After ten long years, TV5 will finally bring in the second season of Philippines' Next Top Model.
The first edition of Philippines' Next Top Model was hosted by beauty queen/host Ruffa Gutierrez and first aired back in 2007.
This 2017, the show will be hosted by model/beauty queen Maggie Wilson. Philippines' Next Top Model: High Street will start airing this Tuesday, March 21, at 8:15 p.m.
In a sit down interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the Summitmedia office on March 20, the 28-year-old former Binibining Pilipinas World title-holder shared a few juicy details about the show.
TV5's President and CEO Chot Reyes personally invited Maggie to host the Philippine edition of Tyra Banks' hit reality-compeitition show.
She admitted, "I feel super honored, you know. I was hired by the President and CEO of TV5 himself. He emailed me directly. It was a very like... one sentence e-mail, 'Hi Maggie! How are you? Congratulations on your Amazing Race win. I just wanna know if you'd be interested in hosting Philippines' Next Top Model?' Of course, the answer is yes!"
It may be recalled that Maggie and Parul Shah won The Amazing Race Asia Season 5 in December 2016.
PREPARATIONS. Maggie considers hosting as one of her fortes and actually loves this aspect of showbiz more than acting. This definitely comes to her advantage especially when hosting a franchise of a world-wide hit reality program.
She told PEP, "I was always a host, you know. Before I took a bit of a break from TV and show business, I was an MTV VJ for three years and I did host a lifestyle show with another network for three years as well.
"So hosting really is sort of my skill. I do love it more compared to acting. The hours are so much better and we get paid better as hosts."
The model gets to explore a new side of the reality program now that she's hosting the show herself, as well as sitting as a head judge on the panel, and not as a contestant.
Maggie already had her fair share of experiences as a contestant after winning the fifth season of Amazing Race Asia with fellow beauty queen and best friend Parul.
She narrated, "I mean, [I'm] doing a reality show as a contestant, now I'm doing another one but as a host, you know, it's so much less stressful.
"'Cause I think, as a contestant siyempre 'di ba, you have everything to lose but also everything to gain. Because the essence of the show is mentoring the girls into… we have girls that has zero modeling experience, that are gonna be on the show.
The TV host continued, "So I love that, like fresh meat. I've never seen them before. One of them has never walked in high heels before so it's really, really gonna be interesting to see that progression on the show.
"So we have girls that are gonna go from zero to hero throughout the course of the show so I'm really, really excited about that."
To prepare for her role, Maggie revisited a few episodes of the first cycle as well as binge-watched the original U.S. edition of the reality/modeling competition.
"I tried to look for it on YouTube," said Maggie about the first PNTM season hosted by Ruffa Gutierrez that aired on Channel 9.
"I found certain episodes of it but the quality wasn't very good may be because, when they uploaded it, it was done nine years ago and internet wasn't so great yet nine years ago.
"But I did catch a few of the episodes. Ruffa was in it and then we have Robbie Carmona in it as well. Even Tim Yap is part of it as well, who are all my friends. Like, Tim and Robbie are my neighbors so yeah, I have seen parts of it.
"I did focus on America's Next Top Model, so before I go into doing the job, I had to do my research. So I religiously watched several cycles, just so I get the feel of it and the hang of I'm supposed to host, how I'm supposed to interact with ten girls, what to say and what not to say, things like that."
HIGH STREET. Philippines' Next Top Model Cycle 2 will retain the original format of the show and updated it with a theme. For this cycle, the models will battle it out "High Street" style.
Maggie said, "We have a great roster of girls, beautiful mixes. The judges and I made sure of that, you know. We wanted girls who are pure Pinay, girls who are very Asian looking. Then we have our mixed girls, our mestizas, and our dusky-dark sinned girls, as well. So it's gonna be a nice mix of contestants."
Another thing Maggie pointed out while picking the show's finalist is that the models' height won't have that much bearing unlike the olden days where towering girls dominated the fashion scene.
"The girls this season, not all are tall, not all are the standard tall girls like 5'7… 5'7 is actually quite short but like 5'8, 5'9, 5'10. We actually have girls who are a little bit… or a lot smaller but they're very beautiful. Nowadays, height doesn't matter so much.
"I mean, if you look at supermodels like Cara Delevigne, she's only like 5'6 or 5'7. So if you have like a great personality and you know who you are, then you can be a great model whether it is in print, in commercial.
"The shorter girls won't be able to do runway so much as the taller ones but you know, that's a great thing about modeling. It's not one-dimensional, it's multi-dimensional."
Will we expect a lot of drama in this edition?
She revealed, "I think it's a Filipina thing or maybe an Asian thing, I think Pinays are very non-confrontational and if we do try to stir a little bit of drama, they kind of like, 'Oh, no everything's okay.'
