Chapter 61 - Semifinals

"Hurry up, hurry up!"

The backstage area was filled with shouts and yells.

The models all hurried to change their clothes and line up as the makeup artists darted between them, fixing their makeup.

The music soon started, and the first model walked down the runway.

Zhuo Yiyan and the sharp tongued judge, Mike, were standing backstage, watching the fashion show live from the backstage TV with the designer.

One after another, foreign models with strong facial features and long legs walked the runway, imposingly striding forward in beat with the music. Their hair was styled in high ponytails, and their faces were painted in heavy makeup with smokey eyes and purple lips as if poisoned. However, even the striking makeup couldn't conceal the splendour of the clothing.

The unique tailoring, the variety of materials used, and the fashionable trends it rocked made every piece of the collection coveted by everybody. They all wanted to buy it on the spot.

The audience’s eyes lit up when a black haired, black eyed model walked on the T Fashion Runway. Although there were quite a few Chinese models that had made an international debut, they were still rare on a fashion show abroad.

"Xiao Yang's stage presence is getting better and better," Zhuo Yiyan said as he took a step forward.

"Right now, she's already enough to become a supermodel." Mike nodded in response.

"She has a very distinguishable face that's well suited for international shows. I think everybody will like her," the Chinese designer commented.

Because the designer was Chinese, she was more considerate of the contestants who’d come to interview for her show. Earlier, 5 out of the 6 contestants had passed her interview, so the remaining 4 were all eligible to walk on the same runway.

The second contestant to make the stage was Luo Yi. She’d never walked in a big fashion show before, but she had no lack of experience in small shows like this. However, she was too afraid of failure, so her walk was slightly stiff.

"Luo Yi has experience, but she can't handle that 'do or die' feeling for this show," Zhuo Yiyan commented.

"My first impression of this contestant was that she was very pretty, but she didn't really give me the feeling that I wanted. If it wasn't for the desperation I saw in her eyes, I wouldn't have given her this chance," the designer also added.

Sharp tongued Mike nodded. "Luo Yi is a bit disappointing since throughout the whole competition, she's never been able to break through her own limitations."

"Right!" Zhuo Yiyan agreed.

After another foreign model, the third contestant, Yin Meiling, appeared.

"Mike, what do you think of Yin Meiling?" Zhuo Yiyan didn't have the right word in mind and immediately passed the question to Mike.

Mike had no worries about being blunt. "Apart from having a nice figure, everything else is bad, especially her brain!"

"She's actually very photogenic. I decided to keep her in the show last night because even when she’s wearing normal clothes, it seems enough to do a photo shoot," the designer said.

"But today, it doesn't seem like she’s grasped the essence of the clothes very well."

The last one to go on stage was Sheng Jiaoyang. She was arranged to come out second last, a position that would act as a foil for the last model. The model in this position would usually be very forgettable since everybody was looking forward to seeing the grand finale model.

The other three contestants all had long hair, with the shortest at their shoulders. Therefore, they all sported high ponytails. However, Sheng Jiaoyang's hair was too short, so the stylist today decided to dye her hair black before parting it to the side. The longer hair was combed over to the larger section, while the shorter strands were arranged on the opposite side.

It was a very gender neutral hairstyle, but she was wearing a very feminine looking cheongsam dress. The fabric around her chest was sewn with special materials, making it seem similar to the delicate veins in a leaf, and it was interwoven with a light green gauze. One shoulder was open, revealing the curve of her back before several layers of gauze draped to form the skirt that trailed behind her.

The short haired model walked confidently on stage, glimpses of her long thin legs occasionally appearing as the gauze skirt swished about. The ambiguous sense of beauty, together with her elegant bearing, made her figure very eye catching. Her dress only enhanced it.

"That skirt is so stunning! Is that really not the outfit for the finishing model to wear?" Mike commented in surprise.

"It's not, I know this girl is young and has never experienced a fashion show before. In the beginning, I wasn't even sure that she could handle it. The reason I decided to still pick her for this dress was because I suddenly had a flash of inspiration when I saw her, and I wanted to try making that inspiration come to life,” the designer said.

"Although she's young, the feeling she gives off doesn't make it seem like she’s young at all. Even though it’s such a grandiose dress, she still manages to look elegant and fresh, not vulgar. She almost looks like a fairy wandering on Earth!” Zhuo Yiyan added.

Mike rubbed his chin and clicked his tongue. "Xu Jiaojiao's temperament is very good, so wearing a dress like this makes her look like an elegant young lady at a ball, debuting into society. Having such a strong aura at her age gives her immeasurable prospects for the future."

While they were discussing her, Sheng Jiaoyang finished her walk and returned back stage. The last model was wearing an exaggerated, imposing full length dress with long sleeves that swayed gently as she walked.

The fashion show finished.

The top 4 contestants stood there, waiting for their results.

It was now time to find out who’d pass the semi finals.

"For you guys to get this far means all of you have very strong potential and skill. However, this is the semi finals, and the competition needs a result.” Zhuo Yiyan's face was solemn as he looked at the contestants.

"We're already prepared. Teacher Zhuo, please announce the results!"

Zhuo Yiyan hesitated as he looked at the four contestants. "Luo Yi and Xiao Yang both had excellent performances on the runway today, but the most astonishing walk belongs to Xu Jiaojiao. It can even be said that throughout the entire season of National Supermodel, she has shown the biggest improvement."

The others looked at Xu Jiaojiao and thought back to when National Supermodel had first started broadcasting, all the way to this present moment. Xu Jiaojiao had really changed a lot. She’d gone from a not-so-eye-catching girl, to a radiant attractive girl who reversed everyone’s impression of her, one step at a time.

"From your expressions, it seems that you've already guessed who placed first out of the top three." Zhuo Yiyian had a faint smile. "That's right, it's Xu Jiaojiao!"

"Congratulations! Your efforts weren’t wasted." This time, Mike's words weren't sharp at all.

Based on their poise on the runway, the top three were unanimously decided to be Sheng Jiaoyang, Luo Yi, and Xiao Yang.

Yin Meiling was stopped at the top four.

As another person left the building, the remaining three stared at each other, each with their own thoughts.

At night, Luo Yi and Xiao Yang were separated to be interviewed alone. Meanwhile, Sheng Jiaoyang met the self proclaimed ‘manager’ of a big company.

This manager was a man in his 40s with a mustache. When he saw Sheng Jiaoyang, he used an ambiguous gaze to inspect her as if he was looking at a product before revealing a satisfied smile.

"Hello, Xu Jiaojiao!" The man extended a hand.

Sheng Jiaoyang's hands were both in her pockets, and she didn't pull them out to shake his hand.

"If you need something, just say it."

A ruthless light flashed through the man's eyes but was quickly concealed by a smile. "I’m Tan Jie, a gold medal manager from Supermodel Management Company. I saw you on the show online and thought you were a very good model. I know you still haven't signed on with any companies, so I came here especially to sincerely invite you to join our group."

"Not interested." Sheng Jiaoyang turned around and left.

"Ah, you-"

Bang!

The fat man was shoulder thrown to the ground, leaving him paralysed.

Sheng Jiaoyang patted the non existent dust off her shoulder and ignored the man howling in grief as she left the room.

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Yuna's Thoughts

TL: Kiki | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace