Star Search champ Zhang Zetong just tried bidding for a COE for his prize car (and failed)

Fingers crossed he gets to drive his shiny new Audi Q2 next month.

Zhang Zetong at the imaging session for his drama debut in 'All Around You'
Zhang Zetong at the imaging session for his drama debut in 'All Around You'
22/11/2019

Zhang Zetong at the imaging session for his drama debut in 'All Around You'

“Actually, I don’t think he looks like Edwin [Goh] leh,” mused Chantalle Ng, getting up from her seat to take a closer look at Star Search 2019 winner Zhang Zetong (formerly known as Teoh Zetong), who grinned from the makeup chair next to her.

We were at the imaging session for the upcoming series All Around You last Wednesday (Nov 20) to chat with male lead Zetong, taking on his very first drama role, and we couldn’t resist asking female lead Chantalle for her thoughts on the comparisons between her onscreen love interest and her BFF Edwin.

“I don’t see the resemblance between Zetong and Edwin, but I can understand why people say they look alike,” said the 24-year-old actress, adding in mock horror, “Then how? We have two Edwins!”

​​​​​​​(Continued on next slide)

Chantalle Ng and Zhang Zetong will be paired up in 'All Around You'
Chantalle Ng and Zhang Zetong will be paired up in 'All Around You'
22/11/2019

Chantalle Ng and Zhang Zetong will be paired up in 'All Around You'

Besides Chantalle and Zetong, All Around You also stars Romeo Tan, Desmond Tan, Shane Pow, Priscelia Chan, and Felicia Chin, as well as the entire class of Star Search 2019 Top 12 finalists. Zetong begins filming on the first Monday of December - right after he leaves Carousell officially and joins Mediacorp on a three-year contract.

For the past few weeks, the 26-year-old has been juggling his regular day job and preparing for his debut role as a waiter-turned-PR crisis manager. And yes, it’s as tough as it sounds.

“I’m not gonna hide the fact that it’s been extremely tiring - just look at my eyebags!” he chuckled, gesturing towards the rather prominent dark circles. “I’m clocking in 14 to 15 hours of work and acting classes on weekdays, but I still try to get as much rest as I can.”

We hate to break it to you, Zetong, but once you sign on as a full-time artiste, your schedule is going to get even more packed.

Read on as Zetong tells us about how life has changed after winning Star Search, his biggest worry about his drama debut, and his first experience bidding for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) for his shiny new car.

Zhang Zetong won an Audi Q2 as the champion of Star Search 2019
Zhang Zetong won an Audi Q2 as the champion of Star Search 2019
22/11/2019

Zhang Zetong won an Audi Q2 as the champion of Star Search 2019

Toggle: So, how have things been for you since winning Star Search?
Zhang Zetong: To be honest, it’s been very overwhelming. The day after the finals, I had a full day of interviews, then there was a series of celebrations, and the following week, all of us in the Top 12 started classes with three different teachers at a more intense pace than before.

Do people treat you differently?
Generally, no. I mean, a lot of people I hadn’t spoken to in a very long time texted me to congratulate me, but I took it as an opportunity to rekindle old friendships. Other than that, everyone is behaving pretty much the same. Except maybe my boss, who is sad that I’m leaving. (Laughs)

Have you got your new Audi Q2 yet?
Not yet! I will probably get it early next month. Actually, just today, I tried to bid for a COE and I failed. (Laughs) It was my first time doing it and I thought I would get it, but in the end, the price went up. I’m a bit sad but I’m going to try again next month.

Zhang Zetong at the imaging session for his drama debut in 'All Around You'
Zhang Zetong at the imaging session for his drama debut in 'All Around You'
22/11/2019

Zhang Zetong at the imaging session for his drama debut in 'All Around You'

Did you find the process confusing?
A little bit. I wasn’t really sure what to do, but fortunately, Audi assigned someone to help me. She taught me how to do it on my own, so I went to an ATM to try it out and I realised it’s actually a very simple process.

Do you usually drive?
Not in Singapore. I drive in Malaysia [Ed’s note: he’s from Johor Bahru] because my parents own a car, which I drive whenever I visit them on weekends. I also drove in the States when I worked there for a year.

Are you planning to name your car or get a personalised licence plate?
(Laughs) I do want to name my car but I haven’t thought of one yet! Maybe I have to meet it first and decide after a month or two of getting to know it. As for a personalised plate, maybe not, but I don’t know. We’ll see!

Chantalle Ng and Zhang Zetong will be paired up in 'All Around You'
Chantalle Ng and Zhang Zetong will be paired up in 'All Around You'
22/11/2019

Chantalle Ng and Zhang Zetong will be paired up in 'All Around You'

Tell us more about the role.
I play a 27-year-old guy called Ocean Tan who works as a waiter in a restaurant before joining a social media PR company with Chantalle’s character. Together, we solve cases involving online scandals and try to clean up our clients’ PR crises. It’s almost like a detective film.

We hear you will have intimate scenes with Chantalle…
Hmmm, you’ll have to wait until the show comes out to see for yourself. (Laughs)

You’ll also be travelling to Japan to film.
Yes! Chantalle, Desmond, Shane, Regene [Lim]and I will be flying to Okinawa in early January for 10 days to film the two final episodes. I feel very, very lucky to have this opportunity. I barely got any work trips during my three years with Carousell, so to get one on my first project with Mediacorp makes me feel really fortunate. I know it’s not something that everyone gets to enjoy, especially for their first drama.

Zhang Zetong at the imaging session for his drama debut in 'All Around You'
Zhang Zetong at the imaging session for his drama debut in 'All Around You'
22/11/2019

Zhang Zetong at the imaging session for his drama debut in 'All Around You'

What are your thoughts on landing a lead role for your showbiz debut?
When I first heard about it, I felt very stressed, but I will give it my best shot. I think one of my biggest challenges would be bringing out the right emotions. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is going to be a crying scene which I desperately need to prepare for. I don’t cry much in real life - well, except for the night I won Star Search. (Laughs)

Is there any other special prep you need to do?
I haven’t met the production crew for a discussion, but I know they gave my character special hobbies. For example, he likes to do magic tricks, but in real life, Zetong does not know how to do magic tricks. (Laughs) I’m not sure if it’s really required of me, but I might need to familiarise myself with simple card and coin tricks.

Zhang Zetong getting his hair done before the imaging session
Zhang Zetong getting his hair done before the imaging session
22/11/2019

Zhang Zetong getting his hair done before the imaging session

Sorry, we didn't catch what they were laughing at, but it must have been hilarious!
Sorry, we didn't catch what they were laughing at, but it must have been hilarious!
22/11/2019

Sorry, we didn't catch what they were laughing at, but it must have been hilarious!

Zhang Zetong smiles for the camera
Zhang Zetong smiles for the camera
22/11/2019

Zhang Zetong smiles for the camera

Getting the bag put on the right way
Getting the bag put on the right way
22/11/2019

Getting the bag put on the right way

Gotta cover up those eyebags!
Gotta cover up those eyebags!
22/11/2019

Gotta cover up those eyebags!

All Around You debuts on Toggle (to be renamed as meWATCH in January 2020) on February 28, 2020.
All Around You debuts on Channel 8 at March 2, 9pm.

Related:
He’s A Mediacorp Star Now But Zhang Zetong Is Still Looking For Someone To Take Over His Carousell Job
17-year-old Ye Jiayun is playing a mistress for her first drama role
Star Search 2019 Grand Final in pictures
Star Search 2019 Champ Teoh Zetong Explains Why He’s Willing To Take A Pay Cut To Be An Actor

Report a problem