Sizzling hot circus of ‘Bench’ bodies

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Paulo Avelino

Paulo Avelino

The circus came to town and it was hot!

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Temperatures rose Saturday night as the sexiest bodies in fashion and show business took to the grand ring of the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City for the highly anticipated 2014 Bench denim and underwear show, The Naked Truth.

Themed circus-style, with ripped muscles and curvaceous flesh featured in daring acts on the trapeze, the pole, and other wild gimmicks, the strong winds and monsoon rains that came with the tail end of Typhoon Mario’s wrath would have stopped in their tracks the night before had Bench decided to go on with the original date of the ûber sizzling show.

The production did not disappoint despite the postponement, pulling out all the stops in mounting the proudly Filipino clothing and lifestyle giant’s biennial live extravaganza.

Ever committed in making the brand’s denim and underwear show, bigger, better and bolder, Bench founder and owner Ben Chan commissioned an international circus group to set the scene for his impressive roster of celebrity endorsers, and even threw close to a hundred local and international runway models in the mix.

Andre Paras with Teng brothers Jeron and Jeric

Andre Paras with Teng brothers Jeron and Jeric

The opening salvo featured “pure white segment” with ABS-CBN star Kim Chiu in the lead. Chiu was in her most daring yet after appearing in previous editions of the show, revealing a toned upper body, dressed in a white bra, jeans and killer heels.

Up next were fashion plates and real-life couple Georgina Wilson and Borgie Manatoc who came out in matching underwear for Bench Body’s Black and White collection.

The stunning pair, however, was over-shadowed by another celebrity couple, Sarah Lahbati and Richard Gutierrez, who shared passionate kisses on-stage in their skim-py getups, showing the world just how truly, madly, deeply in love they were.

The Naked Truth also turned out to be a battle between two network giants—ABS-CBN and GMA Network—as talents from either camp tried to outdo one another in production value.

From GMA Network, young actors Martin del Rosario and Enzo Pineda got naughty on the runway, teasing the crowd as they played with their underwear.

Her ‘Royal Beauty’ Marian Rivera

Her ‘Royal Beauty’ Marian Rivera

ABS-CBN actors Enchong Dee and Jake Cuenca on the other hand went the athletic route, as the former climbed up and down a pole, ending his act by pulling down his jeans to reveal his swimmer’s built in black boxers. Cuenca, who earned mixed reactions from showing a bit of belly in the tiniest cover-up that showed lots of his behind, showed his upper body strength on the trapeze.

Primetime’s leading men dropped the drama for the night as they joined The Naked Truth, with Sana Bukas pa ang Kahapon’s Paolo Avelino donning couture underwear for international designer Michael Cinco’s collaboration with Bench

Ikaw Lamang’s Coco Martin, meanwhile, topped the wholesome meter as he come out fully clothed in a cropped burgundy blazer on top of a black shirt and jeans.

And while My Husband’s Lover has long been concluded on GMA network, its famous male tandem Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo thrilled the audience to no end as they came out in nothing but skimpy briefs, feigning a kiss that never was as their lips almost came close enough to touch.

But more than teasing the crowd the hunks were all the prouder to the big reveal of their hard-earned sexy bodies after days of extreme workout and diet. As a pre-show tradition, celebrities go through grueling sacrifices to be in tip top shape for the big night.

Another celebrity who took the challenge very seriously was sultry celebrity Solenn Heussaff. In an interview with Bench Blog, she said she completely gave up carbs to achieve the figure she wanted for The Naked Truth. Her effort paid off in a Michael Cinco two-piece, seductive lace stockings and an avant garde headdress by artist Leeroy New. She was “seduced” on the runway by collegiate basketball hunks, twins David and Anthony Semerad.

Of course, there was also the ever-daring Ellen Adarna who went wet and wild with Mr. World-Philippines 2014 John Spainhour in the circular runway’s centerpiece of a mini-pool.

To calm down audience, wholesome “Benchsetters” were sprinkled in between acts, but nonetheless overwhelmed the arena with their star power, most especially teen showbiz royalty Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo. The pair came out in matching prints—Bernardo’s dress carried the same print as Padilla’s coat, which came together as they locked in a sweet embrace.

Cagers Jeron and Jeric Teng along with Andre Paras got their game on as they represented the next generation of basketball players following the footsteps of their famed fathers.

From collegiate basketball, Arnold Van Opstal also came on stage, even as he and Jeron had to face each other in a UAAP match at the same venue the next day.

America’s Next Top Model’s blonde beauty Allison Harvard donned a pink one-piece suit with a colorful jersey jacket as a cover up. She along with a crowd of other models presented the brand’s collection of fun printed underwear.

Filipina-American Max Collins and Filipina-Australian Catriona Gray also joined the roster of international faces, and even the LGBT community was represented with the well applauded transgender Geena Rocero.

No less than her “Royal Beauty” Marian Rivera was chosen to be the show stopper of The Naked Truth as she enthralled the audience with her exquisite features and ultra svelte figure in a fuchsia number.

But of course, not to be outdone in cheers and deafening applause was the man of the hour, Ben Chan, who came out for a grand finale with all of his loyal belles and boys. It was the circus master’s moment as he bowed yet again at the conclusion on of wildly successful Bench denim and underwear show.

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