Asia’s premiere modelling competition is back for Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5 Episode 8. The girls had their first go-sees, a fake acting challenge, and a 50 Shades of Grey-inspired photo shoot. AsNTM Cycle 5 Creative Director Yu Tsai is the man behind the lens for their “Bound by Love” photo shoot. Read on for my Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5 Episode 8 review and how the girls fared in their shoot this week.
So who among the girls dominated this week? Here is how I ranked the girls’ photos…
My Call Out Order
This is the sexiest photo of the bunch. There’s tension in the photo: her right hand tightly grasping a rope (literally, not an innuendo), her left holding the man down, and her eyes fiercely staring down the camera. There’s even chemistry between her and the male model more so than the others. It’s giving me “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift vibes.
I love the shape she’s making. It sort of looks like a Renaissance painting or sculpture. This screams girl power and Shikin is at the forefront of that revolution. The downside is that the pose at this angle made her look shorter than she is. I also agree with the judges that she could’ve been more committed especially with her facial expression but overall another great photo from Shikin.
It’s nice that the judges mentioned that the photo is editorial, because it is. The semi-dead eyes look is so high fashion. Her expression reminds me of Stephanie’s (Cycle 1) iconic head tilt. The judges often complain her overtly being sexy but for this one she brought just the right amount. I do find it a bit naughty that Tu and the rope are covering the male model just right to make him look sans clothes. 😉
There’s tension alright, but in the wrong place: her neck is super strained that it looks like she struggled to keep that pose. I like that she’s seductively touching the man with her one hand, but she doesn’t seem to know what to do with the other. Out of all the photos, the rope here isn’t used as much–I don’t even know if that factored into the judges’ scores–but at least she’s putting the other prop, the male model, to good use.
The good thing about this photo is that girl is serving her best asset: her loooong legs. But what I notice the most is her weird handling of the rope. There isn’t much power to be seen from sweet Cindy that even the male model is stealing the photo for me. That profile!
And we’re back to the twins’ signature stiff jaw pose. Yu Tsai’s “hot mess” comment in the episode should’ve been directed to this one. It kinda looks like she’s riding the bus, holding on to the handle on one hand and carrying her handbag in the other. She has no connection to the male model. If this was really her best photo then I wonder how much worse her other frames were? Anyway, did anyone else notice that this and Shikin’s photo are the only two times the male model wore pants?
Here it is in video form, for all of you visual learners out there:
Episode 8 Review
Maureen vs the Model House
Wow! Maureen’s narrative continues and they managed to condense it into one full episode arc! The girl who everyone doubted her modelling skills, somewhat stumbled for a time, triumphed in the end when she got first call-out, and proved her doubters in the model house wrong. Classic hero’s edit.
Clara vs Everyone
But the real star of this episode, and the one they named the episode after, is Clara. This is the second episode where there’s a reference to her in the title: the last one being the makeover episode as “The Girl who is a Crybaby.”
They really pushed Clara’s narrative of being childish hard. At the go-sees, a designer even specifically mentioned the word “childish” to describe her. But what really blew this whole thing up was her alleged bad behavior during the photo shoot. As Clara was finishing up her shoot, Yu Tsai declares that her time was up. Clara casually utters that the photo shoot ran “so fast.” Yu Tsai, or the show, made it to be a comment on how it was unfair that she got less time than the other girls.
The issue was brought up during deliberation. Yu Tsai said that the way Clara handled the situation was “disrespectful.” And as I mentioned in my recap, I got pretty uncomfortable watching the judges talking Clara down while she wept. Meaner souls described this as karma for Clara’s “bullying” other girls. Do a quick search on Youtube and Twitter and see the flood of comments to that effect.
But does anyone really deserve that kind of treatment on a television show or in real life? What kind of person gets satisfaction from seeing this kind of thing? I feel like this cycle’s fans are even more toxic than all past cycles’ combined. Seriously SMH. 🤦
If there’s anything I learned from this cycle so far it’s this: editing can change everything. A simple statement can be turned into the most overly dramatic moment. A one-off gesture can be magnified and become a sign of bad behavior. I concede that making mountains out of mole hills makes for a much more exciting show, but the fans are taking it too far.
Subaru boss Glenn Tan is back next week in the judging panel, but, at least in the teaser, he looks more chill than last cycle? Remember the backlash that happened when he made a scene at deliberation about Sang In allegedly rolling her eyes? It even made international news! So I guess it’s for the better that he’ll probably be just a tiny bit nicer to the girls this time around. At least I hope so.
Oh and they seem to be hinting at a comeback, where one eliminated model gets to return to the competition. But if there will indeed be a comeback for next episode, it’s a pretty weird time to do so. Other Top Model franchises usually do it halfway. But we’re way past the halfway mark right now. Nevertheless, I’m preparing myself for the inevitable disappointment of this not coming to fruition. 😒
So it’s finally down to 1 representative for each country in the Top 5. Who will be on top? Will Tu finally bring Vietnam to the Top 3, and eventually win Asia’s Next Top Model? Will Maureen finally break the Philippines’ runner-up curse? Will Shikin or Clara bring Malaysia or Indonesia back on top?
What do you think of Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5 Episode 8? Any particular thoughts on the episode? Any other conspiracy theories to add about the show? Sound off in the comments below.
Also, don’t forget to vote for your favorite girl in the poll in the recap post. Poll closes right before Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5 Episode 9 on Wednesday, 9 p.m. on Star World.