Singapore finds her Manhunt International 2011 representative in a cool-headed, mixed martial arts trainer.
Contributed By Jamie Lim
The audience, comprising family members, friends, and fans of the finalists of Manhunt Singapore 2011 erupted in screams and shouts of encouragement as the contestants appeared on stage at TAB on July 28, clad in their sponsored Ed Hardy casual wear. There were 19 hopefuls, but by the end of the night, only one would be selected to represent Singapore in the upcoming Manhunt International 2011 in Seoul, Korea.
In their search for the most deserving contestant, organizers were not just looking for looks and physiques but the whole package. “We are looking for more than just a winner in the pageant, more than just a representative for Singapore in the Manhunt International. We want someone with potential—the potential to be a celebrity. Based on that, I think all our finalists tonight are great,” said Samuel Seow of Beam Artistes, the organizer of Manhunt Singapore 2011. Industry powerhouses such as Singaporean singer-songwriter Dick Lee, former Mr. Singapore Muad-Did Kal and aesthetic doctor Dr. Rohan Mendis made up the judging panel.
In what was the male equivalent of the beauty queen swimsuit parade, the contestants, togged out in Poco Pano swimwear, strutted down the runway with confidence. This was followed by the formal wear segment, where the 19 gentlemen set out to charm the judges and audience with their suave poses and dashing smiles. Ten contestants were shortlisted and posed challenges by the judges to test their wits and presentation skills. Shane Pow, 21, was appointed the most interesting and entertaining task of the night: to ask a girl out on a date, using three different accents. He did so in hilarious British, Indian and Malay accents, eliciting guffaws from the crowd.
Three contestants were selected to vie for the winning title through the question and answer segment. All three were momentarily stumped by the same question: “What do you think should be the characteristics of the winner of Manhunt Singapore?”
The winner of the night was the quiet and unassuming Juan Wen Jie, 27, a muay thai and mixed martial arts trainer. While he has no problem keeping fit, Juan said to compete internationally, he would have to work harder at bulking up.
“I’m feeling the responsibility and pressure of representing Singapore in the upcoming Manhunt International already. Building up my body to compete in this pageant is my greatest challenge because of what I do, but I’m going to put in my best for Korea,” said the winner.
“He is intelligent, and has a very deep calling in relation to helping young people in need,” Seow commented of the 186 cm-tall Juan, who works with youth from various schools and tertiary institutions. Subsidiary awards such as Mr. Hot-Bod, Maxi Muscle, Mr. Popularity, Mr. Quintessential and Touche Ladies Man were also given out that night.