When your curriculum vitae includes, among other things, "former political prisoner, southeast Asia," pretty much you got scoreboard on every other member of society. Every day you wake up is a victory. But I don't think that story alone is why Chloe Dao won Project Runway.
I like to believe it was something Chloe said -- a throwaway line actually -- while explaining her work to the judges. Did you catch it? As they questioned her decision to show ALL eveningwear, she summed it up sorta like this: "This is my collection and I knew I'd have to defend it so I just decided to do something I loved." So screw y'all. Sure there's strategy and marketability involved and Chloe gets that but also, she's going to do what makes her happy. And she has to take pride in her final product. That's a lot more commitment to a personal creative vision than, oh, Santino showed.
And to further rationalize all the hours I spend watching TV: for me and 3.4 million of my closest friends, watching Chloe's beautiful mother silently cry with joy was one of the best moments ever.