With only one week left to determine the Cycle 21 contestants, the semi-finalists tackle a rigorous Los Angeles subway challenge to model various seasons in a limited amount of time. World renowned photographer Yu Tsai is introduced as the cycle's photo shoot creative consultant. Later, things get steamy during a nighttime photo shoot at the beach, where the final 14 are selected by Tyra Banks and the judges, from the portraits taken.
With a love triangle brewing in the house, not all models bring their A-game to an optical illusion photo shoot. The eagerly awaited make-over day arrives, and one model to unveils a never-before-seen look while another suffers a breakdown.
Tyra teaches the models the three steps involved in making love to the camera to prep them for a sexy black widow-themed photo shoot. An unexpected chemistry occurs between two models just before a hair-raising challenge on stilts. Later, a night of partying in the house quickly turns dramatic when one of the models breaks a major house rule.
The models are tasked with mastering the ultimate hair whip for a wind-blown photo shoot while one pays a penalty and is allowed only five frames to capture the perfect image. Special guest Nick Cannon gives the models a chance to be the face of his new ad campaign.
Models team up to for a photo shoot challenge with judge Kelly Cutrone resulting in two models recognizing the need to put their personal relationship on hold. The models then discover their common ancestry links when heritage comes into play as the styling concept for a futuristic sci-fi photo shoot that features a special guest posing as a robot.
A model is brought back into the competition after fans cast their vote via social media. A challenge to keep their composure in the dark at a former slaughterhouse with a dark and gruesome history gives models the chance to win a special treat. Later, at a "no glove, no love"-themed fashion shoot that focuses on awareness of HIV/Aids, Tyra Banks acts as makeup artist to the models donning a variety of ornate gloves.
The seven remaining models pack their bags for Seoul, Korea and find themselves challenged to a group dance photo shoot judged by Korean pop sensation BtoB. However, one model finds that a bad habit limits the potential for success during a photo shoot with a luxury brand; a problem that does not go unnoticed by Tyra Banks and the judges.
The models race to various locations around Seoul for a timed challenge, where one finds herself isolated from the rest of the group after getting caught in a lie. Later, a model offends photo consultant Yu Tsai after she confronts him for calling her a panda bear during a head-to-toe photo shoot with Jinny Kim shoes and accessories. Kpop singer and actor Jay Park guest stars.
The five remaining models perform a bilingual scene with Korean soap opera actors before tackling a night-time photo shoot that has them dressing up to recreate iconic images of the King and Queen of American pop culture: Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. But history comes back to haunt the models when each is asked to confront demons from their past.
Tyra Banks introduces the final four models to her new cosmetics line and challenges them to a commercial shoot with the help of some of the previously eliminated contestants. Then the models tackle their final photo shoot for a $100,000 prize from GUESS. Some secret spectators are on hand to determine who will compete in the cycle's finale.
Three very strong and different models are judged in a high-octane final runway fashion show in Seoul for designer Lie Sang Bong. Tyra Banks joins judges Kelly Cutrone and J. Alexander, along with photo consultant Yu Tsai to calculate the contestants' final scores based on their entire body of work, while the finalists reminisce about their journey to become Cycle 21's America's Next Top Model. Special performance by Kpop band 2NE1.