By now, you've probably heard the news: Season 11 of "Project Runway" will feature only team challenges, and Michael Kors will be nowhere in sight.
Here's the deal: Seasons 10 and 11 were shot back-to-back, and Kors couldn't commit to Season 11 because of a scheduling conflict. Designer Zac Posen will fill in for Kors, though Kors will return for the finale.
But the bigger news is the show's format change. The always-controversial team challenges often cause tension and drama, and it's likely that having every challenge in Season 11 become a team challenge will lead to some memorable moments. Not only will designers have to play well with others, but they will have to work harder to show off their unique abilities.
A format change this late in a show's history could be a sign that "Runway" is losing its steam. When a show changes it's format, it often alienates existing fans. In short, Season 11 could be a total trainwreck. Here are some very compelling reasons why.
1. Designers will get too ambitiousHere's the thing about team challenges: You have more manpower. Therefore, the judges expect that "many hands make light work." Designers will have to be ambitious and make use of their teammates to the fullest. But based on past challenges, it's likely that many designers are going to bite off more than they can chew, and get too ambitious. That means more designs than ever are going to be headed down the runway in an incomplete state.
2. Zac Posen is no substitute for Michael KorsZac Posen is a capable judge, but he can't replace Michael Kors. Shaking up the tried and true formula of the show is tricky. One of the reasons that fans didn't like the first season of "All Stars" was because it shook up the beloved judges table formula of Nina, Michael, and Heidi. As annoying as Michael and Nina's catty critiques can be, the balance between the three core judges works -- shaking it up is dangerous.
3. Fans will freakTeam challenges always make fans freak out. It's always hard to determine which team member deserves to go home. Expect unprecedented levels of fan outrage when every challenge is a team challenge, and the fans disagree with the judges about who deserved to go home.
4. Fur will flyFashion attracts big personalities, and part of what makes "Runway" great is seeing those personalities come into conflict. But team challenges will undoubtedly lead to big fights, which will impact the quality of the garments. And if there's a fight in every episode, the new team-centric format might become tiresome and repetitive.
5. It's confusing
Many fans are confused by the "all team challenges" approach to the upcoming season. Will the teams run the length of the season, like in "Hell's Kitchen"? Will the finale feature single designers, or teams of two designers? Will designers pick their own teams or get assigned to random partners? Fans don't know what to expect, and they might not tune in for the whole season if Season 11's format change doesn't entertain them from the get-go.