In the cycle 10 premiere, 30 girls enter Top Model Prep with instructors Jay Manuel and J. Alexander and quickly begin their modeling education. Assignments include showing off their runway strut in a hallway, posing for their class photo and a brief conference with the judges. When all the tasks are completed, the girls learn if they have passed or failed. After careful consideration, Tyra Banks feels that 13 girls aren't enough to join her in New York City, she makes a surprise announcement by increasing the total number of Top Model Prep graduates. Fourteen girls get the chance to prove they have what it takes to become America's Next Top Model.
The girls check out their new apartment in New York City and admire the humanitarian theme behind this year's loft. Once everyone is settled, Jay Manuel and Miss J take the girls to Times Square for an impromptu Badgley Mischa fashion show. While some ace the runway, others leave Miss J appalled. Paulina Porizkova is introduced as the new judge and gives the girls some honest and harsh criticism. One model stuns the judges with her revelation.
Elle Macpherson surprises the girls at a photo shoot and they model her new lingerie line after getting makeovers. Tyra decides the look for each girl but not everyone agrees with her decisions. Meanwhile, tension flares in the house between Fatima and Allison.
The models are called to duty with Miss J and the New York City Fire Department where the girls strut their stuff and show off their quick-change skills. Next up is a runway show with the designer Tuleh. Cycle eight winner Jaslene Gonzalez makes a surprise appearance as a judge for this challenge and hurts one of the models' feelings with her harsh critique. The show wraps up with a photo shoot in the meat-packing industry that not only has the girls posing with racks of meat, but wearing it as well.
Benny Ninja, famous for his posing skills, teams up with supermodel Vendela to teach the girls the different stances for catalog, commercial and couture shoots by pitting them against each other in a posing battle on the streets of New York. Vendela also serves as a guest judge. One of the girls starts to feel the pressure of the competition and questions whether she is Top Model material.
Tyra surprises the girls in a dance studio and teaches them how to work their fierceness while posing at the end of a runway. During a pose-off in front of Tyra, one girl earns the opportunity to work with judge/photographer Nigel Barker while posing nude. Drama and voices escalate in the house when three ladies gang up against one girl who doesn't know how to turn her alarm clock off in the early morning hours.
The models are spilt into two teams for go-sees with Shoshanna Lonstein, Pamella Roland and Stacey Bendit from Alice & Olivia. The girls join Mr. J for a photo shoot on Broadway at the Fuerza Bruta show and find out they will be shot through a plastic sheet while laying face down in water. One model is injured, while another gets a second makeover at the shoot.
A look at never-before-seen footage of the cycle 10 contestants that includes the ladies battling with posing instructor Benny Ninja and his team, New York City firefighters practicing their runway struts and contestant wrestling matches.
Paulina drops by the loft to surprise the girls with tips on how to behave during press interviews and while attending public events. The girls are dressed by designer Jay Godfrey and must mingle with fashion world VIPs at a cocktail party. One girl breaks down when she realizes she lost her travel document and learns she may not be able to accompany the remaining girls to the secret overseas location.
The models head to Rome for the second part of the competition and are thrilled with their new home. The girls face their biggest challenge yet when they are told they will be filming a Cover Girl commercial - in Italian.
The models embrace their inner warriors when they learn Gladiator-style fighting complete with swords. The challenge winner hits the streets of Rome on a shopping spree. Tyra photographs the models in an old Roman castle and is startled by one model's unique beauty.
The final four models step behind the camera during this week's challenge when they get to photograph Paulina Porizkova and later pose as famous movie icons in a shoot with photographer Nigel Barker. The girls are on edge when they learn that none of the judges are impressed with any of their final portraits.
Cycle nine winner Saleisha Stowers stops by to cheer on the contestants during their Cover Girl commercial and print ad shoot. One of the models fails to deliver and is sent packing. The final two face off on the runway at a once-in-a-lifetime fashion event in the race to become America's Next Top Model.