It's my mother, Evelyn Cohen, who swears that he's this season's Wendy Pepper. She also swears that his name sounds like "Martini" but that's another matter entirely.
Why is he disliked? What has he done to anyone besides show unbridled vanity and a drive to succeed? Is it just too much drive?
"People dislike his arrogance and some people think he has a chip on his shoulder," Executive Producer Bye says. "He's not afraid of saying what he thinks of his fellow designers, even if it's really harsh." The actor John Benjamin Hickey called from the set of his new film (think "Dangerous Minds" with Hilary Swank conquering the inner city) to chime, "I want to see something matter to him besides winning, something like creating something beautiful... It IS a contest, though, and he's so gifted and f--d up and he is great television and I will stay tuned to hopefully see someone slap the s--t out of him!"
Funnylady Kathy Najimy, who loves her some Diana Eng, says "I think Santino is a great designer but he needs to personality-down a bit.. calm it! Just buy it, cut it, and design it.... lose the bravado a bit."
Yo Sanitino - ya might want to pay attention to Najimy, she happens to be a champ on another fine Bravo show, "Celebrity Poker."
Who better to have the last word on the matter than the king of Parsons, and "Project Runway" den-father, Mr. Tim Gunn himself? "His unyielding passion and unbridled determination to succeed are two outstanding characteristics, but they would mean very little without talent. Santino is, indeed, talented, very talented. He has a clear point of view and a spot-on vision for his designs. At the same time, that vision can be thwarting if the client doesn't share the same aesthetic (not unlike Austin...), because Santino finds it difficult, if not impossible, to step out of his skin and design for another point of view."
Thank you, Tim! As for you, Santino, we'll be watching.