Hello beautiful: Stars that were scouted on the streets

As we gear up for another season of ‘Hey Gorgeous’, we check out celebrities who found fame by catching the eyes of talent scouts in public

PHOTOS: TPG, EPA, Channel U, various
PHOTOS: TPG, EPA, Channel U, various
24 Jun 2015

PHOTOS: TPG, EPA, Channel U, various

After two years, Hey Gorgeous (now on Channel 8) is back to give good lookers from Singapore’s tertiary institutions a shot at stardom. From July 2, Dasmond Koh, Ben Yeo, Vivian Lai and Kate Pang will invade schools around the island to hunt for the next Chase Tan, Carrie Wong or Hong Ling (pictured from left to right above), starting with Singapore Poly, and followed by Temasek Poly on July 15 and Nanyang Poly on July 29 (more dates and locations will be released soon).

As per the previous season, the hosts have been tasked with targeting “good-looking gals or guys”, before narrowing their picks down to 21 contenders through games that determine their potential star quality. The list will be further whittled down over the course of an intense boot camp, after which eight finalists will continue to duke it out and win the hearts of public voters for the crown at the grand finals.

But before all that, they will have to catch the eye of the four scouts first – a method that has been proven to produce superstars in the past. Read on to see celebrities that had fame find them on the streets:

Hey Gorgeous 2015 debuts on August 24 at 8pm on Channel 8. For more information, stay tuned to the programme’s official website and Instagram page.

Carrie Wong
Carrie Wong
24 Jun 2015

Carrie Wong

Discovered: In her school canteen, on Hey Gorgeous (2013)
Because of: Her natural beauty (she wasn’t wearing makeup!) and modelesque 1.75m frame

All Carrie thought she was going to do was to grab a bite at the Nanyang Poly cafeteria, until Ben, clearly marvelling at her height and barefaced mien, approached the charmingly confused-looking lass during his mission to handpick hopefuls for the show. Although she eventually finished in third place, she is undoubtedly the most successful alumnus of the show, having nabbed double nominations and winning her first Top 10 trophy at this year’s Star Awards.

Other stars who emerged from the same season of Hey Gorgeous as Carrie include 118 actress Hong Ling and triple threat (model, actor and basketball player) Chase Tan, who have also gone on to carve their way into the industry.

Related: Heartbreaker to TV Sweetheart: Carrie Wong

SpeXial's Sam, Simon and Matthew
SpeXial's Sam, Simon and Matthew
24 Jun 2015

SpeXial's Sam, Simon and Matthew

Discovered: At a clothing store and train station respectively
Because of: If we were to guess, it would probably be their casual idol appeal (you don’t try too hard to look like a celebrity while folding garments or taking the MRT, right?)

Imagine seeing the boy who helped you fetch clothes in the right size go from that... to making thousands of fan girls’ hearts go aflutter. Before Simon Lian became a part of the Taiwanese boy band, he was but a simple lad working at a clothes shop, until a talent scout came along and changed his life forever. Similarly, good friends Matthew and Sam were just waiting for a train when they were approached.

In 2012, the group was introduced and has since amassed a pack of devotees as passionate as those of K-pop stars (we’ve even seen netizens refer to the members as “oppa” online).

Related: SpeXial's secrets revealed

EXO’s Sehun (far right)
EXO’s Sehun (far right)
24 Jun 2015

EXO’s Sehun (far right)

Discovered: At a street stall
Because of: As a former ulzzang (literally “best face”), it’s safe to say that his sharp features stood out

In what sounds like the script for a slapstick-filled tween movie, Sehun was innocently enjoying spicy rice cakes by the road when a very persistent (as you will see) S.M. Entertainment manager approached him and urged him to join auditions. Remembering his mother’s advice to avoid strangers, the sixth grader ran away while the tenacious staff member gave chase for a whole half hour. He eventually gave in, joined the company two years later (after nailing his fourth audition), and was introduced as the youngest member of the wildly popular K-pop boy group in 2012.

EXO-L, you know who to thank.

Ben Yeo (right) with Dasmond Koh
Ben Yeo (right) with Dasmond Koh
24 Jun 2015

Ben Yeo (right) with Dasmond Koh

Discovered: In a mall, on SNAP (2001)
Because of: Cute, “Japanese-like” looks

Long before he did the scouting, Ben was the scouted. We wonder if Bryan Wong and Kym Ng knew they were speaking to their future fellow host extraordinaire when they approached the former model, who was on a shopping trip, to join the first season of the talent show. Thanks to his charisma (and cuteness), he was crowned the champion and soon began garnering both hosting and acting gigs left and right.

