Our bold Star Awards 2018 predictions: Will 2018 be Pierre Png or Desmond Tan’s year?

Toggle predicts: Will the stars and planets align in favour of these nominees on Sunday night?

Our hot favourites and dark horses for Star Awards 2018
Our hot favourites and dark horses for Star Awards 2018
20 Apr 2018

Our hot favourites and dark horses for Star Awards 2018

We are two days away from the Star Awards, the biggest event in Singapore showbiz where actors are recognised for their contributions to local TV in the performance categories and at the popularity polls. Will we see new—and younger—faces go home champs or will the veterans reign at the awards this year? It’s anybody’s guess, but here are our picks for the hot favourites and the dark horses who will give these faves a run for the award.

Read on and see if you agree with our choices for the Star Awards 2018 performance categories.

Best Actor predictions
Best Actor predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Actor predictions

Nominees: Desmond Tan (When Duty Calls), Pierre Png (When Duty Calls), Romeo Tan (Life Less Oridnary), Shaun Chen (My Friends from Afar), Zhang Zhen Huan (Home Truly)

Hot favourite: Pierre Png

We know, we know. Before you get all up in arms over our prediction of Pierre as hot fave instead of Desmond (especially after Des ate all that raw fish for this aforementioned scene!), it’s good to note that Pierre gave an all-rounded, if not much more enjoyable and natural performance as a lackadaisical NSman and second-generation heir who falls head over heels in love with his childhood crush.

Plus, the casting of Pierre in the role of Chen Jinbao was befitting of the jiak kentang actor as he was completely believable as the Ang Moh Pai Singaporean who just returned from Australia for his reservist training. There’s a fine line between cute (we blame it on his curly perm) and obnoxious, and Pierre pretty much nailed it with perfect comic timing.

Watch past episodes of When Duty Calls on Toggle.

Best Actor predictions
Best Actor predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Actor predictions

Nominees: Desmond Tan (When Duty Calls), Pierre Png (When Duty Calls), Romeo Tan (Life Less Oridnary), Shaun Chen (My Friends from Afar), Zhang Zhen Huan (Home Truly)

Dark horse: Desmond Tan

Much has been said about the fish Desmond ate in the scene where his Sergeant Loke character was lost and stranded in the jungle, but ‘nuff said bout that stomach-churning Pescetarian meal. We’ll give credit where it’s due and agree that we did feel the desperation he hoped to portray, but Desmond’s nomination goes beyond that one scene, if anything.

Admittedly, the 31-year-old does have a knack for playing certain roles - bumbling heroes, himbos, anything-but-serious type of characters which was exactly what Loke Jun Guang was in When Duty Calls: a buffed-up beefcake nursing an unrequited crush on an old friend. For all you know, his performance may speak to the judges the same way it spoke to us - not because of the fish.

Watch past episodes of When Duty Calls on Toggle.

Best Actress predictions
Best Actress predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Actress predictions

Nominees: Carrie Wong (My Friends from Afar), Chen Li Ping (Mightiest Mother-in-Law), Paige Chua (Mightiest Mother-in-Law), Rebecca Lim (The Lead), Zoe Tay (While We Are Young)

Hot favourite: Paige Chua

Paige stepped out of her Zen den, bowled everyone over with her transformation into a 30-something hag in Mightiest Mother-in-Law, and even became an internet meme. She ‘let it go’ as a potty-mouthed housewife who grew up an emotionally insecure child after getting abandoned by her mum and reaped rave reviews in return.

Paige has had her fair share of acting opportunities (lead roles etc.) in recent years but she’s finally starting to shine after finding her footing and place in showbiz – she’s at a comfortable place and the confidence shows through her acting. The actress has displayed her capabilities and versatility in a range of acting roles over the past year but clearly none struck a chord as deeply as her role of Guan Shuhui, which is why we think 2018 will be her year to bring home the award.

Dark horse: NIL

Watch past episodes of Mightiest Mother-in-Law on Toggle.

