Sundai will be Moroccan and Russian, which means she'll be riding a camel while donning a fur hat and drinking potato vodka. Brittany will be Native American and East Indian. And at this point I'd joke about her wearing a feather headdress and a bindi, but in fact this is exactly what happens. I shit you not, people. Jennifer will be Botswanan and Polynesian. I don't know much about the Botswanan and Polynesian cultures, but what I do know is that this means Jennifer will be black to the fucking face. Frankly, I think that Tyra just should have gone all out with the racial epithets on this challenge and said, "Laura, you will be oriental and dago!" Finally, Nicole will be Malagasi and Japanese. Nicole asks what Malagasi means, and Tyra says that Malagasi people are from Madagascar. Nicole this will wear pelts from all the animals in that cartoon movie and be inventing Toyota's new hybrid. The girls all seem very excited about this challenge, which they would be after seeing all the Amos 'N Andy reruns that showed on Fierce Airlines.
The girls head to hair and makeup. Vanessa Geldbach is the wardrobe stylist. Tyra explains to us that every outfit that the girls wear isn't necessarily what people who are of the cultures they'll be representing wear NOW. Nor is it exactly what people of that culture might have worn in the past. Rather, it's a "fashion interpretation" of it. Read: fat-ass stereotype. Laura, in case you forgot, is still sunburned to the point where her face feels like it's going to fall off. However, she's certain she can overcome this challenge. With blackface! The cure for whatever ails you. Sometimes, I get unsightly redness from rosacea. Thanks, Top Model, for giving me an option that will allow me to walk proud in today's society. Michael Kanyon is today's hair stylist, while Vincent Oquendo is the lucky guy who gets to paint the girls' faces and bodies in some array of dark to very dark makeup. Erin is the only model who seems to take objection to this process. Because it legitimizes the fashion world's tendency to darken white models instead of hiring actual women of color? Because it calls to mind the racist lampooning of blackface minstrel shows? Because it's just fucking wrong and weird? No. Erin is peeved because it's going to be a bitch to scrub off all that makeup later. Which, also a good point.
Speaking of Erin, she's first to be photographed. And, I mean, what to say. She's painted burnt sienna, and is wearing the traditional Egyptian gold lame cleavage-revealing vest and some sort of big puffy hat that covers a dark wig. Erin tells us that she's always going to be intimidated by Tyra. She tends to overthink, and her mind gets frazzled. My mind is frazzled right now, too, let me tell you. And, sorry, I'm going to stop talking about the blackface in a minute. But... is Tyra being ironic? Does she really see this as a celebration of diversity? Does she actually think she's an invincible superhero called "Super Smize"? And what does Oprah think about all this? Anyway, Erin is not doing so well. Tyra tells her that she's too pose-y, and looks too commercial. Yes, the JC Penney catalog is known for its use of blackface. Jay yells to Erin to feel the spirituality of the Tibetan culture, which is all about ritual. Tyra calls for a change of Erin's enormous hat. Erin interviews that it sucks she hasn't spent more time learning about Tibet, because that knowledge would come in handy now. And, I mean, no it wouldn't. Tyra directs Erin as such: "Think about Egypt. The people. What they've been through." And if you don't know what they've been through (which is...The Mummy?), think about what we as a viewing audience have to go through RIGHT NOW! Tyra tells us that Erin was lost. She fell into one great picture, but it was an accident.