The Grand Finals of Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 1 ended on a high note with the anticipated victory of Thailand’s Jessica Amornkuldilok.
The season’s last show started with the final 3 models – Jessica, Kate and Stephanie – preparing to leave Hong Kong. On their return to Singapore, they found themselves staying in a smaller house (with only two bedrooms) at the Capella. Jessica quickly cornered the single room for herself, which left Kate and Stephanie sharing the master bedroom. It started to dawn on the new roommates that the Thai is slowly distancing herself, and admitted that she doesn’t want to help anyone anymore with her tricks.
The girls were each given a Canon Ixus camera and a long English script to practice and memorize. The challenge was to shoot a commercial for the digicam brand. Everyone took it seriously. And the following morning, it was host Nadya who took the task of directing the same. At a back room, mentor Joey Mead King met up with the girls’ surprise guests – Jessica’s boyfriend Joe, Stephanie’s Korean boyfriend Kim and Kate’s handsome brother Inan.
So back to the TVC shoot. Stephanie gave the best 15-seconder. Her better English diction, smiling eyes and easy vibe helped in doing so. The two others also delivered, but they had a relatively hard time delivering the lines clearly. At any rate, getting some quality time with their loved ones after the test upped their confidence and morale big time.
On to the next challenge. The Harper Bazaar’s cover girl photoshoot. This is Stephanie’s Achilles heel and Jessica’s territory. Kate slid in the middle and pumped up her sexiness even more.
And for the one final challenge – a runway show at Resorts World Sentosa in a venue surrounded by a gigantic aquarium. The top 3 wore designs by Singaporean Frederick Lee. Additional models were former ANTM US vs UK winner Sophie Sumner, plus three of Singapore’s popular models and six of the previously eliminated contestants including Sofia, Aastha, Helena, Filantropi, Trang and Kyla. And of course, the presence of Tyra Banks made everything even more special.
Stephanie aced the runway. Kate did okay, but her challenging pieces prevented an impressive catwalk. But it was Jessica who always knew how to shine. She gave the most dramatic glide among the three.
Judging time came. It may sound anti-climactic but everyone knew that Jessica will be announced winner. At one point, guest judge Tyra Banks served as devil’s advocate and questioned the chances of the already 27 year-old Thai to start a modeling career in her late 20s. It even sounded that she wants Stephanie to win because the Filipina is more current in looks and moves. She also made it clear that Kate is a lock for 3rd among the trio, and even baptized the Taiwanese-Brazilian the ‘Kate Upton’ of Asia.
In the end, and after a crying monologue from Jessica detailing why it took her this long to embark on an international modeling portfolio, she was declared Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 1 winner. Hugs and kisses and tears overflowed.
Good luck, Jessica! And take good care of this excellent opportunity now in your hands. Kate! I will never forget your crazy personality. And Stephanie, you obviously placed runner-up. It may not be the top spot, but it will definitely open doors for you, as has been happening the past couple of months where you had to keep mum about the results.
Done! Looking forward to Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 2. Fingers tightly crossed for that! 😀