(2nd UPDATE) In the end, it was a simple narrative of personal growth.
Maureen Wroblewitz has gone from this insecure teen who keeps bringing up that she lacks the height to be a top model to standing the tallest in the finale of "Asia's Next Top Model."
Wednesday's episode revealed that Wroblewitz, who stands at 5'6", has become the first Filipina to win the popular modeling search. Also the youngest contestant this year at 18, she turned emotional when judges announced that she had beaten Malaysia's Shikin Gomez and Vietnam's Minh Tu Nguyen.
Hours earlier, all three donned costumes that represented their country for their final shoot. Wroblewitz stunned in a sparkling white mestiza gown she accentuated with pearls.
"That image is exactly what I wanted to see from you at the end of this competition," Cindy Bishop, a professional model who is one of the judges for this season, told Wroblewitz.
"You delivered that quiet confidence, which showed that you have been soaking up everything we've been telling you, that you've been taking everything in and just completely laid it all out for us. And I am so, so happy to see that," she added.
The finalists also had to walk the runway for the show one last time, representing "goddesses that had come to life."
With her win, Wroblewitz took home the coveted contract with London-based Storm Model Management. She will also be on the cover of Nylon Singapore's online edition, in addition to being featured in other high-profile fashion campaigns.
Before the announcement, Wroblewitz said during the episode that she dedicated all her efforts in the competition to her mother, who passed away when she was 11. "She would have been so proud," she shared.
Her journey to the title was far from smooth sailing. In one of the earlier episodes, Wroblewitz had to endure what many thought of as a form of bullying when her fellow contestants, led by Indonesia's Clara Tan, labelled her as just a "pretty face with no skills."
Wroblewitz then opened up about her insecurities, saying that she tends to overthink every pose. Fueled, however, by her determination to prove her doubters wrong, she went on to capture best photo for that particular shoot.
Addressing her feud with Tan, Wroblewitz wrote on Twitter: "It's hard to hate Clara actually, at least for me! She can be really annoying but you get used to it."