Actress-model Vanessa Peh crowned Miss World Singapore 2018

(From left) The winners of Miss World Singapore 2018: second runner-up Vanessa Tiara, top winner Vanessa Peh and first runner-up Shonalie Raha. (PHOTO: Don Wong for Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

A 23-year-old actress-model has won the coveted title of Miss World Singapore 2018.

Vanessa Peh emerged victorious against nine other finalists – as determined by judges’ scores and audience votes – in the beauty pageant held at Resorts World Theatre in Resorts World Sentosa on Friday (14 September).

She will represent Singapore in the Miss World 2018 pageant in Sanya in China on 8 December.

Peh bagged $10,000 in cash, as well as over $20,000 worth of products including a month-long sponsored stay in Hainan in China and a one-year artiste management contract.

Financial services professional Shonalie Raha, 24, and actress Vanessa Tiara, 21, finished first and second runner-up respectively.

Peh, who was a runner-up in Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant 2016, said that her triumph came as an “absolute surprise and a total shock” and means “the world to me”.

Vanessa Peh (third from left) reacts after being announced as the winner of Miss World Singapore. (PHOTO: Don Wong for Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

“I still remember this morning when I was waking up and (feeling) very nervous about the Q&A (question-and-answer) segment. I couldn’t sleep very well last night. I’m so happy that I managed to pull through,” she said.

“I told myself that this was really my last chance because I’m not getting any younger. It’s either I make it or break it, so this really pushed me to do my best on stage,” added the actress, who has acted in several Toggle films.

On the causes that she will be championing, she said: “I would like to raise awareness on mental illness and support the underprivileged to acquire better housing and education, and also to support Sian Chey Medical Institution to provide quality, affordable and accessible healthcare for the general population.”

The evening started with a self-introduction segment by the finalists, followed by a gown and a talent segment. In a break with tradition, the swimwear segment was not included in this year’s competition.

The competition was then reduced to just six finalists for the Q&A segment, where each finalist was posed with a different question.

Peh’s response during the segment drew huge applause from the crowd. She was asked: “What is your biggest regret in your life?”

She said: “My biggest regret in my life is not being able to have the courage to overcome anxiety quickly, and that has resulted me to lose many valuable opportunities in my life. When I was younger, I used to suffer from really severe anxiety, and even doing simple tasks like leaving the house seemed to pose a big challenge for me.”

“However, now that I’m older and after going through many struggles and challenges, I’ve come to realise that there is beauty in struggle and challenge, and only (by) going through failure would we be able to reach our fullest potential and become the best version of ourselves,” she added.

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