Bravo's new reality competition, Fashion Show, has some big shoes to fill after Project Runway's contentious move to Lifetime, but host Isaac Mizrahi thinks the Runway comparison will "go away" because the drama on his show is "so engrossing."
Unlike its predecessor, Fashion Show (premieres Thursday at 10 pm/ET) brings an added element to their fashion competition series: audience participation.
"I think that for me what makes a show watchable or not watchable is whether or not drama exists. Somehow, I don't know why, but the existence of a live audience at the end of each episode makes just so much drama," Mizrahi told TVGuide.com. "By the second day, I was fully engrossed because of this idea that there was this big fashion show that these kids at the end had to show [in] and be open for their criticism."
Each week, the audience chooses their top and bottom designers from which the judges choose a winner and eliminee (and let's just say the crowd is not very forgiving when it comes to subpar designs). "You know, people ask who the bitchy judges are, and, you know, it's really the audience," said Fern Mallis, judge and senior vice president of IMG Fashion.
"When you hear it from the outside world, it's pretty brutal," added Mizrahi.
Co-host and judge Kelly Rowland (of Destiny's Child) was the lucky one who got read the audience critiques to the designers and admitted it was the "hardest part."
Rowland, an admitted "ex-shopaholic" and fashion lover, stopped by TV Guide Network's TV Watercooler to explain why she joined Fashion Show, other differences between Runway and her new series and why tears were shed during judging deliberations.