Paige Chua, Desmond Tan bag first Star Awards Best Actor nomination

New faces on this year’s Star Awards 2018 nomination list include Marcus Chin, Shane Pow and Mei Xin

First-time Best Actor nominees: Paige Chua (Mightiest Mother-in-Law), Desmond Tan (When Duty Calls)
First-time Best Actor nominees: Paige Chua (Mightiest Mother-in-Law), Desmond Tan (When Duty Calls)
29 Jan 2018

First-time Best Actor nominees: Paige Chua (Mightiest Mother-in-Law), Desmond Tan (When Duty Calls)

JUST IN: After days of rabid guessing and speculation from fans (thanks to teasers posted across Channel 8’s official social media accounts), we have with us the official Star Awards 2018 nomination list.

Before we get to that, here are a few important things to take note of this year’s award ceremony, which sees a few changes to its format and eligibility criteria.

Unlike previous years’ practice and “to recognise the contributions to local television more broadly,” the Star Awards Committee has decided to open up nominations to non-Mediacorp artistes (i.e. artistes who do not have an existing contract with Mediacorp), “after considering the constructive feedback of industry watchers and audiences,” according to an official statement from Mediacorp.

Here’s what the actors need to fulfil to be considered eligible for an award: They must have played either a lead role in a drama, a lead host in a variety-infotainment show, or a supportive role/assistant host in three eligible programmes, or at least 30 episodes out of all eligible programmes.

There’s also a little shakeup to the judging criteria for the Evergreen Artiste Award. Instead of basing the award on one single drama, artistes in the category will be judged based on his or her performances for the entire year, which will allow them to be considered for their versatility instead of acting roles.

Now that we got the hard stuff out of the way, here comes the news you’ve been waiting for - the nomination list.

Uniform-themed drama series When Duty Calls leads the pack with eight nominations in its bag this year, followed by Mightiest Mother-in-Law and My Friends from Afar with five nominations each.

This year’s nomination list also sees plenty of new faces and first-time nominees.

Paige Chua finally lands her first Best Actress nomination after a decade in showbiz with the help of her aunty role in Mightiest Mother-in-Law, and the same goes for Desmond Tan, whose attempt to channel a little ‘method acting’ by eating raw fish for survival in When Duty Call impressed, to say the least.

Multiple Best Supporting Actress nominee but first-time Best Actress nominee Carrie Wong also made the cut with the help of her straight-faced human-lovin’ alien character in My Friends from Afar. Also nominated in the same series is multiple Best Actor winner Shaun Chen, who played a cheeky hooligan and Carrie’s love interest in the show.

For the Best Supporting category, Marcus Chin’s turn as a 4D addict-turned-hardworking uncle in Have a Little Faith clearly won favour with the judges this year and helped the veteran host and deejay bag his first ever acting nomination at the Star Awards.

Shane, who recently just signed on with Mediacorp (not that it helped win him a spot on the nomination list) also impressed as a parkour enthusiast and new NSman in When Duty Calls. Co-star Mei Xin, who plays his elder sister and a needy and depressed wife of a “siao-on” army officer also won herself a spot in the Best Supporting Actress category for the first time.

We speak to some of these new nominees about their hopes and thoughts on their nominations. Read on for more!

Best Actress nominees: Carrie Wong, Chen Li Ping, Paige Chua, Rebecca Lim, Zoe Tay
Best Actress nominees: Carrie Wong, Chen Li Ping, Paige Chua, Rebecca Lim, Zoe Tay
29 Jan 2018

Best Actress nominees: Carrie Wong, Chen Li Ping, Paige Chua, Rebecca Lim, Zoe Tay

Both Carrie Wong and Paige Chua will be going up against former (and multiple) Best Actress winners Zoe Tay (While We Are Young), Chen Li Ping (Mightiest Mother-in-Law) and Rebecca Lim (The Lead) this year.

Over a phone interview with Toggle, Carrie shared that she was at work, filming Toggle Original series VIC, when she was notified about her nomination. Also present to share her joy was co-star Desmond, who was nominated for his role in When Duty Calls. “We had to remind each other to compose ourselves and focus on work,” she said, adding, “I’m so happy for him because this is his first acting nomination since he entered the industry 10 years ago. I really hope this is his year.”

As the greenest nominee in the Best Actress category, Carrie feels “grateful” and “honoured” and daren’t hope for more. “They are very strong opponents so I reminded myself to be composed and not read too much into it. Plus, I’ll be going overseas [after VIC wraps] so I wouldn’t be able to brood about it!” she laughed.

Paige, on the other hand, was under a little pressure to be nominated after being told (repeatedly) by the people around her that her performance was deserving of a nomination. “That thought sunk in and has been building up for nine months, so I would be upset if didn’t get nominated. Now that I did I’m relieved, my biggest emotion is relief,” she shared during a phoner with Toggle.

The actress gave credit to the director for “pulling that fierce side” out of her in Mightiest Mother-in-Law and pushing her into putting in 10 times more effort in the delivery of her character’s energy level, tone and volume of voice. “If I get the award I want to chop [the trophy] up into four parts to give it to the directors, because 50 percent of my character is their creation,” she quipped.

Paige also expressed happiness at co-star Li Ping’s nomination. “There’s no fight lah, I won’t fight with her, I’ll just hand the award to her (laughs). I always say that all five of us nominees have an equal chance in winning so you never know till the end.

“She did a fantastic job and she helped me a lot because I really had to tap on her energy. We have worked together so many times as mum and daughter so we had great chemistry. Having her around makes me feel very secure. I think if I got the award, she’ll be happy for me too.”

