Heidi Klum Heidi Klum

After seven seasons of churning out fashion challenges for aspiring designers, Project Runway producers are shaking things up. From a new 90-minute format to an initial twist, check out seven reason why you should watch Season 8 (premiering Thursday at 9/8c on Lifetime) — in the words of host/judge Heidi Klum.

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1. A new 90-minute format means more judges' deliberation footage.
Heidi Klum: People would always ask, "Why did you make this decision?" Elimination day is all day, but on the show it was down to about 10 minutes. Sometimes the judges might not agree with one another, or something funny happens. So, now we have the freedom to show it much longer than we ever could.

2. Expect harsher circumstances and more scathing critiques.
Klum: I feel like season after season we are going a little harder on the designers and with the challenges. We just try to pump it up a little more and give the designers twists because they think they know what's coming up because they've seen it before. But we need to surprise them too, and not just viewers at home.

3. Runway will debut its first hat challenge.
Klum: We have one challenge I'm proud of that got to be on the show. I bumped into [couture hat designer] Philip Treacy at the Oscars and I'm like, "Why don't you come on Project Runway. I would love if the designers would make an outfit for one of your hats." So, we got to fly him to America and he brought 15 of his most wildest and crazy avant-garde hats.

4. We may have another Kenley on our hands.
Klum: There's one girl who's very, very opinionated. She basically never stops talking, ever. So, we kind of, like, start rolling our eyes because the clothes should speak for themselves.

5. You can go to bed a half-hour earlier since it starts at 9/8c.
Klum: I always believed that 10 o'clock was way too late, so I love our time slot and think we're right on track again.

6. Someone gets auf'ed before the competition even begins.
Klum: This time we started with 17 designers and we met at Lincoln Center — where fashion week has moved to ... I give them a surprise last [audition] challenge, and whoever does not make it through that challenge will officially not be on the show and will not move into their apartment. So, we give them this last twist before they could even unpack their bags!

7. It's staying in New York.
Klum: In the beginning, they said it would go back and forth [between Los Angeles and New York], but I think the network decided not to go back. I think people respond to it better being here in New York than there.