“Project Runway” Season 16 kept the shockers coming right up to the end. Viewers — and Brandon Kee — were led to believe Brandon Kee was going to win, since the judges never criticized anything he did until the finale. But he ended up taking third, behind runner-up Ayana Ife and winner Kentaro Kameyama.
Kentaro wowed with his collection, but before that, he gave fans arguably the most memorable moment of the season during his hometown visit from Tim Gunn. The Japan native serenaded Tim on the piano, with the music featured during his New York Fashion Week collection. Tim called the music beautiful, and asked what gave him that idea. Kentaro said he found a dead cat on the street. He put his ear into the ground and this was the sound he heard.
— ugh (@jas508) November 10, 2017
Tim didn’t really know how to react. The moment sparked plenty of memes, not out of disrespect for cats or Kentaro, but just at the sheer randomness of the inspiration. Who really saw that answer coming?!
— sophie 🍕✨💕🍞 (@sophloafobread) November 10, 2017
— JC Warner (@JCWarner8) November 17, 2017
After winning the season, Kentaro told TVLine he really did bury that cat, which speaks to his big and beautiful heart:
“I treat animals the way I want to be treated. Animals have character and personality. I don’t look down on them. Sometimes human beings think dogs and cats are below us, but I treat animals with respect. It know it sounds weird. I don’t want to die on the side of the street, but if I did, I’d want someone to take my body [and bury it]. I wanted the cat have a proper funeral-ish, so I did it. Some people think I’m creepy or scary, but my mom was an animal lover. She rescued a lot of animals from shelters, so I’ve had a lot of animals in my house. I know what to do with dead animals. I feel sad and I treat them the way they should be. It’s a normal process for me.”
As an animal lover, it’s wonderful to hear that.
Fans are still debating Kentaro’s win over Ayana, Brandon, and fourth-place winner Margarita Alvarez. They are also wondering why the show didn’t edit out Kentaro’s father falling off the stage after Kentaro won. They could’ve easily reshot that scene. But we’re all human, and some of us have actually fallen off stages before. Now we can relate to both Kentaro as an animal lover with very creative artistic inspiration, and to his father for not knowing where the stage ends, because the lights in that studio must’ve been so bright — and he was probably distracted by his own pride for his son. No shame in that.
“Project Runway” will air the Season 16 Reunion Special on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.
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