It’s all about MOMENTS in Shanghai! A moment spent in conversation with: supermodel mentors, a “baby model,” a model-turned-photographer, the chaperones, Elite Models organizers, the parents, the city of Shanghai and its people. Most of all it’s the emotions that hit the moment when your secret favorite few either ascend to or descend from worldwide stardom.
Day 6: Dress rehearsal
We, along with the Elite worldwide network of agents, press and special friends are in the Shanghai Cultural Center to preview the show. The girls are assessed for height, look, attitude and viability within the distinct fashion markets around the world. This is the antithesis of a beauty contest. The girls are selected for their ability to work as models for designers, ad campaigns and to fill or extend current societal aesthetics.
OMG! The first model appears, they are in alphabetical order of country, the runway is as slick as ice! Somehow an aspiring model manages to stay up as do the 20 to follow. It is only through true grit and determination that only one goes down before they call it.
As it turns out, the runway was waxed! A team with buckets and mops converge on the catwalk.
These young ladies are tough. They want “it” with a fierce determination and a little unstable terra firma is not going to keep them from strutting into their future.
Day 7: Moments before the show
The 65 finalists have been chosen well. Bright, curious and driven, they are ready to grab for the brass ring. We have been with these girls from the beginning of this finale, and we will be with them through the end. For some, it will be the beginning of a career; for others the completion of a life altering experience…
The final moments
Destiny, hope and musical extravaganza merge into a heady Elite Model Look finale! The girls were on stage, fiercely walking the runway during the show’s opening number. And not only was this the final night of a competition, it was the making of a made-for-TV awards and entertainment style show.
The top 15
After weeks of mentoring, training and experience, they were ready to hear their name called in the final 15. I couldn’t imagine what was going through the minds of the girls whose names were not called. They had to stay composed on stage, ready to prove to the agents in the audience that they should be signed, to a national Elite office.
Mozambique had tears running down her prominent cheekbones; there were deep sighs, and for some a look of resignation, or was that fear? For 17-year-young Jeanne d’Arc a favorite for her wit, humor and determination – the blow was particularly devastating. Next for her: the hope of a modeling contract, further education and a whole lot of uncertainty.
Interviewed by worldwide media, I refused to make a prediction as to the outcome. The selection process is far more complicated than a mere beauty or popularity contest. Yes, I had my sentimental favorite but each and every contestant has earned my respect and our team’s devotion.
The final four
We move from 15 to our final three – make that four.
The qualities the girls possess are just too plentiful to select three. What, no Silvia from Slovakia?! She was like a little sister to the Of Wit & Will team, a favorite, and we were in tears for her.
As for Marilhéa, Elite Model Look 2012, a little birdie has whispered into our curious ears she has been booked by Jean Paul Gaultier and Dior… the beginning of a beautiful career. Now, time to hit the stage for the kiss and cry, the girls, their family and us!
Tissue in hand, xxo
For more coverage on Elite Model Look World Final 2012, click here!