TV’s Austin skids off of ‘Runway’ |

TV’s Austin skids off of ‘Runway’

Devoted fans of Austin Scarlett already know the bad news by now.

The son of a Nevada City woman, Austin saw his design come in the fourth and final place during Wednesday’s episode of “Project Runway” – the popular reality TV show that puts fashion designers to the test, with one eliminated each week.

So he’s out of the running for the Bravo show’s final prizes.

But his mom, Debra Little, doesn’t care.

She has watched every episode in her downstairs apartment overlooking Deer Creek in Nevada City. She said that for her, the final minutes of this last show were the most “poignant and profound moments of the entire series.”

Austin’s reaction to his elimination was graceful, courageous, authentic, and insightful, she said.

“It was so inspiring for other kids to always be true to yourself.”

The challenge was to design a dress appropriate for Nancy O’Dell, the host of “Access Hollywood,” to wear to the Grammy Awards. Austin’s dress was characteristic of his style – flamboyant and glamorous. The ultimate choice was left to O’Dell, and she said that what Austin created may have been beautiful, but it was more appropriate for the Oscars.

But Austin’s mom thinks that her son stayed true to himself and that he probably has the most potential of all the designers.

“He feels that he’s what’s coming,” she said.

And Austin still got to show his collection during New York’s Fashion Week – an opportunity the show’s host, Heidi Klum, has promised since the first episode to only the three finalists.

That is where there was some confusion. Fashion Week opened on Feb. 5, but the episode that would bring the count down to three finalists had not aired. To avoid tipping off viewers about the winner, all four were given spots on Fashion Week’s runways.

This also perplexed Little and her two daughters, Jesslyn and Kelsea, who attended the fashion event last week. Little said she always believed that her son could make it to the final three, but when they saw the name of Wendy, another contender, on the list at Fashion Week, they were unsure.

Little said it has been wonderful to see her son emerge into the spotlight, saying it was fun to walk down the streets of New York over the weekend with Austin and have people cheer him on.

This has always been Austin’s dream, she said, and his elimination won’t hold him back.

“He’s been doing it since he was born. He doesn’t do it for other people, but his career will be a lot different because of having done (‘Project Runway’),” she said.

The show will air next Wednesday at 9 p.m. on Bravo and will feature never-before-seen footage from earlier challenges.

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