Although her accent hinders her command of English, Thailand model Jessica Amornkuldilok has big dreams to make it big as a top model and pursue a career in Hollywood.
Her prospects have certainly turned brighter as she just won the first-ever Asia’s Next Top Model, a television modeling competition that was franchised from its famed American version.
The 26-year-old winner was revealed in a private preview at Stage 28 in Universal Studios Singapore on Friday night. Amornkuldilok received a $100,000 cash prize, a modeling contract with top agency Storm Model Management and a slew of other prizes including a Subaru XV car. She beat 13 other contestants from Asia, including former The New Paper Face contestant Kyla Tan who was representing Singapore.
Not one to be outdone, the go-getter nabbed four “Best Photo” honours in 12 photo-shoot challenges. Having her sights set on the future, she enthused to Yahoo! Singapore, “I really want to work so bad and be on magazines and the runways. My biggest dream is to be in Hollywood and to be a top model, so that everyone in the world knows me.”
Amornkuldilok also won the chance to be the face of the Canon IXUS campaign for this year. While shooting the camera commercial in the show’s final episode, problems with her speech surfaced in her stilted pronunciation. In her interview, she acknowledged her shortcomings and endeavoured to work on improving her command of English.
“I feel uncomfortable being on the camera while I talk because my accent is not good and I feel nervous every time I speak out. I have to think positive: nobody is good at it the first time, so (it’s all about) practice. I learnt English from watching movies and listening to music. I communicate a lot with people now and it’s made me improve,” said Jessica.
Starting later but smarter
Although she admits to cringing whenever she sees herself on television, she says she is a much more mature person than before. At 18, she dropped out of her Elite Models contract to focus on supporting herself and studying after one of her family members passed on. She is worried to start her career at such a late age as models typically peak as early as 18 years old.
“I think I’m smarter now because I went through with my studies and now have life experience. Agents can no longer control me in a bad way because I now ask for things like my salary,” said Amornkuldilok.
With Amornkuldilok’s sights set for Hollywood, she is definitely open to acting gigs. She was also candid about posing nude. “Nudity is art. I only will do nudity that is artful and not do anything that is too sexy. I want the nudity to look fashionable like what (top model) Kate Moss does,” said Jessica.
When asked if her pan-Asian looks may mean that others would think she is not fully representative of Asia, Jessica shoots that view down. The half-German, half-Thai model is proud of her Asian roots and upbringing and said she wants to “represent Asia and its models” following her win.
The show trended worldwide on Twitter following the final episode that aired last Sunday.
The finale re-runs on Star World (StarHub Channel 501/555 HD, SingTel mio TV Channel 301 HD) on Wednesday, February 20 at 9.30pm.
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