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New Face 2011 finalist says contest is a 'direct channel'
Finalist of 2011 competition says it gave her exposure and brought her modelling offers
Lisah Suhaimi went from being a novice in The New Paper New Face 2011 to the summer 2016 face of American clothing brand Guess for South-east Asia.
Guess is famous for using in its advertising campaigns models such as Claudia Schiffer, Adriana Lima and Kate Upton before they became famous.
The 24-year-old took part in a search for Guess models and emerged runner-up. Her prize included US$1,000 (S$1,370) in cash and an advertorial shoot in Los Angeles.
Lisah said: "It was fun and exciting because I'd never been to the United States before.
"The weather, environment and people there were all very new to me. It was easy and fun to work with the crew there because they let me do whatever I wanted."
She called New Face a "direct channel to the modelling industry".
"I was surprised by how much exposure New Face gave me. A lot of modelling offers were made (after she was placed in the top-20).
"Before that, people didn't want me because I didn't have a portfolio," she said.
Lisah has since done bridal fashion shows, and shoots for magazines, including Elle and Cosmopolitan in Singapore, and for clothing brand Mod Kebaya.
She said: "New Face brought me a long way. I never regretted going for the competition.
"The entire three months (of the competition) was new and fun. I made a lot of new friends that I still keep in touch with."
Lisah remembers being nervous. As a newbie without experience, it was difficult trying to understand the directions she was given at shoots, she admitted.
But she was quick to add: "When you have good shots, they will let you know, so that was good motivation."
Smart is the new sexy for male celebs in South Korea
Sharp wit and high IQ are now the draw factor for male celebs in South Korea
We've gone gaga over "flower boys" and six-pack hunks.
But pretty faces and hot bods may not be everything in Korean showbiz any more, thanks to the popularity of a new term - "sexy-brain".
It is used to describe people who may not be good-looking, but are able to gain fans with their wit and intelligence.
Although the term "sexy-brain man" made it to the National Institute of Korean Language's list of popular words in 2014, it was only recently that it was frequently heard on Korean TV, thanks to a slew of popular "sexy-brain" variety shows that with strong viewership inside and outside South Korea.
Talk show Abnormal Summit, for example, features a panel of 11 men of different nationalities living in South Korea who discuss a range of societal issues, from marriage to debt.
Now into its 97th episode, it's responsible for turning Italian Alberto Mondi, German Daniel Lindemann and Chinese native Zhang Yuan into mini-celebrities who have gone on to snag commercial deals and appear in other shows and dramas.
Here are the Top 5 "sexy-brain men" in South Korea who made our cut.
HONG JIN HO
"I am happy and thankful for my (brainy and friendly) image. My character in The Genius reflects my true personality."
The former competitive StarCraft video game player shot to fame as the winner of the first season of reality survival show The Genius, beating 12 others, including professional poker players and entrepreneurs.
It was an achievement for Hong, who is known for not winning any major StarCraft tournaments despite coming in second place six times, thus earning the title King of Silver.
The second season of The Genius airs on Channel M (StarHub TV Ch 824/Singtel Ch 518) on Tuesdays at 6pm and continues to feature participants who rely on both IQ and EQ to strategise, solve puzzles and form alliances with each other.
Hong returns in the second season in an attempt to claim victory again.
But don't mistake the 33-year-old for a geeky keyboard warrior. His turns on variety show Running Man and dating show 5 Days Of Summer have proved that he can be quite the entertainer.
"No matter which country you're studying in, it's important that you have an interest and passion in what you're studying. You don't need to like everything, but you should find something about it that you like."
With more than 279,000 followers on Instagram, the University of Chicago graduate has won over fans with his informed and balanced viewpoints as the American representative on talk show Abnormal Summit.
While pursuing his master's degree in international relations at the prestigious Seoul National University (SNU), the 28-year-old also joined game show Problematic Men, where male celebrities compete to solve puzzles.
