'Stylista': Evil is the new black

Ashlie_stylista_240 Previously on Stylista: We learned that almonds must always be soaked overnight. Tonight on Stylista: DRAMA. Although again, surprisingly little of it originating from Anne Slowey. She needs to step it up if she's going to compete with some of these young whippersnappers. 

As everyone mourns Arnoldo's loss and realizes how close they could have been to being eliminated, Kate announces to the room that she's feeling just fine, thankyouverymuch. Ya know, much as I have overflow sympathy for her from last week, that's just asking for it. And Megan delivers "it," of course. Kate smiles calmly as she's screamed at, which sounds impressive but is actually rather irritating, almost as if she provoked Megan's reaction deliberately.

Later, everyone calls a house meeting to talk to Kate about acting so selfish, but Cologne finds her crying her eyes out in the bathroom. Before leading Kate downstairs like a slutty-looking lamb to slaughter, Cologne tells her that everyone hates Megan, anyway. In the meeting, Kate calls Megan out on bullying her while Megan rolls her eyes and shoots herself in the head with a finger gun. Megan says it's ridiculous that Kate's framing herself as a victim, but Ashlie interviews that Megan is not to be trusted. Understatement of the year?

Assistant Challenge: In the Elle offices the next day, Brett Ramey introduces the contestants to the Elle closet, complete with fabulously cheesy shots of the clothes as "Hallelujah" plays. The challenge is to pull several items Anne has asked for and dress an empty mannequin with them. The assistant with the most correct items and the best outfit wins. The items are things like "something knit," "something with pin tucking," and "a funnel collar." They're provided with a fashion dictionary, but I'm a bit worried that a couple of them need to look up "dart."

Ashlie and Megan do quite nicely, while Kate's is a train wreck. Anne Slowey first implies that the mannequin is drunk, and then concludes that she simply dressed herself on crack. Ever the good assistant, when Slowey says the mannequin would be better off in the gutter, Kate lays it on the ground. The worst part is that Kate doesn't seem to realize how embarrassed she should be. Maybe the crack theory was more than a bad joke? Anne selects Megan as the winner. God, it's so much worse when they're awful human beings AND talented. We're gonna be stuck with her forever!

Megan_stylista_240 Editorial Challenge: Find a hidden gem in Chinatown, to be featured in the Elle Living section. The criteria: Unique, must apply to readers' lifestyle, must have interesting story. Fun! I love finding hidden gems! Megan puts Kate, Devin, and Ashlie together. Sucks for Ashlie, as Kate correctly realizes. Smart move, Megan. (Side note: Does Megan call Kate "Katie" as a way of making her feel younger and more inexperienced? If so, that's some impressive psychological warfare.) She chooses William, Cologne, and Danielle as the second team.

For herself, Megan picks Johanna, Dyshaun, and Jason. Johanna points out in an interview that she's a bit of a ringer, since she's fluent in Chinese. Jason's confused about why he was chosen, but Megan clarifies in an interview: she picked him so that the team has a dud who they can throw under the bus if they're in the bottom. That's extraordinarily Machiavellian. She's like the Karl Rove of fashion magazines. Later, she claims to the other contestants that she had no strategy in choosing teams.

Team Megan Sucks: Johanna's able to ask for traditional Chinese health and beauty products in Chinese, which is pretty awesome. Jason gets shushed by Dyshaun when he tries to bring up the lifestyle element of the criteria, though, and winds up being in charge of photos. Unfortunately, his three teammates aren't happy with his work, and are very vocal about it. So vocal that Jason breaks out in hives. Megan totally poisoned his shirt, y'all! Elizabeth-style. 

Team Poor Ashlie: The girls "discover" bubble tea. ...Really? Boba? Pretty sure that's pretty well un-hidden at this point, ladies. Devin insists upon interviewing the shop's workers so that they can feature the store. Kate argues against it and tries to leave, while Ashlie tries to act as mediator, even though you can tell she agrees that it's not what they're looking for. They finally leave and are thrilled to find a trendy-looking spa, which really does look fantastic. As they work on the layout, Devin and Kate continue to squabble as Ashlie desperately tries to move the team along.

Team Nice: Cologne, Danielle and William go for a wedding theme, and head to a wedding studio. They interview the boutique owner and photograph the gowns in an attempt to break out of the stereotypical "Chinatown" mold. Danielle's also confident that their layout is the most magazine-worthy.

As the contestants stew overnight, Ashlie and Megan get into a yelling match. Megan accuses Ashlie of hating her for no reason and being a diva, and Ashlie accuses Megan of being evil and Satan's little hand-foot maiden (and, in an interview, "the devil's spawn" and "Rosemary's baby"). Fair enough.

Jason_stylista_240 Jason's still feeling awful. Ashlie tries to convince him to stay so that he doesn't get thrown under the bus, but the morning of the elimination he has a full on panic attack and starts hyperventilating. Ashlie's amazing with him as he shakes and cries, while his teammates just watch. He wants to stay and defend his project (or so I gather from the random words he manages to gasp out), but they call him an ambulance. The drama continues even after he leaves for the hospital, with Ashlie warning Megan not to throw Jason under the bus, and Megan lashing right back at Ashlie. Sigh. (Though it's pretty entertaining, I'm not gonna lie.)

Happily, he's able to make it back in time for the presentations! Yay, Jason! And he gets a special shoutout from Slowey for being there. (Though it has to be said: if he can't handle nasty co-workers, how will he be able to handle working at a fashion magazine?) Joining Slowey and Joe Zee is Joann Pailey, the senior fashion market editor at Elle.

Team Nice's layout looks great, and the judges love the laser focus on weddings and the showcasing of products. The only criticism is their choice of lead photo. Team Poor Ashlie's layout looks almost like a page of advertisements (several large boxes on the right, with smaller ones running down the left side of the page), but it does look like they did a good job finding cool places to go to. And yay for mentioning tasty eats near the spa - anything to do with food is a winner in my book. The judges agree with me that the layout hurts their story, and think that their focus wasn't easy to discern at a glance.

Team Megan Sucks did a nice job with the look of their page, I'm semi-sorry to say, though the judges point out that it's tough to understand that the story is about tea without reading a good bit of it first. And there's an inscrutable graphic with Chinese writing. Unfortunately, the judges also hate the photos. In a surprise twist, Jason throws Megan under the bus a little bit! He says that she lead the group, and asked him to do the photos. Good for Jason? The judges also catch an error in captioning that Dyshaun made. Whoops.

Team Nice wins the day (go, karma!), while Team Megan Sucks is named the weakest. Johanna and Megan are spared, but Dyshaun is called out for his copy mistake, and Jason is criticized for his poor photography. Jason, sadly, is eliminated. Sucks, but he didn't really seem equipped to handle the industry anyway.

We can all agree that Megan's awful, but where do you stand on Kate and Ashlie? Who do you think should have been eliminated? And what do you think of Anne Slowey's performance so far (or lack thereof)?