Manhunt finalists? Really?

These two are in Manhunt? Seriously?

They don't look like they should be allowed anywhere near a beefcake pageant.

One would think the organisers of this competition, usually full of buff bods, are kidding.

But it's no joke.

There's pale pretty-boy full-time model Benjamin Khoh, 20, one of 15 men vying for the Manhunt Singapore 2013 title.

Then there's part-time retail assistant Eric Koa, who, at 47, is the oldest contestant in the Senior Manhunt category, which has been revived for the first time since 2001 to celebrate Manhunt's 25th anniversary in Singapore.

Standing at 1.62m and weighing 52kg , he is also the shortest and lightest contestant in both the junior and senior categories.

One netizen, posting on the Manhunt Singapore 2013 Facebook page, called him "bamboo body". Another said: "Speechless ... and not in a good way."

Mr Khoh, 20, is a former contestant of reality TV singing show Campus SuperStar and the winner of Mr Popularity at Teenage magazine's Fabtastic Search 4 in 2009 and S.N.A.P., last year's talent search show on Channel 8.

But he sticks out among the tanned and brawny physical trainers and martial arts fighters who make up the majority of the Manhunt finalists. Where muscles bulge and ripple all around, he looks pecs-less.

Even his 11-year-old sister has said: "I think you cannot win lah."

That, according to him, is what she told him when she found out he was joining.

But he went ahead anyway, after being scouted at a party a few months ago.

"I was told I should join, and even I thought, 'Really, me?'," said the 1.8m Mr Khoh.

To look more "guy", he is growing a beard and is considering getting a spray tan.

He has also been sacrificing his usual late nights out partying at hotspots like Pangaea to keep to a strict diet of no carbs, no fried food and lots of rest in order to be ready for his now thrice-weekly gym sessions and the finals in September.

"I had never even been to a gym before or worked out before I joined Manhunt," said Mr Khoh. The first gym session, he recalled, was "horrible".

"My trainer told me to lift a 5kg weight, and I asked whether it could be lighter. He said, 'If you lighten to 2kg or 1kg, you'll look like a girl'," said Mr Khoh, who is single.

This has forced him to play to his "strengths".

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