Wait a minute…
…who wants to work for whom, again?
We open on Ivory and Melissa cooking. Melissa seems to want to put aluminum foil in the microwave.
Her willingness to do so explains a lot. If she decided to wear it on her head, it would explain even more. Not coincidentally, when Downtown gets the message to vote off one of their members to Uptown…
…it is Melissa who gets the boot. She explains this by saying, “There’s a cliché, or a clique, a group against me for no reason.” So there’s either an exclusive bunch of people or an often-used phrase against Melissa. That sounds like paranoia, but it’s nothing a little foil helmet couldn’t fix!
The teams are shipped to Bad Boy, where they meet two more members of Diddy’s team…
…and receive their challenge for the week:
They have to come up with the concept, tagline, styling, etc. This episode is basically America’s Next Top Model, inside out. Smile with your souls, y’all!
They get to work. On Uptown, Melissa seems to want flashing text. This poses a problem as they are shooting a print ad, and print doesn’t flash…unless, of course, you’re wearing your special helmet. Zach, meanwhile, wants the tag to be, “It must be sexy.” Over on Downtown, Jen pipes up and volunteers herself as a model:
How generous, altruistic and not at all engineered for her own self interest of her!
As Zach makes it clear that he’s doing the driving this week, Ivory openly resolves to follow his lead. It’s genuinely impressive, actually, that she’s not only capable of considering the judges’ criticism, but of restraint, as well. Given her display last episode, I honestly thought it would have taken some rope and a muzzle.
Diddy calls in the teams to find out their early ideas…
He asks what Downtown think of the new Sean Jean logo, which is what this shoot is all about. “Real smooth,” says Dalen about 5,000 times. Diddy asks if he is bulls***ting him. Dalen confirms that he is not. Smooth move, Dalen. They go on to present their tag: Undying valor. This came from researching the genealogy of the word “valor.”
Did you know that the word dates back to the 14th century? Did you care? Anyway, Diddy hates the tagline and tells them to come up with a new one as they’re leaving. Although this makes it tougher for the team, at least they know this while there’s still time to change it. Sometimes I actually think Diddy wants these people to succeed. Admittedly, it’s an out-there theory.
Meanwhile, his main concern with Uptown is styling, since their collective personal style doesn’t jump out as Sean Jean-style style.
The camera hilariously pans down to Melissa’s lucite platforms to drive home that point:
I love that on virtually every VH1 show — from Rock of Love to Hogan Knows Best to Tough Love to now this — lucite heels end up playing some part. You can run, programming, but you can’t hide. (And really, if you’re in lucite heels, how well can you run, anyway?)
Meanwhile, Zach’s really obsessed with this idea to include body-painting in the shoot. It isn’t body-painting if it isn’t pronounced “bolypeenteen” in an accent thicker than Charo’s. That’s what I always say! Always. I think Ivory’s right there with me on this one — she can no longer sit on her hands and finally voices her resistance to the idea. Instead, she suggests they hit up the manager of the Sean Jean store, at which they picked up all those bottles of cologne last episode. They ask for his advice on the styling. He magically agrees to help. Zach pays this little mind, chalking it up to the fact that Ivory has “a new chew toy to play with while we get the work done.” He really is a smooth talker. If the reality TV thing doesn’t work out (spoiler: it doesn’t), Zach should look into the dying trade of wordsmithing.
Meanwhile, clothes shopping for Downtown proves challenging because, in Ebony’s words, “Jen dresses everyday like a street hooker.”
Not even an Internet hooker: a street one. For shame, for shame!
Once it’s time for the shoot, Jen attempts to micromanage it, and is again shot down by Ebony, who dismisses her with, “Now just be beautiful.”
Indeed, models should be seen and not heard…depending on the show, of course!
Over on Uptown, Zach continues his reign of error.
“It’s like working with really small children and unfortunately enough, I’m all out of gold stars and banana stickers,” he tells us. OK, well, whatever. Any fruit stickers will do. God, Zach. You sound like the picky one. However wisely, his teammates mostly ignore him.
Uptown’s shoot begins. Here’s how it initially looks:
The photographer recognizes the hopelessness of the situation, and Zach soon starts revising his vision. First, he suggests removing the easels. Yeah, that’s it. Blame the easels.
Their shoot does seem to improve and it certainly becomes a lot more entertaining when Kennis and Melissa arrive from getting a fruit tray. Melissa promptly leaps behind the camera and starts shouting encouragement at the models, as though they are poodles practicing for a beauty pageant.
“Smile! He’s lookin’ at you!” she squeals. OK, Melissa is great. She could be the most ingenious VH1 casting since, like, Bubbles. I wait with bated breath for the next thing her extremely complex mind has to offer.
Photo selection gets underway, while most of Downtown wants this shot…
…Jen wants this one:
Jen wants this undoubtedly to preserve her commitment to selflessness. Unfortunately, her team just doesn’t see it that way.
Meanwhile, Zach kind of bulldozes over the suggestions of his team and goes with the shot that he wants, since “this isn’t a democracy.”
