In this episode, the girls will learn all about personality, interviews, etc. Actually, it is "personality" ad nauseam...
We start off with super-Asian-chick (April) and super-fake-girl (Camille) who are in deep conversation. Super-fake-girl (Camille) says how hard it is in the industry (she does seem to know a lot about the industry, doesn't she?), especially for black women because Caucasians are easier to market, etc. Super-Asian-chick (April) then says that Tyra told her, at her audition, that it would even be harder for her because of her asian features. Super-fake-girl (Camille) was not expecting that because, after all, she's used to being a minority but she failed to see that Asians are even more of a minority in the fashion world. Super-fake-girl (Camille) then says that it will be a factor that makes her special, though, and might keep her in the competition longer. Super-Asian-chick (April) does not answer that.
Then, we see super-Persian-girl (Sara), who is half-Persian, saying that she is proud of her Persian heritage but, unfortunately, being a model is often seen as an equivalent of a whore in that very culture. Background info here: I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but she didn't tell her dad that she was going to New York for this contest and still has not said anything to him. She is scared that he will disown her when she does tell him. Her mom knows, though.
Tyra then arrives and says that, since they are only 8 now, the competition will get increasingly harder so she wants to have one-on-one talks with each girl (I'm giving the accounts in no special order other than what I remember; some girls will not be mentioned because nothing worth mentioning was said).
Super-shy-girl (Shandi) says that she feels that she has grown much more in the last few weeks versus the last few years and she's really happy about that. She loves the competition but is scared that she will have to go back home and doesn't want to go back to Walgreens (she's placing stuff on shelves at a Walgreens). Tyra kind of tells her that her place is not at a Walgreens anymore. I'm guessing that Tyra sees A LOT of potential in her and pretty much thinks that, whether she wins or not, she's gonna make it (again, background info: the last 5 girls from last season all got contracts in one way or another).
Super-Persian-girl (Sara) asks for Tyra's advice about her father: he has left numerous messages on her voice mail and she has not returned his calls because she doesn't know what she should say to him. Tyra tells her that she should 'fess up and that, if she has had the courage to come all the way here and still be there, she's strong enough to handle her dad. Tyra even goes as far as saying that the sooner she does that, the better it will be because the photographers have a hard time finding something else but sadness in her eyes and she will not win if she doesn't change that.
Super-frizzy-chick (Mercedes), that's the girl who has lupus, is asked what is different, why she doesn't have the energy that she used to have, etc. She does not answer really and goes on saying how she misses her mom. Tyra tells her that she certainly understands because her mom and her are very close. Not long after Tyra started her career at 17, her mom quit her job to take care of Tyra and make sure that nothing bad would happen while touring the world. Tyra says that, without her mom, she probably would not be talking here today.
Now, comes the turn of super-fake-girl (Camille). Something kind of funny happened. Before watching this week's episode, my friend Corey and I watched last week's episode because Corey had not seen it. Well, when super-fake-girl (Camille) was told that she had a diva attitude just like Diana Ross, Corey was a bit surprised that she did not bite back. I told Corey that she probably felt like it was in her best interest, since it was the elimination time, not to say anything. Well, guess what? When super-fake-girl (Camille) met with Tyra, Tyra sensed that something was off and asked her what it is. Super-fake-girl (Camille) then told her that it was the first time in her life that she had been called a diva and she doesn't think that she's a diva. Tyra answered that super-fake-girl is very confident, which is good, but she's too confident. Tyra says that her photos are superb but when she opens her mouth, it's not as good. Tyra told her that being a top model was all about quiet confidence.
The next day, they meet a personality coach. They have this exercise where they have sheets and they have to put a check mark next to points that they think describes one of the other girls, they have to do this for all girls and then they get what people thought about them. Needless to say, super-fake-girl (Camille) got the worse reviews from the girls. She said that she felt attacked by the girls. Then, they were asked by the personality coach to talk about the person that they like best in the world and why. Super-shy-girl (Shandi) said that it was her boyfriend because no one in her family understands her but he does, etc. We get a glimpse that super-shy-girl was not really loved by her family. Other girls say other things but nothing is really interesting. The whole point was that they had to learn a little bit about charisma and also how to answer in interviews.
That night, super-model-maker-dude (the guy who taught them how to walk) comes to the apartment with food. They are having dinner and having fun. He then says that he has a surprise guest. He invited a psychic to have a seance with them. Super-American-girl (Catie; btw, I'm gonna change her nickname; I now call her super-cry-baby-girl) seems terrified… So the psychic ask each of them give her their names and their birth dates. With that, she tells them stuff.
• Super-frizzy-chick (Mercedes) is told that her body is weak but her mind isn't. When asked if she understands, she denies understanding at all. However, she does say later on that the psychic was right on.
• Super-Asian-chick (April) is told that she is struggling with some inner demons and does not know where she fits in yet. However, she's a very driven person and all she wants to do is become a top model. The psychic tells her that she will succeed (it did not imply, though, that she wins the competition but that she just may succeed some other way).
