Valerie feels like she has to carry the torch of dead Ivy. They find childhood photos of themselves in the workroom. Tim greets the designers with some lady with a hundred titles from HP. Her name is Tracey. They're going to be creating their own textiles. Jesus, there's so much product placement. Apparently, HP makes the world go round. But, the fabrics have to be personal. Other Michael's story with his mother sounds fraught and sad. Valerie says she thought her dad was Superman. Her pattern is based on him. April's pattern was based on her parents' divorce. Mondo tells us that, when he came out to his mom, she told him to not tell anyone else in his family. Then, he reveals that he is HIV positive and hasn't told his parents. That's the inspiration for his textile. Jesus. Besides the fact that people can live long and with amazing quality, that's heartbreaking.
Oh my God, this show has never done this to me before. Their MOMS walk in, and it's so emotional. Seriously, Gretchen tells this shit about how her mom doesn't have a lot of money and has to watch after her handicapped step-father and she still shows up and every bad thought you've ever had about Gretchen disappears. I'm completely Shirley MacLaine in Terms right now. It's gross and beautiful. Everybody gets to spend the day with their peeps, including Christopher who gets to spend time with his partner of 10 years. I'm obsessed with Other Michael's mother. She's BRILLIANT.
Other Michael finally likes what Gretchen does, though that really doesn't matter. Tim gets choked up during his consultation. I can't control myself. So many tears. Rachel Roy is the guest designer and sick pretty.
The judges give Christopher a hard time for being boring. They like Andy's print, but they hate his outfit. Rachel Roy is my angel of fashion. They hate Valerie's look and feel that it is poorly constructed. They love Mondo's mixing of fabrics. He tells Nina and everyone about his status, and it's truly a lovely moment in television. In the end, Mondo won the challenge, obviously. And Valerie was out.
Previously: The designers were challenged to create a high fashion look for a L'Oreal Paris advertorial. The winner would also get twenty grand. Valerie freaked out under pressure and Ivy was nice enough to comfort her. Mondo won the challenge! Ivy, though comforting, got the boot.
It's morning at, you guessed it, the Taj Mahal. Valerie tells Gretchen and April that she's surprised to still be in the competition after her performance at the previous challenge. She interviews that she's hoping the judges saw some unfulfilled potential in her. Who can see anything? All we can do is hear. Valerie, you talk too much. Just zip it and design for a while, K? She tells the girls that she wants to fight for Ivy. Then, she reminds us that Ivy was her best friend there. They apparently created one of those stupid couple names for themselves a la Bennifer -- "Latasian." We were mercifully spared hearing that more than this time right now. Gretchen tells her that her challenge is to show the judges that she can be fresh, which is what she believed Mondo to have done in the previous challenge. She interviews that she feels Mondo is her biggest competition and she needs to step up 3-D.
In the boys' room, Other Michael asks Mondo how it felt to win a second challenge in a row. He says it was unreal and he wasn't expecting the second win. He interviews that he thought Andy would win the previous challenge and finds him to be his biggest competition. Christopher tells Andy that he loved his piece for the high fashion challenge. Andy interviews that it's nice to get compliments on something that includes so much of yourself.
Heidi greets the designers on the runway. She says that, for this challenge, they will be starting from scratch. Tim will tell them the rest of the details. When they get to the workroom, everyone is surprised to find desktop computers with childhood pictures of themselves on the monitor. They all immediately start feeling sentimental, which is understandable- simpler times and such. Other Michael sees a picture of himself as a tyke in his underwear and laughs at his resemblance to his own son. There's a picture of Mondo dressed as a harlequin when he was a kid that's kind of amazing. He talks about how they haven't seen their families in a while since they've been on the show. Gretchen says that, seeing herself outside of the context of the show, she got emotional. She says that she misses her mom and hasn't seen her in a long time.