SINGAPORE - The prospect of lucrative pageant prize winnings, including $60,000 cash and an exclusive contract with an entertainment agency, was enough to make model Nicholas Langton gun for gold.
But eight months later, the winner of the grand prize at local pageant Manhunt Singapore 2018 has not received his prize money.
Mr Langton, 22, told The Straits Times in an exclusive interview that he had not received the $60,000 since the finals of the Manhunt pageant on July 12 last year.
The pageant was organised by Beam Artistes, which was founded by local entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow.
Mr Seow was recently in the news over a viral video that surfaced in late April of him chasing and beating a female member of his staff in an incident that happened last year.
Mr Langton told ST that he found out from another winner a week after the competition that he was getting paid only after their "year of service" ended.
"All of the guys in the competition, including myself, gave it their all. During the competition, I even worked at sponsored events that Beam sent us to, and did not expect to be paid as I knew this was part and parcel of taking part in the competition," he said.
"I was looking forward to receiving my prize money, having worked very hard on the competition. I found out when I was away visiting my family in Australia that I would have to wait a year, until my reign as Mr Manhunt ends this July."
He added that after the competition, Beam Artistes in late July last year required him to sign a three-year exclusive management agreement with the company in order to get his prize money a year later, in July this year.
He then attempted to clarify the details of this management contract on Aug 20 with the help of a lawyer, after which the prospect of a signed contract with Beam did not materialise.
Mr Langton said: "Before that point, I was willing to sign an exclusive management agreement, because it would have meant so many more opportunities for me. I am disappointed at how the situation turned out."
He said he was given an ultimatum last September, where he was told that he would have to be more cooperative and responsible, or he would be removed as the pageant winner.
"This prize money meant the world to me. I was going to use it to pay for my engineering degree at the National University of Singapore," he said.
A Beam Artistes spokesman said: "It is true that Mr Nicholas Tze Wei Langton was a contestant in the Beam Search 2018. He won two titles in the competition, being Manhunt Singapore 2018 as well as Best Model of The World Singapore 2018, and he has not received his prize money for both of the titles won by him."
"The end of Mr Langton's reign would have been on the 12 July 2019, a year after he was crowned Mr Manhunt Singapore 2018 as well as Best Model of The World Singapore 2018. Essentially the time for payment has not arisen, and even if it has, he has not satisfied the preconditions for payment," the spokesman said in a statement.
The spokesman added that the cash prize for every winner is sponsored by Beam Artistes, and was payable at the end of a winner's reign, and after the winner signed an exclusive management agreement with the agency.
Mr Langton had not signed any contract with Beam Artistes as of May 7 this year, said the statement.
ST understands that to date, Beam has neither formally removed Mr Langton's pageant titles nor crowned another contestant in his place.