Hailing from The Kingdom of Tonga, Benji Sellick was one of the 49 men who represented different countries and territories at Mister Ocean 2017 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Despite not bagging the top prize, the half-Tongan, half-Australian model brought home priceless lessons and memories.
“Throughout this competition, I believe you can see through the photo and video footage of how we started this competition as friends; but finished as brothers,” Sellick said in a statement exclusively obtained by Conan Daily. “I am grateful to all of those who I have met and gotten to know and I am honored to have represented The Kingdom of Tonga in Mister Ocean 2017. “
For Sellick, the most memorable experience he is taking away from Mister Ocean 2017 would have to be the downtime where they all would socialize and get to know one another. He explained, “Learning about all the different types of countries and the men behind the country I believe was enlightening and empowering. To see men among men band together and relate to one another regardless of language, nationality and country I believe goes to show how accepting and tolerant humanity can be as a whole.”
Amongst all the fellow candidates in the competition, the person Sellick felt he became very close to was Mister Australia Memphis James. The former said, “My nationality is half Tongan, half Australian so I felt an instant sense of comfort when I met Mister Australia.”
Sellick described James as “loyal, funny and genuine.” The former added that the latter is “someone you can count on in serious situations where he will have you laughing at his jokes, to other times where he can get everyone’s attention and have them focus on the task at hand when needed.”
“I believe he did Australia proud and kept true to himself as well as his country,” Sellick said of James. “Mister Australia and I became brothers on the first day and I’m blessed to have made a brother for life from this competition.”
At Mister Ocean 2017, Sellick tied with Mister Cote d’Ivoire Paul-Abraham Kobieni as second runner-up in the talent competition. The Best Talent award was given to Mister France Victor Simon Andrea Lombardi with Mister Malaysia Christopher Yun Lin Lee as the runner-up.
On Nov. 24, Mister Bosnia and Herzegovina Ermin Poturak was declared Mister Ocean 2017 with Mister Montenegro Marko Rogac as his runner-up. Mister Japan Ryo Arizumi, Mister Romania Geany-Daniel Zamfir and Mister Peru Ronald Freddy Mayorga Peixoto placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively.