Malaysian wins big, 2 Filipinos runners-up in Asia’s Next Top Model
MANILA, Philippines – Malaysian bet Sheena Liam won the coveted Asia’s Next Top Model title Wednesday night, to the disappointment of Filipino fans rooting for Jodilly Pendre and Katarina Rodriguez who finished first and second runners-up, respectively.
The judges called Liam, who was usually noticed for her pouty lips and striking blonde hair, the “face of modern Asia.”
She won a 3-month modeling contract, a cover and spread for Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia and Singapore, a Subaru car, SGD 50,000, among other prizes.
Pendre, who was already a professional model in the Philippines, was first runner-up while Rodriguez, a student and athlete at De La Salle University, finished second runner-up.
The show’s season finale included a photo shoot depicting village life in Malaysia and a fashion show featuring designs by Filipino Albert Andrada, Malaysian Jonathan Liang, and Indonesian Ghea Panggabean.
During the first season of Asia’ Next Top Model, a Filipina also almost won. But Laguna native Stephanie Retuya finished first runner-up to Thailand’s Jessica Amornkuldilok.
On Twitter, the hashtag #AsNTM2Finale has been trending in the Philippines since Wednesday night. Many Filipino fans expressed surprise at Liam’s win but nonetheless congratulated Pendre and Rodriguez for their good work.
Some, however, criticized the decision, saying Liam did not deserve the title. But there were also Filipinos who said “haters” should not think they are better or more experienced than the judges.
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