In the premiere telecast of Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 1 last night on Star World, viewers got to meet the 14 wannabes up close and a little more personal. While the bubblier members of the group (like Kate of Taiwan, Monica of Thailand and Helena of Hongkong) benefited from longer airtime, there are those whose limited English skills still allowed them to get good exposure, most particularly Trang of Vietnam.
We also got to see host and head judge (and ex-MTV VJ) Nadya Hutagalung display her gorgeousness and sophistication on the small screen once more. She’s no Tyra Banks for sure, but let’s cut her some slack to ease that stilted image and delivery in future episodes. The counterpart of mentor Jay Ruiz in the original is Fil-Aussie Joey Mead who looks to have the work cut out for her.
Anyways, the initial baptism of fire for the girls happened right in the middle of Singapore’s Orchard Road where they had to walk the runway in an impromptu fashion show. This definitely rattled a few of the girls who had little to no modeling experience (like Melissa of Malaysia), and gave the relative professionals an edge (like Trang of Vietnam who was picked best in the activity).
As the ladies were introduced to their first photoshoot test, Judge and Photographer Todd Anthony Tyler brought them to Little India where they were asked to do “quirky” in all the shots. Wearing colorful creations by Singaporean designers Louis & Afton, they were each given an accessory to play with while being shot for ten minutes per model.
Many of them failed to impress Todd, Judge Daniel Boey and the designers, but four ladies delivered what was required – Rachel of India, Jessica of Thailand, Helena of Hongkong and Stephanie of the Philippines. It was an elimination challenge, so what followed was a deliberation among the judges on who gave the best photo/s, who should stay, and who should be sent packing home as the show’s dreaded first cut.
Helena of Hongkong was picked as winner (see picture above), with Stephanie of the Philippines as runner-up. Jessica of Thailand cried when she wasn’t called among the Top 2 (she thought she gave the best photo), but was immediately consoled by host Nadya. The rest of the ladies who will still continue in the competition were called one by one, until only the two worst performers remained – Melissa of Malaysia and Kyla of Singapore. Both were criticized by all the judges, but the Malaysian got the slight edge for her good attitude when she wouldn’t fit in her assigned dress and was mentioned as being a plus-size model. With a heavy heart, Kyla accepted her fate as the first casualty of Asia’s Next Top Model.
Watch out for Episode #2 next Sunday at 8:55PM on Star World. 😉