Seraph Sun
Seraph Sun
24 Jun 2015

Seraph Sun

Discovered: In a mall, on SNAP (2012)
Because of: Her sexy back and, when she turned around, her resemblance to Phyllis Quek

11 years and a Chinese name change after its first season, S.N.A.P. was back on the streets to suss out potential new talent. And, Seraph happened to be in the right place at the right time when she caught Lee Teng and Zhou Ying’s eye. However, it was only after she was almost snatched away by Bryan and Kym (at KFC) that the other star-hunting duo moved in for the kill, confirming her as a contender. She won the title of “Miss Popularity”, and soon went from clinic executive to variety show host, movie star (in 2014’s Miss J Contemplates Her Choice) and budding actress (in upcoming Ch8 drama Hand in Hand).

So, remember: your next fried chicken craving could lead to an opportunity to film steamy car scenes with Shane Pow.

Nick Jonas
Nick Jonas
24 Jun 2015

Nick Jonas

Discovered: At a barbershop
Because of: His tendency to belt out notes (and sound great) anywhere, anytime

While it wasn’t a talent scout that a 6-year-old Nick impressed by randomly singing (as he usually does, he has said) in a hair salon as his mother got her curls cut, they were moved – and well-connected – enough to refer him to a showbiz manager. By the time he was seven, the little lad was making appearances on Broadway, and in 2005, he and his older siblings Kevin and Joe debuted as the Jonas Brothers. Talk about a haircut of destiny!

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron
24 Jun 2015

Charlize Theron

Discovered: At a bank
Because of: A blessing in disguise, coupled with her unabashed flair for the dramatic

These days, if you throw a theatrical tantrum over unsatisfying service, you’ll likely end up going viral on social media for all the wrong reasons. For the South African native, however, the scene she caused arguing with a banker who refused to cash her cheque led a Hollywood agent to express his interest in representing her. Eight months later, in 1995, Charlize secured her first film role (it was a small, non-speaking one, but a start nonetheless), and today, she’s a sizzling screen siren who’s more than another blonde bombshell, with the Oscar statuette and Golden Globe trophy (among others) to prove it.

2PM’s Nichkhun (second from right)
2PM’s Nichkhun (second from right)
24 Jun 2015

2PM’s Nichkhun (second from right)

Discovered: At a music festival
Because of: We’re guessing his exotic good looks had a big part to play in turning his scouter’s head

When the Thai-American hunk attended the Korean Wave Music Festival in Los Angeles (as a concertgoer, not a participating act), little did he know that he’d be receiving an offer from a JYP Entertainment casting director to join the agency. Although he turned the proposition down at first, they insisted, and Nichkhun ended up having his “audition” outside a Starbucks joint. Three weeks later, he was invited to Korea to begin training, and was inducted into his beastly, shirt-ripping group in 2008.

Lesson learned: if you have big showbiz dreams and are planning to attend any gigs any time soon, remember to look and act your most idol-like – you never know who might be watching.

Mike He
Mike He
24 Jun 2015

Mike He

Discovered: At a boxing shop
Because of: His glowing model potential (just look at that face!)

The former aspiring boxer was at a supplies store for the sport with his coach and teammates when he had a fateful encounter with the editor of a men’s magazine. Thus began his career as a part-time model travelling between two cities to earn about S$100 every weekend, which transitioned into appearances in music videos, which then blossomed into an illustrious acting career opposite the likes of Rainie Yang (pictured with him above from their drama Devil Beside You), Ella Chen, Charlene Choi and our very own Fiona Xie.

Even if he had never entered showbiz, he probably would have eventually made it into our list of regular people (in his case, a prizefighter or PE teacher) that went viral for being hot.

Elvin Ng
Elvin Ng
24 Jun 2015

Elvin Ng

Discovered: On campus, on School Belle and the Beau (2004)
Because of: His official profile says it all – “chiselled Pan-Asian looks and boyish charm”

Before Hey Gorgeous, there was School Belle and the Beau, and who should it (or rather, hosts Dennis Chew and Belinda Lee) discover but National University of Singapore undergrad Elvin, the first artiste to have been handpicked from an educational institution here.

His participation in the hunk-and-babe-hunting variety show caught the eye of MediaCorp producers, who cast him in his first drama, Channel 8’s A Life of Hope, the very next year. Well, everyone clearly knew what they were looking for, and now, not only is Elvin one of the top idols in Singapore, but is also making waves in other countries like Cambodia as well.

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