Mercedes, as it turns out, is not feeling well. In a confessional, she reminds us that she has lupus, which is "a chronic illness where it attacks your immune system about a year ago." It attacks your immune system a year ago? From her description, it sounds like lupus is most dangerous when it hits you in the place you're clearly least expecting: in the past. Sorry. If they're going to reuse the exact same confessional voice-over they used last week, I can volley back with the exact same retort I used in last week's recap, right? Awesome. But this time we take matters a bit further into the medicine cabinet, as we see Mercedes hiding pills and taking them as quickly as possible. She tells us, "I don't want to be judged. I want to be as normal as everybody else." Well, as far as normality goes, comparing yourself against the rest of this crowd is setting the bar pretty high.
"Jumping rope hilariously" is totally normal! Or at least it is if you're eight. Or if you're doing a Mad Lib entitled "A Day At The Asylum." Right near the catwalk which they should be practicing on -- and I'd just love it if J. Alexander could come in and be all "It's not called the 'cat jump rope' for a reason, ladies" -- Mercedes and Camille hold a jump rope while Shandi hoots and hollers and jumps and is generally amused. Mercedes? Camille? Shandi? When did Camille stop being all "y'know, I've always, like, held the jump rope for everyone" and start acting like a human being? Maybe she knew a photo op was coming, since at that moment Tyra "Jesus Christ Supermodel, Do You Think You're Who They Say You Are" Banks charges through the front door and starts with her own calisthenics of jump-ropey fun. Clearly, elegance on the ropes is not a prerequisite for this career path, as Tyra gets trapped and the cameras are turned off while the jaws of life are sent her to untangle her and the girls apologize for their girlish ways and promise never to sing that "Train on the tracks goes click click click" song ever, ever again.
Tyra rounds everyone into a circle and tells them that she can really see this experience weighing on some of the girls during the elimination thing-dingy-wheeze-its, so she wants to have a one-on-one with each of them individually to show how much she can be a friend to each of them before she pulls the ice pick out from under the runway and jabs between one girl's shoulder blades the second she makes the mistake of turning around. Who's first?