• The psychic tells super-Persian-girl (Sara) that she has issues with her father but that she has the strength to do it. She goes on saying that the father will throw a fit over his daughter being a top model but will secretly love it.
• Super-cool-black-dudette (Xiomara) is told that she has a hard time keeping friends. Not that she's mean or anything but that she does it in self-preservation. Super-cool-black-dudette (Xiomara) totally understands what the psychic is saying. The psychic tells her that she found a friend here that will remain her friend for a very long time. Super-cool-black-dudette (Xiomara) looks at super-shy-girl (Shandi) with a knowing smile (that was a sweet moment).
• Super-shy-girl (Shandi) is told that there is a lot of addiction in her family. She seems taken aback like "How could she possibly know?" She says later that no one knew... The psychic tells her that she has not had very much love from her family. She also asks her if she was ever hugged. Super-shy-girl (Shandi) answers that here, she does. She starts crying and all the girls start crying. The psychic tells her that this group of girls must feel like family for her... Super-shy-girl (Shandi) cries some more. Super-model-maker-dude (J. Alexander) then hugs her while she is sobbing heavily.
The next day, the girls have interviews. It will also be a contest. The winning prize is going to be a shopping spree. The girls don't know who will interview them. Well, it's super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson). Some girls are scared because they know that she can rough them up verbally. She asks them all kinds of question. One of the question was "Where is the craziest place that you had sex?" Super-cool-black-dudette (Xiomara) chuckles, turns red, and answers: "In the broom closet when I was in high school." Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) is pleasantly surprised. Super-cry-baby-girl (Catie) answers that she cannot answer that because she is a virgin. Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) raises an eyebrow and you see that she is not pleased at all. She must have remembered some girls from last season who had the "more righteous than thou" attitude, were virgins, were obnoxious, did not want to pose in bikinis if there were men around because they would be "lusting".
Anyway, back to the interviews. Super-Persian-girl (Sara) was asked what made her think that she would win and what she would do with it if she won. She answered that, due to her Persian heritage, she wanted to show the world and, more importantly, Middle Eastern women, that she was a woman who could be on the runway, be in magazine, be who she wanted to be and not have anyone dictate what she does. Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) summed it up by "I am woman!" Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) later says that she really liked that super-Persian-girl (Sara) had an idea of what she wanted to portray.
We don't know exactly what led to it but super-Asian-chick (April) said something like she never took a stance on her Asian OR her Caucasian background. She is disappointed that everyone notices her Asian background first. Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) later says that it's a shame that super-Asian-chick (April) has not identified herself with anything yet, that it's a shame, really, and comments on how she will be forced to make a stance at one point.
Super-shy-girl (Shandi) was asked what was the one thing that people don't know about her and, if they did, it would tarnish her image. She answered that it is the drugs. Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) then asked her how she stopped, what happened, tell me more. Super-shy-girl (Shandi) said that she was arrested for robbery and, at that moment, she figured that it was time to stop. She then says that it was a part of her life that she went through and now it is in her past. She later says that she did it to have her parents’ attention but it did not work, obviously, so she stopped doing stupid stuff. Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) later says that she was impressed by super-shy-girl (Shandi) because it takes a lot of courage to admit all that since it is such a dark thing.
Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) asks super-fake-girl (Camille) if she is intimidated by her because that's the feeling that she has. Super-fake-girl (Camille) denies that she might be intimidated, going on to say that some might think that super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) is a bitch. Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) interrupts her and says "That's really what people are saying about me?" Super-fake-girl (Camille) confirms. That's all we see about her. Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) later comments on how it was really rude of super-fake-girl (Camille) to say that to her face even if it was true.
Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) asks super-frizzy-chick (Mercedes) why her energy levels went down over the past few weeks, what happened. Super-frizzy-chick (Mercedes) took a deep breath and 'fessed up. She said "I don't want to make excuses that I have an illness but I do. I have lupus." Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) asked her what lupus does, what it is. Super-frizzy-chick (Mercedes) answers that, basically, her body is kind of going against itself. Super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) then states that it must indeed require much energy for her to fight that. Super-frizzy-chick (Mercedes) says that she is fighting through it.
After all the interviews are done, super-judge-ex-top-model (Janice Dickinson) talks to all the girls, give them comments on their interviews (basically, all that she said on camera later on), and declares the winner to be super-frizzy-chick (Mercedes) because she was so candid in admitting to having lupus. Now, when super-judge-ex-top-model says that, the other girls still did not know about super-frizzy-chick’s (Mercedes) illness so they all are shocked. Many comment later on that they had no idea and would have never guessed that super-frizzy-chick (Mercedes) had such an illness. So, super-frizzy-chick (Mercedes) needs to choose a friend with whom she could have her shopping spree. She chooses super-Persian-girl (Sara). They have a blast... end of that story.