly blended a fascinating design competition with the drama that reality TV fans have come to expect, which of course was all driven by the fantastic contestants.
Every single person who has wound up on Project Runway was cast for a reason, and the best competitors are obviously the ones who both killed it in competition and became memorable for their personalities. With that in mind, who are the best Project Runway contestants ever?
10 Mondo Guerra
Gretchen Jones is obviously a great designer in her own right, but it’s pretty rare that a contestant who doesn’t win their season was so clearly robbed of a justified win.
Mondo Guerra was one of the most unique and talented designers in the history of the series (which was vindicated by his win in the first season of All Stars), and his incredibly moving and powerful design revolving around his HIV+ status was one of the biggest moments of the show.
9 Jeffrey Sebelia
The ideal contestant on Project Runway both has the talent to go all the way and the personality to make a big impression on the audience’s minds. And, season 3’s winner Jeffrey Sebelia really embodied the best of both worlds.
He began to stick out among the crowd as a bit of a villain of his season, however, when it came time for him to perform, he knocked it out of the park and truly earned his spot as a Project Runway winner.
8 Austin Scarlett
Austin Scarlett is undeniably one of the most successful contestants after his Project Runway appearance, but honestly, Project Runway owes him a bit of its success as well.
Austin was clearly one of the most memorable contestants on the debut season of the reality design competition, and his first winning look really let the audience know that this was a unique reality TV series, as his corn husk dress still sticks out in the minds of Project Runway judges and viewers alike.
7 Santino Rice
One of the brilliant aspects of Santino Rice as a competitor in the series is that for better or worse, he always went full tilt with every one of his designs, and he was prepared to defend his work if he disagreed with the judges critiques.
His intense debate with Nina Garcia is one of the most memorable moments in Project Runway history, but Santino’s more comedic side, including his detailed fan fictions about Tim Gunn and Andrae Gonzalo’s relationship, makes him beloved among fans today.
6 Jay McCarroll
Although the success and legitimacy of Project Runway grew far beyond expectations at the start of the series, the fact that the first season did feature so many seriously talented and skilled designers really made it stand out from the beginning.
And of course, Jay McCarroll, the winner of the very first season, is still memorable today both because of his really unique design aesthetic and his dry, witty, and undeniably charming personality.
5 Christopher Palu
The tenth season of Project Runway is undeniably one of its best, and the competition was likely the toughest it had ever been. So then, the fact that Christopher Palu managed to stand out among a stand-out cast really says a lot.
His designs were spectacular but his one-liners and witticisms were even better. In particular, his riff on Melissa Fleis and her “blood orange” fabric became the most memed moment in the history of Project Runway.
4 Chris March
Plenty of Project Runway alumni have boldly gone where few designers have gone before in their effort to win the competition, but Chris March’s use of human hair in his final collection was definitely a unique and memorable part of the series.
March was an incredibly gifted artist whose experience as a costume designer gave him an edge over much of the competition, and once again, he managed to stand out in one of the best and most competitive seasons of Project Runway.
3 Anya Ayoung-Chee
Once Project Runway became a resounding success, the competition also got a lot stiffer, as contestants with real fashion experience seemingly used it as an opportunity to branch out on their own or raise their public profile.
That made Anya Ayoung-Chee, a contestant who only learned how to sew a few months before competing in and winning the entire season, all the more memorable, as her instincts and feel for fashion design were absolutely impeccable.
2 Christian Siriano
It’s safe to say that Christian Siriano is at the very least the fiercest competitor in the history of Project Runway.
His sass, unique personality, and absurd haircut allowed him to break away from the incredibly talented pack in season 3 of the series, and he has gone on to have the biggest and most successful career out of the Project Runway players. He even returned as a mentor, taking the place of Tim Gunn, in later seasons of the show.
1 Anthony Williams
Obviously, Project Runway is a design competition first and a reality TV drama second, but Anthony Williams is arguably the most universal fan-favorite in the entire series. Aside from creating some fantastic looks, Anthony really won the audience over with his charm, his hysterical reactions, and his incredibly quick-witted responses.
He didn’t manage to win his original season, but when he returned for Project Runway All Stars he finally won, and was his lovable self the entire time doing it.
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