Another buzz-worthy lady being whispered in our circles as considering a glide into the pageant trail this 2018 is runway diva and former Asia’s Next Top Model runner-up Monika Santa Maria. Actually, she has been constantly wooed to make the cross-over as far as I can remember. And next year, should be the right (and ripe) time to do so. She already turned 26 last July. Methinks that potential familiar-looking joiners are taking their sweet time to sign up because the preference seems to be more for those approaching or in their mid-20s.
Monika shouldn’t find difficulty transitioning from fashion model to beauty pageant candidate. By now, the line between the two has significantly blurred that the common thread most crucial to nail success in either is personality – something she may need to work extra on, but should be able to fit the mold given her trainings and exposures.
So is Monika 100% on the loop for 2018 Binibining Pilipinas? We will find out soon!
Monika Sta. Maria (top), Chanel Olive Thomas (bottom left) and Amadeo Leandro are just three of Mercator's new faces
Mercator Artist and Model Management has formally unveiled their new faces (watch video below
) and, interestingly, there is one girl who took me by surprise. But just by a bit. She is Miss Philippines Air 2015 Chanel Olive Thomas who we all know was a part of KF (Kagandahang Flores
) during MPE2015. Other than her, the remaining eye candies have already started some of their projects with the agency prior. There is Asia’s Next Top Model S3 runner-up Monika Sta. Maria, Brazilian hunk Amadeo Leandro, Chinese cutie Richard Juan, Fil-Scot model Mark McMahon and Seigfred Aldeen.
Watch the one-minute video below.
Monika Sta. Maria...she always pictures so beautifully
Monika Sta. Maria may not have won Asia’s Next Top Model Season 3 – and her runner-up status was really not much to crow about in terms of prizes and stuff – but she is reaping more work and projects now after the season-long appearance on the cable reality show on Star World. And I would like to think that the media mileage has immensely helped in landing a string of assignments left and right.
Just recently, Monika completed a fashion editorial shoot for the Summer Boho theme of Zalora Singapore (see photo grid below) where she was at her most polished in a catalogue-headed stint that will expand familiarity in the regional market.
Monika for Zalora Singapore : Summer Boho
In the shoot’s accompanying article
, she was quoted as saying that “… I applied for ANTM the previous year and didn’t get a place. But by me not giving up I applied this year and got a place! My hard work paid off! I have learnt to always take charge and believe in what I want to do in life. Taking that first brave step could possibly take you on an insane journey that you would have never of dreamed of. That makes life worthwhile!
Just keep on doing what you do best, Monika! The best has yet to come! 🙂
Cassandra Naidas in a JC Buendia original
During last weekend’s Marry Me at Marriott Fashion Show, five (5) of our top designers – Rajo Laurel, Randy Ortiz, JC Buendia, Rhett Eala and Frederick Peralta – unveiled their respective bridal collections that coincided with the official launch of the Marriott Grand Ballroom which is reputed to be the biggest in the country today.
And in line with the event, I paired some of the pieces in the five different collections as worn by familiar faces in the pageant and modeling industry. Take your picks among the three pairs and tell me which bridal style would suit your taste if your were to walk down the aisle. 🙂
All images are courtesy of Bruce Casanova.
Would you go French chic with a Rajo Laurel (on Kylie Verzosa) or Rhett Eala (on Vanessa Mae Walters)?
Would you prefer non-traditional colors like these Frederick Peralta creations on Monika Sta. Maria (in black and white) and Anja-Vanessa Peter (in light mocha)?
Or will you stick to white but go all-out like the Rhett Eala flowery (worn by Catriona Gray) or Randy Ortiz quiet elegance (on Jodilly Pendre)?
Who will follow Jessica of Season 1 and Sheena of Season 2?
Tonight is the night when Asia’s Next Top Model S3 will be finally known after months of weekly challenges and eliminations that left only three (3) contenders in the hunt for the victory. Only one among Ayu Gani of Indonesia, Monika Sta. Maria of the Philippines and Aimee Rose Cheng-Bradshaw of Singapore will have the honor of becoming this season’s top placer – the Asian model who will drive home a brand-new Subaru XV STI, become the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore and land a contract with Storm Models of London. Spoilers have flooded the internet weeks before the finale. But then again, you will need to watch the show to find out if prior buzz is indeed true.
So tune in to Star World at 8:45PM to witness everything.
Here’s the promo teaser:
Barbara of Japan suffered the cruelest cut when she got eliminated right before the Season Finale next week
During Episode 12 of Asia’s Next Top Model S3, we finally learned that Barbara Akemi Katsuki of Japan was the last girl to be eliminated right before the final runway show of the Season Finale next Wednesday. It was a bittersweet end to her journey in the reality search as she went through a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows before finally mustering enough strength and confidence to bounce back and prove that experience still reigns in the modeling world. Sadly, she wasn’t meant to be part of the whole thing till the end.
Will Monika be it for Season 3?
We saw last Wednesday how the three (3) other girls – Monika, Gani and Aimee
– excelled in their respective go-sees and Harper’s Bazaar photoshoots. They sealed their way to the top tier and insured that only one among them deserves to become Asia’s Next Top Model of Season 3.
Who will finally make it among them?
So who could really be the ultimate winner? Which among Monika, Gani and Aimee will get that midway cut during the final show like what happened to Season 2’s Katarina? Which two girls will really lord it over everyone else and make that one last sprint to win the brand-new Subaru XV STI, commercial endorsement as the face of TRESemme and the prized contract with London-based Storm Model Management?
Well, there’s only one way to find out! And it will all come to an explosive finale on June 17.
