Lee Yvonne is no stranger to facing challenges. It was only four years ago that she was deemed worthy of the title of Miss World Malaysia, culminating in her representing the nation at the 62nd Miss World Pageant held at Ordos, Inner Mongolia. Now, she’s taken another step forward; she, along with close friend and fellow Miss World Malaysia title holder Chloe Chen, recently competed in the 5th edition of the Amazing Race Asia. Leading up to the premiere, we talk to them about what lies ahead…
You’ll be traipsing all around Asia in the upcoming season of The Amazing Race Asia. How do you feel about being one of the lucky few chosen to participate?
We feel extremely lucky to have gotten selected for the race and to be able to represent Malaysia for the second time. The selection process was long and we could not believe we had actually been selected until we were at the starting line, only then it felt like “wow this thing just got real!”
You’ll be attempting to win the Amazing Race alongside your best friend, Chloe. Is there anything the two of you possess that you think gives you an edge?
We both communicate really well, we trust each other, and we are super competitive and will both go to great lengths just to win.
As winners of the Miss Malaysia pageant, both of you know what it takes to go all the way and win a competition – did it help you during the journey?
To be honest, pageants and the race are totally different despite them both being competitions, but from pageants, we learnt that when you enter a competition, you should always be in it to win it, and to not feel disheartened when things do not go your way.
You hold a B.A. in Mass Communication. How does it feel like to be ‘on the other side’, where the media’s attention is on you, instead of being a part of the media itself?
I do not have much experience working in the media despite my educational background, but I have been exposed to media attention since my crowning, so I do not really feel intimidated by the attention.
Being models, was anything you struggled with in the unpredictable climates around Asia? Do you worry that it might harm the image people have of you?
Yes, keeping yourself impeccably groomed throughout the race is a challenge, the best we could do was to look good at the start of the race. How we looked during, or after, does not really matter as long as we remained in the competition!
You’ve both listed three adjectives that describe yourselves on TARA’s website. What adjectives would you use to describe why you’re worthy of going on to win it?
Feisty, positive, and resilient.
Is there a cause the two of you hope to promote to the viewers during the course of the competition?
I guess our cause was to break the discriminatory stereotypes that society has towards women, especially beauty queens, in competitions. We want people to realise that beauty queens are just like any other competitors, we struggle the same, and we fight just as hard.
Anything you have to say to the fans who’ll be tuning in when The Amazing Race Asia begins?
Be prepared for lots of surprises, drama and emotion. After all, it is a race like no other!
The Amazing Race Asia 5 premieres on October 13, Thursdays at 9pm (8pm JKT/BKK).