|Philippine contestant Stephanie Retuya in one of the photo shoots for "Asia's Next Top Model"
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine contestant Stephanie Retuya has made it to the Top 3 of the TV model search “Asia's Next Top Model,” which airs its finale on Sunday, February 17.
Retuya will be vying for the title – the first in Asia – against Jessica Amornkuldilok of Thailand and Kate Ma of Taiwan.
The Filipina is considered to be the underdog going into the finale since she has been in bottom two five times and hasn't won any best photo. She was only a runner up once.
In comparison, Amornkuldilok has won five best photos and four challenges, while Ma won two best photos.
However, a statement from the producers said Retuya “still has a fighting chance” as the finale includes a runway challenge in front of “America’s Next Top Model” host Tyra Banks. The catwalk is considered Retuya’s main strength.
Retuya is a part-time model and a full-time mother to a baby girl. She only started modeling about a year ago.
But her budding modeling career was interrupted when she got pregnant. Now, she feels “that surge of desire to continue pursuing what she believes is meant for her.”
Described as “very passive and shy,” Retuya grew up thinking she was “freakishly tall” and did not talk much to people. She said taking part in the reality TV contest is her dream, as she has never travelled outside of the Philippines.
The winner of the first-ever “Asia’s Next Top Model” will win a modelling contract covering UK and Europe with London-based Storm Models, which represented supermodels Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford. This also includes a three-month all-expenses working trip to London.
The winner also gets a cover shoot with Harper's Bazaar magazine, a contract to become the face of Canon Ixus 2013 campaign, a cash prize of S$100,000 and a new Subaru XV.
The show airs on StarWorld at 8:55 p.m., as well as Studio 23 and Velvet.