SINGAPORE - It was time to put their best foot forward yesterday.
Some 130 girls entered The New Paper New Face 2014 closed-door audition at Subaru Hub in Toa Payoh.
Only 25 would go to the next round.
The daunting task of whittling down the contestants went to six judges, including show producer Daniel Boey, herworldPLUS editor Niki Bruce and 2008 New Face finalist Sara Chan.
Finally, after two hours, the top girls emerged.
One of whom is Iman, the only daughter of football legend Fandi Ahmad and model Wendy Jacobs.
The statuesque sportsgirl - she's a sprinter - wowed with her height and looks.
With her long, wavy locks, she looked very much like her mother, who was one of Singapore's top models.
One of last year's finalists, 22-year-old Stella Lee, said: "This year's pageant is very competitive. Some carry themselves very well and the way they walk in heels is not bad. They're calm and well-postured."
Contestant Naomi Blakely, 17, got her passport to the closed-door audition during the Bugis+ street hunt.
She said: "It's a new opportunity. I thought modelling sounded fun but I was always too shy to try. This year, I just forced myself to try."
And it paid off. She also made it to the top 25.
Another of the chosen is Nurul Amira Azman, 19. The personal trainer has been a member of the national silat team since she was in secondary school.
Unfortunately, a knee injury sustained last year has kept her off the team.
In that time, she decided to try modelling. She said: "People always say I'm very tall but I was reluctant at first because I thought I wasn't pretty enough."
The judges thought otherwise.
Five contestants will be eliminated after the shoots today and tomorrow, leaving 20 finalists in the running.
Lee advised this year's semi-finalists: "For photoshoots, if you're good at smiling, smile. If you're good at giving a sexy look, do that.
"Your eyes have to speak, and you have to know how to angle your face. Communicate well with the photographer to get your best picture."
Judge Sara Chan said of the judges' picks: "They're great. All the girls are pretty and strong. I have a few favourites, but I won't say who!"
She also had some advice for the girls.
"They should also still work on their confidence levels and image. Sleep early, eat healthy and practise poses."
The 20 finalists will go through a whirlwind of fittings, photoshoots and events, including a New Look shoot at Bintan Lagoon Resort next week and a Levi's photoshoot shortly after.
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This article was first published on July 6, 2014.
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