Previously: we may have gotten rid of the last crazy person of the season. Let's find out!
The episode starts with Alexander saying he feels "stifled" by all the drama. I think it's just the stress of the show getting to him. Everybody sits in their hotel rooms and talks about how there are only seven of them left. Kate thinks the top three are herself, Helen, and Bradon. Don't sleep on Justin. That dude's good.
The designers wait in the break room as Tim brings in a "special" guest. It's somebody from the marketing department of Hewlett-Packard, because this is the textile-design challenge. Bradon has been looking forward to this, as has Dom, because she loves giant prints. This week's inspiration will be "a group of next-generation innovators." And then the designers have to sit there and pretend to look interested while they're told how great HP is. Tim shows pictures of seven next-generation innovators and says the designers will be selecting their muses. This person is not the model or client; they're just serving as inspiration. Somehow.
First up is Nigel Sylvester, a professional BMX rider. Ilana Greenberg is the creative director at a magazine you've never heard of. Thiago Silva is a pastry chef. Maria Gonzalez is seventeen, and she started a club at her high school called "Girls Who Code." Nana Meriwether is Miss USA 2012, and she started a nonprofit that feeds people in Africa. Premal Shah runs a microlending site that I've actually heard of. And Ryan Keeley is an artist. My apologies to last week's superfans for giving the innovators the full-name treatment, but they had cool introductory videos. And also their names were all spelled out for me, which helps a lot.
Helen won last week, so she gets to pick first, and she goes with Ryan, possibly on the theory that somebody who paints should be easy to work into a make-your-own-textile challenge. Everyone else goes randomly: Kate picks Maria, Justin picks Nana, Bradon picks Nigel, Alexander picks Thiago, Alexandria picks Ilana, and that leaves Dom with Premal. Everyone's going to go spend an hour getting to know their muse. The winner is going to get something called a "technology suite," which means a big pile of HP products. And so will the winner's muse, which is pretty cool.
Meetings! Nana started her nonprofit in South Africa, because that's where her mother is from. She does good things for children. Justin is impressed with her passion. Maria gives teenage girls the tools to program and create apps, which helps narrow the gender gap. Kate says she wants to "play with the binary code," which might not mean anything. Nigel has been riding bikes since he was twelve, and he expresses himself by riding all over things. Bradon is thinking of doing some sort of cityscape. Nigel counters with sort of an overhead shot of a city with one continuous line showing a theoretical bike-rider's path. Ilana is working in a restaurant that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and Alexandria digs the bare brick walls. Premal explains microlending with some pictures of some clothing designs made in Guatemala. Dom loves them, although I feel like it would be kind of lame to have your textile inspiration be an actual textile.