HCMC student wins Vietnam's Next Top Model

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Vu Tuan Viet (L), 21, the first runner-up and Mau Thi Thanh Thuy, 21, the winner of the 2013 Vietnam's Next Top Model posing for a picture at the end of the Sunday finale. Photo by P.C.Tung 

Mau Thi Thanh Thuy, 21, beat out three other finalists on Sunday to become the fourth winner of the Vietnam's Next Top Model, a local adaptation of the hit reality show America's Next Top Model.

The 1.78-meter tall student and freelance model from Ho Chi Minh City outshone Nguyen Thi Cha Mi, Le Van Kien and Vu Tuan Viet in the catwalk and photoshoot challenges during the 2.5-hour live finale and walked away with prizes worth more than VND3 billion (US$141,000).

The winnings include VND200 million in cash, a two-year contract with model management and training firm BeU Models worth VND1 billion, a one-year stay at a five-star apartment building in HCMC worth VND600 million and other prizes. Thuy is currently studying at a hotel management school.

Viet, 21, a Hanoi Academy of Theater and Cinema student hailing from the northern province of Hai Duong, was the first runner-up.  

Model Thanh Hang, make-up artist Nam Trung, designer Do Manh Cuong and J. Alexander, an American catwalk coach and former judge of the first 18 seasons of America's Next Top Model, were the finale's judges.

The judges praised Thuy and Viet for their confidence in the photoshoot challenge, and for knowing how to interact with the camera and take control of their bodies to the music.

Alexander, the guest judge, said Thuy was "amazing" in the photoshoot. He said she delivered her movement with confidence.

Cuong said that although Thuy started the competition with some modeling experiences, she learned a lot and improved during the competition. He said he was totally pleased with her final performance.

"I believe Thuy will be a very successful model in the future," Cuong said.

Thuy performs during the catwalk challenge of the Sunday finale. Photo by Doc Lap

Thuy said she was once afraid that she wouldn't make it past the casting round, and she would have been ashamed because she had some modeling experience. Slightly apprehensive, she joined the competition anyway.

She said all-out passion helped her shine. 

Like the American original version, this is the first time Vietnam's Next Top Model featured male contestants.

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