Let's be real: "The Fashion Show" was Bravo's answer to "Project Runway" and Season 1 fell short of the right answer. But the truth is "Runway" isn't as great as it was in its heyday, either. Especially after this season's bloated 90-minute running time and its majorly unlikeable cast. "The Fashion Show" now has a chance to inch up on its competition and Iman as judge was a good step in that direction.
Here our five ways Iman changes the game:
1.) Iman gives the show credibility: There's no denying Iman is a force to be reckoned with. Her career spans three decades, and she'll tell you herself that she has modeled for everyone. And Iman indeed works it. We're pretty sure she could wear a KFC bucket and it would be chic. We do still love the show's former host/judge, singer Kelly Rowland, but she let Beyonce's mother dress her funny all those years in Destiny's Child. We don't blame her. We blame Beyonce's mother. But, still, she doesn't exactly inspire fashion confidence. Plus, designer Isaac Mizrahi returns and he's about all we cared about from last season.
2.) Iman raises the stakes: If you're going to bring on Iman, then everything else about the show needs to step up a notch. And after Season 1, the show could use it. Dubbed "The Ultimate Collection," the $150,000 money prize is now more than "Runway's." And the production value has gone up -- not by a lot, but there is movement.
3.) Iman doesn't do hallways: One of the worst parts of Season 1 was when the judges deliberated literally in a hallway. We were always really embarrassed for them as they decided the contestants' fate in what looked like a bomb shelter. White walls, a disheveled clothing rack thrown to the side. That gesture toward the "reality" in "reality show" is thankfully gone. The winner of a design competition shouldn't be decided in a whispered hurry while standing in a sad, cramped hallway. Thankfully, Iman doesn't do hallways.
4.) Iman makes up for the third-rate contestants: One thing that hasn't changed from Season 1 is the show's cut-rate contestants. Last time out, it seemed as if the production company went back to "Runway's" reject file for their cast of competitors. The bad news is that this season doesn't feel all that different. The good news is that "Runway" hasn't been doing very well lately with contestants either, and the difference between the two shows' motley crew of competitors is getting decidedly smaller. Regardless, Iman demands the best of them and in the premiere she definitely keeps a high standard for their work.
5.) Iman delivers diva: Iman isn't catty in her demeanor on the show. She's more like a lion. She's quick-witted, funny, honest and delivers some lines (with her lovely rolled R's) in the premiere that you'll be repeating at work the next day. Expect her to keep the contestants on their toes and to call them out when she hears the sounds of a dump truck backing up.
"The Fashion Show" premieres Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.