'I am not afraid to tell the truth'

Singaporean contestant Angela Watkins, known for telling off a judge, was eliminated from Asia’s Next Top Model in the latest round.
Singaporean contestant Angela Watkins, known for telling off a judge, was eliminated from Asia’s Next Top Model in the latest round. PHOTO: POTTLE PRODUCTIONS INC

In the fourth and latest season of popular reality TV contest Asia's Next Top Model, Singapore contestant Angela Watkins came to be known as the blunt one.

In a controversial episode, the 20-year-old beauty dared to tell American photographer and judge Yu Tsai he was "intimidating" and that he should shout less at the contestants.

The comments riled him immediately, who said he was "done with her", and also divided viewers over whether she overstepped boundaries.

Watkins, the only contestant to represent Singapore in this season, was eliminated in last night's episode and placed No. 5 overall.

Speaking to The Straits Times in a telephone interview, she says that being frank will always be a part of who she is. "I guess I am not afraid to tell the truth. If I have an opinion, I will voice it.

People always ask me why I look so angry, but really, I’m just staring into space. It’s just my face.

ANGELA WATKINS

"I don't want to be the picture- picture model and answer questions the way people expect. I just want to be real," she says, adding that she looks up to British supermodel Cara Delevingne for her remaining "down-to-earth and genuine" despite being so famous.

Watkins' frank persona in the show was amped up all the more, given her reputation for putting on what fans call her "resting b**** face" during elimination rounds.

She laughs and says: "Honestly, I never even realised it until I saw what fans wrote online. I am actually always really nervous during eliminations because you're just standing there waiting to be called and then critiqued.

"But I've been told about my resting b**** face all my life. People always ask me why I look so angry, but really, I'm just staring into space. It's just my face."

Still, she concedes that in the case with Yu Tsai, she should have held herself back somewhat.

"I should have thought about my choice of words a little more and I should have shown him more respect.

"To get to work with him and others such as Thai model Cindy Bishop on the show - I've been very lucky to get that kind of opportunity."

Although she will not help Singapore win the title, she feels she has done all that she could.

"I felt so much pressure throughout the show because it was like the country's chances were in the hands of this random little kid.

"But I think I gave it my best," says Watkins, an only child of divorced parents. Her father is an Australian writer and her mother a Chinese Singaporean who works in real estate.

So where does she go from here?

The Australian International School graduate says: "I will make use of this prime period when the show is still airing on TV, and people actually know who I am, to do as much as I can with that.

"I've wanted to be a model since I was 10, so this is my priority and I hope to do this for the rest of my life."


• Asia’s Next Top Model 4 airs on Star World (StarHub TV Channel 501, Singtel TV Channel 301) on Wednesday at 9pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2016, with the headline ''I am not afraid to tell the truth''. Print Edition | Subscribe