"But you know, we do tell the girls week after week that this is a competition, only one of you is going to win, you can be friends after. At the photos hoots, you're out for blood and because the stakes are so high, the prizes are huge. And so, you can be friends later on, it's healthy competition.
"There's no need to sabotage one another but you know, you have to be competitive. But we do have some interesting characters on the show."
SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media won't be included in the panel for this season unlike some of the last few cycles of ANTM. However, Maggie continuously reminds the contestants on the importance of social media to really achieve a "top model" status in the current industry.
Maggie pointed out, "I would also like to instill that you know, to the girls. So what I like to do is after every elimination, or every after episode, I talk to them. I had a quick chat with them.
"Of course, they're not allowed to post anything on social media while they're on the show. They do that after. Although, a big sponsor of the show is Oppo so they do have phones on them to take pictures of themselves, to take selfies, or whatever and they're allowed to post that as the show progresses.
"But you know, with social media nowadays, it counts, e. Like, clients will look at how many followers you have and how you are interacting with your followers so I always tell the girls, even after the show, work on that because that's very important."
The PNTM host also said, "I think now, social media plays such a huge role in everyone's career whether you're a model, a host, or a TV personality, which is also why we're also looking for girls… you're not only to be just models but I'm personally looking for a girl that can be a great spokesperson, a great role model.
"Because social media is so huge, I want them to use that platform as well, to promote themselves as an influencer and as a model."
THE NEXT TOP MODEL. For this cycle, Maggie will be joined by Professional Models Association of the Philippines' President Rapha Kiefer and celebrity stylist/fashion magazine editor Rain Dagala in the judging panel.
Miss International 2016 Kylie Versoza was also tapped as the model-mentor of the show.
Now who plays the good cop and the bad cop in the judging panel?
Maggie answered, "The good cop is Rapha because he's so nice. You know, he is a guy, he's the only straight guy in the panel. He has to deal with three, you know. Rain is, you know, he's a girl also on the inside. So you know, he's the nice guy.
"Rain and I get along pretty well, surprisingly. The producers were hoping that we're going to clash but no, we get along really well. Siguro out of all of us, siya yung pinaka-tough, siya yung nagpapaiyak ng mga girls. You'll see that as well on the show.
"Kylie doesn't sit so much with us on the panel. I think she only sat with us twice 'cause she's the model-mentor. She's the one, you know, at the photo shoots more so than I am. Although, I do show up in photo shoots as well.
"Rapha is definitely the good cop, and then I'm sort of in between borderline bad cop and then Rain is the bad cop for sure."
Being a beauty queen/model herself, Maggie admits that she's quite a tough judge/mentor especially to pageant girls who joined the competition.
She explained, "I was tough on the pageant girls! Although people know me as a beauty queen, before I was a beauty queen, I was, in fact, a model.
"I started in the modeling industry when I was 14 years old. I didn't become a beauty queen until I was 17, or two weeks after I turn 18.
"So I do have a lot of modeling experience and I'd like to think I can s eparate the two. During the show, I really made a conscious effort not to look like a beauty queen and certainly, not to act like one.
"I think, because of course, the essence of the show is modeling.
"So we had some girls come in, you know, when we're looking for the top 24 already, when we're narrowing it down, they each do an individual interview with the panel of judges and someone walked in in those horrid pageant heels, the really chunky one, I hate them.
"We didn't have them during my time, during pageants but it's so uso now for some reason, I really don't understand.
"And so, I would tell them right of the bat, you know, I'd shut them down right away, 'This is a modeling competition. Make no mistake, this isn't a beauty pageant. And we're not looking for a beauty queen, we're looking for a model.'"
When asked what does it take to become the country's next top model, Maggie listed quite a lot.
She said, "I'm looking for a girl who's a chameleon. That's a quality of a good model, to be able to transform into different roles. It's kind of like acting in a way, depending on what kind of outfit you're wearing, what kind of make-up you have or hair, you have to sort of portray a character.
"So for each photo shoot, I expect a girl to look herself but also look different. I'm really looking for a girl who can transform to every character per shoot.
"I'm looking for a girl who can do runway, who can do print, and who can do commercial modeling. I'm looking for a girl who can do all three, who can be a triple threat across the board.
"I'm looking for a girl who is innovative. I would like to see growth because that is the essence of the show. Week by week, we critique the girls and hopefully, with that critique they come back next week as better models.
"And so, I'm looking for a girl who listens, who takes criticism well, who grows week after week. And a girl who's confident or maybe in the beginning she wasn't confident but towards the end, you know, you sort of build that confidence.
"A girl who's got personality because after all, it's a reality TV show. And you know, supermodels and top models are girls who are full of personality.
She ended, "It sounds like a lot, but you know, it does take a lot to be a top model because not everyone can be a top model."