The Top 3 in the Harper's Bazaar cover shots and their respective sneak pics of the Final Runway Show next week
For now, here is a previously-unaired video of Asia’s Next Top Model S3 (for Close-Up Diamond Attraction) for your viewing pleasure.
courtesy of AsNTM
Asia's Next Top Model S3 Top 4 (left to right): Monika, Aimee, Gani and Barbara
Episode 11 of Asia’s Next Top Model S3 was an hour filled with a series of one-on-ones when host Georgina Wilson and mentor Joey Mead King took turns in personally interviewing the final four (Monika, Aimee, Barbara and Gani
) and revealing some never-before-heard details from each one of them. If you missed this one, click HERE
Amanda was eliminated right before the Top 4.
Did you know that Gani was bullied as a kid? Yes she was. And about Aimee’s weight gain during the show? She really couldn’t care less. At least not during taping because she knows it is impossible to lose the pounds in so short a time. Barbara and Monika also had their share of issues, but it was the latter’s pick of Ayu (her ‘nemesis’ in the model house
) as potential winner (other than herself
) that somehow gave viewers an idea of how her personality works.
Tonight, the Top 4 will go to their important go-sees/castings with three different Singapore-based clients/brands (Pois Boutique, Braun Buffel and Triumph) to see who will get the most number of bookings. They will also get their crucial Harper’s Bazaar photoshoot with Kenneth Goh.
The Top 4 during the lengthy judges' deliberation you will see tonight
Sneak pics of the Harper's Bazaar photoshoot (All images courtesy of Asia's Next Top Model Insiders Program)
Here’s the teaser for Episode 12:
courtesy of AsNTM
Monika in a screenshot of her winning motion editorial for Subaru
Episode 10 of Asia’s Next Top Model S3 had the remaining five (5) contestants go through their first motion editorial for Subaru. And you need not guess who won that challenge. Monika was in her best elements (watch her segment in the video below
) and did not disappoint the client. She went straight to Top 4.
courtesy of AsNTM
The Top 5 pose for the camera before becoming just a Top 4. Who will be eliminated next?
Will Amanda be the next to go?
But the more interesting part last week was the cliffhanger of an ending when the show was cut off (“To Be Continued
“) just before host Georgina Wilson was about to announce who will be eliminated between Amanda and Barbara.
By now, you must have already a good feel on who got the boot. But are you really sure she’s the one?
Below is a teaser for Episode 11 of Asia’s Next Top Model where the fourth member of the quartet is nowhere to be seen (talk about extending the suspense).
courtesy of AsNTM
Watch Asia’s Next Top Model S3 on Star World tonight at 8:45PM. We’re so close to the finals that you simply can’t afford to miss this one. 😉
Amanda was suspended in the air for the photoshoot challenge. And got Best Photo in the process.
In Episode 9 of Asia’s Next Top Model S3, the remaining six ladies were brought to a gym where they met up with some Mixed Martial Artists who gave them a crash course on how to build up their core and strengthen their limbs. But this was just a prelude to their first challenge which required doing cool movements on a suspended steel ring which was initially tough for most. But after being told that the prize was a spa treatment at Sofitel So Sentosa, everyone started to become very competitive. Barbara and Aimee were really fueled to do well. But it was the Japanese who showed more strength and style. She won the reward and brought Gani along. The remaining girls did their own home spa activity at the models’ house which isolated Tahlia who is not chummy with the tight group of Monika, Aimee and Amanda.
For the main photoshoot challenge, Creative Director Alex Perry provided his long, flowy gowns tailor-made for a fantasy theme where each one of the contenders were put in harness and suspended in mid-air while doing their best to strike best poses for Jez Smith. Barbara and Monika did better than expected. Aimee played it safe, but still got good snaps. Indonesians Gani and Tahlia failed in their turns and disappointed the team. Surprisingly, Amanda saved her best for last, as she expertly moved in her red dress and totally impressed everyone, including a delightfully screaming Joey.
Amanda's Best Photo for Episode 9, her second so far.
The photo that got Tahlia eliminated
A sneak pic of Gani for Ep10
During the judging, host Georgina Wilson had Joey, Alex, Jez and Kenneth Goh in the panel. Gani and Tahlia got bottom two as expected. Amanda won Best Photo to her almost expected surprise because of the glowing feedbacks. Monika was named runner-up. Barbara was called next, before Aimee escaped the cellar positions. Tahlia got eliminated. Gani got a second lease in life.
The minute-video below shows the Top 5 with their respective pitches and catchlines to win the competition.
courtesy of AsNTM
And here is the sneak peek into Episode 10.
courtesy of AsNTM
Never before seen photos of Asia's Next Top Model S3 during the first few episodes
videos courtesy of AsNTM
How the ladies look like in between judging takes
In this post, I am sharing a bunch of never-before-seen photos taken during the filming of the early episodes of Asia’s Next Top Model Season 3. You’ll be particularly amused at how the ladies rest their tired feet (left photo
) in between takes during the judging part.
I also decided to include two (2) BTS videos of the program which were taken for one of its main sponsors – Close-Up Diamond Attraction – where the competitors and mentors (Joey Mead King and Alex Perry) spoke about smiling in front of the camera and how it can be the best accessory of any aspiring model.
More never-before-seen photos from Episodes 1 and 2
And while we’re at it, here’s the teaser for Episode 10 where the remaining five (5) girls – Barbara, Monika, Amanda, Gani and Aimee
– will get to do their first AsNTM TV commercials.
courtesy of AsNTM
We’re nearing the homestretch. The winner of Asia’s Next Top Model Season3 will be known in just a few weeks from now! 😉
Click above to watch all the unaired special vids of Asia’s Next Top Model S3.