America's Next Top Model

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Shanghaijinx!

The girls leave the Shanghai airport and head to their little mini-bus, with lots of squealing. They are impressed by the city as they drive through it, and Bianca interviews that everything is made in China, so all she's thinking about is shopping, shopping, shopping. A little lead paint might actually straighten Bianca right out. Heather tells the other girls that it's just sinking in that they're in the final six and in friggin' China, before interviewing that she's getting a little nervous. She's done well so far, but now that she's so close, she really doesn't want to be eliminated.

And now it's time for a lesson in cultural sensitivity featuring the Top Model girls! Let's play it out as a mini-dialogue:
Bianca: [looking at a restaurant sign written in Chinese, with the English words "Traditional Beijing Roastduck" underneath] I like the symbols and things like that!
Saleisha: You guys, I don't understand any of the signs!
Chantal: [excitedly] China is so full of colors!
Chantal: [in a subsequent interview] I had no clue that China was going to be this futuristic, like, amazing place. I feel like we're a part of The Jetsons or something... [thinks to herself] except everyone has slanty eyes and says, "Chong chong chong!" all the time, like the place where I get my manicures. Tee hee!
Saleisha: Woo! I can't believe we're in China!
Assorted girls: [waving to passersby] Ni hao! Ni hao!
Bianca: I like friendly people! Ones who don't flip me the bird. Look at the lights!
Heather: [in an interview] Shanghai is like no other city I've ever been to. Except, maybe, Las Vegas.
And, scene.

The girls get off the short bus and run to meet the Jays. Mr. Jay tells them that Shanghai is one of the international fashion ports that they will, they hope, get to work in one day. There is a quick cut, as Mr. Jay probably cracked the heck up after saying that and needed a minute to fix his makeup and regain his composure. Bianca interviews that she didn't take a fourteen-hour flight to China just to turn around and take a fourteen-hour flight back. She's there to stay, to win, and to go home happy. Jay sends them off to move into their new house, noting that the competition is going to get really, really tough.

And then the girls speed-travel through Chinese streets, accompanied by plunky Chinese music with a techno beat, to their new hotel penthouse suite. Bitches. There is Tyra Mail waiting for them. I'm surprised they didn't have to pull it out of a big fortune cookie. "Welcome to your new home in China." Saleisha: "Oh my God we're in China!" Clap clap jump!) Tyra Mail: "You're far from home but you're getting close to becoming America's Next Top Model. Love, Tyra." I'm always surprised when we see the text of the actual Tyra Mail and "you're" is spelled right. The girls run through their new abode, which Saleisha notes is gorgeous. However, she says, there are only five beds in the bedroom. I wish they'd go back to giving the girls at least a couple of different bedrooms. At their old place in L.A., I always kind of expected Saleisha to jump up one morning and start singing "It's a Hard Knock Life."

The girls flop down on various beds to claim them. Well, I should say, the girls minus Heather. She is bedless and pissed. The bed that Saleisha is on is a double, and Bianca points and says that they have to share. Oh, if this isn't a producer set-up meant to lead to lesbian hijinx, I don't know what is. Saleisha says that she's not sharing, and interviews that if you're not a male, she's not going to sleep with you, and that's that. Don't make us investigate what happened in T-Zone Bunker 15 after lights-out, Saleisha. We've seen Kristy McNichol movies before. Saleisha refuses to move, and says she doesn't think that she's being spoiled, while Heather gets really mad. It's like the sequel to the shower scene -- the one that's funny until Saleisha ends up blind and spends the rest of her life whipping around and yelling "Who's there?" every time she gets a whiff of egg roll. The other girls seem to think it's kind of amusing, and Lisa tells Heather that she can sleep in the divan in the living room, much to Bianca's delight. Heather storms off and says she's sick and friggin' tired of all this bull. Seriously, she might as well be wearing a prom dress covered in pig's blood right now.

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America's Next Top Model

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