It was a long-awaited event, the finale of months of searching for a beauty queen fit to be Hong Kong's Princess Model of the Year. Seventy models were whittled down to 10, and they fought to be crowned under close inspection from three of the city's most beautiful ladies. On the judging panel: Janet Ma, former model Terri Holladay and Jessica Ng of Jessica magazine. About 300 cocktail-sipping guests gathered at the Intercontinental ballroom to watch the competition, and listen to the renderings of East Meets West, an orchestra that played classics such as Miss Saigon. Three singers were flown in from around the region, but Maria Cordero took centre stage, wooing the crowds with her powerful voice and persona. Some familiar faces turned up to see the crowning - socialites Abbie Chan Sai-kit, Kathy Chiu, legendary actress Cheng Pei-pei and her mother, actress Marsha Yuan, OOCL's Stanley Shen and Audrey Fang and actor/director John Sham. And Hong Kong's uber models Rosemary Vandenbroucke, Sofie Lee, and Vanessa Yeung, all came out to lend their support. After three tiring rounds of casual wear, lingerie, and evening gowns the 10 models heard the verdict. In the end the tiara was placed on the head of Bess Guo, 18, who won not only the title of Princess Model of the Year Hong Kong 2003, but also a contract with model agency Starz People and a trip for two to Phuket.