updated 16 Jun 2012, 16:54
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Wed, Jun 13, 2012
The New Paper
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A little bit of love goes a long way
by Geraldine Mark

Sometimes, all you need is some moral support.

And that support could be seen everywhere at The New Paper New Face walk-in auditions held last Saturday afternoon at *Scape.

Now into its 20th year, it attracted about 250 girls, with 80 being selected for Round 2. They will be joining another batch of girls who were handpicked earlier, boosting the field to about 130.

The event was kick-started by 2011 finalists Jamie Lim, Kyla Tan, Charlotte Hand, Pearl Gomez, Marisa Ong, Lisah Suhaimi and Dacy Ho showing the contestants how to strut their stuff on the catwalk.

Ashleigh White, 15, registered for the walk-in audition on the encouragement and support of her mother, Madam Karen Yung.

Thankful for her 49-year-old mum's encouragement, Ashleigh told TNP: "It feels really good to have a mum who's such a good sport.

"She really helped me out a lot and gave me some advice before my walk."

During the audition, Madam Yung was nervous for her daughter, saying: "This is the first time she's doing something like this, so I was feeling scared for her when she was on the runway."

The English-Singaporean student managed to get a pass to the next round.

Said Madam Yung: "I'm not surprised. I'm biased, you know, I'm her mum. I'm really excited for her."

Parental support wasn't the only thing that got some of the girls through the intense competition.

Student Leah Yang, 18, was accompanied by her boyfriend, Yam Huo, 22, for her maiden stab at New Face - and picked up a golden passport to the next round.

She said: "Of course (him being there) felt nice. I was feeling scared during the audition."

Ng Siying, 19, another student, had her boyfriend, Geng Lin, to thank for "pushing" her to join the competition.

She said: "(New Face) is a good platform, especially with the big sponsors and stuff. I've been wanting to try it (for a while) actually."

This year, the modelling contest is presented by Subaru MotorImage and co-sponsored by Levi's and Clinique.

Diana Holdsworth and Carlina Hammoud, both 17, were also among those making it to the next level. The teenagers, both students, have been friends for seven years and decided to join the New Face competition together.

Said Diana: "Carlina actually told me about this only two hours before the auditions and we just decided to try."

Lucky on second try

Then, there were others who got lucky on their second try.

Natasha Rahmat (21), Tika Sherra (20 ) and Syafiqah Abrahman (21) met at last year's competition after making it to the Top 50.

Said Tika, a student: "We're definitely more hopeful this year. For me personally, I feel more prepared because I've gained experience and confidence since.

"It's good having friends around, too. For the auditions, we supported and encouraged each other. Personally, it distracted me from being nervous."

New Face 2012 judge and New Face 2005 winner Sophie Willocq said of the current hopefuls: "Height and looks are still important at the end of the day.

"Overall, I see potential but the girls still need more confidence. But do not be over-confident."

Added the deputy chairman of The New Paper New Face, Mr Koh Say Kiong: "Round 2 will mostly be about providing guidance and training for the girls, much like sourcing out the diamonds and polishing them.

"It'll also feature a (mostly) different panel of judges so (things might be different) because every judge sees different things."

This article was first published in The New Paper.


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