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Wed, Nov 20, 2013
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Our Supermodels - the athlete, the nerd
by Gwendolyn Ng

They may have Singaporean blood in their veins, but these two models are as different as chalk and cheese.

One is a girly do-gooder with side-swept locks, while the other is a spunky lass with a cropped hairdo and eight tattoos.

Meet the two Singapore representatives of reality-TV modelling contest Supermodelme Femme Fatale - self-professed "nerd" Sasha Quahe, 19, and sports junkie Ashleigh Martin, 21.

The two fresh-faced models were at The Fullerton Bay Hotel last Tuesday to promote the fourth season of Supermodelme - a contest that pits 12 aspiring models of Asian descent against one another.

The winner will receive $35,000, grace the covers of local leading fashion magazines and receive a contract from a leading international modelling agency.

The duo spent six weeks in Hong Kong to film part of the series with Hong Kong-based host Lisa Selesner, 38.

The vivacious Martin, who was born to a British dad and a Chinese-Singaporean mother, said that Selesner was like a mother to them.

"Lisa's been where we've been. She's worked her way up, and she knows how we feel. She's been there for us throughout the contest," said Martin.

The Australian Quahe - whose mother is of German and Hungarian descent, while her father is Chinese-Singaporean - said: "The contest is a 'pressure-cooker' environment where the competition is stiff and the tasks test one's physical and emotional limits."

In the trailer alone, viewers get a glimpse of the cattiness displayed by contestants and the tough challenges on the show. They are seen throwing punches in a boxing ring and one contestant was even suited up for a bungee jump.

Martin, dressed in a slouchy grey tank top and baggy black pants, acknowledged that "everything" about her - from her athletic background to her tattoos - is not what you would expect of a model.

The human-resource-management student hit a brick wall when she realised she wasn't enjoying her studies. That's when she decided to sign up for Supermodelme.

While the charismatic Martin is more about being street-smart, Quahe is no doubt a brainy bookworm.

The poised Quahe, who intends to complete her degree in commerce at the University of Western Australia after the contest, said: "I'm really into studying and volunteering. I was sort of the nerdy girl in school. I love education. I won a few prizes by the end of high school."

As different as they might be, what both girls have in common is the unconditional support of their parents.

"My family trusted that I would use (this) experience to grow, rather than crumble," said Quahe.

Martin said: "My mum loved the idea of me (competing). She used to be a model when she was younger. The fact that I am following in her footsteps, she was like, 'that's my baby'."

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Catch the fourth season of Supermodelme on Mondays at 8pm on Diva Universal (StarHub Ch 522).

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