After 32 aspiring models arrive in Pasadena, Calif., to face host Tyra Banks, art director of photo shoots Jay Manuel and runway expert J. Alexander, the field quickly narrows to 13 finalists, however, the finalists are given little time to settle into their posh new mansion in Los Angeles before Jay Manuel reveals in a jaw-dropping announcement that they will be bald for their first photo shoot.
At a Beverly Hills salon, Tyra, Jay Manuel, J. Alexander and salon owners Joel Warren and Edward Tricomi transform the models with unbelievable makeovers; and the participants are challenged to show off their personal style by celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and Cycle 4 Winner Naima Mora, who give the girls the opportunity to win a $5,000 shopping spree at Los Angeles boutique, Nanette Lepore, and then head off to a photo shoot where they pose with ice sculptures.
After a coaching session with supermodel Janice Dickinson and Cycle 5 competitor Lisa D'Amato, the models participate in a quick-change photo shoot representing all four seasons and a second photo shoot that symbolizes their career goals.
After getting a lesson in improvisation at the legendary comedy workshop The Groundlings, the models are challenged to successfully deliver a mostly-improvised CoverGirl commercial, and one lucky girl, whose improv skills are superior, wins a guest starring role on "Veronica Mars" .
After getting a lesson about the ugly side of modeling, the participants are tested on their ability to handle harsh criticisms, and one model must face a difficult surgical procedure, while two lucky models receive special visitors from home.
The models are coached on how to handle challenging interview questions from public relations expert Rachel McCallister, then put to the test by tough interviewer and Vanity Fair contributor George Wang; and they all receive surprise news that they will travel overseas to a major fashion destination.
Loaded with never-before-seen footage from the first nine weeks of UPN's hit dramality series, this special episode includes Gina's habit of biting others, Joanie imitating Furonda and Danielle playing a prank on Jade.
The final four models meet Thai designer Pichita Rucksajit who sends them on a challenge to travel via "tuk tuk" (Thai taxis) to meet and impress local designers; after which the girls fly to Phuket where Tyra talks about the Tsunami to remind them of the importance of respecting local history and culture when modeling internationally.
In Bangkok, the three remaining models face-off and struggle to deliver their lines and best poses for a CoverGirl commercial and photo shoot, and after the challenge one girl is eliminated on the sixth-cycle finale of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL.