ITE Next Top Model winner believes height helped her win

Siti Nadiah Sapuan won the first place in the female category of ITE-Carrie’s Next Top Model Search 2012 and goes straight into TheNew Paper NewFace Top 25.

SINGAPORE - Siti Nadiah Sapuan struck gold twice on Thursday afternoon.

She won ITE-Carrie's Next Top Model Search 2012 at ITE College East and with that, she goes straight into the Top 25 of The New Paper New Face 2012.

It is the first time in the 20-year history of TNP's modelling competition that a contestant has been given a direct pass into the Top 25.

The New Paper New Face has been the launch pad for the careers of models, actresses, entertainers and beauty queens.

If Nadiah survives the photo elimination, she will be one of the 20 New Face finalists this year.

The 20-year-old, who is taking a Higher Nitec course in Business Studies in Sport Management at ITE College East, told TNP: "I am so excited (to be part of New Face)! I'm still in shock, really.

"To know that you already have a spot in such a big competition, it's just... wow.

"Now that I'm going to be participating in it, I'll be doing some research to see how the competition goes and what they look out for.

"I'll also be taking better care of my skin and trying to improve my catwalk."

When her name was announced, Nadiah said she was surprised.

She said: "I didn't expect to win because the others had so much confidence. I felt that they stood a better chance."

Nadiah, who is 1.71m tall, added that she used to be constantly teased by her classmates because she is the tallest girl in her class.

"I guess I might have won because of my height," she said. "I don't really think my catwalk was that good."

Judge Cheong Kamei, who is the editor of Cleo Magazine, said: "All the finalists gave it their all, but the winners stood out from the get-go.

"It's not easy being in a stadium full of people and their ease on the runway was definitely impressive.

"With Nadiah, she has a gorgeous smile, and you could tell that she has a great personality."

So how did she come to take part in ITE-Carrie's Next Top Model Search?

Said Nadiah: "I was actually pulled aside by my course manager, who told me about the contest and encouraged me to join it because of my height.

"I was a little shy at first, but finally decided to join because I thought I might have an advantage with my height."

The competition was harder than it looked, especially because she was not used to wearing high heels.

She said: "The heels I wore on stage (during the competition) were actually my first pair.

"Even my parents were surprised that I won because I usually don't dress up or wear make-up when I go out."

But that doesn't mean that she has no modelling experience.

Nadiah has been a freelance model since last year and one of her projects was to be a hair model for the L'Oreal Hair Academy.

"The quality of our hair was assessed before they made some changes. For mine, they coloured it red and gave it a perm," she said.

Nadiah's role was to show clients the results of using certain hair products and hair treatments. "This experience definitely boosted my confidence which I guess will be useful for the upcoming New Face competition," she said.

She is not the only one getting a boost in the New Face competition.

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