Johor Bahru, May 19 – For the past 10 gruelling episodes, viewers across Asia followed the exciting and often nerve-racking journey of 12 contestants from around the world as they battled for the crown of interior design superstar.
During the last episode aired in Singapore on May 18 (Sony Channel) and Malaysia on May 20 (AXN Channel), Aleksandra Flasz from Poland emerged as winner and walked away with the $100,000 prize money. Coming in at second spot was Winston See from Malaysia.
Flasz, 26, studied fashion design in Vietnam and has been working around the world as a full-time model. She loves the arts and expresses herself through painting, drawing and writing – and it looks like interior design could be her next passion.
See, 30, is an architect whose interest was kindled after countless hours playing The Sims computer game. He was almost eliminated during the first episode but managed to climb up again through sheer determination and hard work, and a great personality to boot.
The show features celebrity judges that includes international award-winning designer Jamie Durie; world-renowned interior designer and business mogul Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen; and American design superstar Genevieve Gorder.
Forming the backdrop for The Apartment is the stunning Bandar Seri Alam township in Johor Bahru, where the entire series was filmed. As one of the co-sponsors, United Malayan Land Bhd (UMLand) provided the houses for the contestants to live and work in during the entire 10 weeks of filming. The developer’s UMLand Medini Lakeside Gallery building was also used as the set location for the show’s “design court” where the contestants’ fates were decided at the end of every episode.
“We build houses and it is only fitting that we play a role in fostering the passion for design by providing the canvas for the aspiring interior designers to flex their creativity,” says Michael Cheng, Group Director of Sales, Marketing and Communication & Branding.
Established 20 years ago, Bandar Seri Alam is UMLand’s first 3,800-acre township development in Johor Bahru with a population of 80,000. Today, it remains a thriving and vibrant township recognised as a “City of Knowledge” by the local authorities and residences.
“We see The Apartment: Rising Stars Edition television series as an opportunity for us to showcase Bandar Seri Alam in Johor Bahru to the world as a modern and well-designed township. We hope more people will realise that Johor Bahru is not only a good place for investment but also ideal as a lifestyle destination to live, work and play,” adds Ng.
“We are delighted to partner with UMLand and have Bandar Seri Alam as the backdrop for the show. Over its first four seasons, The Apartment television series has established itself as the world’s biggest design competition and through the years, we have discovered dozens of talented amateur designers. This year, we are taking it up a level as we take 12 promising up and coming designers at the very beginnings of their careers to survive 10 gruelling weeks with even more challenging tasks as they vie to take home the grand prize and the title of The Apartment’s Rising Star,” says Riaz Mehta, Imagine Group’s president and founder. Imagine Group is the creator and producer of The Apartment in collaboration with Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia.
The Apartment: Rising Stars Edition is aired on Sony Channel and AXN across Asia. Malaysian viewers can catch it on Astro’s AXN channel 701 at 8.05pm every Saturday. The first episode aired on March 18 and will end after 10 episodes with the season finale on May 20. For those who missed the series, look out for repeat telecast.