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This summer saw the successful run of Vietnam’s first advertising model reality TV show The Face Vietnam, an addition to the existing franchises of the hit US-based series. The 12-episode season, beginning in June, was a big hit, attracting 50 million viewers on Youtube and it was the topic of hundreds of articles weekly.

The show focused on an intense competition between 15 female contestants, who were split into three permanent teams led by three model coaches who mentored them for the rest of the show. Contestants participated in a series of challenges ranging from photo shoots to runway presentations to commercial appearances. For each new episode challenge, one team came out as the winner and gained immunity from elimination while the two losing teams each had to send out one member to the coach of the winning team so that she could pick one member of the two for elimination.

The show featured a powerful lineup of top models who acted as team mentors. They included model, college lecturer and Miss Universe Vietnam 2015 Phạm Hương, model, pop singer and actress Hồ Ngọc Hà, and model, actress and Miss World Vietnam 2014 Trần Ngọc Lan Khuê.

With four contestants remaining, the show came to an emotional end on September 3 when 19-year-old Phí Phương Anh from Hanoi, mentored by Hồ Ngọc Hà, was proclaimed the winner. Chúng Huyền Thanh, 19, from Hai Phong, Đỗ Trần Khánh Ngân, 22, from Dong Nai, and previously eliminated, but revived contestant Ngô Thị Quỳnh Mai, 21, from Lan Khue, were the runner ups.

Winner Phi Phuong Anh
Winner Phi Phuong Anh

Afterwards, the winners and runner ups shared their thoughts on social media about the ending of the show and they thanked those who contributed to their success.

Winner Phí Phương Anh said on Facebook, “The most valuable thing that I’ve received from participating in this competition is each experience, each lesson that I have never before had contact with. From being a student who only knew how to go to school and was mesmerized by fashion models, I am now one step closer to realizing my dreams of becoming a professional model myself.”

Runner up Chúng Huyền Thanh from Team Hồ Ngọc Hà posted on Facebook “The journey of The Face 2016 Season One has ended. I am thrilled to have advanced to Top 4 and to have received the Runner-Up title. The Face has granted me infinite priceless and constructive lessons and has helped me to mature in life and in my professional career.”

Meanwhile, Team Phạm Hương’s Đỗ Trần Khánh Ngân hilariously shared her relief in the show’s end,  saying she was overjoyed to finally be able to spend some quality time with her family. She also thanked those who helped her along the way.

All the contestants attracted attention from the press, corporations, and viewers (domestic and international), which will help their careers. Publicity included coverage of the competiton posted in airports within Vietnam, clips of challenge winners edited into viral video published on social media, and real ads and commercials for renowned brands. Contestants received fashion advertising contract offers outside of the show. Khánh Ngân received invitations to attend Fashion Week in the United States and Team Ho Ngoc Ha was invited to Singapore for a commercial filming.

Despite recently ending its first season, The Face Vietnam is already gearing up for its second season and is currently accepting applications for the new cast.

If you have not had a chance to watch it, you can still catch the full episodes on Viva’s official Youtube channel and on theface.saostar.vn. The show is conducted in Vietnamese, but English subtitles are provided.