In part one of the eighth season premiere, 32 aspiring models are flown to Los Angeles, where they are immediately thrust into model boot-camp with J. Alexander and Jay Manuel. Later, the girls get a chance to meet Tyra, who gives them a military-style talk, and the catfights erupt as different personalities clash. Finally, the final 13 are selected.
In part two of the eighth season premiere, the final 13 girls move into their flamboyant Hollywood Hills mansion and are off to their first, and quite controversial, photo shoot with Nigel Barker, which has one model very confused.
J. Alexander coaches the girls on how to work the runway and puts their skills to the test when they participate in a prom-themed fashion show. Later, the models struggle during a high school themed photo shoot, but one girl rocks it and the praise that she receives makes another model jealous.
It's makeover time, and chaos unfolds as one girl's makeover is changed twice and another's new look is painful. Meanwhile, a call from home leaves one girl devastated, while a nude candy-coated photo shoot leaves another model nervous.
Benny Ninja instructs the girls in a posing lesson, which leads to the models being tested in a challenge where they must duck, dive, and pose through a laser maze. Afterwards, the girls participate in a photo shoot showcasing a deathly crime scene.
The girls are in for some tough calls when they are broken up into teams and asked to design their own group displays at a department store - all while acting as their own mannequins. Drama unfolds after the challenge as one girl - who took advice from her teammates - later claims all the credit for her group's project. Later, the models participate in a photo shoot where they must pose as men, but one girl's transformation into her character shocks everyone else.
In what promises to be the most dramatic episode of America's Next Top Model to date, Twiggy gives the girls a history lesson on how she got her nickname and asks each model to give herself a nickname of her own, which each girl must then use at a celebrity filled party. While at the party, one girl gets a little too friendly with rapper 50 Cent and gets thrown in the pool. Another model jumps in to help her and both girls end up embarrassed when they are introduced to famous manager Benny Medina and his entourage. Later, Tyra gets involved when all the models unite against another model and crush her with harsh criticisms. Finally, the girls participate in a photo shoot where they must showcase four of their inner personalities.
The girls' acting skills are put to the test when actress Tia Mowry gives the group an acting lesson, after which they are put to the test with actor Efren Ramirez. The winning model and a friend get unexpected visits. Finally, models from past seasons join the current models in a photo shoot highlighting the series' most scandalous events.
The girls get interviewing lessons to prepare for their trip down under in Sydney, Australia. Once there, they must use what they have learned about hosting and use it to interview the locals. Finally, the girls are asked to star in a Cover Girl commercial where one model struggles to remember her lines and the other struggles with performance.
In this special recap episode, never-before-seen footage about the journey of the five remaining contestants is revealed, including a heated argument between two girls and a staged mock elimination by all the girls.
The remaining five contestants are sent on a mission to impress Australian designers in their go sees. While there, one model shocks designers by requesting to keep the clothes and another has a rage after arriving late. Later, Tyra gives the girls a shoot where they must model swimsuits for a women's magazine. One model impresses Tyra, while another simply falls flat.
The girls are taught about the art of self expression and storytelling and are later put to the test when they must tell stories of their own using their new skills. Later on, the girls go out but one model stays home sick, giving the other three the chance to gossip about her while she is absent. In their photo shoot, the girls are body painted and must use traditional clothing and Aboriginal dance to express themselves. While one model completely embraces the dancing, another bitterly complains about having to do so. Finally, the panel lights on fire when the girls are asked to give the name of the person who they think has the most potential at winning the competition and one girl gets verbally attacked by the rest.
We're down to three models and the competition is tougher than ever! The girls have to rely on everything they've learned so far as they vie for a commercial and print ad for CoverGirl. Caridee English, winner of America's Next Top Model Season 7, drops in to encourage the girls. Each model struggles with different issues and eventually one of them is sent home.
With only two models left, it's do-or-die time. The models take a trip to Sydney Australia for a final fashion show which ultimately determines the winner of America's Next Top Model Season 8.