Even with lawsuits recently filed against its host, its network and a slew of sponsors: 'Project Runway' premieres its second season tonight at 10PM EST.
The show pits 16 unknown fashion designers against each other to win $100,000 plus a fashion spread in Elle magazine, and the most surprising thing is, most of the contestants actually have talent.
'Project Runway' was an unexpected hit in 2004; at least with the critics. It was nominated for an Emmy, but it didn't do well in the ratings. Still, it was an addictive show from day one, more unique than 'Survivor' and way more fierce than 'America's Next Top Model.'
The Teutonic supermodel Heidi Klum will once again serve as hostess of the show; it's her "You're either in or out" and final "Auf Wiedersehen" that sends a contestant home each week, a la Donald Trump's "You're fired." Designer Michael Kors and Elle magazine's fashion director Nina Garcia will once again serve as judges, with special judge appearances from fashion icons like Diane Von Furstenberg.
The show isn't without hiccups, however. On Dec. 6, two New York fashion designers sued Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal, supermodel Heidi Klum and others, claiming they originally developed the idea for what became the television show 'Project Runway.'
Two weeks ago, TMZ obtained court documents for a lawsuit filed by Joel Lomantagne, who claimed he wrote a script for a reality show called 'America's Fashion Designer Search,' which he says was turned into 'Project Runway.' He registered the script with the Writer's Guild of America in January 2003. Other defendants include Walt Disney Pitures, Miramax Films and Bravo Company. Lamontagne is also suing 'Project Runway' sponsors, including The Gap, Banana Republic and L'Oreal.
Jay McCarroll won last year's contest beating out Kara Saun and villainness Wendy Pepper, a Virginia mom who made no bones about her tactics for making it to the final three in the game. And just when you thought it was safe to get back on the runway, Wendy's back on the show for an episode this season.