“You Wanna Be On Top?”

Who doesn’t know this phrase anyway?

Made popular by the host of sensational modelling reality TV show, America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks, the franchise (for those who don’t know yet) had expanded to the Asian region.

Back for the fifth cycle, Cindy Bishop, model and actress hosts upcoming season of Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5: ‘Expect the Unexpected’ together with Model Mentor, Cara McIlroy. Making this season much juicier, aspiring models from Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Phillipines and last but not least Malaysia battle it out for the Top Model position. Representing Malaysia are Shikin Gomez and Alicia Amin. Recently we managed to chat with them at the Grand Premiere Screening at Sunway Resort & Spa to know what to watch out for in the upcoming season.

Cindy Bishop.
Malaysia represent! Shikin Gomez and Alicia Amin (L-R)

What made you join this competition?

Alicia: Prior to joining this competition, I was studying in Australia and I also modelled for five years before going. However, I had to return to Malaysia due to personal reasons and was just in time for the auditions as I weighed my career options. I thought about coming back and if I wanted to go back into the scene with a bang, this competition would be a really great platform.

Shikin: I started out part-time modelling at first after graduating from college and eventually I started doing it full-time and really grew on it. I feel like I need to make a name for myself – make it or break it, right now. We’re not getting younger and unless you make it big, you’re not going to make it since modelling does have a shelf life. I feel this competition is the perfect platform to put myself out there professionally.

What was your strategy going into the competition?

Shikin: Okay, I’m going to be evil on this (proceeds to do the evil laugh). I’m kidding. Well, my strategy was to see how the other girls worked to see what their strategies were and ‘pry’ on that! To put it in short, I didn’t have a particular strategy; I kept changing them according to different situations and how the other girls performed.

Alicia: Just be nice to people and hoping that they will just drop out and let me win (laughs). Nah, I’m just joking. Of course, no one’s going to do that. My strategy was to take things as they come along. I honestly didn’t think that I would get into the top 14 but when I did, I was surprised since I was in the midst of moving back to Malaysia and didn’t have the place to think of anything strategic anyway.

Cara & Cindy’s expression during the premiere screening of AsNTM 5, Episode 1.

Did everyone get along in the show?

Alicia: At this point we do. Whatever happened on air, whether if there were fights or not, we got past them. We even have a group chat now!

What do you plan to do in the future with this added fame from the competition?

Alicia: I am looking to get into hosting and(or) acting. Explore other mediums of media and art and also how else I can contribute to the fashion world.

Shikin: I’m also looking into hosting but not acting. I don’t think I can act? I am also interested in events managing. Doing an event like this. I definitely want to push my modelling career as far as it can go at the moment first.

If you won the lottery for a million ringgit (or any currency), what would you do with it?

Alicia: Invest! I’m very well-versed in Finance. So, if (or when) it happens, we’ll see how it goes.

Shikin: Yea, I’d buy properties and probably rent them out.

If you had the chance to live your life all over again, how would you do it differently?

Alicia: I would get back onto a horse, despite it passing away. I’d get over it a lot quicker cause I feel that the quality of my life would get better if I kept on riding horses.

Shikin: I wished I had started younger and earlier in modelling because of my family; with them being very traditional and all. I really liked the industry but just did not think of kick-starting it. But all’s good now. They are very supportive and I’m thankful for that having come a long way with them having my back.

What is your philosophy or value that you hold dearest in life?

Alicia: We should really try to start taking chances in life. You should focus on yourself and not others. Not always, “Oh, no, it’s alright let him or her have it. I’ll try it another time.” We should do it for us and not anyone else.

Shikin: One motto we should take heed of is to live in the moment and put aside the negativity. If you live in the moment and enjoy yourself, you enjoy life even more. Ignore what people say about you. There will always be haters.

Let’s say if one of you were the winner of this competition, what would you do to celebrate?

Alicia & Shikin: Throw a party!

Alicia: If either of the Malaysian girls win, there will be a party and whoever invited is not able to attend will be there as a cardboard cut-out! (Joking tone).

Shikin: Yes, it’s going to be an awesome party alright!

From left: Cindy Bishop, Host & Head Judge of AsNTM5, Alicia Amin, Cara McIlroy, Model Mentor of AsNTM5 and Shikin Gomez.

Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5 premieres tomorrow, 5th April 2017 at 9pm on StarWorld (Astro Channel 711 and HD 722). Subsequent episodes premiere every Wednesday, 9pm.

For exclusive news and updates, log on to http://www.asntm.com or follow AsNTM on www.fb.com/AsNTMOfficial, Twitter and Instagram, @asntm, or #AsNTM #AsNTM5.

Esther Chin

Thalassophilian. Wanderluster. Lovable ice cream monster. Martial arts newbie.

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