All hail the 8 Dukes: Who will reign supreme?

One year after their formation, how are these dukes faring today?

One year after their formation, how are these dukes faring today?
One year after their formation, how are these dukes faring today?
31 Mar 2015

One year after their formation, how are these dukes faring today?

The days of the seven princesses’ rule are long gone and we now have a new group of royalty in-the-making, the 8 dukes. Since their formation one year ago at the 2014 Star Awards, the boys have gone on to front covers, campaigns and a variety series together and even performed a la bonafide boyband at the SG50 Countdown Show.

With that in mind, it’s time to appraise and look back on their past year’s performances – from personal achievements and drama successes – and decide on the one outstanding duke. It’s a hard choice to make which is why we’re roping you in, dear readers, to have a say in the outcome which will be announced at the 2015 Star Awards Show 2 Post Show Party.

Mark the date: Toggle Outstanding Duke Award’s online voting poll  (click to start voting) opens on April 8 at 12 pm; voting is free and can be done online on a daily basis, one vote per NRIC. The winning duke is determined based on 50:50 votes from the public and the Toggle editorial team.

In alphabetical order, we present the 8 Dukes of Caldecott Hill.

Stay tuned next week: On the hot seat with the 8 dukes and their little secrets

Aloysius Pang
Aloysius Pang
31 Mar 2015

Aloysius Pang

Breakout role: Wang Jiahao in I’m in Charge
Next seen in: Tiger Mum

The duke who’s touted as the “little melancholic prince” of the group, Aloysius Pang is more soft-spoken and mild-mannered than you might imagine him to be in real life. He made a splash on the local TV scene as the rebellious-turn-filial son in 2013’s I’m in Charge, and can do boy-next-door characters as well as antagonistic ones. He impressed with his dark turn as a psychopath killer in last year’s Against The Tide which is also nominated for Best Supporting Actor this year. With nominations across three categories at the 2015 Star Awards, his star is undoubtedly on the rise.

Desmond Tan
Desmond Tan
31 Mar 2015

Desmond Tan

Breakout role: Luo Xiao Xiao in 2010’s A Song to Remember
Awards to his name: 2 (Top 10 Most Popular Male Artiste Award in 2014 and Rocket Award in 2012).

Next seen in: Spouse for House 2

Tall, dark, and somewhat sullen, Desmond Tan’s the duke with boyband dreams. He not only acts but sings, and even wrote a “love song” for Singapore’s 49th birthday last year. The face of international brands like Uniqlo and Mercedes Benz, Desmond may have drawn flak for his acting performance over the years, but he is slowly but surely finding his footing in showbiz. His persistence is not to be undermined. This spirit is, after all, how he got to where he is today. Perhaps a slate of serious TV roles have worn him down, because the actor was surprisingly refreshing and a hoot to watch in his comedic turn on Ch5’s Spouse for House which is -- on the bright side -- returning for a second season in April.

Ian Fang
Ian Fang
31 Mar 2015

Ian Fang

Breakout role: Jason in On The Fringe
Awards to his name: 1 (Best Newcomer Award in 2013)

Next seen in: Tiger Mum

The duke with major swag and a gutsy sartorial sense, Ian Fang is often type-casted as a bad boy due to his early sullen and rebellious roles on TV. It doesn’t help that this mummy’s boy emits a naturally cocky vibe that many would hate to love too – despite him being less conceited in real life. Candid and straightforward, he is refreshingly confident and savvy in interviews, and is unafraid to bare his heart or opinions (a quality that would serve him well in the long run).  Be it a gangster-wannabe (in On The Fringe), cheeky barista (in 96°C Café ), or athletic soccer player (in World At Your Feet), Ian has this innate capability to bring his characters to life and make them palatable without coming across as a try-hard.

