TNP New Face finalist in new season of Asia's Next Top Model
Angela Watkins will be Singapore's sole contestant in fourth season of Asia's Next Top Model
Former The New Paper New Face finalists Kyla Tan, Rachel Erasmus and Poojaa Gill paved the way as contestants on the first two seasons of Asia's Next Top Model (AsNTM).
It is the Asian spin-off of popular US reality TV modelling series America's Next Top Model.
And now, another alumna is waving the New Face flag in the show's upcoming fourth season as Singapore's sole representative.
Miss Angela Watkins, 19, will be competing against 13 other girls from around Asia in the show, which was filmed in Singapore.
It premieres tomorrow at 9pm on Star World (StarHub TV Ch 501/Singtel TV Ch 301).
PHOTO: POTTLE PRODUCTIONS INC
New Face 2015, which had its finale held last October, was Miss Watkins' first modelling competition and she won the Miss Cagliari Cosmopolitan subsidiary title.
Miss Watkins, who has been dating a 21-year-old Belgian events manager for 1½ years, told The New Paper over the phone yesterday: "I didn't think I could even make it past the first cut, but it was my boyfriend who encouraged me to join.
"He made me realise that I had nothing to lose."
Miss Watkins' father is Australian and mother Chinese Singaporean. She said: "At the end of the competition, my dad called me from Cambodia, where he works, telling me how proud he was. I was crying and it was all very emotional."
Even though she did not win New Face 2015, Miss Watkins, who stands at 1.73m and weighs 45kg, ended up catching the eye of one of AsNTM 4's directors who was at the finale. She encouraged her to go for a walk-in audition.
Miss Watkins said: "It was a funny story because prior to New Face, I had tried applying for AsNTM 4 online. But I got scared and gave up towards the end of the application form."
She remembers herself shaking during the audition for AsNTM 4.
She said: "It was a big deal to me as I wanted it very badly. I watched and know all the previous seasons by heart.
"But New Face 2015 taught me to believe in myself. It gave me the courage to join AsNTM 4."
Miss Watkins, an only child, has also been courageous in her personal life, having been raised single-handedly by her 50-year-old mother after her parents got divorced when she was nine.
Her mother worked as an insurance agent and expat property rental agent to make ends meet and the pair live together in a three-room HDB flat in the Commonwealth area.
Her 60-year-old father is a writer in Cambodia.
Miss Watkins, who completed high school at the Australian International School Singapore, started modelling for editorial shoots and blogshops when she was 14.
She said: "I knew I wanted to model the moment I watched my first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show when I was about 10.
"Modelling is so beautiful and I'm fascinated with the trust designers have in models to show off their work."
Miss Watkins was also exclusively modelling for popular local online retail store Theory Of Seven for two years.
She said: "Those two years gave me some recognition from the modelling industry.
"People would come up to me on the street and ask if I was the model from Theory Of Seven."
Meanwhile, viewers can look forward to a lot of "craziness" in AsNTM 4, teased Miss Watkins.
She said: "As with every season, there's a lot of drama. This is especially so when every girl has a different personality, but are all quite outspoken."
During filming, Miss Watkins was briefly reunited with long-time New Face show producer Daniel Boey, who appears as a guest judge in AsNTM 4. (See report right.)
She said: "The hardest part of doing the show was being away from my mother.
"It felt so good to see someone familiar that I almost screamed when I saw him."
Her parents are fully supportive of her modelling career and her mother, whom she calls her "best friend", inspires her to work harder.
She said: "She's doing everything she can to make my life amazing. She's not just putting the bare minimum on the dining table.
"My mother is everything to me. I want to do my best in whatever I do to make her life amazing."
While Miss Watkins hopes to pursue a degree in health sciences, she is focusing on her budding modelling career for now.
She said: "Not many people in this day and age can do what they have been dreaming of since young.
"I hope to keep doing what I'm doing with whatever future opportunities that come my way."
But New Face 2015 taught me to believe in myself. It gave me the courage to join Asia's Next Top Model 4.
- Miss Angela Watkins