'Stylista': Mo' drama, mo' problems

Kate_stylista_240 Stylista featured mothers and daughters tonight, but they were shockingly low-drama compared to our aspiring Elle girls. I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of loving this show.

Assistant Challenge: Anne Slowey greets the contestants with the promise of a boss even more exacting than herself for today's assistant challenge: her niece, Erin, a purposely dour-faced 9-year-old who's dressed like a tiny Pam Beasley. Their task is to come up with a theme for her 10th birthday party, including decorations, party favors, cake, and entertainers. Erin is hilarious in her attempt at an Anne Slowey impression: "I want my party to be fabulous. I want it at FAO Schwartz. So do not embarrass me!"

Kate (oh, Kate) forgets her $50, which puts a crimp in shopping for her pitch. Cologne loans her enough to buy a couple cupcakes, but then runs out of money herself. Oh, Cologne. (Spoiler Alert: This becomes sadly ironic later in the hour.) They return to pitch the themes to Slowey, Erin, and Erin's younger sister. Megan comes up with a costume ball. William pitches a Secret Garden theme. Cologne goes with an Eloise theme, but her presentation is weak and nervous. Danielle's rock star theme doesn't seem to go over well.

Dyshaun brings in a psychic who can do tarot cards, palm readings, etc. Ashlie is warned against turning the kids into mini-alcoholics with her mocktini-heavy (and age inappropriate) Sex and the City theme. Johanna has a fashion show theme and brings in an illusionist, delighting the kids and Slowey. Devin has a shoe closet theme - what?! Kate's theme is a royal court, and her presentation includes a bagpiper who tries to play Rihanna. Wow.

Erin chooses Johanna as the winner, which is awesome, and they'll all work together the next day to carry out her vision for the party.

Editorial Challenge: The editorial challenge is a mother-daughter trend page including a focal mother-daughter photo, accessories from the closet, and a section telling the readers where to buy the items - they'll pick their trends from mothers and daughters at the birthday party. Johanna chooses Devin, Danielle, and William for the first team; Cologne, Ashlie, and Kate for the second team (frustrating Ashlie to no end); and Megan and Dyshaun for her team. Really? That makes me like her less.

At the party, the teams search for mother-daughter pairs. Kate tries to poach the woman Johanna was recruiting as they're discussing it, saying she had already picked her. Um, yeah, but you probably should have gone ahead and told the woman that, right? Otherwise she's clearly Not Yours. Kate makes a total scene, and Brett from Elle has to come in and arbitrate, asking the mother to choose between the two teams. Cologne steps up and says they'll pick someone different just as the woman seems about to choose her team. Not that I agree with Kate and her awful attitude, but Cologne really is too nice for this.

Danielle_stylista_240Team Chill: William, Danielle and Devin pick an adorable mother-daughter couple wearing geometric tunic dresses. Danielle gets special props from Slowey on her personal outfit. Their page doesn't highlight the mother and daughter photo very much, and the items seem really crowded, so I was a bit worried. But the judges think they picked excellent items and despite a couple visual missteps, it works well as a story. Yay! 

Team Megan Sucks: Really? A "Pretty 'N Punk" theme for a mother and daughter layout? Johanna takes the lead and takes everything Very Seriously, alienating her teammates a little. Their layout page is very brown, and essentially the opposite of punk. But Slowey loves the layout, and Joe Zee loves the theme, so what do I know? Unfortunately, they didn't put shopping credits in there. Oops! That's kind of the point of the page, no? 

Team Drama: Kate and Ashlie/Cologne butt heads over their photo shoot, which is supposed to look like the mother and daughter are on a runway. They also butt heads over the clothes they choose to showcase, with Kate and her desire for color being overruled. And I gotta say, I kind of see Kate's points. AND, she definitely did express her opinion to her teammates, though they try to rewrite history. Their page is full of metallics, and the mother-daughter couple looks a bit awkward in the photo. Slowey ferrets out of Cologne that she gave away their first choice.

Cologne_stylista_240 The judges find the layout cluttered, and the trend un-trendy. They want color and styling, as well. Kate immediately bursts into tears and confesses that she hates everything and was overruled by her teammates. Slowey turns it on her, questioning that she couldn't sell them on her thoughts. Cologne claims that Kate didn't offer her opinions, which is absurd. Megan pipes up (prompted by Slowey after an incredulous look) that Kate DID try to express her opinions, but was vetoed. True, but really? Megan? She interviews that she did it with the hope that Ashlie, her biggest competition, would be eliminated. Ah-HA.

The judges (Slowey, Joe Zee, and guest judge Cynthia Rowley) love Team Chill, giving Danielle special props. They hate Team Drama's layout and items (aside from what Kate chose), and criticize Cologne for giving up her preferred team. They love everything about Team Megan Sucks's page, but call the lack of shopping credits a "critical mistake." Team Chill is named the winning team, and Team Megan Sucks makes it through thanks to their great layout.

Team Drama is criticized for ignoring Kate's opinions. Ashlie is given a pass thanks to past performance, leaving Kate and Cologne in the bottom two; Cologne is eliminated. Fair, but also unfortunate. Everyone is visibly stunned and disappointed to see that Kate is still there, but Megan leads the group in applauding her. That's gonna be one ugly stab in the back when it happens. Megan is upset that Ashlie didn't go home, and Ashlie is hysterical at the outcome she didn't see coming.

Next week: More drama! But still not from Anne Slowey. Man, she's like a secondary character on her own show. I know the contestants are providing plenty of conflict, but Slowey is REALLY fading into the background here. 

Are you on Team Ashlie, or Team Kate? What do you think of Megan's convoluted machinations?