By Kay Tan
THEY keep in touch through Facebook, meet for dinner and invite one another to their homes during Chinese New Year.
Yet their meeting last Saturday was a rare occasion for the top three finalists - Victoria Bradbury, 20, Julie Tan, 18, and Tan Min Yi, 17 - of last year's The New Paper New Face contest.
At Milk Photographie at Old School at Mount Sophia, the girls were doing a New Face photo shoot - just like old times.
But this time, it was to usher in a new season of the competition.
Victoria, a student and freelance model who was last year's winner, said that even though she had won the crown last October, it "feels like the competition has not really ended".
"I'm so happy to see the other two girls," she said.
First runner-up Julie, an actress and model with the WaWa Artistes agency, said the photo shoot reminded her of the good times during the New Face competition.
"It's how the girls will talk, bond and spend time together on set - like we used to during the competition," she said.
But she said she also noticed that "there are changes in every one".
"Min Yi has matured - she was so young - and Victoria is even prettier now!"
The girls also spoke about how far they have come since last year's competition and how grateful they are for the experience.
Said Julie, who stars in the new Channel 8 sports drama Splashes & Strings: "New Face equipped me with presentation skills from the five months of training and it really helps me now."
Victoria added: "People recognise me as the winner, so the competition is very good exposure."
|Last year's winner, Victoria Bradbury (right) and Min Yi during the photo shoot.
Said Min Yi, a student and model with Upfront Models: "When I submit forms (to sign up for modelling assignments), people take into consideration that I'm a New Face second runner-up because they know I've had some experience... It adds to my credibility."
So, do last year's winners have any advice for young women keen to sign up for this year's contest?
Min Yi said: "Go for it, try it - you only live once. Enjoy and don't worry so much."
Julie and Victoria stressed that confidence is key.
Said Julie: "Confidence is a very big part in this competition. It's my confidence that gave me the courage to do my first catwalk."
Added Victoria: "That one audition can definitely change your life. So put away your fear and shyness, and just do it."
This article was first published in The New Paper.