Filipina is Asia's Next Top Model 1st-runner up
MANILA, Philippines - Despite being the rumored underdog, Filipina Stephanie Retuya placed first runner up in the first cycle of "Asia's Next Top Model."
Long-time top performer Jessica Amornkuldilok, who is of Thai and German descent, ended the season on top.
The class-clown of the batch — Taiwan's Kate Ma — ended the season in 3rd place despite winning several previous challenges.
Twenty-three-year-old Retuya is not only a model but the mother of a baby girl. The Laguna native began modelling nearly a year ago but was forced to take a leave when she found out that she was pregnant.
Getting back into modeling and through the fiercely competitive show has been a challenge for Retuya, who had never travelled outside the Philippines. But through it all she was recognized for her friendly attitude and shy demeanor.
"Top Model" franchise creator Tyra Banks herself came to judge the finale. This is the first season of "Asia's Next Top Model" and the winner will go home with a modelling contract covering the UK and Europe with London-based Storm Models, which represented supermodels Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford.
The deal also includes a 3-month all-expense paid working trip to London.
Jessica also snapped up a contract to become the face of Canon Ixus 2013 campaign, a cash prize of S$100,000 and a new Subaru XV. - Rappler.com