Auditions a thing of the past, the girls walk and fret and pray and fret and cry and worry about whether they'll be heading for New York. They crowd together against the wall of a nondescript room as we take quick stock of the twenty girls, including one who we never saw speak or wear anything other than enormous sunglasses, a black beret, and a pink fringe-y scarf, and who will be eliminated by default when the producers discover that she's Janice from the Muppets and can't be a Top Model on account of being made entirely of felt. Tyra enters and lets them know the bad, confusing news: Tyra and the producers could only agree on eight girls, so they'll only be bringing eight to New York. Weird. And here they are. First up is Nicole. Followed by Nicole, Kesse, Elyse, Katie, Ebony, Adrianne (because how else would she win?), and Shannon. We celebrate the future by looking back to the only person of significance who did not get chosen, as Justine tells us, "I just kinda wanna go, y'know?" Well, hooray for the rarity we call universal consensus.
Because she's the only one who has proven leadership skills in the "being able to read" arena, Elyse holds their first piece of not-as-yet-named Tyra Mail, and reads, "Welcome to New York. Congratulations on your arrival." Shouldn't such umbrella flattery be reserved for an airline pilot somewhere? "Enclosed are the keys to your penthouse. Head on upstairs, find your beds, claim your space, and explore your new home." The girls cheer for midtown architecture, and we montage up forty some-odd flights to the penthouse of the Flatotel, a word that should be at least two words that I hate almost as much as I dislike the word Swissotel, which originated in Switzerland instead of, er, Flatonia. What the hell do I know? Ask Winona. Each room has its own fancy aesthetic style based on the look of a major-market city, including Paris (City of High Fashion), Milan (City of New Faces), Tokyo (City of Avant Garde Fashion), London (City of Trendy Fashion), and Miami (City of Sexy Fashion). And while I agree with precious few of those denotations (you show me one sustaining, sexy thing that's ever come out of Miami that doesn't have a seedy undercurrent of drugs and button-less sportsjackets and I'll say "Cunanan" a hundred times fast without stopping), it's probably best they went with these recognizable cities rather than any of those myriad fringe cities where fashion also arguably lives, but really doesn't. And really, no one wants to live in a room named after Amsterdam (City of Red-Light-Matching Fashion) or Berlin (City of Completely Politically-Free Fashion, Because They're Feeling Guilty Enough About The Last Fifty Or So Years Already, Thank You Very Much) or Bangkok (The Crème De La Crème Of The Chess World In A Show With Everything But Yul Brynner). Elyse bunks up with Nicole and Katie in the Tokyo room, whereas Kesse, Robin, and Shannon end up together in Milan (where they can unpack their bags, y'all) on account of their good Christian beliefs. "We'll read The Bible together," Shannon chirps, while Robin notes how "ironic" it is that they're all Christian and all in the same room. Totally, totally ironic. Elyse notes that there's a huge divide between the two rooms, due entirely to religion. She tells us she has no interest in quiet time for reading The Bible, noting for character development that she is "a militant atheist." The other girls regard her with casual enjoy-your-trip- to-the-City- Of-Burning-With-Brimstone- Fashion-known- as-The-Hell-Room because religion totally always brings people together.