Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
The New Paper
Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014
Be prepared to see double in the latest season of SupermodelMe. Brazilian-Japanese identical twins Gabriela and Raffaella Leonardo, 22, are among the 12 contestants in the competition.
Double the trouble, double the threat?
The sisters disagree, but they think their united front gets under the skin of fellow contestants.
"She's my biggest supporter and I'm hers... I'm sure it annoys the others sometimes," said Raffaella, who goes by Raffi and is older by a minute.
The pair might be fighting for the same prize in the gruelling competition, but they do not see each other as threats.
"We will be proud of the one that stays and be happy because we both grew from this. We're equally competitive, yes, but we like to look for the best in each other," said Raffi.
It might be comforting to have a twin onboard but Gabriela, or Gabi, said that it made things difficult in the beginning.
"It's hard for anyone to distinguish the difference between us on the spot. But as we went into the competition, we accentuated our individual strengths. We live by the motto 'You do what you do, I do what I do'," she said.
So who's better? The judges had asked the twins that awkward question in one episode.
"I think my sister would like for me to win and vice versa. I will never sabotage her and say she's lacking something that I have," said Gabi.
The pair started modelling in their teens and do mainly commercials and are now based in Thailand. Both are teaching themselves the Ayurveda (a traditional Indian system of medicine), as Gabi puts her business degree at Boston's Bentley University on hold to pursue modelling.
They hope to use SupermodelMe Season 5 as a platform to venture into modelling in Europe.
The reality TV series will see them face their fear of heights and also have them riding in an ostrich race.
Will there be rivalry or drama from Raffi and Gabi? Be prepared for disappointment.
The sisters claim they do not flash their claws on the show.
"We bicker, but we do that at home anyway (like all siblings). It could be about borrowing each other's clothes, small things like that," said Raffi.
"We're more similar than anything... we have the same vibe," said Gabi.
Beyond modelling, they also hope that the show opens doors for them to pursue a career in entertainment.
"As children, we'd get our family to sit down and make them watch us perform for them," said Raffi.
Gabi added: "The limelight never scared us. We like it. "We like entertaining and being humorous."
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