33 aspiring models board a cruise ship directed by J. Alexander. Competition gets fierce when a series of cat-fights break out within the group. Later, the girls compete in a life jacket runway walk and a beach photo shoot. The judges deliberate and cut the group of 33 potential top models down to 13 finalists.
The 13 hopefuls move into their environmentally green home and J. Alexander gives the girls a lesson. Later, the girls compete in a style challenge and perform a photo shoot of the negative effects of smoking. Lastly, the judges send the first hopeful packing.
J. Alexander has the girls work on their runway walk while wearing straightjackets. The girls compete in a couture runway challenge and the winner wins a trip to Paris. After an edgy photo shoot on a rock climbing wall, one girl is sent home.
The girls get makeovers! Tyra takes the models to a Beverly Hills salon and one is forced to go bald, which nearly drives her to the breaking point. Later, the girls compete in a runway challenge and have a jungle photo shoot. In the end, the judges eliminate one girl.
The girls are given a lesson on posing with movement by Benny Ninja. After their lesson, the girls must pose while jumping on a trampoline. Later, the girls go head-to-head in a challenge where they must pose while being lifted in the air by an ice skater. Lastly, the girls' photo shoot takes place on the top of a building where they pose as gargoyles.
Model-actor Tyson Beckford gives the contestants tips on being a spokesperson. Later, the models divide into groups and create a public-service announcement for a charity. The winner stars in a photo shoot directed by Mary J. Blige. Everyone then participates in a recycling photo shoot.
With the finale a short six weeks away, previously unaired footage is shown, including Bianca's many confrontations, and Jenah chipping her tooth. Tyra talks to the contestants about body image and later, Bianca runs into a glass door, hurting her lip.
Tyra gives the models a lesson in how to model in front of a moving camera. Later, the girls participate in an Enrique Iglesias music video and one model is sent packing.
Each model must design, then wear their own creation on the runway of a fashion show. A burning car in the desert is the backdrop to a photo shoot.
The models arrive in Shanghai and move into a penthouse suite. They are given a lesson on body movement by a martial-arts expert and must perfect their poses while in midair on high wires. Later, the ladies shoot a cosmetics commercial.
It's off to Shanghai for the remaining five contestants to meet famed designers. Nigel Barker directs a photo shoot involving Chinese costume dragons and lions.
The models make their way into the Beijing house. They're challenge is to alter a traditional Chinese into their own, personal style. Tyra leads a warrior themed photo shoot.
The winner is chosen in the ninth season finale of America's Next Top Model.