Best Supporting Actor predictions
Best Supporting Actor predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Supporting Actor predictions

Nominees: Brandon Wong (My Friends from Afar), Chen Han Wei (The Lead), Chen Shu Cheng (Home Truly), Marcus Chin (Have a Little Faith), Shane Pow (When Duty Calls)

Hot favourite: Chen Shucheng

With a nickname like ‘Volcano’ (Hong Shan), one can expect Shu Cheng da ge’s character in Home Truly to be anything but meek and submissive. He’s a spiteful grumpy ol’ man who lives a sad solitary life because his anger management problems drove a wedge between him and his kids.

As a man of circumstance, he has no one to blame but himself for his predicament, yet Shu Cheng da ge’s performance evoked sympathy and pity, and Hong Shan’s struggles to come out of his hard shell was affecting and palpable. Through this show (and nomination), Shu Cheng da ge once again proves there are no roles he can’t do and characters he can’t own. For that, we hope he goes home the owner of one more acting trophy.

Watch past episodes of Home Truly on Toggle.

Best Supporting Actor predictions
Best Supporting Actor predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Supporting Actor predictions

Nominees: Brandon Wong (My Friends from Afar), Chen Han Wei (The Lead), Chen Shu Cheng (Home Truly), Marcus Chin (Have a Little Faith), Shane Pow (When Duty Calls)

Dark horse: Brandon Wong

We all know Brandon can act but it took a role of an extraterrestrial being in My Friends from Afar for him to impress upon us his wide acting range and malleability as an actor. As ‘nanny’ to the princess of AMIKUS Planet, Tan Siao Loong (or TN8-5252) was as sampat (slang for crazy) as any other gossipy HDB aunty.

His character’s taste for soap operas and penchant for re-purposing iconic TV scenes into real-life scenarios also provided much-needed comic fodder in the show. While funny, his performance had its touching moments which was keenly felt in his character’s longing for familial love and attachment. There was not a dry eye in the house when it was time for him to bid goodbye.

Watch past episodes of My Friends from Afar on Toggle.

Best Supporting Actress predictions
Best Supporting Actress predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Supporting Actress predictions

Nominees: Aileen Tan (Have a Little Faith), Bonnie Loo (Mightiest Mother-in-Law), Kym Ng (When Duty Calls), Mei Xin (When Duty Calls), Sheila Sim (118 II)

Hot favourite: Bonnie Loo

Hear us out before jumping the gun at our choice of Bonnie as hot fave for Best Supporting Actress: the 23-year-old has been a consistently good actress (remember Meimei from Hero?) and has displayed a talent for the craft (this is her third nomination in the category for three consecutive years).

In Mightiest Mother-in-Law, she played a spoilt and willful sister-in-law to Paige’s character in what we’d call a well-casted age-appropriate role. Being the right fit for the job (or role) changes everything. While she may not be the most memorable character (Qi Wanling) as compared to the other nominees in the same category, her strong overall performance gives her an advantage over her peers for the award.

Watch past episodes of Mightiest Mother-in-Law on Toggle.

Best Supporting Actress predictions
Best Supporting Actress predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Supporting Actress predictions

Nominees: Aileen Tan (Have a Little Faith), Bonnie Loo (Mightiest Mother-in-Law), Kym Ng (When Duty Calls), Mei Xin (When Duty Calls), Sheila Sim (118 II)

Dark horse: Kym Ng

Kym can do funny, garang, chilli padi-type roles with two eyes closed because that’s just what she’s good at and like in real life. But playing an insecure mother who is fussily protective over her 20-something son enlisting into National Service is something she has never done before, until When Duty Comes came along.

Still, she took to the role of a single, strong-headed mum with ease and was a hoot to watch in her scenes with co-star Pierre as a bickering couple in a love-hate relationship. It was a fun and funny performance that did not require additional frills like a sappy or sentimental story plot. For what it’s worth, she’s in the best position to give Bonnie a run for the acting accolade.

Watch past episodes of When Duty Calls on Toggle.

