Which SA2019 Top 40 artiste finally did their family proud?

We speak to some of the Top 20 Most Popular Male and Female Artistes nominees at the press conference

We speak to some of the Top 20 Most Popular Male and Female Artistes nominees
We speak to some of the Top 20 Most Popular Male and Female Artistes nominees
08 Mar 2019

We speak to some of the Top 20 Most Popular Male and Female Artistes nominees

Photos: Tammi Tan, Lee Wei Lin
Video: Philip Ang, Aliya Zulkifli

It’s that time of the year in the local showbiz calendar once again, where fans must band together to help ensure a spot for their favourite stars in the Star Awards Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes or Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes list.

This year’s Top 40 line-up was revealed at a press conference at ION Sky yesterday afternoon (Mar 7), where each artiste went on stage one by one to be randomly assigned a telepoll number. While a majority of this year’s nominees are familiar faces (some of whom could be one step closer to being inducted into the All-Time Favourite Artistes hall of fame), there are also a few noteworthy comebacks, as well as one young starlet entering the race for the very first time.

Read on for our interviews with some of the Star Awards 2019 Top 40 Most Popular Artistes!

Chen Xiu Huan’s daughters are finally proud of her?
Chen Xiu Huan’s daughters are finally proud of her?
08 Mar 2019

Chen Xiu Huan’s daughters are finally proud of her?

According to Xiu Huan, she heard the phrase, “Mum, I’m so proud of you!” from her daughters for the very first time when she told them of her Top 10 nod. “I’m always the one telling them that I’m proud of them, and now it’s their turn to say it!” she gushed.

The 53-year-old added that it feels “strange” to be back in the running after so many years (25 years, to be exact), and that she was surprised to even be considered in the first place.

So, is she intending to show up in an outfit that will stop people in their tracks and steal the show to signal her spectacular return? “I just want something easy to walk in because I don’t want to fall down,” she chortled. Well, fair enough.

No pressure for Kimberly Chia
No pressure for Kimberly Chia
08 Mar 2019

No pressure for Kimberly Chia

When the 23-year-old learned of her very first Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes nomination, she immediately second-guessed the validity of the news. “I was like, ‘Is it true? Really?’” she laughed.

The reason for her doubt is simple: it’s only been a year since she returned to acting after her stint as a Singapore Airlines air stewardess, so she didn’t expect the honour to come knocking on her door so quickly.

While she will definitely be getting her friends, family, and fans to vote for her (and also for her boss, NoonTalk Media head honcho Dasmond Koh, who’s up for his 10th and final trophy), Kimberly doesn’t want to put too much unnecessary pressure on herself either and just go with the flow and see what happens on the night of the ceremony.

Dasmond Koh hopes to ‘graduate’ this year 
Dasmond Koh hopes to ‘graduate’ this year 
08 Mar 2019

Dasmond Koh hopes to ‘graduate’ this year 

The only contender for the All-Time Favourite award at the 2019 Star Awards is Dasmond Koh, who shared with us in a phone interview that he “hopes to get closure this year” by earning his 10th and final Top 10 trophy.

“I can totally understand how Kym Ng felt last year - she was the only one who had nine trophies at the ceremony and she shared a bit about how she felt back then. Now, I’m getting that same feeling and it’s interesting, to say the least,” he said.

Dasmond revealed that back in 2015, when he decided against renewing his contract with Mediacorp, Aloysius Pang and Xu Bin had asked him why didn’t he wait another two years before doing so. 

“At the time, I thought I didn’t have a chance of getting the All-Time Favourite award, which was why I said that it felt like I was coming home during my acceptance speech last year. This year, I feel very appreciated and in some ways, (the nomination) means a little more to me as well. I feel like I’m moving closer to getting closure,” he explained.

Sharing that he’s thankful to those who have ardently voted for him in the past years, including fellow celebs fans and loved ones, he let on that the NoonTalk family will be attending the ceremony regardless of whether they’ve received a nomination. 

“We have such few opportunities to gather as an industry, and that’s why I think it’s important for us to attend and celebrate such an event together,” he said.

Before the interview ended, we asked Dasmond if he had anything he wanted to share, to which he paused for a moment before saying, “I was wishing that Aloysius would be in the list since it’s the last time that he can be in the running.”

