He was one of the top contenders at the 2012 Mister Lebanon competition. Distinguished by his good looks, bubbly personality and friendly aura this guy stole the heart of millions of viewers. It is Elie Najem, who won the fourth runner-up title and is now recruited by the committee to working against drugs abuse in Lebanon with the association of “Jad”, a prominent foundation in this field. We have gladly hosted him on our journal to talk about his experience in Mister Lebanon, his dreams, and future projects. Enjoy the interview!
Lebanese Beauty Press: First, we would like to congratulate you one more time for being elected the fourth runner-up at Mister Lebanon 2012.
Elie Najem: I would like to thank you so much for this interview, and for the opportunity you gave me let your readers know more about my personality and the human cause I will be working on within this year.
Lebanese Beauty Press: How was the process of acceptance into the contest?
Elie Najem: Well, I saw the commercial on Television and I didn’t care much about it but my sister and friends pushed me to apply and kept on insisting. So I went to hotel Markaziya Monroe for the casting where they asked me several questions about my lifestyle, college major and hobbies. After almost a week I got a call telling me that I got accepted out of more than 300 young applicants, I thought getting to the next step would be a bit hard, but thank god I found myself in.
LBP: Were you a model before entering the competition?
EN: I never was or got the chance to work as a model before, and honestly I didn’t have any idea about this business and this exciting field.
LBP: What was the most memorable moment for you in Mr. Lebanon?
EN: The time that I will never forget in this competition is the two months prior to the event spent all together training, and getting ready to be on stage and to give the best image ever of the Lebanese youth, culture, beauty, character, body respect, self-confidence and spirit.
LBP: How did you find the other contestants? Who was the strongest in your opinion ?
EN: I am sure all the candidates deserved being there on stage, they were all fully dedicated for the preparations and showed a killing will to win, they were all fighters! In my opinion, I think the top two was so fair and Ahmad Abdel Rida could have been the king also, he has all what is needed, but congratulations to Rodolphe, he is a king as well.
LBP: How were the preparations for the contest?
EN: The preparations were so tough, so stressful, we were treated with no mercy to be ready for both choreography and the running order of the program. We danced , worked out heavily, were put on a strict diet, also we have participated to many shows with star Haifa Wehbe and Amelia Zidane which took many sessions of rehearsals, in the gym and on the stage two days prior to the final night.
LBP: Name three contestants who you think should have made it into the top five.
EN: I think the top five was fair, but maybe I would have loved to see Benoit Sayah or Charbel Abi Saad in.
LBP: Are you happy about your achievement?
EN: I wished to have a better ranking but at the end there was a professional jury that I respect one by one, and that ‘s what the competition is all about. Being among the top five is a pride.
LBP: Who was the most personable contestant?
EN: It is very hard to choose just one, also we were a group of four, just like brothers : Benoit Sayah, Ahmad Abdel Rida, Rodolphe and me, but maybe I was the most loving and personable contestant (haha!)
LBP: Haifa said her scores were not the same like those that were shown on MTV screen. Do you think they changed them on purpose?
EN: This issue was clarified on so many occasions before and let’s explain it once for all. During the event there were two laptops out-of-order that caused electronic dysfunction but the technicians fixed it. It looked as if the scores of Haifa switched with those of Abed Mahfouz, so her scores showed up under Abed’s name and vice versa. which confused Haifa when she saw them on the TV screen but at the end it was the same average for all the contestants.
LBP: How did you like Haifa’s question to you?
EN: It was a very interesting question about the social and sexual abuse towards women, it is a major problem in our Arabic world and mentality and should be taken seriously and solved once for all. I think I answered in a good way but there is always a better way to answer such a wide question!
LBP: What is your goal after Mr. Lebanon?
EN: My future goals and plans after Mr. Lebanon is of course to continue my education, get my diploma, and get involved into humanitarian causes and help in social associations; Also I will be photo shooting ads and working as a model, and who knows I may be acting too since it’s a dream to me to be an actor.
LBP: What are your hobbies?
EN: All kind of sports, (Tennis, Hiking, Swimming), knowing that am studying Physical Education and Therapy. Also, I love traveling and discovering new cultures and traditions.
LBP: If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?
EN: I think I will use the money in the best humanitarian way possible by helping important causes, but also I will enjoy my time by spending some on traveling and exploring countries.
LBP: Would you repeat the Mr. Lebanon experience again if you were given the chance to?
EN: If you mean repeating it as a first time of course I will do it again because we had so much fun and it is an unforgettable experience in a good way, but if I got the chance of competing for the second time, I will not go through it again! I got my chance already and it is not about winning the title, it is about being there once and give the best of yourself so let’s give a chance for younger guys to participate.
Thank you Lebanese Beauty Press for this lovely interview. All the best to you!
Thanks to our contributor Mr. Mosbah El Jammal