‘Project Runway’: Why the Contestants Aren’t Allowed to Take Work Home with Them

Every episode of Project Runway shows contestants taking on a new designing challenge in hopes to win. They are always stopped to go home at a certain point and they’re no longer allowed to work on their projects.

Why aren’t they allowed to take work home? Here is everything you need to know.

Contestants previously talked about the show’s busy schedule

Filming a show takes a long time in general. When you add designing clothes on top that it could really add onto your work day.

Chloe Dao, who won Season 2, said contestants got up at 6 in the morning “and we finished sewing every day around midnight,” according to The Cut. They would then get up again to film their interviews. “We would get to sleep at 1 to 3 a.m., and wake up again at 6 or 7.”

That certainly isn’t a lot of sleep. The show reportedly has changed its methods and that’s partially why contestants aren’t allowed to take work with them back to the apartment.

They can’t take work home so they’ll sleep

Christian Siriano
Christian Siriano | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

When the work day is done the contestants are told to wrap up their work and leave. They can’t take it home for several reasons, but the biggest one is sleep.

It’s really more about the sleep, to be honest because we’ve had seasons where they didn’t get as much sleep and we’ve had ambulances,” Project Runway producer, Sara Rea told the A.V. Club.

“In Season 8 they were exhausted mentally and physically, and it’s so intense emotionally and creatively that it wears them out. By episode eight, we always have someone breaking down because they’re burned out,” revealed Rea. “So we have to manage them to make sure they go to sleep because some of them would work all night. They’re just thinking about the immediate, but it’s a marathon. So we have to help manage that.”

There is a goal for how many hours they want contestants to get to sleep. “We have a mandatory turnaround. It’s not mandatory from anyone but us, but we’ve decided that we have to have a minimum [of] six hours for the designers to sleep. And that’s minimum.”

Contestants have been sent home for cheating in the apartment

The contestants get an apartment to stay in while being on Project Runway. Multiple former contestants have gotten in trouble using their time there to get a leg up on the competition instead of resting.

In Season 16 it came to light that Claire Buitendorp kept a measuring tape back in the apartment. She used it to measure a tank top. When the judges found out she was then sent home and her previous win was rescinded. Buitendorp said she was “regretful that I even considered the idea of holding on to something I shouldn’t have had,” according to Entertainment Weekly.

It just goes to show that taking a break from obsessing over your work can pay off. Competing on Project Runway does look like a lot of work so contestants need rest. That’s why we’re always seeing them be sent back to their apartment without their work.

Read more: ‘Project Runway’: Who is Christian Siriano, and Who are his Celebrity Clients

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