Jayley Woo thankful for surprise nomination
Jayley Woo thankful for surprise nomination
08 Mar 2019

Jayley Woo thankful for surprise nomination

Back in the running this year after not making the list last year was Jayley, who will be looking to getting her third Top 10 gong this year. In a text interview with Toggle, she shared that she thought she’d be missing out on attending the annual gathering this year after deciding to go independent.

Even though she made the cut, she will not be actively asking her fans to vote for her. “I’ve always felt that priority should always be given to your own friends and family. I won’t tell them how to spend their money as this is their own prerogative,” she explained. She will, however, be attending the ceremony this year, and could very well be joined by her sister and biggest cheerleader, Hayley, if there are no clashes in her schedule.

On getting nominated, she would only say that she’s “very thankful. It’s been a difficult start to the year (and) this is a good surprise and I hold it dear to my heart.”

Rebecca Lim excited, yet nervous as she inches closer to All-Time Favourite status
Rebecca Lim excited, yet nervous as she inches closer to All-Time Favourite status
08 Mar 2019

Rebecca Lim excited, yet nervous as she inches closer to All-Time Favourite status

As Becks draws closer to the coveted All-Time Favourite – as of last year, she was nominated seven years in a row and went home victorious every time, she has her fingers slightly crossed that she’ll be able to do so for the eighth year running.

Although jet-lagged from her recent work trip to Italy, where she rubbed shoulders with Nicole Kidman, she was ever so sporting as she gamely agreed (on camera, at least) to asking for Nicole’s help in voting for this year’s Top 10 – because “what are friends for, right?”

“I’m excited, but at the same time, I’m nervous. Becoming an All-Time Favourite artiste seemed to be such a big honour that I couldn’t even dream of, but now that people have started reminding me that I’m three trophies away, these two emotions are amplified. It’s still so surreal to me,” she chuckled. “I hope to make it to the Top 10 this year, but I won’t give myself extra pressure because of that.”

Desmond Tan’s “greedy” nature revealed
Desmond Tan’s “greedy” nature revealed
08 Mar 2019

Desmond Tan’s “greedy” nature revealed

After becoming the reigning Best Actor at last year’s awards, Desmond is once again in the running for the same award.

“I don’t know why but these days I think I’m getting a bit greedy,” he laughed. “I hope to be able to go home with both the Best Actor and the Top 10 award, but honestly, being nominated alongside so many amazing actors is an affirmation of my acting in itself.”

As always, he’ll be making “at least one, but two at the most” calls for himself at the telepolls this year.

The actor explained, “You never know if that one call will make the difference in whether you make it to the final list, so I always believe that I should do that for myself.”

Zheng Ge Ping asks voters to “take pity” on him
Zheng Ge Ping asks voters to “take pity” on him
08 Mar 2019

Zheng Ge Ping asks voters to “take pity” on him

We never thought we’d hear the “hunkle” asking anyone to “take pity” on him, but there he was, practically pleading with folks to give just one call in his favour so that he may score yet another Top 10 victory next month.

Then again, we don’t blame him: if his name is really called out on that night, it will be his ninth trophy, which means there would be only one more to go before he can finally join other esteemed Ah Ge in the All-Time Favourite Artistes club. “So yes,” he admitted. “It’s a bit stressful.”

In case anyone’s wondering, the 54-year-old isn’t planning on relying on lucky charms - such as black roses or red underwear, like he said - to potentially increase his chances of winning: he just needs your votes. So fans, you know what to do.

Felicia Chin doesn’t want to think too much about “graduating”
Felicia Chin doesn’t want to think too much about “graduating”
08 Mar 2019

Felicia Chin doesn’t want to think too much about “graduating”

Out of all the other Top 10 Most Popular Female Artiste contenders, Felicia is the closest to obtaining All-Time Favourite Artiste status, with eight wins currently under her belt.

However, the 34-year-old told us that she’d “rather not think too much about it”. “It’s like being one point short of winning in a sports match, and then trying too hard and ultimately losing in the end,” she mused. “So I just want to take part with a happy heart and relax. I think the people around me are more anxious than I am!”

One such person is probably her boyfriend, fellow actor Jeffrey Xu. “I think he would still vote for me even if I didn’t force him to!” she chuckled.

When asked for her thoughts on her beau being snubbed from the Top 40 (again), Felicia said, “I called him yesterday and he said he’s okay. He’s still young so he still has a lot of chances [to win]. There’s always next year!”

