Real, Down-to-Earth Is Name of Game
INCHEON― When Tom Nuyens auditioned for the 1996 Mr Belgium contest, he had never modelled before, and had been too shy to approach an agency by himself.
The months after that first audition were ``like a game’’ for Nuyens. He went on to win the competition, advancing to the first ever Mr World contest that same year. He also won that event.
``The whole thing was kind of unreal, I didn't expect to win,’’ the 34-year-old said in an interview, Friday. ``It was like a game.’’
Nuyens made his first trip to Korea this week to be a judge for the finale of Mr World 2010, taking place Saturday in Incheon. The competition began on March 12 and has 74 contestants competing to become ``the world's most desirable man.’’ The finale will be presented by Alesha Dixon, Lee Da-hae and Julien Kang, and will include performances from Paul Potts, Korean girl band Girls' Generation and Alesha Dixon.
Aged 20 at the time he won his title, Nuyens had been looking for a part time job during his vacation but was too shy to approach a modelling agency himself, but after a friend pointed out an advertisement for Mr Belgium in a newspaper, he decided to enter.
As Mr World he spent the year visiting far off places doing charity work, such as in India, where he was moved by the impoverished conditions children were living in.
After the competition Nuyens continued to model while studying product design in Antwerp. In 2000, he established his own company called ``webweb’’ ― a fashion advertising agency, where, among other things, he does photography.
As Mr World, Nuyens was confused on multiple occasions with Mr Universe, a body-building contest title.
``They wrote in the newspapers that I was Mr Universe a few times, but that is like Arnold Schwarzeneger,’’ he said.
When asked why he thought he won the Mr World title, Nuyens said ``Maybe it was because I didn't want to win. The judges said it was because I was down-to-earth,’’ he added. ``That is what the competition is about.’’
On the subject of judging, Nuyens said that he is looking for contestants to be themselves.
``I want to look in their eyes and see if they are there,’’ he said. ``I am looking for somebody who is aligned with their body, their mind, but also their soul.’’
When asked the most significant effect Mr World has had upon him, Nuyens said his internal development. ``People think it is a physical contest, but you develop more on the inside I think.”
Nuyens is in the process of writing a book about ``how you can go from the external to the internal,’’ drawing on his own experiences. It is a simple 70-page work soon to be released.