By CASEY NEILL
CHINA’S version of Next Top Model has found an unlikely base in Bangholme.
More than 60 million people tuned in to I, Supermodel during its first season last year.
The program searches the country for up-and-coming models with the potential to become world-class professionals.
The five remaining contestants and more than 80 crew members have been living on a sprawling property in Bangholme since 15 December.
Assistant Sherry said producers selected the location because it was “beautiful and very quiet”.
“It’s a super house for supermodels,” she said.
The youngest contestant, Ai Jia Gu, 18, is from Greater Dandenong’s Chinese sister city, Xuzhou.
The girls are divided into two teams and compete in surprise challenges each week, which have included trips to Queensland and New South Wales as well as Melbourne locations.
None of the contestants had been to Australia before.
“It’s very different. Fresh air was the first thing,” Ki Ki Kang, 25, said.
“There’s not so many people, like there are China.
“We don’t have that much time to go around and see what real Melbourne looks like.”
The house is filled with cameras that film their every move.
“In the beginning I was very nervous. You can see them everywhere, 24 hours,” Ki Ki said.
They’re allowed only a five-minute phone call home once a week.
“But that is the challenge. We have to face it,” Ki Ki said.
“We all love modelling, that’s why we’ve come to this TV show.”
However they don’t know what prize they’re working towards.
“It’s kind of a secret, I guess,” she laughed.
Victoria’s Secret Model He Sui and Chinese fashion icon Han Huo Huo judge the competition alongside mentors Jin Xing and supermodel Qi Qi.
The episodes filmed in Australia will air on the Travel Channel in China in March.