Cynthia Koh has to start watching her diet
Cynthia Koh has to start watching her diet
08 Mar 2019

Cynthia Koh has to start watching her diet

It’s been seven years since Cynthia was conferred a Top 10 award (or even been in the running for one, for that matter), although the 44-year-old isn’t exactly keeping track of the time (we had to remind her how long it’s actually been).

“I was in the middle of a facial when I got the message [about my nomination], and I was like, ‘Oh my god!’” she recalled. “The facialist asked me what happened, but because I wasn’t supposed to reveal anything, I kept quiet. (Laughs) But it’s funny lah, and I never expected it.”

That said, the actress admitted that she has two bigger concerns on her mind than taking home her third Top 10 trophy: winning Best Supporting Actress (she is nominated for her role in Say Cheese), and looking good at the show. “I must watch my diet and start doing cardio,” she chuckled. “I thought I could escape but I can’t!”

Lina Ng, who is back in the race after 21 years, picks her telepoll number
Lina Ng, who is back in the race after 21 years, picks her telepoll number
08 Mar 2019

Lina Ng, who is back in the race after 21 years, picks her telepoll number

Busy Lina, who had to rush off after the press conference, shared with us over WhatsApp that she is "feeling really blessed and excited" to be nominated for a Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes trophy again after so many years. "[I] feel so much love being remembered and supported by so many people."

She added that she's "not going [to] think so much" about whether she actually wins that night, and that she is going to "continue to focus and do [her] best in all drama [or] variety projects" that she undertakes.

Ya Hui picks her telepoll number
Ya Hui picks her telepoll number
08 Mar 2019

Ya Hui picks her telepoll number

Shaun Chen is clearly quite happy with his telepoll number
Shaun Chen is clearly quite happy with his telepoll number
08 Mar 2019

Shaun Chen is clearly quite happy with his telepoll number

Paige Chua picks her telepoll number
Paige Chua picks her telepoll number
08 Mar 2019

Paige Chua picks her telepoll number

Hong Hui Fang picks her telepoll number
Hong Hui Fang picks her telepoll number
08 Mar 2019

Hong Hui Fang picks her telepoll number

Carrie Wong picks her telepoll number
Carrie Wong picks her telepoll number
08 Mar 2019

Carrie Wong picks her telepoll number

Rebecca Lim excited, yet nervous as she inches closer to All-Time Favourite status
Rebecca Lim excited, yet nervous as she inches closer to All-Time Favourite status
08 Mar 2019

Rebecca Lim excited, yet nervous as she inches closer to All-Time Favourite status

As Becks draws closer to the coveted All-Time Favourite – as of last year, she was nominated seven years in a row and went home victorious every time, she has her fingers slightly crossed that she’ll be able to do so for the eighth year running.

Although jet-lagged from her recent work trip to Italy, where she rubbed shoulders with Nicole Kidman, she was ever so sporting as she gamely agreed (on camera, at least) to asking for Nicole’s help in voting for this year’s Top 10 – because “what are friends for, right?”

“I’m excited, but at the same time, I’m nervous. Becoming an All-Time Favourite artiste seemed to be such a big honour that I couldn’t even dream of, but now that people have started reminding me that I’m three trophies away, these two emotions are amplified. It’s still so surreal to me,” she chuckled. “I hope to make it to the Top 10 this year, but I won’t give myself extra pressure because of that.”

Besides her own, Aileen Tan also picked several telepoll numbers for other artistes who were absent
Besides her own, Aileen Tan also picked several telepoll numbers for other artistes who were absent
08 Mar 2019

Besides her own, Aileen Tan also picked several telepoll numbers for other artistes who were absent

WATCH:
Rebecca Lim enlists Nicole Kidman's help for Star Awards 2019 voting!

Telepoll voting for the Star Awards 2019 Top 40 Most Popular Artistes has started, while online voting kicks off at 12pm today (Mar 8). Both will end on April 14, 8.30pm, and the results will be announced live during Star Awards 2019.

Visit the official Star Awards 2019 microsite for the Top 40 Most Popular Male and Female Artistes’ telepoll numbers and for more information!

Catch the Star Awards 2019 Walk of Fame on April 14, Sunday, 5.30pm on Channel 8/U and Toggle.
Catch the 2019 Star Awards Main Show on April 14, Sunday, 7pm on Channel 8/U and Toggle.

Related:
Chen Xiu Huan returns to Star Awards Top 40 after 25 years
Star Awards 2019 nominees revealed
Christopher Lee, Fann Wong rooting for ‘Doppelganger’ kids Xu Bin and Jasmine Sim

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