Rasch's other achievements include working with fellow SNU students to start webzine Seoulism, aimed at encouraging dialogue between foreigners and Koreans.
JUN HYUN MOO
"I wanted to differentiate myself from others. There aren't many entertainment programme hosts who can speak a foreign language. Since many people can already speak English, I wanted to learn Mandarin."
He's known for his goofy antics, straight-talking nature and even his Botox procedures, but of late, it's the 38-year-old actor's intellect that has been garnering attention.
The former news anchor has hosted three "sexy-brain" shows - Abnormal Summit, Problematic Men and Crime Scene, where celebrities role-play as suspects in a murder case and attempt to solve the case while searching for clues in a mock-up crime scene.
Fluent in Korean, Mandarin and Japanese, Jun holds bachelor's degrees in sociology and English literature from Yonsei University.
"Without (dropping) from first place in the entire school, I pursued music as a hobby with some Hongdae (neighbourhood in Seoul) underground seniors (since) junior high. My personal talent is English in the hip-hop style."
Arguably one of the more popular members of K-pop boy band BTS, Rap Monster - whose real name is Kim Nam Joon - claims to possess an IQ of 148.
The rapper scored among the top 1.3 per cent of students who took South Korea's college entrance examination and reportedly has an extremely high score in the Test Of English for International Communication.
He appeared on game show Problematic Men for 22 episodes before leaving to focus on BTS' world tour.
While the 21-year-old is expected to return to the show after his music commitments end, he may find competition in Park Kyung of boy band Block B. Park initially appeared as Rap Monster's guest replacement, but was later confirmed as a permanent member.
SONG JOONG KI
"(When I was younger), studying business economics seemed really impressive. And it seemed like if I told a girlfriend later that I was studying business economics, I'd appear smart."
Then there are a select few who have it all. It almost seems unfair that South Korea's It Guy is one of them.
Not only has he been blessed with looks, talent and personality, the 30-year-old star of mega-popular drama Descendants Of The Sun was revealed to have been a straight A-student in school. He also got a very high score in his college entrance examination, reportedly enough for him to "enter the best university in Korea".
Long-time fans of Song, a business graduate from Sungkyunkwan University, will also remember him as a speed quiz expert when he was a regular cast member on variety show Running Man in 2010.
Day's like Tiger
World No. 1 sets tongues wagging after another all-conquering performance
Razif's ready for Warriors baptism of fire
Warriors' stand-in coach under no illusions over Tampines challenge
WARRIORS FC v
(Tonight, 730pm, Choa Chu Kang Stadium)
The overcast skies at Choa Chu Kang Stadium yesterday afternoon typified the dramatic past few days for Warriors FC.
Two days after last Thursday's shock 3-1 loss to bottom side Garena Young Lions, Jorg Steinebrunner stepped down as coach of the record nine-time Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League champions.
For now, Razif Onn will juggle first-team duties with his role as coach of the club's Prime League side.
First up for Onn is a huge clash at home to Tampines Rovers tonight, and preparations have not exactly been smooth after yesterday's downpour, which meant he could not complete the S.League side's final training session.
On paper, the Warriors boast a formidable line-up that includes Singapore internationals Madhu Mohana and Shaiful Esah, quality foreigners Jonathan Behe, Kento Fukuda and Nikola Rak and experienced campaigners like Yazid Yasin, Ridhuan Muhamad and Ismail Yunos.
But Razif insists their pedigree will count for nothing if the players do not produce the effort and show desire.
"Since my first session on Saturday, it (his appointment) has been well-received and the players have shown a positive response," he told The New Paper yesterday.
"But looking positive is not good enough… They must show it against Tampines.
"We look like a strong team with experienced players, but the loss to the Young Lions proved this isn't enough."
Razif is no stranger to this situation. The veteran youth coach, who had been with the Warriors since 1999, had taken charge of the senior team on an interim basis twice over the past three years, after the exit of V Selvaraj (2013) and Alex Weaver (last year).
