When the team from wiwibloggs.com launched the search for Eurovision’s Next Top Model 2014, we knew we were in for something special. The 25 women who entered the competition on March 24 brought more beauty than the ladies of the Miss Venezuela pageant, and worked more looks than a model at Paris Fashion Week. Some were daring. Lithuania’s Vilija paired rubber with plastic, while Azerbaijan’s Dilara vogued beneath a dangling trapeze artist. Others got physical. Estonia’s Tanja stretched her legs above her head, while Poland’s Cleo taught us all how to shake what our mama gave us. Each of them remembered their camera angles—and how much they wanted to win ENTM, the premeir online modelling contest for the women competing at the Eurovision Song Contest.
In the end one woman proved that she, more than anyone else, has what it takes to succeed as an international superstar after the Eurovision glory fades. After counting 19,046 votes during the semi-finals and a staggering 206,015 votes in the final, we are pleased to announce that Romania’s Paula Seling is Eurovision’s Next Top Model 2014. Below we celebrate Paula’s achievement. But she is not the only woman we’re honouring today. Ireland’s Kasey Smith and the Netherlands’ Ilse DeLange, our first and second runner-up, will join Paula in the Top Model Hall of Fame. They join a storied list of women who have gone on to grace magazine covers, star in movies, and front major international beauty campaigns. For these ladies things just got real.
Eurovision’s Next Top Model 2014 Results
- Romania’s Paula Seling: 29,076 votes, 14.11%
- Ireland’s Kasey Smith: 27,244 votes, 13.22%
- The Netherlands’ Ilse DeLange: 26,379 votes, 12.8%
- Ukraine’s Maria Yaremchuk: 25,523 votes, 12.39%
- Portugal’s Suzy: 24,603 votes, 11.94%
- Moldova’s Cristina Scarlat: 21,388 votes, 10.38%
- Poland’s Cleo: 10,226 votes, 4.96%
- Sweden’s Sanna Nielsen: 9,607 votes, 4.66%
- Spain’s Ruth Lorenzo: 8,592 votes, 4.17%
- Italy’s Emma Marrone: 8,202 votes, 3.98%
- Estonia’s Tanja: 8,073 votes, 3.92%
- Israel’s Mei Finegold: 1,775 votes, 0.86%
- Azerbaijan’s Dilara: 1,184 votes, 0.57%
- Lithuania’s Vilija Mataciunaite: 1,118 votes, 0.54%
- Russia’s Tolmachevy Sisters: 1,067 votes, 0.52%
- United Kingdom’s Molly Smitten-Downes: 1,055 votes, 0.51%
- Austria’s Conchita Wurst: 903 votes, 0.44%
- San Marino’s Valentina Monetta: 194 votes, 1% [Eliminated in week #2]
- Albania’s Hersiana Matmuja: 186 votes, 0.96%
- Slovenia’s Tinkara Kovac: 138 votes, 0.71%
- FYR Macedonia’s Tijana: 133 votes, 0.69%
- Germany’s Elaiza: 118 votes, 0.61% [Eliminated in week #1]
- Latvia’s Katrina Dimanta: 30 votes, 0.32%
- Malta’s Michelle Mifsud: 30 votes, 0.32%
- Georgia’s Mariko: 25 votes, 0.27%
With her victory Paula becomes the first repeat winner of the contest. She took the title on her first attempt in 2010. At that time we praised her for the black leather catsuit she wore on stage (thank goodness it didn’t melt!) and wrote that she had “won over European voters with her porcelain skin, Hollywood smile and attractive curves.”
Even with that win under her Chanel belt, Paula kept her feet on the ground—and her fans in her heart. Moments after winning Romania’s national selection in 2014, she and her duet partner Ovi recorded the following message for their supporters on wiwibloggs.com.
In the official video for “Miracle” Paula had several wardrobe changes, and she made each and every one of them work. She’s one of the few artists in the world who can still look amazing as producers blast her with water and crank up the wind machine at the same time.
