Queens for a Day

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"Queens for a Day"
Ugly Betty episode
Ugly Betty s01e03.png
Wilhelmina shows off her purple ribbon to Marc.
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 3
Directed by Jim Hayman
Written by Marco Pennette
Production code 103
Original air date October 12, 2006
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Box and the Bunny"
Next →
"Fey's Sleigh Ride"
List of Ugly Betty episodes

"Queens for a Day" is the third episode in the American dramedy series Ugly Betty, which aired on October 12, 2006. Although this is the third episode overall in the series, it is listed as the second episode on the first season DVD release, while "The Box and the Bunny" was listed as episode 3.


At a club to celebrate Daniel's first issue party, Bradford congratulates Daniel on coming through as MODE's editor-in-chief, but Wilhelmina spoils the festivities when she brings up Daniel's older brother Alex, who was the editor-in-chief at sister publication Hudson. The word of his late brother proves unsettling for Daniel, which prompts him to set out to prove to his father and Wilhelmina that he can be as capable as his brother in running a magazine. This gives him the idea to revamp MODE in an effort to attract a more upbeat audience.

Meanwhile, Betty goes home after being turned away from the party, and discovers Walter playing Dance Dance Revolution 2 with Justin. When Betty asks why he is here, Walter turns the issue around by saying it was Betty who dumped him but Betty doesn't buy that line and tells him to leave. She also finds herself given a lecture on not fitting in with their own kind by Hilda, who thinks that she needs to change her look a bit, but Betty says no. Betty also discovers that her dad is drinking coffee knowing full well that he has a heart condition and he was told by his doctor to lay off the caffeine, prompting Betty to make him take his pills in front of her.

The next day Daniel enlists Betty for a brainstorming session to change the look of MODE by looking through back issues of Hudson for inspiration. When Betty discovers a series of past layouts from Vincent Bianchi, Daniel advises Betty that Bianchi vowed that he would never work for Mode because of differences of opinion with Daniel's brother, Alex. While at home Betty learns from Ignacio (her Dad) that he knew Bianchi and his family as they only lived four blocks away from them. With this info, Betty uses her Queens connections to entice Vincent to do a photo shoot for Mode. Daniel asks Betty to book a meeting at a posh restaurant, and says that Betty is to come along. Daniel insists that Betty dress up for the occasion, she in turn enlists Hilda to help with the makeover. This doesn't end well, especially at the board meeting where not only does Daniel's idea of changing MODE get laughed at, but so does Betty when Wilhelmina compares the MODE changes to Betty's new look.

Embarrassed, Betty decides not to go to the restaurant, leaving Daniel with no choice but to take Amanda (pretending to be Betty) and Bradford (who decides to tag along). As the three pitch the proposal to Vincent, Betty discovers the proposal document has been left behind on her desk and decides to deliver it to the restaurant herself (and in the process Betty snaps at Marc, who tried to cut her off, and is put in his place). Betty's arrival at the restaurant proves to be a lifesaver when Vincent finally gets his chance to meet the real Betty he liked on the phone, thus once again coming through for MODE (again foiling Wilhelmina, who breaks everything in her office except for the vase and flowers, which was saved by Marc).

In other scenarios, Bradford begins the search for the vehicle that was involved in Fey's death and orders Steve to track it down. Steve later finds the vehicle in an auto salvage yard in Bayonne but sends Bradford an e-mail showing the burned car up for sale on an auction website. It also turns out that the mystery woman seems to know about this as well and calls Daniel to ask him about the junkyard where the car was. When Daniel asks about this, Bradford lies saying he doesn't know anything about it and claims that the person calling was a prank.

The mystery woman again meets with Wilhelmina and explains their strategy on how to further drive a wedge between Daniel and Bradford by using the car and Alex as examples. Earlier, Wilhelmina plans for her big date with a senator and has Marc prepare her office (which she destroys after the Bianchi agreement is clinched) to make it look like she is in charge. Unfortunately her date isn't impressed especially as she is not yet Editor-in-chief: The senator turns out to be Wilhelmina's father.


In its review of the episode, Entertainment Weekly's Michael Sleazak noted that "Tonight's episode, the series' third, was the best Betty to date, filled with so many zippy one-liners and juicy set details that our heroine's Extreme Makeover: Queens Edition played out as more of a side dish than a main course."[1]

Other features[edit]

This episode also featured the second installment of the telenovelita Vidas de Fuego, which starred Marlene Favela, Ninel Conde and Helena Rojo.

Featured music[edit]

The club setting in the episode features music from The Voodoo Trombone Quartet ("Voodoo Juju"), The Pussycat Dolls ("Buttons"), Shakira ("Hips Don't Lie"), Los Niños de Sara ("La Cubanita") and Rihanna ("Unfaithful").[citation needed]


Also starring[edit]

Guest stars[edit]