America's Next Top Model
The Girl Who Cheated

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A Lump In His Haute

The bell literally tolls next for she, as we hear a clanging bell tower announce the death knell of innocence. The guys leave the house and leave their numbers that no one's even going to use (you can see the look of "what the hell is 011?" splashed across Yoanna's face, here in the sane light of sobriety). My friend and I turn to each other and ask somewhat quizzically though not actually angrily, "Was that it?" as we take the walk of shame from the dining-room table to the bottle of red wine, stumbling once as we go and glad we decided to stick with charades instead. (My answer was "Fellini.") You know who's not happy? Shandi. She tells us in a confessional that she was unable to control herself, and in real time she sits on her bed, wailing. WAILING. Unable to speak. Except to say "I want to die." The other models all climb onto the bed with her, April's nightie mooning itself toward the camera, making her accidentally cheat on her boyfriend with me.

Shandi is still sleeping at 7:56 AM, Harlot Standard Time. I hope her splashy fashion Italian black-and-whites don't clash with the big-ass scarlet "A" on her forehead. She tells us that she just wants to go home. Though she wears her kicky "Shantrax" shirt that reminds us of better days when the destruction she unleashed on those around her was relegated to terrorist tools on a punny t-shirt, she speaks in the quiet, chastened voice of one who's about to get in a lot of trouble on TV, which, from the way people often react to it in such histrionic terms, isn't really that good a feeling.

But shopping at an Italian flea market is. Off they to the Italian flea market, to spend their two hundred Euro in an attempt to embody Italian sensuality. Just speak with an accent and rent a Vespa. I know it sounds elementary, but it just just just worked. Shandi stumbles the streets by herself in a huge, black puffy coat, handing one article of clothing back to an Italian street merchant with the complaint that it's "too big." But she says it in an Italian accent, so he must understand what she's saying. All she needs to do now is bring all five of the fingers on one hand together, point the tips at the sky, and wave it a few times, and everyone will know what she's talking about. And all the free salad and breadsticks she can eat.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but they edited out something I think was probably a huge joke. Which would be a shame. Riding in a van and listening to her famed aphrodisiac MP3 player, Yoanna voices over, "After the flea market, we found out that we were going to a place called Lake Como." And I know Yoanna generally has a tendency to overenunciate anyway, but she did this one on purpose, I think, to make a really clear distinction between the end of the word "Lake" and the beginning of the word "Como," lest the two become elided. Lake Como says what? Lake Como says what? Lake Homo (sorry, my finger slipped), we learn, is about thirty to forty-five minutes outside of Milan. On the way there, we learn more about Shandi's mental state. That of: sad. Luckily, the Aprilbot puts it all in perspective: "Girls cheat. It happens." Yoanna and Mercedes whoop it up in the front of the van, relieved mostly that they're not the ones feeling shitty about an ill-advised hookup? That was such a familiar feeling in college, where you would be all hungover at breakfast but in a super-good mood because you didn't have a whole lot of explaining to do to anyone. Shandi knows just how we feel: "I finally have someone that's, like, proud of me. For once. And then look at what I go and do." Yes. ["On TV." -- Wing Chun]

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America's Next Top Model




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