Crown­ing the cat­walk queen

A Malaysian is one of the three fi­nal­ists of Asia’s Next Top Model. Will Shikin Gomez sashay to the top?

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Trends - Tonight’s episode of — Pho­tos: AsNTM star2@thes­ Wil­liam K.C. Kee will re­veal whether Malaysian fi­nal­ist Shikin wins the cov­eted ti­tle. Shikin (cen­tre) with her com­peti­tors, Mau­reen (left) and Tu.

AS Asia’s Next Top Model (AsNTM) Cy­cle 5 sashays to its end tonight, Malaysian view­ers are wait­ing with bated breath.

Will home­grown con­tes­tant Shikin Gomez – who is part of the re­main­ing three fi­nal­ists – walk away with the cov­eted ti­tle?

The last time a Malaysian got this close to the top was Sheena Liam in sea­son two, and as we all know, she tri­umphed.

This time around, Shikin faces stiff com­pe­ti­tion from the Philip­pines’ Mau­reen Wrob­le­witz and Viet­nam’s Minh Tu Nguyen (bet­ter known as Tu).

On the show’s of­fi­cial web­site (, Shikin de­scribes her­self as a woman of the new age, un­apolo­get­i­cally pur­su­ing mod­el­ling de­spite com­ing from a tra­di­tional fam­ily.

Through­out the sea­son, the 24-year-old is con­sis­tently praised for her pro­fes­sion­al­ism. But the judges keep de­scrib­ing her as a some­what in­com­plete pack­age, i.e. a puz­zle that’s miss­ing a piece.

Touted as “The Teenage Dream”, 18-year-old Mau­reen is the youngest par­tic­i­pant. But at 168cm, she is also the short­est. Will her lack of height be a dis­ad­van­tage, when com­pared to her taller coun­ter­parts? (Shikin and Tu are 177cm and 178cm tall, re­spec­tively).

From day one, Mau­reen has been fight­ing for her place in the re­al­ity TV show, be­ing tagged as “pretty face with no skills” by other con­tes­tants.

The soft-spo­ken Mau­reen is backed by pas­sion­ate fans in her na­tive coun­try; just check out AsNTM’s Face­book page to see their out­pour­ing of com­ments.

No doubt they’re hop­ing Mau­reen will be the first ever Filipino to win this com­pe­ti­tion. (In the first three sea­sons, Filipino con­tes­tants have emerged as run­ner-up, never the vic­tor.)

Ac­cord­ing to on­line ru­mours, ei­ther Shikin or Mau­reen will sweep the ti­tle. But I won’t count Tu out of the game just yet.

De­scribed as the show’s “fi­esty fox”, the 24-year-old has been crit­i­cised by the judges as be­ing too sexy in her photo shoots.

Tu, who speaks her mind freely, has proven to be a force to be reck­oned with. But as one of the girls who be­lit­tled Mau­reen, will that work against her?

Thus far, Shikin and Tu have won two chal­lenges each, while Mau­reen has won three. So, re­ally, it’s any­one’s game.

Where the other elim­i­nated con­tes­tants are con­cerned, I per­son­ally think In­done­sia’s Clara Tan, 21, was the MVP of the sea­son.

As an only child who had things come easy to her, she felt en­ti­tled and was prone to child­ish tantrums. Bear­ing a strik­ing re­sem­blance to sul­try Tai­wanese ac­tress Shu Qi, she de­liv­ered the most wa­ter­works.

She was the most en­ter­tain­ing; even tak­ing a bus ride proved to be an ad­ven­ture. She also came up with the show’s most valu­able bon mots. These in­cluded: “The judges are telling me I’m lost but I don’t think I’m lost. I’m Clara.”

In my past re­view of AsNTM (On The Air Ex­tra, May 14), I noted that it was lack­lus­tre and did not live up to its “Ex­pect the un­ex­pected” tagline.

The chal­lenges have been meh, while re­turn­ing judges are what you’d ex­pect from them.

Host and head judge Cindy Bishop is her usual charm­ing self, who goes from ma­ter­nal to fierce. Cre­ative di­rec­tor Yu Tsai still barks his or­ders, and model men­tor Cara Gro­gan is pretty but un­mem­o­rable.

The most buzz-wor­thy ad­di­tion to the cast, Miss Uni­verse 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, only ap­peared in the first episode, to de­liver a generic pep talk to the girls.

Well, it took a long time com­ing, but an un­ex­pected twist fi­nally oc­curred at the end of episode nine.

Bishop in­tro­duced new model Xiao Qing into the line-up to raise the stakes. How­ever, it was later re­vealed that Xiao Qing was an un­der­cover judge.

Also un­ex­pected in that episode? The com­plete about-turn of a guest judge’s de­meanour.

In the last sea­son, he in­fa­mously used the four let­ter word, driv­ing a con­tes­tant to tears. This time around, he was (un­ex­pect­edly) nice.

With this newly-gained mo­men­tum, the sea­son will hope­fully con­clude on a high note.

Shikin, we’re root­ing for you.

The fi­nale of airs tonight at 9pm on Star World (As­tro Ch 711/HD Ch 722). Feed­back can be di­rected to star2@thes­

Asia’s Next Top Model Cy­cle 5

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.