Miss Universe Singapore Lisa Marie White tries hand at interior design
Miss Universe Singapore 2015 Lisa Marie White is not afraid to get hands dirty on reality TV series
She has competed against 79 other beauty queens from around the world at the Miss Universe pageant, watched by a global audience of millions.
You would think that Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) 2015 winner Lisa Marie White is no stranger to performing under pressure.
But as a contestant in the upcoming sixth season of interior design reality TV series The Apartment: Passion For Design, she found the competition even more heated than what she had experienced at the international pageant.
This was especially so as the 24-year-old model went into the show cold, with no prior experience in interior design.
And in the first episode, she was thrown in at the deep end when she was tasked to be team captain over two male contestants, Aung Naing Linn from Myanmar and Eugene del Rosario from the Philippines, who are professional interior designers.
She told The New Paper over the phone: "The stress levels were really crazy, it was a lot more stressful than the pageant. I tried my best to consider everybody's ideas and achieve a balance between what they want. It was fun, and we got along well."
Her MUS experience helped her too.
"When you are in the entertainment industry, you are exposed to fashion and design a lot. That was how I got to understand design."
Premiering on March 22 at 9pm on Sony Channel (Singtel TV Ch 316/StarHub TV Ch 510), The Apartment, which was filmed in Malaysia, features 12 contestants from around Asia competing to become the next interior design superstar.
The winner walks away with the biggest prize in the series' history, the deed to a luxurious D'Lagoon apartment in Iskandar, Malaysia.
There were many firsts on the show for White.
For someone who had never touched a screwdriver or drill before, she was not afraid to get down and dirty, trying everything from painting walls to construction.
"We really did the work by ourselves. Everybody had to put in some work, and it was super exhausting."
One of the main challenges she faced was making her voice heard.
She recalled: "I was grouped with people who had different ideas and visions, and strong personalities too. They did not always take others' opinions into consideration. That was where the drama came in.
"Furthermore, we lived together and that can get awkward sometimes."
For White, the most poignant experience out of The Apartment was when they had to renovate a Malaysian orphanage and she befriended the girls there.
"They were intelligent, with big ambitions. I got to know them on a different level from the other contestants because I could speak Malay.
"It was the most touching episode for me," said White, whose mother is a Malay Singaporean and father is from New Zealand.
She lives in a four-room Housing Board flat in Yishun with her mum and two sisters, and she described her dream "all-white" apartment as such: "It would be a really niceand spacious condo with a big balcony. There would be different textures and different shades of white."
Since filming for The Apartment ended, White has been open to further forays into interior design.
"Nobody trusts me enough to design their house yet. But maybe after the show airs, people will start trusting me," she said.