Nicole gets home just in time for Laura's birthday party. Everyone seems to have a job, and Erin yells at the others to come and look at her cupcakes and tell her how great they are. This further cements her reputation as an annoying troll. Sundai knows that Erin feels down about not getting extra frames. She certainly doesn't feel bad about Erin's predicament, though. The girls have prepared quite a spread for Laura's birthday, and Laura tells us that it was the best birthday any girl could ask for. She feels loved and cared for, and doesn't have to read a thing. Nicole tells us that it's important to have fun, but at the same time she doesn't want to head into a photo shoot tired and so is going to bed. With that, she turns off the light and we head to commercials.
When we return there is Tyra Mail: "Tomorrow you'll be getting friendly with some local natives. Love, Tyra." The girls once again think that animals might be involved. They head out to meet Jay at a dock. He tells them that today's photo shoot will take them out to sea, and they'll be working with photographer Russell James. Russell emerges with some scuba gear, and tells the girls that it's a pretty hot day so they'll be shooting underwater. Sundai again looks particularly un-thrilled, and worries about her ear. Russell shot this photo of Tyra, and has also shot underwater Rolex and Victoria's Secret ads. Laura doesn't have time to be impressed, because she is too caught up in her greatest ever fear of drowning or suffocating. Good times. The girls board the boat, and Jennifer notes how exciting it is to be shooting underwater in the ocean rather than some lame-ass tank. Russell explains to the girls how to breathe air from a regulator when they're way down at the bottom of the ocean. I have to say that I would probably freak out about this one, too. Each girl will get one round with Russell underwater, then they'll come up and get feedback and direction from Jay and go back down for another round of photos. Except for Erin! Sorry, Erin, but nobody likes you. Erin confessionalizes that she should get props for not having as many frames as the other girls, and the other girls should be judged more harshly if they do poorly. The "poor me" routine isn't so effective when you've annoyed the crap out of everyone all season.
The girls get hair and makeup done, and Sundai starts to feel nauseous. In addition to the ear problem and the nausea, Sundai has asthma. This makes her really nervous, which I can understand, but the list of ailments is a bit tedious. Laura is up first, and Jay tells her to look long and tall, like an underwater fashion ballerina. Laura interviews, "Honestly, there's not, like, a lot of oceans in Kentucky. I'm not very good at swimming. My biggest fear in the world is to DIE! From lack of OXYGEN!" Laura goes underwater and as soon as her regulator is off she starts to hyperventilate. She notes that you do not want to start hyperventilating at the bottom of the ocean. Frankly, I don't think they're actually that deep, but let's just go with it. Laura's freaking out, but she tells us that she never gave up. Russell tells us that Laura is a bit of a panicker, but overall she made some progress on calming herself down and improving her performance as she went. Jay sees the photos from above, and is impressed with how well she followed the direction that he gave her. When Laura surfaces, Jay tells her that her film was really good. She handles round two with aplomb, and is proud that she got beautiful shots while facing her worst fear. It's fun to conquer your fears! When Laura comes up she's shaking. This makes Sundai nervous, and Laura tells her not to panic. Sundai stares at Laura from under her wig with eyes of terror.