*“Project Runway” will look a lot like the social-media enhanced upgrade of “America’s Next Top Model” when the Heidi Klum-hosted reality series returns to Lifetime on Thursday (July 18).
In a move to salvage “Top Model” from sinking ratings, host and executive producer Tyra Banks added viewer video commentary and online voting for last fall’s college-themed Cycle 19. “Project Runway” is doing the same, giving fans a “second screen experience” that will be available via mobile, tablet and desktop.
“Runway” viewers will be able to voice their own opinions about the contestants and their creations at www.playrunway.com, with responses displayed instantly during live broadcasts. Elements will include real-time voting and polling segments that show voter results on-screen, as the events are actually happening.
Other fan integration elements for season 12 include:
• Runway Redemption (#RunwayRedemption) – a mystery contestant from a past season, chosen by fans on mylifetime.com and Twitter, will be unveiled as the 16th designer for season 12.
• Project Runway Superfan Contest – via video submissions, seven super fans will be chosen to be featured in an upcoming episode this season for a fashion makeover.
• More Tim Gunn – This season, Gunn will join Klum and the judges to watch the runway show, answer questions the judges have about what transpired in the workroom and give them an opportunity to physically examine the workmanship of each design. Also, for the first time in Project Runway history, Gunn will be able to “rescue” one designer during course of the season he feels deserves a second chance.
Klum shot season 12 before beginning work on her other primetime gig, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” The supermodel and ex-wife of singer Seal joined former Spice Girl Melanie “Mel B” Brown as newbies to the judging panel alongside returning vets Howard Stern and Howie Mandel.
Klum’s experience as one of four judges on “Project Runway” came in handy when it was time to fight for her opinions on “AGT.” Listen below.
Among “Project Runway’s” season 12 designers are Dom Streater, 24, of Philadelphia; Kahindo Mateene, 34, of Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Ken Laurence, 24, of Birmingham. Watch their video profiles below.