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Tampa's Ben Chmura kicked off Project Runway



Ben-chmura-project-runway When they showed him calling his husband, I knew it was over.

In the world of reality TV, when someone who hasn't been at the forefront of a show suddenly gets a bit of personal attention -- as when Project Runway producers showed tearful Tampa fashion designer Ben Chmura calling his husband Bobby Thursday -- it's mostly a set up, sparking an audience connection so viewers feel a bit more loss when that person is ejected from the show.

And that's exactly what happened to Chmura Thursday, as he was shown exiting the competition after trying to assemble the first suit he ever designed during a challenge requiring contestants to find inspiration from the elements.

"If you don't know how to make a suit, don't make a suit," chided host/judge Heidi Klum. "It look like the first suit you ever made."

Chmura took criticism for his concept -- which involved taking the element of water and extending it to building a shark-like suit.

Ben-chmura-runwaysuitJudge Michael Kors said his ribbed pants looked like "a  jock strap," and fellow judge Nina Garcia simply pronounced it "a real mess."

"I think I bit off more than I can chew," Chmura told the judges.

For much of the competition, the Tampa resident had competed in the background -- his low key personality keeping down his screen time, while his designs never won a competition but were never bad enough to put him in danger of ejection.

Until this week.

"This isn't the last you'll hear from me," he promised during the show's last minutes Thursday. "It's one of those passions you just can't get rid of."

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:06pm]


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