Jeffrey Xu
Jeffrey Xu
31 Mar 2015

Jeffrey Xu

Breakout role: Xu Xiaodong in Marry Me
Awards to his name: 2 (Actor in a Supporting Role for 2013 Asia Television Awards, Overall champion of Star Search 2010)

Next seen in: The Journey: Our homeland

The hard-work-pays-off bubbly duke may have been left out of the (acting) picture after landing his first role as an autistic kid in 2011’s Devotion, but he’s making a comeback in recent years, especially after his Asian Television Awards win in 2013 for ChU’s Marry Me. That’s not all, he also landed a double nomination for the same category, one year later, for his roles in Scrum! and Gonna Make It. When not acting, the talkative chap can be seen actively hosting a myriad of programmes, from educational shows for kids to travelogues and style-related talk shows. After a relatively quiet year in the acting front, he’d be seen alongside fellow dukes Romeo Tan, Zhang Zhen Huan and Ian Fang in the upcoming The Journey: Our Homeland with his fellow dukes as he plays the son of Hong Dangyong (Andie Chen) and Zhang Min (Felicia Chin).

Romeo Tan
Romeo Tan
31 Mar 2015

Romeo Tan

Breakout role: Fang Qiliang in 2013’s Sudden
Awards to his name: 2 (Top 10 Most Popular Male Artiste Award in 2014, Rocket Award in 2013)

Next project: The Journey: Our Homeland

The duke with the wholesome boy-next-door charm, Romeo Tan’s rise to fame can be summed up in one word: meteoric. He went from calefare to leading man (in Don’t Stop Believing) in less than two years and has gone on to anchor a handful of lead roles since then. Romeo’s popularity amongst aunties, uncles – not forgetting adolescent girls, of course - is not to be undermined. While he’s been dabbling in plenty of serious mature roles lately, he plays it best when he acts his age, which is why we think he would do better in the final installment of The Journey: Our Homeland, acting as a young and carefree chap, instead of his turn as a devious lawyer in Tumultuous Times

Shane Pow
Shane Pow
31 Mar 2015

Shane Pow

Breakout role: Zhuang How Lun in Served H.O.T.
Next seen in: The Journey: Our Homeland

As the duke with model beginnings, Shane Pow was first talent scouted at the Singapore Manhunt 2011 finals and the rest, as they say, is history. He may be pretty new to the whole acting job but Shane’s been getting a bit more attention of late – especially after his tattletale character in Recruit Diaries and his lead role in Served H.O.T. and subsequently as a devoted brother in last year’s Against The Tide and Three Wishes. He has proven to have a flair for compering too, taking on hosting gigs for Style Check-In Season 4 and Project SuperStar 3. Shane may not fit the quintessential heartthrob bill but he’s definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Xu Bin
Xu Bin
31 Mar 2015

Xu Bin

Breakout role: Zhong Junliang in Don’t Stop Believing
Awards to his name: 2 (Favourite Male Character Award in 2013 and Top 10 Most Popular Male Artiste Award in 2014)

Currently seen in: 118

As the gentlemanly duke with clean-cut good looks, Xu Bin’s first foray in showbiz in 2007 (during his Campus Superstar days) may have been less than ideal, but it is now a thing of the past. The only recollection TV viewers would have of him today would be his well-raved debut on local television as the defiant Zhong Junliang in Don’t Stop Believin’ and his long rant (that also went viral) as a young working Singaporean in long-form drama 118. From playing a warm-hearted dentist in Yes We Can and a police inspector sidekick in Against The Tide to Chew Chor Meng’s son in 118, we say: his journey has only just begun.

Zhang Zhen Huan
Zhang Zhen Huan
31 Mar 2015

Zhang Zhen Huan

Breakout role: Yao Wuji in 2009’s Together
Awards to his name: 1 (Top 10 Most Popular Male Artiste award in 2014)

Next project: The Journey: Our Homeland

The duke with a warm smile and approachable personality, Zhang Zhen Huan has been getting more attention over the years, most notably for his Best Supporting Actor-nominated role in Break Free and his soccer-themed drama, World At Your Feet. He is game enough to do anything and try everything – such as his jaw-dropping transvestite makeover in Together (that sequin silver dress is unforgettable), or shaving his head and then dying it flaming red as a playboy photographer in New Beginnings. Likewise, his fans are determined to see him go home victorious at this year’s Star Awards, after he was shockingly left out of the Top 40 Most Popular Artistes race – they’ve been keeping his name in the top two spots for Favourite Male Character and Favourite Onscreen Couple voting started. 

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