America's Next Top Model
The Girl Who Is America's Next Top Model

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Mercedes Bends

And back in they walk. Tyra taunts that there are three beautiful girls left but that there are only two photos. And the first one goes to Mercedes, defying many expectations that it would be a head-to-head match-up between the other two. Tyra dramaturges: "This picture right here saved your ass, girl. 'Cause if you had a hint of a smile in your eyes, you'd probably be going home tonight." Shandi and Yoanna will please step forward, eyes down. Tyra tells Yoanna that she started off strong and Shandi started off pretty weak, and that they both "fell apart in this room." Just like the camera operators hired to capture the action that is determining who is about to be one of the finalists. And that finalist is Yoanna. ["And that sound you hear is my sister and me shrieking our relief." -- Wing Chun] Shandi takes her leave of the room and, in a confessional that seems to take place immediately, tells us that she's come so far and won't feel lost and insecure when she goes back home. And that she feels really good about her boyfriend being together in the future. And that's it. Gone. Our little flower. Little bird. Little Chavala. No. I'm fine. It's just some dust or something. Go away. I'll be right out. Jesus. I'm fine, okay?

Mercedes and Yoanna return to the house to find a delightfully decorated piece of "Shandi Mail" (Shandi Mail! Shandi Mail!), which Shandi has left behind in an actual envelope, rather than the scrawled Manson mash note that advised them to be "strong!" and "glorious!" and arrange beauty shoots involving close-up shots of the severed head of Sharon Tate.

Tyra takes Yoanna and Mercedes to a big-ass galleria where the fashion shoot is to take place. They walk in mid-prep, and Mercedes admits that she's getting a little nervous. Yoanna, on the other hand, is excited, and says that she has to get past this last obstacle and then the prize will be hers. Jay is suddenly there, reminding them that this is an actual fashion show, rather than an actual public hanging or an actual visit to the gastroenterologist, either option of which currently appears as if it would suit Mercedes better.

Suddenly it's twenty minutes until the show, Mercedes telling us that other girls she talked to at the show have been "doing this since they were twelve." And, showtime. The rows of seats become all speedy-motion filled with people, and Janice Dickinson swoops in looking like she drove to the show in a car fashioned out of The Fly chamber filled with bats and a Botox doctor. Awwww, and she brought her grandson, L'il Eric Nicholson! It's so weird to see them out of their prescribed element, like when you were in third grade and you saw your teacher at the movies and it was freaky.

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America's Next Top Model

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