Runsi Patro achieved a first in The New Paper New Face modelling competition on Saturday (Jun 15).At 14, she became the youngest girl ever to make it through to the second round of the contest, reported The New Paper.This year, The New Paper New Face lowered the entry age to 14.A total of 85 girls managed to advance to the next stage out of the nearly 300 who turned up for the walk-in audition at Suntec Tropics Atrium on Saturday afternoon.Round 2 will see the group being whittled down to 25.Runsi, a student at United World College, went for the audition with her parents and two younger siblings.Although it is her first attempt at auditioning for a modelling competition, the 1.65m-tall teenager did not feel nervous.She said: “I was mentally trying to get myself together before going on stage, but I knew I just had to smile and be confident.‘Runsi, whose parents are from India, might not even have gone to the audition if not for her mother Mrs Reela Patro, who spotted the advertisement for it in The New Paper that morning.The 42-year-old housewife said: “She’s very keen to be a model and I thought we should try it if she really loves it.‘Mrs Patro added she was proud of her daughter for getting through and is happy to let her continue in the competition as long as she focuses on, her studies as well.Another successful entrant who received her family’s full support was Deborah Yeo, 23.Miss Yeo, who is pursuing a degree in counselling at Kaplan Singapore, turned up with her family.
During the audition, her businessman father, Mr Aaron Yeo, 60, was standing by, recording her experience on his smartphone.He said: “I’m proud of her. I think it’s a good experience and a great challenge for her.‘Miss Yeo added: “I want to gain more experience and exposure in the modelling industry and since this was the last year I would be eligible , I wanted to give it a try.‘The New Paper New Face accepts contestants up to 23 years old.She said she thinks her confident walk was what got her through to the next round.And the girls found it a challenge to impress this year’s panel of judges, like Mr Dennis Lee, senior manager of sales at MotorImage Enterprises, Mr Patrick Sin, fashion editor of Her World magazine, and New Face 2010 alumnus Rachel Erasmus.Mr Sin said: “Some of the girls have a lot of confidence. I think it’s great that they come out and give it a go. It’s a good experience for them.‘He added that he was looking for girls with the X-factor and an interesting face.One girl who had those qualities was Noelle Nadine Woon, a, 15-year-old student at St. Theresa’s Convent.The Singaporean is of African and Chinese heritage and stood out on stage, thanks to her 1.77m frame, bright smile and braided afro.The teenager was at the audition with her mother, 36-year-old pre-school principal Madam Sarah Woon.She said: “I’ve always wanted to be a model and when my mum told me about the audition, I thought I’d regret it if I didn’t go down.‘But despite her confident demeanour, Noelle said she felt the nerves.She said: “At first, it was nerve-racking, but I decided to just give it a go on stage and be confident.‘Noelle added that it was fate that she was even at the audition as her mother had heard about it on radio only the day before.Madam Woon said: “Nadine watches a lot of fashion TV at home and talks about all the different models all the time.‘She added: “I was excited that she was getting an opportunity to try something she has always wanted to do. I think it’s awesome that she got in.‘While most girls at the audition played it safe and were dressed in black or white, some stood out due to their more colourful outfit choices.Grace Ling, 16, was decked out in a studded black top and bright yellow bandage skirt.The student at School of the Arts, Singapore said: “I respect fashion a lot and to be a model is, to bring out the best of the clothes and I want to be the one doing it.‘It was her first time joining a modelling competition and while she didn’t know what the judges were looking for, she gave it her best shot.She said: “I tried to give them more angles, tried to show my legs and smile even though I couldn’t smile properly because I was so nervous.‘And it appears Grace did enough, as she walked away with a golden passport in hand, this time with a much less nervous smile on her face.