We left off last week with tensions running high between Megan and Kate (wait, or is that every episode?) and in the end, two trendsetters got the axe, William and Devin. This week, the remaining contestants had to learn everything about guests at a black-tie event and present the information accurately to ... Anne Slowey herself — on the spot, no less. If you got the show's The Devil Wears Prada shout-out, you're on the right track. Let's start from the beginning.
The contestants start off this episode reeling from last week's elimination. Johanna can't deal with anymore drama, and Danielle calls her mom for some support. Back at Elle, Malina tells the contestants that for their first task, they must pick out and purchase a thank you gift for Amy Sacco, socialite and member of New York City royalty. They are divided into teams of two: Danielle and Ashley; Megan and Johanna; and finally DyShaun and Kate get "stuck" together, as DyShaun puts it. They have 250 dollars and one hour to pick out a gift and then will present it to Anne. Johanna and Megan choose a cashmere travel throw, and Ashlie and Danielle ... are putting together a travel survival kit? Seems to me like they are going for more quantity and not too much quality on this one. Foot cream? "no cooties" products? Err. I wonder if Amy Sacco has cooties. I'm thinking probably not. And if she does, they're wearing Dior. DyShaun and Kate are having problems finding something they can agree on, but finally decide on a vintage Chanel pin. Probably a good choice if you ask me, but we'll see what Anne has to say. Anne questions the quality of the cashmere throw, and asks Kate how the pin they chose was "arty" (as Kate put)—but poor Kate seems genuinely confused by what she implied before. Anne is not at all impressed with the travel survival kit; shocker. But ... it has earplugs and tape to hide your bra straps! The winner? In the end, Anne deems jewelry too personal and so it goes to Johanna and Megan. Apparently this gift more accurately reflects the relationship between Anne and Amy.
Now it's time for the editorial challenge. The contestants will accompany Anne a party at exclusive Chelsea hotspot Bungalow 8, where they will help her meet, greet, and identify all the guests, and then they will work together to create a "party page" to be seen in Elle magazine. Anne relays the three "keys" to succeeding in this assignment: picking exciting photos, highlighting the fashion of the party, and tying everything on the page together with a theme or concept. She also assures them that one mistake in identifying an guest and it's over. The trendsetters are given a dossier of all the guests to attend the party, and must memorize the names and information in them for the following night. Johanna and Megan, the winners are made "rival" team captains, and choose their teams. Johanna chooses Kate first. Okayyyy. Boy does Kate love parties! Megan goes for DyShaun, Johanna chooses Danielle, that so that leaves Ashlie on Megan's team with DyShaun. Then they learn that they are allowed to borrow ensembles to wear to the event from the massive Elle closet, a veritable fashion treasure chest. Danielle seems to be less than ecstatic, fearful that she will not fid anything to fit her properly, and pretty much has a mini-break down. She says she doesn't want to look at clothes, and that she's over "the whole appearance thing." Umm ... something tells me she might be in the wrong industry? She also refuses to accept help from anyone. Okay, this really is getting a bit sad. On top of it all, Kate, in her usual eloquent and sensitive manner, has to mention that she wants to "eat three cheeseburgers" tonight to fit into a dress that's too big.
For dinner, pizza is ordered and the Danielle drama starts up again. This is really getting awkward. Even for me. DyShaun concurs. Now it's time to memorize the lists. Apparently Ashlie and DyShaun aren't taking the task as seriously as Johanna, who throws her heart and over-achiever-stressed-out soul into making some flash cards. She didn't go to Brown for nothing! Danielle asks Johanna what she "think[s] when she looks at [her]." Danielle claims that she's still "healthy" despite her weight issues, and that she doesn't want any sort of perception of beauty "pushed" on her. Unfortunately, she's fighting a losing battle, wouldn't we all agree?
Back at the apartment Danielle is still dreading the mission and decides to wear a dress of her own. It's a nice, little black dress, it looks good on her, and it fits, which I think is the most important thing; this is a good call on her part. It's party time. Celebrities! Fashion! Lucy Liu! Amy Sacco arrives, she loved the gift. Now it's time for the guests. Johanna should probably stop with the pointing? This is also the most set-up thing ever. Is that Nigel Barker of America's Next Top Model fame? A makeup artist gets forgotten. I like how they all turn away when they don't know who a person is. Does Anne seriously not know a single one of these people? I'm sorry, but this all seems incredibly fake to me--like more fake than usual. The guests appear to be approaching Anne as if she were a queen in high court or something. I find this very bizarre. But no matter! It looks like Johanna's flashcard technique isn't working out too well for her, she's forgetting quite a few. Game over, now the contestants have 90 minutes to work on their layouts back at the magazine. On Team 2 Ashlie thinks they should go with a leather theme after seeing a lot of leather jackets, everyone else is on board. Kate's concerned with the background of the photos, which is mostly wood, and decides to make it all black.
Editorial presentations. Paula Froelich, writer for the New York Post's infamous Page 6 is on board as a guest judge. Team 2's leather-themed page cleverly entitled (H)Elle's Angels looks pretty good at first glance. Anne loves the humor that's been worked in, but there isn't too much variation in the size of the photos, there's no photo of the hostess, too much text, and there is, dun dun dun: an incorrect spelling of a guest's name. Team 1 certainly has a center focus photo (and of the hostess no less) for their Elite Street themed layout. But the judges think the photos are a bit "passport-y" and, perhaps worse than a misspelling, they publish a complete misidentification Danielle tries to get out of it by blaming the others, but in the end all three are at fault in Anne's eyes, and the judges deliberate.
It looks like this time the win goes to Team 2! That means Danielle, Johanna, and Kate are called in for a talking to. Note to self: misidentification does indeed trump misspelling. Wow, Kate is safe! Johanna hasn't been on a winning team ... ever? And she gets called out on not being able to remember any names, which was pretty bad. Danielle gets scolded for only contributing as a typist and not having any passion for the task. Who comes out unscathed? It is Johanna this time who lives to style another day. Doesn't look like Danielle is the right fit after all. Johanna comes out of the deliberation crying, and Danielle claims to be "floored." While I do think Danielle psyched herself out this week, ultimately letting her nerves get the better of her, yes, let's give her props for putting herself out there in a less-than-accepting industry. Do you all think she ever had a chance? Share your thoughts!
We left off last week with tensions running high between Megan and Kate (wait, or is that every episode?) and in the end, two trendsetters got the axe, William and Devin. This week, the remaining contestants had to learn everything about guests at a black-tie event and present the information accurately to ... Anne Slowey herself — on the spot, no less. If you got the show's The Devil Wears Prada shout-out, you're on the right track. Let's start from the beginning ...