Oh no she didn't! Yes, she did. Zulema, since she won the previous challenge, has the option of choosing a new model. She decides to have a "walk-off" among Tarah, Danyelle, and Shannon. She chooses Tarah, which means that Nick gets Rachael (the model that Zulema is ditching).
The challenge is to find inspiration from the streets of New York, photograph it, then base a design on the photographed inspiration. Tim Gunn tells everyone that their designs of late have been crappy and they need to make it work. Nick, who is devastated at losing Tarah as his model, contemplates throwing in the towel until Daniel gives him a pep talk.
Jay McCarroll is the guest judge, and really puts the hurt on several designers in the talkback. In the end, Daniel (whose inspiration is an orchid from Michael Kors's office) pulled out his third win. Zulema, fresh off of her win in the last challenge, is sent packing.
Previously: the designers created a figure-skating costume for Sasha Cohen. Tim Gunn advised Santino to be a little more diplomatic with the judges. Zulema won the challenge, while Emmett was sent home. Only seven designers left!
Morning at the Atlas apartments, Zulema, with a towel tied on her head, tells us that she did not sleep well the night before. Then, we see the same interview from last week where she says she was happy to win, but it was not that big of a deal because she needed to look to the future. Newsflash, Zulema: winning the challenges actually secures your future. It's not like you get the option of going on a booze cruise when you win a challenge and run the risk of being trashed for the next challenge. I don't get why winning a challenge could be a distraction. I mean, if you are so dumb as to sit around basking in the victory of your skating outfit when they've asked you to design some eveningwear or something, you've got greater problems than focus. Zulema always has this sort of one-up, scolding tone. She said she was really poor when she was kid, so I guess I can understand her being a little insecure in the fashion world. It's a world where wealthy refinement and access are major parts of success, and as one of seven or however many children were in Zulema's family, she probably didn't get to experience a lot of either of those things as a youngster. Not to mention that I think the other kids got the self-awareness in the family. My point is, Zulema never really does anything annoying, she just sounds annoying. That doesn't seem like enough of a reason for me to dislike her as much as I do from time to time, this being one of those times. But then I see her putting a little Cascade in the dishwasher and, for some reason, I kind of don't hate her as much. And she's wearing a muu-muu.
In the boys' apartment, Santino is eating his breakfast off a paper plate. Bravo, give the people some china. Adding to the humiliation of his paper-plated meal, Santino interviews that his design for the previous challenge was "pretty ridiculous and horrible." Furthermore, he adds that, for this challenge, he is not going to make anything "over-the-top." He is "going to do [his] best." What's happening here? Did he just sound perfectly reasonable -- nay, sympathetic? I feel inclined to credit it to a little editing voodoo, but I'm going to take the bait (however mixed my whole mess of a metaphor is becoming) and say that I think we're seeing a little Santino turnaround.