Next up, Janice asks Shandi if there's anything that might come out, were she to become famous, that she wouldn't want people to know about. Shandi deadpans in a way that makes me think she's just kidding: "Probably the drugs." Janice gets all panic-stricken in a "WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY DRUGS" kind of way, before relenting when she realizes, "Oh...your drugs. Never mind." Nevertheless, Shandi's disclosing an ambiguous drug history causes the same electric current of surprise as asking the same question of a quiet, unassuming neighbor who's never bothered anyone and having him volley back, "Probably the head in my freezer. I mean, NOT the head in my freezer. I mean...dang."
And, Mercedes. Janice notes the flagging energy, and Mercedes finally just busts it out: "I don't want to make excuses that I have an illness. But I do." Janice wants to know what that is, and Mercedes explains the talking points. And wins a shopping spree "because of [her] honesty." Janice elaborates: "When you shared that you have LUPUS, that's when you reached me." D'oh! The girls look surprised, and Mercedes is all, "Thanks, freak." Mercedes chooses Sara to go with her on the spree, and I totally picture them showing up at Toys 'R Us and sweeping everything they can off the shelves and into their carts for five gleeful minutes, because that was something they did in the '80s so that's how I learned what a shopping spree was. Get a really good rubber ball, ladies! The ceiling in that loft is definitely high enough for Spud.
And off Mercedes and Sara go to Intermix (there are several locations in Manhattan, but don't worry about which one these girls are at...you can't afford any of them), where we montage through a shopping spree and find Mercedes back at home being congratulated by Yoanna for having lupus.
Tyra Mail! Tyra Mail! Yoanna knows her screen time is limited this episode (must shove her in the background to make it less obvious she's the winner. Must shove her in the background to make it less obvious she's the winner. Must continue to try and believe that), so she leaps in for a sec to tell us that the Tyra Mail read, in part, "sink or swim." Photo shoot in a dunk tank for a shitty regional theme park like "Fun Zone" or "Adventureland" or something? Pool party to go along with slam books and other girly birthday activities? Ritual drowning of the least charismatic, most lupus-free top model contestant? The Tyra Mail! She is so maddeningly vague!
Jay "Woman! Whoa, Man! Whooooooooa" Manuel greets the ladies at a studio, standing in front of a big enclosed tank filled with fish. He tells them that it's "a fish theme," and he introduces us to the photographer, George Holtz, and celebrity stylist Nolé Marin, whose name I had to arrive at on Microsoft Word by spelling the word "résumé" incorrectly, autocorrecting it to make the two accents appear (fuck you, keycaps, I still don't know what or where you are), copying one of the é's, and pasting it on at the end of the letters "Nol." So we're just going to call him Dr. Evil from now on, because he's a sinister-looking squat bald man who totes a tiny dog that he pets incessantly, and it's not like it's a dated reference because when I first began the process of copying out the accent it was, in fact, 1999.