America's Next Top Model
The Girls Who Go To Milan

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Anyway, Tyra's rap takes a turn here, and the last couplet is, truth be told, pretty prescient for a ninth grader:

Top models pack with on the road always gone [WHAT?]
Pack your bags, y'all, you're goin' to Milan!

And she wants to know your zodiac. Z-z-z-zodiac sign.

As the girls dance and squeeeeeee, Mercedes immediately drags us to uno confessionalitza, where she tells us, "For a model, getting this type of information, it's better than sex." She then Izzards her way through the rest of the sentence, going "Yeah. No. Well, yes. No, no. Yes. No." Choose "cake." Except Yoanna. I've heard her body needs work.

Milan is all about high fashion, we learn. Shandi reports that she's "in shock," and is made even more so by Tyra's news that they have to be ready to go "in one hour." Shandi calls her boyfriend to tell him that she's leaving him behind forever (or something like that), and he mopily says just, "Okay, bye." Yoanna, meanwhile, walks quickly around the loft, spritzing something on the luggage and quietly saying things about how God should bless their luggage, in the most subtle Jesus-freak plot line reality television has ever seen.

Italiano music plays as a cartoon drawing (like, in a cardboard cutout, South Park way) of five girls with their actual heads inserted on top, bobbling back and forth. Ew. I hate this. A fake, animated plane takes them from New York on Mercury Was In Retrograde And All Of Our Cameras Broke Airlines via a red arrow that lands them in Milan, in front of a drawing of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Which is in Pisa. The real girls -- rather than their theme-day giveaway, bobble-headed replacements -- drag their bags through an airport terminal and are immediately met with a piece of Tyra Mail at what the bottom of the screen tells us is 2:30 AM in New York and 8:30 AM in Milan. They set off for D'Management Group during a montage of the city, and they walk in to meet a David Brown, who runs D'Management. He tells them that D'Management represents "exclusively top models." Wow. There must be a lot of pressure for those two girls to keep working, what with such a low regularity of taking on anyone new. He adds on that Milan is the most important training ground for new models, and he intends to start breaking them in immediately by sending them on five "go-sees," which, according to this management luminary, are "going and seeing." So at least they don't mean anything different in Milan than they do in New York. Except there they're referred to as "vada vedona" or "andate vedete," depending on who is doing the going and who is doing the seeing. Shandi tells us how tired she is, but notes that they're going right into this. He hands them each their developing portfolios, featuring pictures of themselves from the show so far, and takes them outside to show them how they'll be getting around Milan. On Vespas. Driven by comely Italian men. The men say "ciao." The women respond in unison. It is staged. ["And yet, my sister -- who spent six weeks in Italy last summer -- melted into a little puddle on the couch at the sight of the Vespas, and the Italy, and the men. Apparently, aaaaaall she did in Italy was ride around on the back of strange dudes' scooters." -- Wing Chun]

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America's Next Top Model

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