Best Actress
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

Best Actor nominees: Desmond Tan, Pierre Png, Romeo Tan, Shaun Chen, Zhang Zhen Huan
Best Actor nominees: Desmond Tan, Pierre Png, Romeo Tan, Shaun Chen, Zhang Zhen Huan
29 Jan 2018

Best Actor nominees: Desmond Tan, Pierre Png, Romeo Tan, Shaun Chen, Zhang Zhen Huan

While he was “very happy” with his Best Actor nomination, Desmond said he was in a state of disbelief when his manager notified him about it. You can’t blame the guy, after all he has been in the industry for 10 years but has never been nominated in the Star Awards performance categories.

“I finally know what it means when people say ‘nominations are an affirmation.’ It feels like my hard work has finally paid off,” he said.

The first-time nominee will be running against co-star Pierre Png (When Duty Calls), Romeo Tan (Life Less Ordinary), Shaun Chen (My Friends from Afar) and Zhang Zhen Huan (Home Truly) for Best Actor award, and, coincidentally, was with Pierre when they were told of the good news.

He even sought some tips from the former Best Actor winner, who advised him to relish in the good news for the next two days and “enjoy the affirmation” before throwing his happiness aside and diving right back into work. “I feel composed right now, because I’ve been really busy filming,” he quipped.

“I feel that for awards, it’s a 50-50 chance… it always turns out to be what we least expect it to be. To be fair, I think everyone stands equal chances of winning it. But if I had to pick a side, I hope that someone from the When Duty Calls team will go home victorious.”


Best Actor
Desmond Tan – When Duty Calls
Pierre Png – When Duty Calls
Romeo Tan – Life Less Ordinary
Shaun Chen – My Friends from Afar
Zhang Zhen Huan – Home Truly

Best Supporting Actor nominees
Best Supporting Actor nominees
29 Jan 2018

Best Supporting Actor nominees

As the youngest Best Supporting Actor nominee of the lot (Ed’s note: The rest of the nominees are veterans who are middle-aged and above), Shane’s first reaction when he was informed about his achievement was: oh, sh*t!

“Amongst the other nominees, I’m still the ‘recruit’, just like my role in When Duty Calls,” he explained with a chuckle. “I respect the other four nominees a lot, and I know all of them personally. They’re the veterans that I aspire to be [so] to be nominated with them is already such an honour.”

The 27-year-old shared that he had to read his manager’s message three times to “double confirm” news of his first acting nomination in five years. “I was quite shocked and it took me a while to register [the news], but I was very happy, obviously.”

For someone who has been “doing a lot of different roles” which included trying his hand at parkour in When Duty Calls, Shane quipped that getting nominated “is kind of like a pat on my back for my hard work” and “people are recognising me for my acting chops.”

It doesn’t matter if he goes home emptyhanded too, for he only wants a picture with each of his fellow nominees on the night itself, plus the recognition is more than enough, said Shane. “This is a really big encouragement for me, and I’m more than happy to go home with the recognition that I’ve done a good job.”

Best Supporting Actor
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

Best Supporting Actress nominees
Best Supporting Actress nominees
29 Jan 2018

Best Supporting Actress nominees

Best Supporting Actress
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

Evergreen Artiste Award nominees
Evergreen Artiste Award nominees
29 Jan 2018

Evergreen Artiste Award nominees

Evergreen Artiste Award
Chen Shu Cheng
Hong Hui Fang
Marcus Chin
Xiang Yun
Zhu Hou Ren

Best Programme Host (Variety, Info-Ed & Infotainment) nominees
Best Programme Host (Variety, Info-Ed & Infotainment) nominees
29 Jan 2018

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

Best Programme Host (Variety, Info-Ed & Infotainment)
Felicia Chin – Going Miles, Spreading Smiles
Guo Liang – Voices
Kym Ng – Ah Ma Can Cook
Lee Teng – Fixer
Quan Yi Fong – Unique Lodging

Best Newcomer Award nominees
Best Newcomer Award nominees
29 Jan 2018

Best Newcomer Award nominees

Best Newcomer Award
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

Young Talent Award nominees
Young Talent Award nominees
29 Jan 2018

Young Talent Award nominees

Young Talent Award
Damien Teo – The Lead
Isabel Yamada – The Lead
Tay Kay Zer Cruz – Home Truly
Toh Xin Hui – My Friends from Afar
Violet Raine Ong Yong Zhen – Mightiest Mother-in-Law

PROGRAMME CATEGORY
PROGRAMME CATEGORY
29 Jan 2018

PROGRAMME CATEGORY

Best Drama Serial
Have a Little Faith
Mightiest Mother-in-Law
My Friends from Afar
When Duty Calls
While We Are Young

Best Variety Programme
Ah Ma Can Cook
I Love You Mum Challenge – A Gift for Mum
Oh My Heroes!
Take a Break!
The Love 97.2 Breakfast Quartet show

Best Info-ed Programme
Fixer
Going Miles, Spreading Smiles
Littles Maestros
National Flavours
Tuesday Report: #myconnecting

Best Theme Song
The Freshman - ‘It’s Love, Harry’ for Dear DJ
Derrick Hoh – ‘Wei Meng Xiang Shan Yao’ for Dream Coder
The cast of Life Less Ordinary for Life Less Ordinary
Tay Ping Hui – ‘Chu Zhong’ for The Lead
Kenny Khoo and Desmond Ng – ‘Yi Gang Ke Gang’ for When Duty Calls

Visit the official Star Awards 2018 microsite for more information.

Catch the Star Awards 2018 – Arrival of Artistes on April 22, Sunday, 5pm 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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