Indeed, it’s more a demo-crazy!
The teams present their final ads to Diddy himself:
Melissa chimes in immediately with “‘It must be sexy’ wasn’t something I would have chosen.” “It must be fluffy and glitzy” is more Melissa’s angle. Zach thinks Melissa’s words prove that “these people don’t deserve to breathe the same air as me.” Zach has a very refreshing worldview. You don’t really see that kind of mentality expressed on reality shows. Diddy’s main issue with Uptown’s picture is: “That crotch is all in my face.” That’s not a good thing, when you didn’t order said crotch.
Diddy’s issue with Downtown’s shot is that the female model is sitting on the desk.
Ebony explains that a woman on a desk says “power.” “I don’t want to see your butt all on my desk. Do you sit on desks like that?” wonders Diddy. I think the teams had it twisted. It would have been better if the crotch were on the desk and the butt all in his face. A place for everything and everything in its place!
The teams go to 1515 Broadway (among things, the building where this recap is being typed now!) for the reveal of the winning team. As they’re in Times Square, they’re able to see the winning shot up in lights…
Looks like the butt-tainted desk didn’t matter, after all! As the monarch of the losing team, Zach turns introspective.
I’m sure his head is filled with visions of crotches gone wrong and butts gone right. How haunting.
Meanwhile, at home there is broccoli boiling on the stove:
That could mean only one thing…
…Poprah’s back! Wait, what? She’s on a diet now or something. Weird. Have no fear, though: she also brought a bucket of popcorn and lots of Ferraro Rocher chocolates. She’s not gonna be starving. Relax, people!
The group initially seems thrilled to see her…
…which just confirms how out-of-their-minds everyone on this show is. Not surprisingly, Ivory is subdued in the face of future adversity.
We see a flashback to Poprah’s conversation with Diddy regarding her return:
You can tell it’s a flashback, because the aspect ratio is more extreme. Diddy asks if she’s worked on that smart mouth of hers. Mmmmm, yes and no. Good enough! She’s going to be his eyes and ears, not to mention the extension of his whip!
She confronts Ivory, who charges Poprah with showing up uninvited.
“Oh trust, I was invited,” says Poprah. Ivory also berates Poprah for putting her popcorn bucket on “Mr. Combs’ gold table,” which is apparently to be seen and not used. Ivory attempts to flee, but that’s a hard thing to do when you sleep across from your tormentor…
Indeed, even Diddy interviews that he wouldn’t want to have a slumber party with Poprah. I love the idea of Diddy having slumber parties, primarily because it makes me wonder whom he would want to have them with. My best guess is Muppets. Anyway, Poprah calls Ivory slow, ugly and angry. She adds that Ivory is going home. Ah, the familiar sounds of Poprah berating a fellow contestant. Feels like home.
The next day, something inexplicable happens: Melissa snaps and rants incoherently about getting “ghetto” and laying it all out on the table.
I think by “it,” she means her insanity. Kennis thinks this calls for an exorcism or whatever they do with olive oil…
“My god do not like this,” explains Kennis. This perplexes John, who’s not used to ways of Southerners. They do love their oil, those Southerners. What’s not to understand about that?
Anyway, it’s time for the chopping block.
Capricorn berates them for their poor taste in photo-choosing. “At no point when you’re shooting this does your head go, ‘Epic fail! Epic fail!’?” she wonders. Well, it looks like someone‘s been using the Internet! Melissa’s weird coaching and Zach’s totalitarian approach to running the team are mentioned. Capricorn polls the team on which member should be in the Bottom 2: Kennis says Zach, Melissa says Ivory, Zach says Ivory, Ivory says Zach and Daniel says Zach. Zach it is, and he promptly brings down Ivory with him.
Guaranteed that at no point when he’s doing this does his head go, “Epic fail! Epic fail!” Phil and Andre come in, and Phil notes that this is Ivory’s second time in the Bottom 2, so she should be going home. She says that she took their criticism and was more of a team player and less combative. Zach interrupts her, saying in the process, “You, Ivory, have no substance. You’re not a person in and of yourself. You’re a collection of ideas you’ve stolen from other people.” And Zach is a marksman with gun he’s stolen from other people — see that hole in his foot? He tells Ivory to go ahead and sister-girl him to death. She declines.
Andre says that since Zach picked out the shot, it clearly shows he has no taste. There’s some back-and-forth regarding Ivory’s idea to get the Sean Jean manager involved — Zach takes partial credit for it for giving her the go-head. Sounds like the work of an idea collector to me!
In the end, Ivory has done the sister girls proud — Zach is going home.
Zach says it’s disheartening to have to go up against “something” like that and lose. If Ivory is a collection, doesn’t that me her somethings? No matter. Diddy, who dropped in, is on his way to meet the president…
…ah, the life of a discreet jetsetter.
Meanwhile, with Uptown having lost yet another member, Poprah is brought in to sit on their team.
She interviews that this is the “acting role of a lifetime.” It took a season, but it looks like she finally has this reality thing figured out!