Back in the studio, Marjan and Gabriel have arrived, showing off their new looks.
Marjan: Gabriel! You’re looking as hot as a sticky summer day! How are you today, big guy? All ready for the shoot?
Gabriel: I’m ready! I think I’ll be able to do a great job, Manon has photographed me before, in many different places… um, yeah. So I’m ready.
Manon: Oh, good! Listen, Gabz, I know it’s none of my business. But. I’m going to be frank with you, I’ve seen how you and Louise have been inseparable, and I just have to ask: are you ready for all of this?
Gabriel: Um, wow. This is surprisingly straightforward and lucid coming from you, Marjan.
Marjan: I don’t mess around when it comes to my friends.
Gabriel: Um, well… I’m planning on committing to Lou and only her… so I guess that you could say I know what I want.
Marjan: Ooooh, really? That’s fabulous news!
Gabriel: Yes, but I don’t know how to break the news to my wife. She doesn’t seem to realize what’s going on and I’m lost.
Marjan: Trust me, she knows. It’s just up to you to make the transition as smooth as possible. Is it not?
Gabriel: I suppose so. I owe it to both of them to be mature about this.
Marjan: Indeed you do, buckaroo.
Gabriel: Marjan seems… a little more like herself today. I didn’t expect to have that conversation with her, but I guess if even she of all people can see that I need to be a grownup about this and talk it out with everyone involved…
Manon: All right everyone! It’s time to begin! I’ve got to warn you, I’m a very demanding artist and I won’t be coddling you. Be ready to impress me with your looks and your command over them. Marjan, I want you to go first!
Marjan walks over to the center of the studio and starts posing. She’s good, knowing all her best angles and what expressions suit her outfit the most. Manon is satisfied with her performance, until Marjan suddenly quiets down and stops.
Manon: Marjan? Is there a problem?
Marjan: I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s come over me… I think I need a little break, is that OK? This isn’t like me…
Manon: It’s not? All right, you can go. I think I have my shots anyway.
Marjan: Thanks, ma’am.
Manon: I’m going to pretend you didn’t just call me “ma’am”. Louise, you’re next!
Louise walks up to her spot and poses. She’s feeling extra confident now due to her talk with Manon, and it shines through in her pictures. Manon compliments her and calls Harrison next. He also does well, trying to keep in mind what Kyungri said about showing lots of confidence in order to stand out. Gabriel is next and he’s not as comfortable to be working with Manon, but he performs well, also. Kyungri is not satisfied with just doing well, though, and when she’s called up she is beaming with confidence. She plans on doing better than everyone else and it shows.
Kyungri: *voiceover* Everyone was good, they’re all decent competitors. But it’s ME who’s the goddess of the competition, and who could even deny that? I’m looking exquisite in this revealing and expensive outfit, my makeup is perfectly applied to accentuate my expertly chiseled features, and my hair is up in a delicious high pony. What else could a photographer ask for? I’ll rock the competition!
Manon looks impressed with Kyungri, as she shoots her for a longer time than the others. She asks her to pose in many different ways, exclaiming her approval after each pose change, and when she’s finally done she calls everyone back for the group picture.
Manon: All right everyone, well done! Now I’ve just got to get this group photo done and we’ll be ready to go! Just put those fierce competition faces on and look expensive, this shot is definitely going in the magazine. Pose as if your spot in this competition is at stake, because it is!
Manon: All right Gabriel, please take off your shirt… yes, just like that. *Louise scowls* Sorry! It’s for the magazine and Harrison can’t be the only one showing some skin… Yes, Kyungri, work it! You’re looking fab. Marjan, please get your head in the game, girl… yeah, just like that! Harrison, please turn toward me. Pretend I’m Matthieu and I’m naked! *Harrison blushes* Yessss show me that timid but sexy side! I love it! Louise, you’re doing great, sweetie. Everyone, you’re looking slick! That’s a wrap!
Marjan: *voiceover* So we all thought we looked awesome and we were feeling happy after our shoot, so we went out to a club to celebrate… but it was a mess! I couldn’t even believe how we were being treated.
Louise: *voiceover* Yeah, so we weren’t let into the club because apparently we’re not famous or fabulous enough… but I just didn’t care, I’m happy about how today has gone. Uncomfortable outfit or not, I feel like there are exciting happenings on the horizon and I can’t wait for them to start! Gabriel looked relieved to see Manon leave, too, though he kind of seemed to not even want to be at the club. I wonder what’s on his mind.
Kyungri: *voiceover* THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE! I can’t believe that we looked that way and then bestowed the honor of our presence upon that ratty club and they had the ABSOLUTE GALL to tell us that we weren’t A-Listers yet. I’m going to be complaining to the production team, how could they let something like this happen? A flawless being like myself, turned away at the door? The absolute SHAME!
