These guys are in Singapore Manhunt? Seriously?

1 July 2013 / 3 years 3 months ago

Source: The New PaperThese 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, (left) one of 15 men vying for the Manhunt Singapore 2013 title.Then there's part-time retail assistant Eric Koa, who, at 47, (right) 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".So what if he can't show off his biceps and triceps, he still has his near-perfect complexion. It's a face so ready for an SK-II commercial that Mr Khoh said he has been asked whether he has had any plastic surgery done."No... But thanks, I take that as a compliment," he usually replies. "I just take, care of my face." And he really does. Mr Khoh, who said he used to look "terrible at 15 and 16", uses three cleansers - a milk one, an oil-based one and a regular cleanser.He exfoliates and uses a face mask twice a week."I want to be (the male version of my idol, actress) Fann Wong," he said with a laugh. "And I want to act in my own movie."Well, Manhunt could be the right place to start.Finalists like Tay Ping Hui, Aaron Aziz and Benedict Goh have gone on to careers in showbiz.Shane Pow, who joined the competition in 2011, has acted in Channel 8 dramas after being signed to artiste management company Beam Artistes, the organiser of Manhunt Singapore 2013.But being famous is not quite the goal for Mr Koa, who is taking all the online criticism in his stride.He has heard it as well from his younger sister, who told him he has "no chance".But the avid marathoner joined Manhunt not to engage in the usual bicep-curling against the rest.Indeed, during a bicep-curling contest at the press conference on Friday, he struggled to lift an 8kg dumbbell 11 times in a minute.Winner Jason Tan, 20, managed to lift it 62 times.Instead, Mr Koa wants to put a spotlight on "normal guys who are more about being fit and healthy". He has taken part in some 20 marathons, including one at the Great, Wall of China."I'm proud of my body," he said. "I swim, I run, I bike, and I think my body is quite proportionate."His participation, he says, could very well "bring up the level of Manhunt"."I don't see any sportsmen taking part in Manhunt ... most of them are models, personal trainers or weightlifters," said Mr Koa, who is single.While he agreed that a good physique is a key consideration in bagging the Manhunt title, he is in no rush to transform what he has."At my age, you can't really do that, but I am trying to build up more muscle mass," he said. Mr Samuel Seow, who runs Beam Artistes, said: "As it's the 25th anniversary of Manhunt, we have taken some chances with the guys we have selected."As the world seeks a definition of the modern man, we have put into the competition men who are more traditionally Manhunt as well as those who can be set apart on the basis of either their star potential - including pretty faces - as well as older men with a story to tell."As for Mr Koa, he is not intimidated by his Senior Manhunt competitors and sniffs at detractors who say he is too skinny for the competition."I don't think I should be comparing myself to the other guys," he said. "I think I have charisma and the X-factor."Related:Meet Manhunt International's oldest, winnerEx-Manhunt finalist's big breakView photos of 2013's Manhunt contestants (pics 1-26) and past photos of Singapore Manhunt as well as Miss Singapore Pageant in the gallery below.

Join in the talk