In this week’s episode of Asia’s Next Top Model, the four remaining ladies were given a welcome surprise – a trip to Hong Kong! But it won’t be just a leisurely dimsum-filled sightseeing visit to one of the most exciting cities in the region. On the contrary, the challenges awaiting the contenders were anything but relaxing.
Go see (no pun intended). ;-)
Upon arriving in Hong Kong, the girls headed straight to check-in at The Mira, a fab expensive hotel right on busy Nathan Road. They occupied one of the biggest suites. Having won the last best photo, Jessica was rewarded with spa treatments, which left Sofia and Stephanie enjoying the jacuzzi and a sulking Kate (she was too sensitive to comments about her oft annoying ways) taking a bubble bath alone.
The next morning, Host Nadya dropped by with celebrity model Cara Grogan to introduce the next challenge – casting/go-sees. As a group, the quartet headed to five stops, as follows:
1) Shanghai Tang for runway…Stephanie was booked.
2) Starz People casting for a foaming wash commercial…Jessica and Kate were booked.
3) Coty for Fragrance campaign…Jessica was booked.
4) Dream Nation for runway…Stephanie and Jessica were booked.
5) Cocomojo Bags for print…Kate was booked.
Sofia had zero booking. Jessica had three so she won a 2-night stay at the Mira. And so as to ease the day-long stress, Nadya brought all four on a Chinese boat ride around the Hong Kong harbor and spent some bonding time with everyone.
The main photoshoot challenge the following day had a theme of 1920s Screen Goddesses. Wearing imperial-inspired designs by Shanghai Tang, all four were shot amidst the buzzing streets of Central District. Jessica commanded attention, but was too immersed in her internalization that half of her shots were wasted because she didn’t focus on the camera clicks that were less audible in public. Stephanie was visibly nervous during hers, perhaps due to the added pressure of not having won Best Photo yet. Sofia was at her awkward worst. It didn’t help that her gown was a bit unsettling for her long frame. Meanwhile, Kate was nailing shot after shot, but had to hold on to a pole to control her constantly moving hands.
During judging time, somebody broke Jessica’s winning streak. Kate, for a fresh change, gave the Best Photo. She automatically qualifies for the Grand Finale next week. Runner-up was Jessica and she will join Kate in the Top 3. Bottom two were Stephanie and Sofia. What can I say? The Filipina really has nine lives! Once more, she avoided elimination at the expense of Sofia, and becomes the third contender for the finals.
Next week is the big night for Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 1 where one among Jessica, Kate and Stephanie will be declared winner by no less than Tyra Banks herself. You wouldn’t want to miss that, even as Jessica is showing signs of giving in to pressure when she needed to be at her absolute best. Will she cave in to her weakness on the runway and allow Stephanie to shine at what the latter does best?
Watch the finals on February 17, only on Star World at 8:55pm. ;-)
P.S. Apologies for the absence of the Best Photo. The producers failed to upload the same on time.