Best Programme Host (Variety, Info-Ed & Infotainment) predictions
Best Programme Host (Variety, Info-Ed & Infotainment) predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Programme Host (Variety, Info-Ed & Infotainment) predictions

Nominees: Felicia Chin (Going Miles, Spreading Smiles), Guo Liang (Voices), Kym Ng (Ah Ma Can Cook), Lee Teng (Fixer), Quan Yi Fong (Unique Lodging)

Hot favourite: Quan Yi Fong

Abseiling 10 times to get to her treetop hotel that is 15 metres above the ground? No problem. Camping in the middle of the Thar Desert in Jodhpur, India? Bring it on. Ascending 2.8 kilometres in the Pyrenean mountain range to check out the summit hotel? No sweat. You name it, Yi Fong has done it all for Unique Lodging, a programme that is part info-ed, part travelogue.

While the show was filmed in Mandarin, interacting with her foreign hosts and fellow travellers required ‘Fong’ (as she affectionately calls herself) to sometimes host in a smattering of English - a task she undertook with gumption and a lot of heart. She’s the best woman for the job, no doubt about it, and our bets are on her to win the Best Programme Host award for the second year running.

Watch past episodes of Unique Lodging on Toggle.

Best Programme Host (Variety, Info-Ed & Infotainment) predictions
Best Programme Host (Variety, Info-Ed & Infotainment) predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Programme Host (Variety, Info-Ed & Infotainment) predictions

Nominees: Felicia Chin (Going Miles, Spreading Smiles), Guo Liang (Voices), Kym Ng (Ah Ma Can Cook), Lee Teng (Fixer), Quan Yi Fong (Unique Lodging)

Dark horse: Kym Ng

Ah Ma Can Cook is a food programme that introduces viewers to the ‘secret’ home recipes belonging to our mums and their mums. The family matriarchs invited to guest star on this show are fun, sassy and cute, and the programme requires a host, who is equally feisty, to serve up quick-witted comebacks peppered with nuggets of kitchen and life wisdom. Kym does that and more and stands as an equally strong contender for the award on Sunday night. She may not have scaled mountains or treetops, and you don’t need to do that to win an award.

Watch past episodes of Ah Ma Can Cook on Toggle.

Best Newcomer predictions
Best Newcomer predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Newcomer predictions

Nominees: Chantalle Ng (While We Are Young), Hazelle Teo (Dear DJ), He Ying Ying (118 II), Richie Koh (When Duty Calls), Zong Zi Jie (While We Are Young)

Hot favourite: Chantalle Ng

Chantalle’s like the awkward teenage actor who has blossomed out in adulthood. She has come a long way from her first part-time acting gig as the BFF of Julie Tan in Café 96 and has shown marked improvement in her first full-fledged role in While We Are Young.

She appeared at ease before the cameras plus it helped that she was well-casted in the coming-of-age role as a polytechnic student working hard for her dreams regardless of her tough upbringing. Hard work pays off for her character in the show and likewise we hope the same applies for Chantalle in real life tomorrow.

Watch past episodes of While We Are Young on Toggle.

Best Newcomer predictions
Best Newcomer predictions
20 Apr 2018

Best Newcomer predictions

Nominees: Chantalle Ng (While We Are Young), Hazelle Teo (Dear DJ), He Ying Ying (118 II), Richie Koh (When Duty Calls), Zong Zi Jie (While We Are Young)

Dark horse: Richie Koh

One of Mediacorp’s best new recruitments in 2017 is Richie. He was the first runner-up in Hey Gorgeous 2013 but enlisted in the army shortly after which explained why we didn’t see him doing any acting until his two-year mandatory military service was over.

That being said, Richie barely left a blip on our radar during the talent contest, but surprised us with his turn as an extremely likeable mummy’s boy in When Duty Calls. It’s a case of casting the right actor for the right role which worked to Richie’s favour clearly. He may still be a little raw when it comes to acting, but with the right roles (and right guidance), he has the potential to go far.

Watch past episodes of When Duty Calls on Toggle.

Visit the official Star Awards 2018 microsite for more information.

Catch the Star Awards 2018 – Arrival of Artistes on April 22, Sunday, 4.30pm on Toggle.
Catch the 2018 Star Awards ceremony LIVE on April 22, Sunday, 7pm on Channel 8/U or Toggle.
Catch the 2018 Star Awards Post Show Party LIVE on April 22, Sunday, 10.30pm on Channel 8/U or Toggle.

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