In defense of Anthony Ryan and Christian Siriano, they are probably not taught that in school, and I don't know A.R.'s background, but Christian apprenticed with Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen--cutting-edge couturiers who don't really design for ordinary folk. By contrast, people like Ivy and Rami design for actual people who walk in the door. Unfortunately, Anthony Ryan's soldier was unusually curvy, and she asked for strapless. He had everything going against him! It would have taken some demon tailoring to make that combination work, and I'm not sure he had the time or the inner resources to see it through. I was terrified that they'd send him home, because he's been so good, but thank goodness the judges and the producers thought better of sending anyone home.
Ulli had a kind of easy time this week, because her soldier had a nice figure and specifically asked for a dress like the one Ulli had made for herself! On those grounds, though I love Ulli, I'm glad they gave Joshua first place this week, because he came up with such a felicitous dress for his soldier and managed to comply with her wishes as well as to reflect his own personality.
One thing that really pleased me was that despite the problems with Anthony Ryan's dress, the judges were so supportive while the women were standing there, and they were completely diplomatic about how everyone looked. In a situation with real women as opposed to models, this is how the judges should conduct themselves. I am always a bit anxious about how Heidi, who tends to want to stir up a bit of drama (for ratings purposes I'm sure, not because she's a mean person in everyday life), will bring up these issues, and that often leads to the designer saying something tactless. It happened with Venn, and it happened years ago with Jeffrey and Angela's mother. In this situation, they absolutely made the veterans feel like princesses on national TV, and that was the way to do it.
By the way, I thought Katie Holmes did a good job. Remember that she filmed this segment quite awhile ago, just after she had split with Tom Cruise, so this was one of her first public outings. She definitely showed maturity and poise. I'm not particularly a fan of hers--I've not seen anything that makes her a standout as an actress--but if this appearance is any indication, she might grow on me.