The next morning, after the contestants had slept away the shame of being rejected at the club door, they all decide to spend some time alone preparing for the upcoming elimination. They all needed time to start thinking about what they will prepare to show in the event that they make it to the Top 4 and have to come up with a TV pilot.
Gabriel spends his day working out, lost in his thoughts. Though he was happy to see Manon leave, his guilty feelings and turmoil bother him. After his failure to break the news to her the other night, he isn’t ready to face her again with the news that he is choosing someone else. In the past, he was usually the one being chased so he had no fear of being rejected by anyone. He never had any trouble with breakups before because he was confident that he would always find someone new. He knows that things with Louise aren’t easy, though, and he knows that he has to make sure to be careful with her because she isn’t someone to accept halfhearted promises and commitments. So, for once in his life, he is scared.
Gabriel: *talking to himself* Just do it, buddy! You’ve gotten through difficult things in your life before, and you can do this, too. Just picture the objective, hold it in front of you, and go for it! You know how to get her, and you know what you must do! So do it!
But even though he seems to be pumped up about it, Gabriel looks worried the whole day. He isn’t aware of what Manon told Louise, so in his mind she is going to be hard to convince about an eventual divorce.
Kyungri decides to spend her day practicing the piano and working on her music. She doesn’t want to seem like a one-trick pony with only the visuals back up her confidence. She wants to flesh out what she offers to the public.
Kyungri: Any true diva worth her salt is going to want to branch out and do many things at once. Who wants a one-trick pony? You’ve got to be present in every area of the media. That’s why I’m writing a song that’s going to be released to accompany my long-awaited win: “Make Me Moan (Silicone)”. Everybody is going to love it!
Kyungri: *continues in voiceover* I hear a lot of people talking about how I don’t have a heart, or how it’s so pumped full of plastic that I don’t feel anything but lust for money anymore. It’s only slightly true. What you don’t see is that my family overcame extreme poverty due to my hustle and I have a certain image to maintain in order to keep things that way. I love the person I’ve become, I know I’m entertainment personified, but I also have dreams and desires. And a fully functioning heart, thank you very much. And one thing I dreamed of being since I was a child growing up watching fabulous divas on the TV is a singer. I can’t just expect to be handed that dream on a platinum platter, I have to work for it… so I will. Just watch.
Harrison is unsure of what he wants to prepare for the Top 4. He doesn’t feel like he has any talents that are out of the ordinary. He’s happy with how he’s blossomed in the competition, but he feels average at best. A nice guy with a decent personality is cool, he figures, but is he entertaining? While he wonders what to do, he decides to enjoy the pool; he loves the sun and the water. He’s joined by ajmkv, who’s back in the house to prepare for the elimination.
ajmkv: Oh… hey Harrison. I was just going for a swim to clear my mind. Mind if I join you?
Harrison: Oh sure, Ke—I mean, ajmkv.
ajmkv: Thanks! So, uh, what’s going on with you? I see everyone is hard at work. What’s on your mind?
Harrison: I’m not sure I can discuss this with you, considering you’re the host of the show and everything. Isn’t that a big no-no?
ajmkv: Oh, whatever. I make the rules anyway.
Harrison: Why are you talking to me anyway? You don’t even really like me, I know.
ajmkv: I should be impartial, but I do like you! I see a lot of myself in you.
Harrison looks confused. He doesn’t particularly like ajmkv himself as he thinks that he’s a somewhat strange voyeur with a knack for meddling in other peoples’ lives, but he thought the sentiment was mutual. He moves to the edge of the pool and ajmkv follows.
Harrison: It’s been quite a season, hasn’t it?
ajmkv: It sure has. On the brink of cancellation, coming back from the dead, all these things going on to distract from the stars of the show… you don’t know how happy I am to be back here at the house, helping run this show. It’s my baby.
Harrison: You really like us that much?
ajmkv: *laughs* Of course I do! You guys have given me so much fulfillment. This job is one of my favorite things in the world! I care about all of you, you’re like family to me.
Harrison: I guess you’re not that bad after all…
ajmkv: You thought I was bad?
Harrison: Uh, kind of. Like, just a weirdo, y’know?
ajmkv: *laughs* I guess I could see that!
Harrison and ajmkv laugh together. They spend some time by the pool, discussing the competition up to that point, and Harrison even asks for advice about how to present himself in the episodes to come. Their conversation lasts a long time, and both of them look happy when they eventually go inside.
As Louise is walking around the house, doing some cleaning and thinking about what she could do for a pilot, she hears an announcement over the intercom.
ajmkv: *on the intercom* Louise, would you please make your way to the front door, please? You have a special visitor.
