On this week’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, there is a multi-model meltdown when one contestant faces the wrath of three others. The challenge tests the models’ physical endurance. Renee is determined to keep her eye on the prize despite her deepening feelings for Marvin. And things at the photo shoot are a little “batty.”

The Goodbye Girl

The models return home from judges’ panel, and even though Jourdan feels good about having the top photo, she knows first place can be a tenuous position. Doe-eyed Nina was on top in weeks 10 and 11, and all it took was one lackluster photo for her to get eliminated. Jourdan is determined to not let her guard down.

Jourdan asks Cory to share the Tyra suite with her. Cory is a bit taken aback given the fact that the two of them aren’t especially close, but he says their shared affection for Nina is probably the primary reason she chose him. Jourdan considers Nina her closest friend in the competition. She equates her relationship with Renee with that of a sisterly bond. She says one minute they’ll hate each other’s guts, and the next, they’ll be best friends.

I don’t recall seeing any bestie moments between those two. I’d agree their competitiveness could be equated with sibling rivalry. I could envision Renee as the attention-seeking Jan Brady while Jourdan is Marcia, the standard Renee can’t quite live up to.

Three Against One

Renee has no problem vocalizing that she thought Chris should have been the one to go home. Despite Chris’ heartfelt goodbye to Nina, none of the other models think his reaction was genuine. Jourdan says that Chris had been treating Nina like crap; I would chalk it up more to indifference. Cory says Chris doesn’t really care about Nina and says he was rubbing his eyes to make them look red. Cory is infuriated that someone like Chris has made it this far.

Chris, who has become increasingly isolated from the other competitors, tells them it’s perfectly fine with him that they all think he should have gone home. Renee says the rest of them genuinely want to be there. It’s been a few weeks, and I should have refreshed my memory as to why Chris is in the dog house again. I think it boils down to the fact that he acts one way in front of the judges and then behaves like a complete tool when they aren’t around. As far as his desire to be in the competition goes, I have no doubt Chris is passionate about what he’s doing. Viewers have the benefit of seeing sides of him that the other models don’t.

Cory, who enjoys a good dramatic confrontation, usually steers clear of them himself. This time, he’s front and center and firing on all cylinders. He tells Chris that he forced Nina to focus on his crap instead of allowing her to keep her head in the game. That accusation is unfair. Nina is a grown woman and capable of making her own choices. Cory does give Chris props for being a good model, but Jourdan, Renee and Cory all make it clear that they don’t think much of him as a human being.

Chris’ biggest flaw is being self-centered because he seems truly clueless as to how one-sided his friendship with Nina actually was. Marvin is missing in action, but the other three pounce, and Chris grows increasingly defensive. With his back against the wall, he tells them he’s not there to make friends and that the game is on.

The Outsider

Chris turns to Marvin for support. If Marvin wasn’t literally cornered by Chris, I’m confident he would have run as fast as he could in the opposite direction. Chris says that when he’s being attacked, it gives him flashbacks to the verbal abuse he suffered from his mother. Marvin is confused by Chris’ sudden desire to confide in him because the two have never had a relationship. Also, Marvin has no interest in developing one.

Work It Out

After giving their tongues a workout, the models face a fitness challenge. They head to the beach where Rob is waiting with Cycle 19 winner Laura James. Renee and Jourdan go head to head in a series of physical challenges, while the boys face off against one another. The final obstacle is making it up a staircase comprised of 197 steps. Renee, who bested Jourdan in the other challenges, gets a three-second head start. Renee emerges victorious. Jourdan isn’t far behind, but she gets lightheaded, out of breath and suffers from blurry vision. A medic is called to the scene. Renee thinks Jourdan is being overly dramatic because she lost. Jourdan isn’t rushed off in an ambulance, so the competition resumes, this time between the guys.

Heating Up and Cooling Down

Marvin gets to go first, followed by Cory and then Chris. Marvin wins his first challenge ever. As a reward, lovebirds Marvin and Renee are going to be featured in a workout video with Laura and Rob. Not much of a reward in my opinion.

There is an upside: the two also get to enjoy some rejuvenating spa treatments. Marvin and Renee, or “Marnee” as they’ve been nicknamed by the others, get to spend some romantic time together. But Renee is wary because she’s noticed that in the past when she’s having sex or in a relationship, she doesn’t focus as much on other things that require her full attention. Marvin just lives in the moment, saying that the time with Renee “massaged his heart.” Can’t get much cheesier than that.

Bat Crap Crazy

For their photo shoot, Johnny has the models posing with bats. They are suspended in the air posing upside down. Marvin is feeling fine thanks to his challenge win and a night of fooling around with Renee. His confidence shows, and he earns praise from Johnny and the photographer. Jourdan looks so stunning, even Renee can’t find a flaw. Renee is determined to send Chris home, but she struggles with the position and actually passes out when the blood rushes to her head. Who’s being overly dramatic now? I think some people might call that kharma.

Chris gets in his own way yet again. Johnny says once Chris starts to over think things, he loses him for the rest of the shoot. Chris manages to pull it together. Cory points out the obvious, which is that no matter how badly a photo shoot may seem to go, all it takes is one great shot to impress the judges. Cory struggles to strike a balance between his masculine and feminine sides.

Judges’ Panel

Kelly loves everything about Jourdan’s shot, with the exception of “her little deformed bat hand.” Rob calls the photo typical high fashion. Bryanboy gives her ego an additional boost when he tells her the fans love everything about the pic.

Kelly, who has developed a hand fetish, feels Cory brought high fashion in the articulation of his hands. Rob feels Cory looks too feminine and is tired of telling him week after week. Rob accuses Kelly and Tyra of brainwashing Cory. Rob says that if Cory presents himself the way he is, the client will think he’s the makeup artist. That comment seems a bit offensive to me. Cory speaks up and owns that he loves his androgyny, and he feels that his look is up and coming. Tyra predicts that Cory will experience a lot of polarity in his career.

Kelly thinks Renee looks like a kite that got caught up in an electrical cord somewhere. She’s concerned about how many roles of film it might take to get a good shot of Renee and how much money it would cost the clients. Tyra thinks her shot is amateur hour, and Rob compares her lips to a duck. It looks like this could be the end of Starvin’ Marvin’s free lunch.

Rob is shocked that, after all this time, Chris isn’t showing more improvement. Kelly thinks his mouth looks distorted, but Tyra thinks his face looks insanely gorgeous. He also experiences an uptick in his social media support.

Kelly’s comments about Marvin’s photo amount to gibberish, but the bottom line is she loves the photo. Tyra’s a fan of his cheekbones but not his bod. Rob is crazy for his bone structure.

Once again, two models are going home. Jourdan comes out on top and is officially a finalist. Marvin makes the cut as well. The third finalist is Cory. Renee and Chris are eliminated.

Next week, the finalists walk in a make-it-or-break-it runway show and some familiar faces return.

America’s Next Top Model airs Fridays at 9pm on The CW.

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.