Tonight’s the night for New Face finalists to shine
After all that rehearsing, the finals are here
From joining a modelling competition to taking part in professional photo shoots, it has been a series of firsts for many of this year's The New Paper New Face finalists.
Tonight, one of them will experience another "first" - being named the winner of New Face 2017.
But the 20 girls will have to take on the catwalk on a stage at Paragon's main atrium and wow the judges first.
Strutting her stuff in 5.5-inch heels is a first for Laranya Kumar. The 17-year-old student, recalled how she could barely walk in heels during the auditions in June. She told TNP: "During rehearsals, I felt so self-conscious and stiff compared to the other girls, who were more experienced."
But she noted how she has since improved by staying back and asking for advice from veteran show producer Daniel Boey and fellow finalists who have modelling experience, such as Ann Lopez and Ameerah Smith.
Laranya said: "(Ann and Ameerah) told me that even though they are good at their walks, they will keep improving on it. That made me practise more consistently."
Last Monday, the finalists took to a makeshift catwalk at the Singapore Press Holdings auditorium and rehearsed their three fashion sequences.
They also had their first practice with the male models who will accompany them on the runway.
Mr Boey, 52, was pleased by their performance, saying: "They work well together as a team."
On the tips he gave on how to be a natural on the catwalk, he said: "They should be so comfortable in their heels that they can dance in them. Similarly, they need to know the sequence at the back of their mind. It shouldn't come across as if it is scripted.
"Lastly, I always tell the girls to find their own signature walk and let their personality shine through."
But there is no gain without pain.
Describing her feet after rehearsals, student Noelle Huth, 14, said: "They don't feel normal when I am walking."
But once she changed into a comfortable pair of slippers, all was well.
Hashy Yusof, 23, also put her best foot forward, despite her left foot being wrapped in an ankle support.
In July last year, she underwent surgery to remove a spinal tumour, which caused her to lose all sensation in her legs and feet. She is now relying on muscle memory to walk in heels.
The marketing executive said: "The heels kept giving me blisters, so I wore the guard to protect my feet.
"But it was also during the rehearsal that my back started aching at the place I had surgery, so when I went home, I lay down and rested."
Despite her challenges, Hashy will be leading all three sequences. She hopes she will not fall on stage like she did on live television back in 2013, when she was on the local reality singing show The Final 1.
She said: "I tell myself to be calm. The less I worry, the more focused I will be on my walk."
Public voting closed
Public voting for The New Paper New Face Miss Popularity award has closed. The winner will be announced at the New Face finals tonight.
There are three other subsidiary awards the finalists stand a chance to win. They are Subaru Miss Vivacious, Cosmoprof Miss Photogenic and Kelture Salon Miss Beautiful Hair.
The winner of Miss Beautiful Hair will walk away with $3,000 worth of hair services from Kelture Salon, while the other award recipients will each receive $1,000 in cash.
TNP New Face 2017 Finals
WHAT: TNP New Face 2017 Finals
WHEN: Tonight, 7.30pm
WHERE: Paragon Main Atrium
Winner: $10,000 cash, $2,000 hair services from Kelture Salon, one year's nail services worth $2,000 from Relaque and an exclusive feature in CLEO Singapore magazine
1st Runner-Up: $5,000 cash and six months' nail services worth $1,000 from Relaque
2nd Runner-Up: $3,000 cash and three months' nail services worth $500 from Relaque