Courtney winning best photo doesn't help when it comes to the tension between herself and Tash. The judges may like Courtney, but Tash thinks Courtney is a master manipulator who is able to make herself look like the victim when she's really very conniving.
Courtney's Popularity Continues to Plummet
The girls get a Rita Alert, and she tells the girls that being a brand is not only about who they are but also how they present themselves to the world. She urges them not to be followers but to let others follow them instead. It's pretty obvious that this big challenge is going to have something to do with social media. This is good news for the girls who already have a respectable social media presence and following, but for others it could put them at a disadvantage.
The ladies meet Rita to learn what ANTM has in store for them, and she reveals that they will be getting some advice from DJ Khaled. Khaled is a record producer, radio personality, DJ and record label executive who also happens to have a huge social media following (3.04 million on Twitter and 4.6 million on Instagram alone.)
Khaled explains that the real significance of social media -- other than building a brand -- is that "we" are in control of it. I'd have to disagree. Unless you're Taylor Swift, nobody is ultimately able to control what floats around in the cloud. Once something is out there, it is out there forever because even if you delete it, chances are somebody already saw it. Perhaps Khaled's perception of the beast is a bit different since he believes it's best to keep any messages positive.
The girls are split into teams of two and told to film each other on the streets of NYC wearing only Tezenis lingerie. Rita happens to not only model for the brand but also designs pieces. Each team has 30 minutes to film a compelling story, and like Snapchat, it can only be 10 seconds long.
The teams are: Paige and Cody, Binta and Courtney, India and Giah, Marissa and Cory Anne, Tatiana and Tash, and Kyle and Krislian.
Binta and Courtney have a very difficult time, primarily due to technical difficulties. Binta comments that when Courtney gets frustrated, her attitude comes out. Courtney sums up their partnership as a "big, hot mess."
Cory Anne notices that in LA, you only have to be cute to get ahead, but in the Big Apple, you actually have to talk to people and have some personality. This makes her miss her life back in California.
After viewing all of the videos, Rita and Khaled declare Courtney the winner. As a reward, Courtney gets to walk in an upcoming runway show for Tezenis in Italy. Nobody is more shocked than Courtney herself, but all the nonsense behind the scenes didn't diminish her final product. Courtney's message that beauty is defined by "loving each other and your soul" almost brought a tear to Khaled's eye.
Binta is pissed and believes the only reason Courtney won is because of Binta and her skin tone. She doesn't feel Courtney's message was genuine, given all the drama. On the bus ride home, Binta calls Courtney out for being fake. She promises Courtney that she will prevail during the next photo shoot.
Courtney accuses Binta of being jealous, but Binta maintains that the only reason Courtney won was because Binta stood beside her and was supportive, whereas Courtney didn't extend Binta the same courtesy.
The fight continues back at the brownstone. Courtney apologizes for hurting Binta's feelings, but Binta waves it off as disingenuous. Tash can't wait to jump in and warns Courtney how badly she's coming across on camera, while Courtney responds that she can't wait for Tash to get eliminated. The friction reaches such a fever pitch that Courtney packs her bags and switches rooms.
The following morning, Courtney slips walking down the stairs and complains of pain in her arm, back and head. Paige rushes to the rescue with some ice, but Giah thinks Courtney is just looking for attention from anybody and everybody.
A Sexy Selfie Party
Drew Elliot arrives at the house and introduces the girls to a large man wearing a leopard-sequined tunic who happens to be the editorial director of Paper, Mickey Boardman. Mickey invites the girls to the exclusive Paper "Sexy Issue" VIP party.
Elliot informs the girls that they will be working as photographers at the event. At the end of the night, they will each choose three photos that best tell the story of the night. The images will be judged at the panel, so he urges them to choose carefully.
As the ladies get ready for the party, they receive another Rita Alert. Ora instructs the models that for the party, she wants them to create beautifully curated photographs. She lets them know that she's sending over someone to help them, Jasmine Sanders (aka "Golden Barbie"). Jasmine is hot on the runways right now, and she's also chummy with the Kardashians.
So what expert advice does Jasmine give the models? Always, always, always find good lighting; find a great place in your surroundings; and engage in comments, just not the negative ones. Entertaining those can diminish your brand permanently.
The girls spend the entire party taking selfies alone, with each other or with random people they recruit. The story of the night appears to be complete narcissism.
It's time for the women to unveil their final three photos. Every competitor doesn't get a chance to really explain her creative process. It really boils down to who took the most social media-friendly, fashionable photos.
The standouts include: Paige (moody, cool and edgy), Binta (posh), Tatiana (Law Roach proclaims he's in love with her), Giah and Krislian (amazing, phenomenal).
Elliot loves Courtney's pictures, but Courtney isn't satisfied with the praise. She has to tell the judges about her fall and how she managed to deliver in spite of her extensive injuries. This backfires, and Elliot remarks that all he ever hears out of Courtney are complaints.
Both Tash and Cody fail to impress the judges. Elliot warns Cody that she's got to start playing on her own and not relying on her sister. Graham calls Tash "basic," and Law thinks everything about Tash's photos look cheap.
India receives criticism from Graham for using too many group shots. Ora isn't impressed by Marissa at all. Elliot is disappointed that Kyle -- who he feels has the strongest brand -- fails to convey it in her story. And Law accuses Cory Anne of hiding by taking photos with other girls.
Krislian has the best photo. Tash and Cory Anne are in the bottom two. And Tash is eliminated.
Do you agree with the judges' decision? Are the girls being too hard on Courtney? Has Krislian finally shed her sexpot image? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
America's Next Top Model season 23 airs Mondays at 10/9c on VH1. Want more news? Like our ANTM Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of VH1)