As her “Miracle” developed, Paula kept saying thank you to her fans…
At Eurovision itself, Paula was poised and pitch-perfect. On stage she introduced some dramatic hand choreography and wore a dress that shined as brightly as her LED screens. Her 18-second high-note remains one of the best moments of ESC. Her beauty made the hologram at the start of her act all the more convincing. Can a woman really be that perfect?
First Runner Up: Ireland’s Kasey Smith
This year’s runner-up, Ireland’s Kasey Smith, earned an impressive 27,244 votes. A modern Irish woman, she proves you can have it all: a bangin’ body, hair that shines like silk, and a spokesmodel voice that soothes those wise enough to listen. But she hasn’t forsaken her roots. Just as her song channeled a Celtic spirit, Kasey oozes Irish charm. She knows who she is and she isn’t changing for anyone. We caught up with Kasey in Malmö and we didn’t want the conversation to end.
When Ireland failed to make the final, our hearts bled for Dublin—and for Miss Smith. But Kasey walks away with a new legion of fans, major international experience, and, we think, a downpayment on a bright and promising career. Kasey, in the aftermath of your shock exit, we just have one thing to say to you: “When the shore gets hard to see/ Keep your head high above the water/ We can make it and break the border/ Hold onto my heartbeat.” We love you.
Second Runner Up: The Netherlands’ Ilse DeLange
In any other year, our second runner-up would likely have been a winner. Holland’s Ilse DeLange—one-half of The Common Linnets—earned an impressive 26,379 votes. She knows that understatement can sometimes make the biggest statement of all. Throughout Eurovision season she stuck to her vision of Nashville chic. Her promotional photos were among the most stylish ever seen at ESC, and she continued the theme on the Eurovision stage. Her performance with Waylon was a visual masterpiece built on longing and love, on country-Western glamour and intimacy. She played the role of June Carter Cash with ease. We all wanted to walk the line with her…
We would be remiss not to mention three other women who made this year’s contest extra special. Ukraine’s Maria Yaremchuck, Portugal’s Suzy Guerra and Moldova’s Cristina Scarlat finished in fourth, fifth and sixth place, respectively. Each of these beauties earned more than 21,000 votes. That’s a huge statement on just how loved they are. At various points each of these women occupied a spot in the Top 3. It saddens us that the Top Model Hall of Fame only has room for three ladies. But rest assured: you will all go down in history. Maria, we salute your perseverance during Eurovision 2014. Your nation was gripped by conflict, but you held your head high, told the world you were proud to be Ukrainian, and carried the message that music is stronger than politics. You are a wonderful ambassador for your country, and beautiful inside and out. You also won this year’s Eurovision’s Next Top Model semi-finals. You’re the only woman in this competition who can say that…
Suzy, this year you taught Europe the samba and had non-Portuguese speakers chanting “Quero ser tua”. Your joy is infectious, your voice is powerful but controlled, and you have the rare ability to make even the most bitter among us get our happy back. Your journey to Eurovision was long, but we are so glad you made it. You have the rare honor of being the only ENTM contestant ever to be re-instated into the contest. You took that opportunity and ran with it. We can’t wait to see what opportunities you seize next…And by the way, quero ser tua for real….
Cristina Scarlat, you’ve given us all Scarlat fever. You may have played a fiery woman in your stage show at Eurovision, but through our many interviews we’ve learned that you’ve got a gentle soul and a big heart. When you ripped your hair extensions out at the climax of your song, it confirmed to us that you are daring and dramatic–qualities we like in a woman. May your fire burn bright tomorrow, and forever…
Eurovision’s Next Top Model: Winner’s Portfolio
Review this year’s competition from the start
- The launch party (March 24)
- Elimination #1 (April 1)
- Elimination #2 and semi-final results (April 20)
- Declaring a she-mergency! (April 23)
- Suzy wins the wildcard (April 24)
- The finals (April 25)
- The Top Model Hall of Fame
Photos: Stage photos and press conference photos courtesy of Eurovision.tv (EBU); all other Paula photos courtesy of paulaseling.ro