It's time for the girls to go overseas, without even the fanfare of a "Pack your bags, y'all." They travel from Venice Beach to Venice, Italy, where there are many gondolas, churches and pigeons who like to poop on Jane and Liz. Bella! After boozing it up a little, they head right into a high-fashion period shoot near the Rialto Bridge. The girls pose in teams of three with, you guessed it, a swarthy Italian male model. He's playing the part of Casanova, with the ladies vying for his affection whilst lounging across a gondola. They are corseted and bedecked in a mixture of ornate fabric and cone boobs. Liz, Chris and Kayla pose together and Liz and Chris in particular are bothered by the fact that it's hot as hell. They have a hard time getting it together at first, but Kayla finds her comfort zone immediately. She's soft, feminine, and the most believable even though she has no actual chemistry with the male model. For her part, she's determined not to let her issues with men get in the way of the shoot, and they don't. Chris gets excessively awkward, while it will come as no surprise that Liz complains a lot. Ann, Chelsey and Jane pose together, and stressed-out Ann looks completely petrified and uncomfortable the whole time. However, Chelsey and Jane work it harem-style until rain cuts the shoot short.
The girls learn they're moving to Milan, home of Vogue Italia and IMG. They're not so impressed by their lodging, which is humble compared to foreign location pads of yore and doesn't seem to have enough beds for everyone. Tyra visits and tells them that she wanted them to have the experience of living in a model apartment, and that Top Model typically isn't a realistic portrayal of model housing. OR ANYTHING. But that is an issue for another time. After discovering the magic of rollaway beds, the girls head to Missoni, where they meet Miss J., creative director Angela Missoni, and her daughter Margherita, who is heir to the Missoni empire. They are outfitted in pieces from the winter collection and asked to walk. The stuff is gorgeous, though composed primarily of knitwear and clearly tortuous in muggy summer weather. The girls walk for Angela, and then are forced to wear their gorgeous, oppressive knitwear to panel. This is clearly some sort of a ploy to get one of the girls to pass out, which almost happens as Chelsey and Liz both seem on the verge of fainting. Tyra lets everyone sit down, but they still can't take off their giant knitted ponchos. Chelsey and Kayla get the most praise from the judges, and Ann gets secondary kudos. There are mixed reviews for the rest of the girls, and ALT goes so far as to say that Chris looks like she's afraid of a giant crow in her photo. She lands in the bottom two, but it's constantly complaining Liz and her déclassé stance that get the final boot.
Previously on Top Model: The girls got a visit from impish top designer Zac Posen, and then got to walk in his fashion show. While a commercial shoot on roller skates brought back some painful memories for Kayla, Ann bit it on the pavement repeatedly. Ann's lack of balance and confidence landed her in the bottom two, but it was a sparkless Esther who was sent home. Six bitches remain!
The top six girls celebrate their status in the happy bus home from panel. Liz tells us that her commercial was god-awful. WE KNOW. When she's nervous or feels like she's doing bad, she says, she tries to laugh or make a joke. As you may remember, this is not the crowd for those types of shenanigans. It looks like Liz doesn't care, and the only thing Tyra hates worse than someone who doesn't care is someone who constantly complains. So, basically Liz is screwed. She says that this competition can change not only her life but her daughter's, and so she has to show Tyra that she's going to be there, be present, and do what she has to do. "Being present" doesn't sound particularly like a strategy designed to impress, does it?
When the girls arrive home, they see Chris's commercial displayed as digital art. She's psyched, and says she's damn proud of herself. Chris isn't the best model, but she feels like she has an extra oomph that some of the other girls don't carry. Cut to oomphless Ann. She tells us that her commercial was also bad, and that her shyness and awkwardness is really becoming a problem. It's kind of an awesome problem if you're a viewer, but for poor Ann it must be disheartening. Ann started off very strong in the competition and got five consecutive best photos, but she hasn't been doing quite so well in the past two panels. She tells us that she has to step it up and act like she's sure of herself, even if she isn't. Fake it till you make it! It's truly the best strategy for a whole host of things. We see Ann curled up on the floor, and the distance between the top of her head and her pre-osteoporitic hump is really something spectacular.
Chris sings that it smells like butt in the kitchen, which is prescient, since Miss J. is about to enter. When he comes in he also says that it smells like ass in the kitchen, which I think is deflection, like when you fart and you look around as if you're appalled by the smell and are trying to figure out whose butt emitted such a foul odor. Don't tell me you don't do it. Miss J. says this is the first season that's had a cast house on the beach, so he wants to take the girls to see some of Venice. On bikes! He leads the girl in a row, just like ducks, through the streets of Venice. They wind up by a canal of some sort, and get off of their bikes to walk up on a bridge. J. tells them that this is the location of their next photo shoot, and that they'll be diving from the bridge into the water. He asks if anyone has problems swimming. Ann isn't a strong swimmer and is getting nervous.