Image: Oh Xin Yee

He surprised his sister the last time she was in a beauty pageant by showing up at the event unannounced.

Last night, student Nicholas Lam Wei Xiang, 17, did it again.

He showed up at The New Paper New Face 2016 final to show his support for Kim Min Pei Lam, 22, who was vying for the coveted title with 18 other finalists.

“It’s feels good to be with my family and I wanted to support her,” Nicholas told TNP.

He was euphoric when Kim was announced as this year’s New Face winner, taking home $10,000 in cash and an exclusive feature in Her World magazine. She also won the Cosmoprof Academy’s Miss Photogenic title.

First-runner up was Shwetaa Rai, 19, a communications student at SIM University.

Sohee Park, 23, a business management student at James Cook University, emerged second-runner up.

Kim called her brother her lucky charm.

The freelance model and student at Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information said: “I told him not come and to just study.

“But I saw him in the crowd and I’m glad he came because he’s my lucky charm.

“He also did that during Miss World Singapore 2014 and I came in second. I didn’t give him a ticket but he surprised me just the same.

“When I saw him, I thought, ‘Oh my God, deja vu. He’s here to surprise me again.'”

The two-hour final of TNP New Face 2016 was held yesterday from 7.30pm at Marina Square Central Atrium.

The event was hosted by actress Siti Khalijah, who entertained the audience with a stand-up comedy segment.

The show kicked off with an energetic dance performance that really worked the crowd.

This was followed by the appearance of the 19 finalists who strutted down the runway with flashing camera lights and loud cheers from every corner of the venue.

There were three runway sequences, culminating with male models accompanying the finalists on the runway.

Shwetaa said she was stunned to have won the runner-up title as well as two subsidiary prizes: Her World Runway Star and Miss Popularity.

Sohee, too, was surprised when she heard her name announced as second runner-up.

“I didn’t expect it. I’m happy and will be going out to celebrate with my boyfriend and friends,” she said.

Emotions ran high for student Gernice Lee, 19, who won the Subaru Miss Vivacious title.

Tears rolled down her cheeks when she met her family and friends after the show.

She said: “It feels so surreal. It’s my first competition, so I’m really overwhelmed. My family and friends are here, and I’m glad for their support.”

Though she wowed everyone and took home the crown, Kim said she was nervous the whole night, worried that her right foot would act up.

She had developed a stress fracture a month ago, which she believed was due to wearing heels throughout her internship from January to July at the communications department at Marina Bay Sands.

Doctors had advised her to take it easy and rest her foot.

“But it hurts the most when I wear flats. In heels, I feel just a slight pain,” said Kim.

“I didn’t feel anything today and I think it’s because I’ve been taking quite good care of it.

“I still can’t believe I won. I never expected myself to win this, so I’m really surprised.

“I’d been wanting to do this since three years ago and I finally did it because I’m in town during the auditions. I was away during the competition the previous years.”

Kim comes from a close-knit family of seven but only her brother was at the event last evening.

“My mother was too scared to come, she’s even more nervous than me,” she said.

One of the judges, Her World Singapore editor Tracy Lee, said of Kim: “She is the whole package. She was always very confident and positive.

“She has the looks, walk and smile, and even her poses were good.”

Another judge, executive director of Tan Chong International Glenn Tan, agreed: “She is very confident. During the auditions, she was one of the girls who stood out.

“I’m glad to see that she has made it all the way here.”

TNP editor Dominic Nathan said: “It’s the first time New Face is in a new venue, Marina Square.

“The crowd is closer to the stage, so the reaction and response from them were pretty good.

“Overall, the event was great. “

She is the whole package. She was always very confident and positive.

– Judge Tracy Lee on the winner, Kim Min Pei Lam

Catwalk newbie wins Runway Star prize

She may have won the most titles last night, but first runner-up Shwetaa Rai confessed that she had stage fright when she first stepped out onto the runway.

The communications student at SIM University told The New Paper: “It was very different from the rehearsals, there were so many more people.

“I don’t know if anybody noticed, but I was shaking very badly at first.

“After a while, I got used to the crowd.”

Shwetaa, 19, bagged two other subsidiary prizes, Her World Runway Star and Miss Popularity.

Miss Popularity was decided by the public, who voted online for their favourite finalist.

“I took the voting thing quite seriously. But I was quite shocked about the Her World prize. This is my first time on a catwalk so I wasn’t really good at it.”

Shwetaa, who won $5,000 cash, added: “I’m still in a state of shock. I need to go home to think about what I’m going to do with the prize money.”

She believes she stood out from the other finalists because she is adaptable.

“I was quite scared at first, but I (told myself) that I have to be confident. I don’t mind walking 10,000 runways now,” she said.

Her entire family, including her mother and aunt, turned up last night to support her.

“They’re very supportive and I’m glad that they’re here,” she said.

The New Paper New Face 2016 winners

WINNER

Kim Min Pei Lam ($10,000 cash and an exclusive feature in Her World magazine)

First runner-up

Shwetaa Rai ($5,000 cash)

Second runner-up

Sohee Park ($3,000 cash)

SUBARU MISS VIVACIOUS

Gernice Lee

Her World Runway Star

Shwetaa Rai

Cosmoprof Academy Miss Photogenic:

Kim Min Pei Lam

Miss Popularity

Shwetaa Rai

This story was originally published in The New Paper. For more stories like this, head to www.tnp.sg.