'America's Next Top Model' Recap: Swimsuits and Snakes, Oh My!
'America's Next Top Model' Recap: Swimsuits and Snakes, Oh My!
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The models arrive in Bali. Mental and physical problems cause issues for two models during the challenge. Nina and Chris H.'s relationship continues to be strained. The contestants go wild during their photo shoot. Marvin and Renee's fledgling romance is jeopardized by an argument.

Don't Forget the Emotional Baggage

As the final eight competitors head to Bali, a province of Indonesia, a few are dealing with personal struggles while others are keeping their eyes on the prize. Don, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is starting to crumble under the unrelenting stress. Nina is pre-occupied with her topsy turvy relationship with Chris H. Jourdan can't believe that the boys outnumber the girls, or that Renee is doing so well in the competition.


Bali is So Suite/Sweet

So, now the competition is heating up, literally, as the models arrive in steamy, tropical Bali. Renee, born in Trinidad, feels right at home. She says throughout the competition she's been growing like a little flower and she feels like she can really bloom in the new environment.

Just because the show is on the road, doesn't mean Nina, winner of last week's best photo, gets cheated out of sleeping in the Tyra Suite. One of the villas in the hotel has been transformed, and she gets all the same perks as her predecessors.

Underwhelming Underwater Challenge

It only makes sense that the contestants would model bathing suits, given the location. But, what is unusual is that they will be walking an underwater runway. The winner gets $3,000 worth of swimwear. This challenge is posing problems for Nina and Don in particular. Nina had part of her lung removed, the result of a fungal infection, and isn't sure how the water's depth will affect her. Marvin is elated to find out that Nina has this obstacle to overcome. Because she's a threat, he wants her to freak out,"Hopefully, this is the one challenge, like, that she's back in the bottom; I catch a break, and she goes home." We'll give Marvin the benefit of the doubt that he doesn't realize that Nina's lung could implode, so going home would definitely be the least of her problems.

The models are outfitted with pressurized helmets and walk a runway that's decorated with a Las Vegas meets the lost city of Atlantis theme. Jourdan and Renee perform well, but adjustments have to be made to accommodate Nina's condition. She is instantly deflated because she knows this probably means she has little to no chance of winning the challenge. She starts crying which annoys Chris H. who says it's getting to be a bit too much for him. While Cory tries to offer her some comfort, she can't help but notice that Chris H. could seem to care less.

Don is struggling with the idea of not being in control and being confined inside the helmet. He wants to do it, but is struggling with anxiety. It's almost as if the show's creators purposely pick challenges they know some of the models are destined to fail at. Don makes it the 12 feet to the ocean floor, but starts to panic and has to reemerge.

Nina and Don are given snorkel masks and have to make the best of a bad situation. They have to work extra hard to make up for the lack of points. Don is worn out from the adrenaline surge of the panic attack. He can barely hold himself up much less pose. Nina fails to impress as well.

Johnny called out Marvin as well as Don and Nina for their lackluster performances. Johnny calls out Chris H., Jourdan and Renee for their stellar work. Renee wins the competition, and Jourdan is disappointed because she's convinced she has the best runway walk. She says she needs to step up her game.

Animal Magnetism

For their photo shoot, the models get to pose with some furry and scaly friends at a safari park. Johnny urges them to embody the animal they are paired with. Cory and Jourdan get to work with an orangutan, and Nina gets to have her Britney Spears moment with a python. Her shoot goes so poorly, Johnny doesn't think she has produced one usable shot. Of course, Nina starts crying, and once again Chris H. is short on sympathy and thinks she should just get over it. It's unclear at this point which one of them is more annoying. Nina is so concerned about Chris' lack of concern, it makes me wonder if some of the tears are for show just so she can get a reaction from him.

Marvin and Renee, who have recently become lovebirds of sorts, have a spat during the shoot. It stems from Renee telling Jeremy she hopes he gets best photo. Marvin questions why she would want Jeremy to get best photo when he's her competition. She doesn't understand how telling someone they did a good job can be a bad thing. He says she should cheer herself on to win best photo since she hasn't yet. It's at that moment that Renee comes to the realization that Marvin is a jackass, and she can do better.

Judges Panel

Renee has been confident bordering on cocky, but she's quickly brought back down to earth after Kelly and Rob describe her photo as flat. Bryanboy say the fans expect more from her.

Kelly loves Cory's photo but gives him a dressing down over his panel attire. Rob finds his picture comical. Tyra says he did exactly what he was supposed to do, embody the orangutan.

All three judges love Don's face in his photo but aren't fans of the rest of his body.

Kelly loves Chris H.'s photo which seems to surprise Rob. She goes a step further and says she loves everything about him as a model. Rob finds him boring. Tyra sides with Rob.

Kelly tells Nina she looks like the love child of Audrey Hepburn and a cirque d soleil performer, in a good way. While Rob doesn't think she looks like she's interacting with the snake, Tyra and Kelly disagree. Some more good news for Nina; she's dominated social media for the past three weeks.

While Johnny gushed over Jeremy's performance during the shoot, Tyra can only muster up that his picture isn't awful. She and Kelly feel he looks too feminine. Just goes to show you that Johnny's critiques during photo shoots aren't indicative of what the judges are going to think.

Kelly tells Jourdan she looks like an ex-supermodel who has four ex-husbands and lives in the Hamptons. Tyra says she looks like an elderly catalog model. Renee can't resist a little smirk. Jourdan also receives her lowest social media score to date.

Kelly tells Marvin she feels a bit tricked by him. She thought he had the good early in the competition but now thinks it was just his charismatic personality. Rob tells him he looks like Boy George. Bryanboy likes his photo, as do the fans.

After all those tears, Nina emerges victorious for the second week in a row. Renee is the runner-up. Don and Marvin are the bottom two, and Don is sent home. Personally, I think Marvin doesn't have a chance and should have been the one to leave.

Hopefully, this close call will humble Marvin. Next week on Top Model there will be more animals and probably more tears.

America's Next Top Model airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on the CW.

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(Image courtesy of the CW)

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