Under the Gunn recap: Team Challenge

On Under the Gunn last week, the judges gave Shan, Oscar and Natalia a pass -- and Oscar was declared the winner, for his second victory. But the mentors' relationships took a dramatic turn when Mondo and Anya confronted Nick with their frustrations about how Natalia continued to survive each challenge despite her weak sewing skills -- criticisms they repeated to the judges. At the end of the show, each mentor was left with two designers on their team.

See also: Mondo Guerra to host Under the Gunn viewing party Thursday

On last night's show, the designers were placed on teams and given the challenge of creating a mini-collection that would appeal to Francesca's retail customers, who were described as young, sexy, whimsical and fun. The winning team would have its mini-collection sold in Francesca's stores. The guest judge for this challenge was Sei Jin Alt, chief merchandising Officers for Francesca's.

For the challenge, all the other designers were hoping they wouldn't get paired with Natalia: Tim selected Asha to be her partner. The other teams were composed of Chan and Oscar, and Blake and Sam; they faced their own challenges due to individual strengths and weaknesses.

The mentors toughened their critiques this round, too: Nick was very concerned about how his and Mondo's mentoring styles would impact the teams.

As expected, Asha and Natalia provided the drama for the evening. Asha was not shy with her opinion regarding Natalia's' lack of design talent. The time-crunch stress didn't help their team dynamic, and Asha became extremely frustrated with Natalia as she tried to assist with editing in the final hours before hitting the runway.

The judges had very strong opinions about the team's mini-collections. Oscar and Shan's collection was the overall favorite; the judges were very impressed with the removable bib overalls. Sam and Blake also received positive remarks from the judges, who said the collection screamed "vacation" when it was presented on the runway.

Natalia and Asha received the most criticism. "It looks as if she yanked a curtain off of a motel window and wrapped it around herself," one judge said of Asha's dashiki. Natalia's dress was the "worst construction ever seen," said another. And with that stinging comment, Natalia was finally sent home.

That means Asha, Blake and Sam will return next week, as will Oscar and Shan, who won the challenge. Francesca's selected two pieces from their collections to carry in its stores.

Next week's show will be even more stressful, as the designers will be challenged to design for everyday women..

Under the Gunn airs locally at 7 p.m. every Thursday on Lifetime; Mondo is hosting an Under the Gunn viewing party every week at Beauty Bar.

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Tracie Keesee