More than 1,000 girls tried their luck but only 25 were picked to be The New Paper New Face 2015 semi-finalists.
It was an emotional day for the 123 girls selected for the closed-door audition at Subaru Hub yesterday.
They were picked from one of three stages of the first round: social hunt, street hunt and walk-in audition.
From there, the judges had to pick the Top 40 before deliberating one more time for the Top 25.
Six judges, including herworldPLUS editor Niki Bruce, deliberated for hours before picking the semi-finalists.
Former schoolmates Denise Pung and Ophelia Oliveiro made it to the Top 25.
Denise, 22, a business student at SIM, and Ophelia, 22, a graduate of accounting and finance from the same university, had cleared the walk-ins the week before.
Denise confessed she was the one who wanted to try out for the walk-in and asked for tips from Ophelia, who has modelling experience.
"I was constantly worried about how Denise would do. I'm really proud that she made it this far. And I'm also thankful for my spot," said Ophelia.
Denise added: "Having a friend gave me confidence. She has been by my side the entire time, guiding me. I'm happy we're both in."
Another semi-finalist, Sherine Tan, was discovered during the street hunt at Bugis+.
The 25-year-old auditor said: "It's my first time taking part in the New Face contest and I felt I was very lucky to be selected. I'm going to be on cloud nine all day."
Tanisha Khan, 17, was just as excited. She was spotted through the social hunt on Instagram.
The business studies student at Temasek Polytechnic said: "I was so worried about getting shot down I didn't want to risk putting a hashtag to my photo but somehow I think they saw potential in me.
"I'm glad to have had the experience this far. To be one of the Top 25 is exhilarating!"
But it was not all smiles at the audition.
Filzah Amani, 18, was heartbroken. She was one of the few who had passed the social hunt but failed to progress yesterday. She had also attended the walk-ins to support a friend.
"I was just devastated," said the visual communications student at the Institute of Technical Education College Central.
"I made close friends at the walk-ins and they comforted me when I didn't make it to the Top 40. I broke down because I wanted to get in so badly.
"I'm happy my friends Nikki Pang, Renni Noor and Samradha Sanjeev made it. I'll definitely give them all the support I can."
This article was first published on June 21, 2015.
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