Project Runway Heidi Klum Tim Gunn Jonathan Peters

Heidi Klum critiques designer Jonathan Peters while Tim Gunn watches over. Photo: Lifetime

Just when she was a needle and thread away from a spot in the coveted final four on "Project Runway," 22-year-old designer Maya Luz has a crisis of confidence and makes a decision that defies logic: She walks away from her sewing machine and leaves the season 7 cast.

No drama. No feuds with her competitors. No trashing on the runway by the often brutal judges.

Luz just quits, telling mentor Tim Gunn that because she's fresh out of school, she feels she lacks credibility as a designer to continue until the bitter end at New York Fashion Week. Her departure is baffling. For the last several weeks, Luz, who was the youngest competitor left standing, has been in the top three. Her work just kept getting better, and we wanted to see more.

But when presented with the challenge to dress a "difficult, opinionated client," she takes that ominous cue to leave.

Some of Luz's competitors admonish her decision (they would rather get cut with a brutal tongue-lashing on the runway), but others say they get it. "No one should judge her until they've been through what we have," Seth Aaron Henderson says in bleep-filled rant. And we take it personally because we have been sitting there, um, judging.

And so we are down to five designers and an opportunity for more runway drama as they work to make the final cut.

The Challenge: The competitors must create a red-carpet look for judge Heidi Klum to wear post-pregnancy. But wait: Didn't they just create a look for Klum to wear on the cover of Marie Claire's April issue? Um, we're thinking she really needs to go shopping.

The Workroom Drama: We feel like we're watching a fashionable miniseries. Episode 1: Luz walks out. Episode 2: The designers mourn her departure. Episode 3: Drum roll, please -- our favorite designer, Anthony Williams, bursts through the workroom door! Williams praises the Lord and Maya Luz for his invitation back to the competition to "even the playing field." (During the commercial break, we do a happy dance because life was so dull without him.) Episode 4: Klum visits the workroom, frowns, grimaces, and cuts some contestants's looks to shreds

Klum puts designer Jonathan Peters into panic mode when she says his work-in-progress evening gown -- which features his elaborate "cutout" layered-fabric technique -- reminds her of curtains. Since his work last week was compared to a dirty tablecloth, he begins tearing his dress apart.

Henderson studies a look book provided by Klum and bets on "black" as the color to win her heart because it seems to be Klum's red-carpet staple.

Williams, who has missed crucial prep time, is allowed to work through the night, creating a gown for Klum on one hour's sleep.

The Runway Show: The looks would have given the E! Fashion Police a lot of good and bad ammo. Mila Hermanovski and Jay Nicolas Sario produce odd short dresses. The cut of Henderson's frock is elegant, but the details are oh so goth! And Peters (after scrapping his second dress for Klum) sends a can-you-see-my-butt-cheeks mini down the runway, because he ran out of fabric this time around.

We'll save the best looks for later!

The Guest Judge: Actress Jessica Alba is introduced by Klum as an international style icon, which begs the question: If she's so important to world fashion, why weren't the designers given the task of dressing her for a red carpet? Just saying.

Who's In: Emilio Sosa does it again! He scores his fourth win (his third in a row) for his showstopper dress in a sparkling, cinnamon fabric that is noteworthy for its flattering fit and restrained details. It screams "red carpet" from every angle, which, after all, was the point of the challenge.

At this juncture, we have no doubt that the fiercely competitive Sosa will snag a spot on the runway at Fashion Week (we're thinking the 43-year-old theatrical designer may have a lock on winning the whole thing).

But wait -- there are two winners!

Alba sweetly tells Williams she loves his flowing black and white gown, which has a regal, Old Hollywood feel, and might she please wear it sometime? Williams, who just days ago was out of the running, looks like he might fall off the runway. "Girl, any time," he tells Alba, as if she had just asked to borrow a cup of sugar. Back in the workroom, he tells us, "Greatness still awaits," reprising his parting line from the previous week.

Who's Out: The judges are unhappy with the looks of some usually strong contenders. Henderson gets a talking to for his black "funeral dress," and Sario appears in peril for his tragic decision to sew ruffles at the hips. "No woman wants her butt to look bigger," Alba advises. Hermanovski is trashed for producing a blah, poorly constructed dress with a bad neckline.

The "auf," however, goes to risk-taking Peters, who had been in peril three weeks in a row. His elaborately creative frocks were alternately loved and hated by the judges. And although we're certain they took into account his considerable effort to please Klum, Peters knew he was in trouble when he had to make do with fabric scraps. It just didn't work.

Missed last week's episode of "Project Runway"? Catch up here.