The MANHUNT CONTEST started off in 1987, when Alex Liu, pageant director of Metromedia Singapore, decided to stage the first male model contest in Singapore. There were numerous pageants for women and nothing for the men. So Liu carefully planned and engineered his first Manhunt contest in Singapore and it became an overnight success.
The Manhunt competition gave new opportunities in advertising and promoting of male related products and services in a refreshing and macho way. It is a very popular and number one male pageant in Singapore today. The Manhunt Singapore contest has since grown in terms of sponsorship and numbers of participants, it also branched out with a Senior Manhunt category in 1991 for the established and debonair gentlemen above 30-years-old. Senior Manhunt is for Singapore only.
Manhunt became International in 1993. It was first held in Australia's Gold Coast in 1993, when Germany's Thomas Sasse took the first Manhunt International title from 25 contestants. In 1994, the pageant remained in Australia's Gold Coast when Nikos Papadakis of Greece won. The Manhunt International Event is a joint partnership with our Australian partner, Procon Leisure International Pty Ltd, headed by Mr. Rosko Dickinson.
The pageant saw one of its most successful year in November 1995 when 35 of the world's most hunted males came to Sentosa Island, Singapore to compete for the prestigious title. The cash award and prizes for 1995's winner alone exceeded $100,000.00. South Africa's Albe Geldenhuys won that year. And India's Dino Morea came a close first runner up. The Manhunt International 1995 world final was televised on television in Singapore and 38 countries with an estimated 420 million viewers worldwide. Newspapers and magazines unanimously agreed that the time for a male contest had come. Their headlines screamed THE MANHUNT IS ON!
Manhunt International 1996 World Final was to be held in Singapore between 20th December 1996 to 1st January 1997 as a New Year's Special. However, Singapore had its General Elections in that same period. The event was postponed to May 1997 so that the World Final's publicity will not be overshadowed by the Singapore elections.
The Manhunt International 1997 was held in Singapore with 38 countries participating. It was an exciting event with lots of drama and colors. The World Final was held on the 23rd May 1997. The winner was Jason Erceg from New Zealand while the first runner up was Sandro Finnochio from Venezuela who later became Mr. World in 1998. The event was televised on the 24th May 1997 to more than 50 countries to 500 million viewers worldwide.
In 1999, the World Final left the shores of Singapore and Australia to Manila, Philippines in May. Here 43 countries competed at the PICC where Ernesto Calzadilla from Venezuela became the first Latin American to win the Manhunt International title and India's John Abraham took second spot. This is the second time, India has come so close to winning the crown.
In 2000, the contest returned to Singapore and at the World Final in September 2000, Brett Wilson from Australia won the contest at the Neptune Theatre Restaurant.
The 2001 Manhunt International contest was held on the 12th November at the Beijing Poly Theatre in the People's Republic of China and was viewed by an audience of 2,600 guests and 500 International and local press. The World Final will be televised to 500 million people in China alone.
India's Rajeev Singh won the Manhunt International 2001 title and he also bagged the Best National Costume Award and the Sharmoon Best in Evening Suit Award. Finally the title which eluded India so many times since they first participated in the contest since 1994 had returned home to India with Rajeev's victory. Rajeev has the distinction of being the first Asian to win the Manhunt International title.
On the 14th December 2002, in the city of Shanghai - China, Fabrice Bertrand Wattez from France beat 46 other countries to become Manhunt International 2002/03. The world final was held at the prestigious Shanghai Grand Theatre, which is an icon of the Performing Arts in China. Shanghai TV broadcasted the event, to 24 TV broadcasting stations and to over 500 million viewers.
The Manhunt International 2003 contest was to be held in Shanghai, China but due to the outbreak of SARS, the event was cancelled. In the year 2004, there was a serious outbreak of Avian Bird Flu, so we decided to put off the 2004 world finals in view of the safety of the contestants.
On the 8th September 2005, the City of Busan - Korea hosted the Manhunt International 2005 World Final and it was held as one of the pre-events of the APEC Summit - (Asia Pacific Economic Conference)which the City of Busan, Korea was hosting.
Tolgahan Sayisman from Turkey won the coveted Mercedes Benz - Manhunt International 2005. The Manhunt International 2005 world finals was sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Parkland Men's Stores.
During the Manhunt International 2005 World final night, it was announced that the City of Jinjiang, Fujian Province, China will be hosting the Manhunt International 2006 World Finals on the 20th April 2006.
The Manhunt international 2006 was held in Jin Jiang , Fujian Province China. This is the third time China hosted Manhunt International. A total of 54 countries participated and it was broadcasted to 1 billion viewers world wide. Jaime Augusto Mayol of USA became the winner.
The Manhunt International 2007 was held on the 10th February 2007 in Kangwonland, Korea. A total of 48 countries participate in the first ever winter manhunt international. It was held as part of the bidding activity for the 2014 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics games. Jeffrey Zheng Yu Guang of China became the second Asian to win Manhunt International since it began in 1993.
Manhunt International 2008 World Final was held on the 2nd June 2008 at Seoul, Korea. A total of 47 countries participated. The winner was Abdelmoumen El Maghraouy from Tangier, Morocco. He is our second winner from the continent of Africa and the first Arab winner in the contest's history.
Manhunt International 2009 was cancelled due to the worldwide outbreak of H1N1 flu virus.
Manhunt International 2010 World Final was held in Taichung city in Taiwan, ROC. The 50 candidates had a great time travelling around Taiwan from Taipei, in the north to Kaoshiung in the south, then to Tainan, Alishan and finally to Taichung where Peter Menky from the Slovak Republic won the title of Manhunt International 2010. 1st runner-up was Bogdan Brasoveanu of Gibraltar and 2nd runner-up was Marlon de Gregori of Brazil.
In 2011, the contest returned to Seoul, Korea for the fourth time. The World Finals was held at the Imperial Palace Hotel, on the 10th November 2011 and saw John Chen Jian Feng from Guangzhou, China winning Manhunt International 2011 and bested over 47 other countries. China becomes the only country to win the prestigious title twice in the contest's history since 1993.
On 9th November 2012, in Bangkok, Thailand, history was made when June Macasaet from the Philippines became the first Manhunt Philippines winner from his country to win this prestigious title of Manhunt International 2012. This title eluded the Philippines many times and June bested contestants from 53 countries to finally win the title at the Scala Theatre. Runner ups were Sweden, Macau, Puerto Rico and Singapore respectively.