Brendi K. struggled to keep her head in the game as the seven remaining contestants on Tuesday's "America's Next Top Model" were challenged to work in unison with a parachute to make a beautiful editorial -- on a mountain top -- in the desert.
And even though Brendi ended up nailing the shoot, she made the decision to step away from the competition after weeks and weeks of battling low self-esteem, a defeated attitude and resurfaced childhood traumas.
"I'm just going through a lot right now," Brendi explained to Tyra Banks, Ashley Graham, Drew Elliott and Law Roach once she got to panel. "I'm very grateful for this opportunity that you guys have given me, but I don't think I'm strong enough to be here right now for myself."
"Wait," Ashley interrupted. "You wanna leave?"
"I don't want to, but I need to," she replied tearfully. "I'm taking care of me because as much as I love this competition, as much as I've always wanted to be here, I need to be happy because it's something I've had so little of in my life. My happiness is vital to me."
Mama Ty gave Brendi a big hug, and bid her goodbye.
Before Brendi made her decision, though, she chatted with her fellow competitors about it. Her best friend in the house, Shanice, tried hard to get her to stay; whereas Jeana "couldn't care less."
"Me and Brendi K. -- we're cool, we're close, we both come from similar backgrounds," Shanice said during her confessional. "I come from the streets, from the hood, I've never had it easy, and to hear her say that she wants to go home, it's sad because there is nothing for us back at home in Tennessee."
In an emotional exchange before panel, Brendi told the other girls she was happier living in her car than she was living at the Top Model house, and that she's always felt like she wasn't good enough because her mom and dad would tell her she wasn't.
"I don't think I belong in a place like this," she said. "Living in a car is what I know. I know that I can do that. I know that I've survived. I know that's safe. You can take the girl out of the trailer, but you can't take the trailer out of the girl."
"America's Next Top Model" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on VH1.