The Warriors are languishing third from bottom in the nine-team standings, but the club's management are still aiming for a top-three finish.
When asked if such a target was still achievable, Razif said: "There are still plenty of matches to be played.
"It's not going to be easy, in fact it will be difficult, but it's certainly not impossible.
"What we have to do is to start winning and, hopefully, the rest will stumble, too.
"A lot depends on (tonight's) game against Tampines… If we can get a draw or even a win, it could lead to more positive results."
Although Tampines are coming off a 2-1 loss to Home United last Friday, Razif is under no illusions over the threat they will pose, although he can at least welcome back veteran goalkeeper Yazid following a two-game suspension.
The 62-year-old explained: "We are aware Tampines have 11 players who used to play for LionsXII, as well as (Jermaine) Pennant, Jordan Webb and Billy (Mehmet)…
"But it is the coach's job to try and exploit weaknesses and that's what we'll have to do.
"I think the team that make fewer mistakes will win the game."
Sundram's target: Reach Suzuki Cup semis
Tampines coach to be offered one-year deal to lead Lions, with year-end Suzuki Cup a priority
Singapore opened its doors to the South-east Asia football community in 2014 for the AFF Suzuki Cup here at the new National Stadium, the centrepiece of the Sports Hub.
Hosting the tournament at the Republic's state-of-the-art 55,000-capacity National Stadium, the Lions, the defending champions - and the most successful regional side then with four titles - were expected to excel.
Instead, Bernd Stange's charges ended the tournament early with egg on their faces and tails between their legs as they were booted out at the group stage in front of their own fans - in their brand-new den no less.
With V Sundramoorthy poised to take over the reins of the national team after Stange's departure in March, the aim is for the Lions to restore pride.
The Tampines Rovers coach has yet to put pen to paper on what sources have told The New Paper is a one-year deal, with a semi-final place at the year-end Suzuki Cup his main target.
The deal is expected to be signed in the next few days, with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) possibly unveiling Sundram as the Lions' new coach at its Jalan Besar headquarters as early as this Friday.
The football fraternity believes the Suzuki Cup target is achievable, with the 50-year-old well equipped for it.
"To be fair, the semi-finals is not a huge ask - to ask Sundram to win it would be unreasonable, but this is not," said former Singapore international R Sasikumar.
"He is a good coach who already understands the climate here, knows the players, and that is really what he brings to the table."
"I'm happy to see him get his chance, I think it's long overdue. He's done more with lesser teams," added Sasi.
Sasi pointed to Sundram's tenure as LionsXII coach in their first two years in the Malaysian Super League, when he led the team to second spot in 2012, then winning the title the following year with a side largely comprising national Under-23 players.
While he believes the target may be a little unfair, considering this year's Suzuki Cup - to be co-hosted by the Philippines and Myanmar - is just some six months away, Steven Tan, also a former Singapore international, agreed with Sasi that Sundram has what it takes to achieve the semi-final target.
He called on the FAS to back the coach to the hilt, like they did with Stange.
"Sundram needs to have free rein to choose the players that he needs to do the job, and the FAS must support him in whatever he wants in terms of preparation," said Tan.
"Don't forget, Stange was allowed to take the team on training tours to Turkey and Austria."
"It is a little too short I think, to get a national team to play exactly how a coach wants them to, but Sundram is familiar with the players and how things work here, so yes, it is an achievable target," added Tan, who was also Tampines Rovers coach.
Both insist that Sundram must be rewarded with a contract extension should the Lions make the last four of the region's biggest football competition.
"Coaches are in the results business and, if Sundram does lead the team into the (Suzuki Cup) semis, he should get a contract extension," said Sasi.
"That's how it works with any employees who hit their KPIs (key performance indicators) and it's only fair that Sundram is similarly rewarded - if he does meet his target, and I think he can."