Filipino model Tracey Dela Cruz was hailed as the ‘Bigo Fan Favourite’ at the inaugural Slay Model Search Asia 2023, an international transgender modeling contest, edging out 24 finalists across Southeast Asia in the talent search competition.
The Parañaque City bet was also hailed as the crowd favorite, having emerged as the winner of the ‘Top Vote Box’ for garnering the greatest number of votes during the competition from the Bigo Live app.
Tracey Dela Cruz, who was awarded a gift check of 100,000 Bigo Beans and a trophy, said, “I am grateful to represent the Philippines in this historic event and was lucky to share these memories and experiences with different girls from Asia. I was surprised to find out that I was the Bigo fan favourite, garnering the most votes from supporters across the region. I had an amazing and fun time and am thankful for being given a platform to inspire others and elevate trans beauty on a global stage.”
Slay Model Search Asia 2023, helmed by international model management agency, Slay Model Management, was launched in partnership with global livestreaming platform Bigo Live Philippines and renowned global cosmetics brand MAC Cosmetics. The finale event on 27 April, saw 24 model contestants strutting the runway, showcasing their beauty, confidence, grace and creativity in different challenges and rounds of the competition.
The brand new talent search competition made history as it featured trans women from all over Asia, and was aired on ABS-CBN and Bigo Live attracting thousands of viewers and supporters in the Philippines and worldwide. Out of 24 participants from the region, 13 contestants were from the Philippines and drew in participants from across Southeast Asia including Thailand, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
In the Semi-Finals, only the top 12 contestants were shortlisted, with six of them from Philippines, namely, Tracey Dela Cruz, KC Cusi, Louell Celis, Durian Bautista, Abby Ecalnir and Lauren Sanz (in the order they were called).
The second runner-up was Sauce Chulalakkul from Thailand and the first runner-up was Abby Ecalnir from the Philippines. Nana Jantarat from Thailand was crowned as the Slay Model Search Asia 2023 Winner. As the winning model, Nana brought home a million’s worth of prizes including a modeling contract and a gift cheque of 1 million beans from Bigo Live.
The event also featured an esteemed panel of judges including notable celebrities and personalities such as Vice Ganda and Karylle, the hosts of ‘It’s Showtime’, Carole Cuasay Tagle, magazine editor and stylist, and Josh Yugen, multi-awarded writer, magazine owner, and National Director for three franchises of the Miss Universe Organisation.
“We would like to congratulate all the talented and beautiful finalists and winners of the Slay Model Search Asia 2023. Bigo Live is proud to be a major sponsor of the inaugural modeling competition, celebrating and elevating trans women in Asia. At Bigo Live, we remain committed to creating a safe and respectful space for our trans and LGBTQ+ community to connect, listen and support each other,” said Chancy Chen, Country Manager of Bigo Live Philippines. [Press release]
Featured cover credit: ABS-CBN News