Night Out on the Town (Fiat Challenge)
Once again, the designers are working in teams, creating looks for a big night on the town. This week's garments are meant to be inspired by the Fiat 500. Both car and clothing will be featured in a photo shoot with world-renowned photographer Timothy White. Earlier in the week, the designers were stunned to walk into the Design Studio to find three 2013 Fiat 500s parked alongside their worktables. Luckily, John's on hand to explain this week's challenge, an opportunity to merge individual designer brands with Fiat, just as John merged his brand with Chrysler.
This week, the mentors will choose the winning team - and each designer on that team will win a Fiat 500 Turbo. Nevertheless, no one is safe from elimination - even if they win the challenge! Photographer Timothy White meets with Daniel and Johana, who have chosen to work with the red car. Daniel suggests posing their models as if they're track stars; he wants their dress to feel like the car - fast, sexy and red. As usual, Johana is pushing a simple and salable garment. Daniel knows he has to deliver at 1000% or he's next to be eliminated.
Hunter pushes for the blue car and immediately chooses their models' imaginary destination as New York's glamorous Met Ball - but stopping off at a grungy location in their photograph. Cassandra's excited to work with Silvia, thinking she'll be pushed to work on a more avant-garde level. They've decided to use the silver car, so Timothy suggests shooting in an alley with a downtown, underground club feel. JesseRay and Garrett are immediately thinking knits, but Hunter knows they need to steer clear of sweaters after last week, and quickly gets her vision going. When Jessica visits, she suggests they focus on a classic and elegant look.
Nicole points out that Johana's dress design may be a little safe and that she's played it safe to be salable through most of the competition. Meanwhile, Daniel's feeling completely overwhelmed, at an emotional breaking point. Cassandra and Silvia are each taking a page from the other's book: Cassandra's making a sexy, strappy dress, while Silvia's creating a rock 'n' roll jacket. John promises they'll be driving home cars tonight! JesseRay and Garrett research the Met Ball on the internet to realize that the event is too couture to be salable. Deciding to tone it down, they come up with a wrap palazzo pant out of silk charmeuse, hoping to sell to Erika of Express.
Silvia promises Daniel that he's a genius; he's the real thing, and he'll go far. After his dark moment, Daniel gets excited and decides to follow his heart. Johana warns him that she's not going to change a thing on her dress, even though it looks too familiar to most of the designers in the studio. Jessica loves JessieRay and Garrett's chic palazzo pant, but the guys and Jessica think Hunter's dress - which was supposed to be couture - has turned into more of a daytime dress. Hunter decides to trust her gut and follow through on her original intention.
Daniel and Johana decide their models are like cars, and along with Timothy, decide to shoot them at a rooftop parking garage. Cassandra and Silvia's shoot takes place in an alley, while JesseRay, Garrett and Hunter's shoot is located in an underground parking garage. Neither of them seem really happy with the other's garment design.
Finally, after an action-packed week, it's time for the runway, and Team Jessica is up first. The designers are quick to compliment JesseRay and Garrett's blouse and palazzo pants, while Hunter's dresses read more daytime. Saks is quick to step out of the bidding for JesseRay and Garrett's designs, but Macy's offers $60,000, quickly topped by Erika with a bid of $65,000 for Express. Explaining that it's important for the designing duo to sell to all three retailers in order to stay in the competition, Caprice lets Express have the outfit. Sadly, Hunter's not so lucky. Saks and Express decline to bid, but in the end, Caprice offers $60,000. She loves the dress, even if Hunter didn't really meet the challenge.
John feels that his team did a great job. Silvia's first to face the judges, looking for a bid on her leather jacket and miniskirt. Terron places the first bid at $70,000. Taking a page out of Terron's book, Erika bludgeons him with a bid of $175,000, stunning everyone. Terron decides to hold, so the sale goes to Express. Erika's thrilled Silvia went young, sexy and rock 'n' roll for once - it's the perfect look for Express! Cassandra has created a strappy tank and maxi skirt, which sadly fails to interest any of the retailers. Terron explains that her fabric choice was overly complicated. John's surprised - this was possibly Cassandra's best look of the season - it looked expensive because it was meant to!
Just before his runway show, Daniel takes needle and thread to make a last-minute alteration. Nicole thinks they've done a great job of designing specifically for the Fiats, and John agrees, though he's not sure how salable both dresses are. Nicole tells Louise that her team's photo is a perfect 10. But how will her team fare before the buyers? Johana's first up. Neither Express nor Saks is interested, so Macy's takes the dress for $50,000. When it's his turn, an emotional Daniel describes the rollercoaster experience he's had on Fashion Star. His dad told him that Daniel's time on Fashion Star is the "biggest" thing anyone in his family has ever done, so at least he can feel that he's bringing honor to the family.
Daniel and his family in the audience are both a little misty-eyed when it's his time to face the buyers. Macy's is quick to step out of the bidding, but Saks is in at $60,000. Again, Erika tries to clobber Terron with a bid of $150,000, bringing Nicole to her feet. Terron decides to rally, and the bidding war takes off, but in the end, Erika wins with her bid of $175,000. Now the mentors will have to decide which team had the best-conceived photo campaign - and which two designers will be up for elimination.
When Louise and the designers return to the stage, Nicole is proud to announce that her team won the Fiat Challenge! Then it's time for the bad news: John's sad to say that the mentors have decided to put Cassandra up for elimination. Even more shocking - Johana, who's sold every week AND has sold to all three stores - is the second designer who's in jeopardy. Caprice is apologetic while voting to eliminate Johana. Terron is second to vote, and he's ready to send Cassandra home. It all comes down to Erika's vote, and in a stunning move, she chooses to eliminate Johana. Nevertheless, Johana knows her brand is in all three retailers, and she's leaving fabulously in her brand new car!