Shandi, meanwhile, mopes around the house, telling us, "I miss being home and seeing my boyfriend. But then, at the same time, a huge part of me wants to become America's Next Top Model." She's turned from ugly duckling into a long-necked swan/Pack your bags, y'all, you're goin' to Milan. And, we're done.
And, we're out on the street, where the four cani dal serbatoio walk toward the cameras in a threatening, ear-slicing way. They montage through Milan -- which is actually exceedingly difficult to do on the torturous Italian streets, which is why you have to have a special stamp in your passport if you intend on to partake in more than five montages during your travels abroad -- and they end up at the showroom of one Stephen Fairchild. Wearing his own name on his clothing (which I haven't done since I last wore the novelty party favor t-shirt reading "I Had A Ball At Daniel's Bar Mitzvah" that we gave away at my baseball-themed thirteenth birthday, and no, I'm not kidding), he welcomes the girls into the room, telling a thrilled Yoanna, "I'm going to give you a kiss." I tried to use that intro for a while when I met new people, but the resulting "Well, then, I'm going to give you an incredulous glare, freak" offered a real this-only-works-in-Italy feeling to the proceedings. Mercedes celebrates the fact that he's so famous that even she's heard of him, opening a plot thread that never got enough traction to make that as awesomely funny as I would have liked. Good thing, then, that they got the extra-credit question right: "It's my style, if I could, dress, you know, hote catoh [sic], but, I mean, duh). Or whatever." Adorable! And don't you forget it. Or heaven will be missing an angel. And it will be your fault.
Stephen explains that he's here to teach them the ins and outs of Italian fashion: "The sensuality of it, the sexuality of it." He wants to make sure he uses the best qualities of each girl, accentuating the best qualities of each girl and hiding what's not quite as good. Unlike, say, in the fashion world of the sovereign nation of IronyTopia, which would feature a spread made up entirely of Yoanna's midriff, Mercedes's brains, April's demeanor, and Shandi's fidelity. A hot shoot, that one.
Stephen sets them loose on pretty much one rack in his showroom, and I get that feeling watching them that I get when I'm choosing a bowling ball. Initial excitement gives way to the bullshit minutiae of the chore: one's the right weight, but the holes are too small. One looks good from afar, but some dink gets to it before you have a chance. One's completely perfect in every way other than it being pink, which makes your friends deem you a faggotty bowler. Whatever. This happened to a friend of mine. The four girls take a montage (getting awfully close to your limit there, ladies), and turn back to the camera wearing the outfits they find themselves most sexy in. April goes first. She is wearing a long, white trench coat a lot like the one the guy who sold candy outside the gates of my elementary school sold until one day he opened his trench coat and didn't come around to sell candy anymore because he must have gone to work for another school. I guess he was hired by the district or something. I never really thought too much about it. Stephen deems the raincoat "completely wrong," which is just what the attending officer told the guy at my school. See? This is why I always go poncho.