Louise: Oh God, who is it now? Are they going to bring in Charlee? Or maybe Branden? Dig up some old flame in my life? Another of Gabriel’s ex-girlfriends? Satan himself? I wouldn’t put anything past these producers…
She goes to the front door, anxious about who the producers have invited. However, the person she sees when she goes outside was the last person she expected to see…
Louise: MOM!! What are you doing here?!
Céline: I’m here to see you, baby! Are you surprised?
Louise: Tu te fous de moi ? Am I surprised? I thought you were still in Colombia!
Céline: Well, I was invited here by the producers and I just had to come see my baby girl. *they hug for a long time*
Louise: I’m so happy to see you, mom. I’ve missed you.
Céline: Me too, sweetie. Every day.
The two spend a long time holding each other. Louise hasn’t seen her mother since the reunion of Season 1 of K&GI, where she confronted her father about his infidelity. Céline has spent most of her time in the last year with her parents in Colombia, and Louise stayed at home in France to take care of her younger siblings. She’s shocked to see her mother back and looking better than ever. They go into the garden for some privacy.
Louise: Mom, I’m thrilled to see you, but what the heck? You were gone for so long, I thought you were never coming back! Does Papa know?
Céline: Yes, darling, he knows. We met for dinner yesterday.
Louise: Is he still living with that… lady?
Céline: No, sweetie. He asked me if he could come home to us.
Louise: And what did you say? I hope you told him he could go to hell.
Céline: Darling, I said yes. I miss him, too. I’ve forgiven him.
Louise: How?! What he did to you was just awful, treating you like you were trash by flaunting his affair with that pop star on TV. I even came on this TV show to show people that our family is better than him!
Céline: And have you succeeded?
Louise: Well… Mom, I’ve changed a lot. I think I’m a less angry person now. You know how much what my dad did hurt me… It hurt me to see you suffering, so I was angry.
Céline: I know, sweetie. I was angry, too.
Louise: But now, I don’t know. Life isn’t so black and white, I think. Like, I’m even in the middle of a love triangle myself, so… yeah.
Céline: I’ve seen a little of the show, I know! Who would have thought?
Louise: I can’t help but feel terrible that I’m breaking up that marriage, Mom. Considering what happened with Papa…
Céline: LouLou, it’s your life. You have to decide whether or not you want to live it to the fullest with the person you love. If this man wants you and is willing to change his life drastically to be with you, why should you feel guilty? Look at me, I was on the wrong side of infidelity, and I’m still here and strong. I know the circumstances are different for you, so why don’t you go for it?
Louise: I suppose… Gabriel’s wife even told me yesterday that we have her blessing, so I guess I’m just worrying over nothing.
Céline: So be happy! Include him in your happiness and learn from life. I’m happy again, and I’m deciding to include your father in my life once more. No one should tell us how to live our lives or what’s right in our hearts.
Louise: Mom… I’m sorry. I spent so much time being angry at Papa and not enough asking you how you felt. I should have been a better daughter.
Céline: LouLou, you’re the best daughter in the world. I wouldn’t change anything.
Louise and her mom spend hours talking, laughing, and updating each other on their lives. Louise looks truly happy, and hugs her mom for a long time when it’s time for her to go. She promises her that things will be better for them when she goes back home, and truly believes it.
Marjan: *voiceover* I couldn’t be in the house all day. I’ve been avoiding going outside, but somehow today I feel better. I’m feeling a little bit more like myself. There’s a sun shining behind the naughty cloud that’s been hovering over me, I know that things will get better soon! I just have to keep my chin up and weather the storm.
Marjan: *continues her voiceover* I never thought I’d be in a place like this, surrounded by all these strange people. Yet somehow, I’ve grown to love them even though I came here under shady circumstances. I can’t help but feel like people are naturally bad, I mean… if I could reveal some secrets, everyone would understand why. But even while being here in the middle of the worst period of my life, I’ve made friends with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I don’t think they’ll ever be able to meet this version of me, the one not hiding behind a mask, but I truly feel like they care about me. And that’s enough for me. For now.
Marjan: *continues her voiceover* I can play all the roles in the world if they bring back the person I love the most in the world. So if I have to do it, I will. I’m not holding back, and if I have to make to the end of this competition to achieve that, I can do that, too. It’s just hard. Keeping up a façade and hiding my secret has been the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life. But I’m strong. I’m Marjan, the strongest of all sunny princesses in the world, and I can do anything. Mommy’s coming for you, my little turtle.
Marjan: *continues her voiceover* I hope you can hear my words, sweet turtle. Mommy’s coming. Don’t you worry.