It was her shot at being on her way to become a K-pop star.
And Miss Stephanie Koh, the Singaporean finalist of K-pop reality show Scoot: K-pop Star Hunt 3, didn’t win.
But the 21-year-old said she was fine with it as long as Thai contestant, Miss Siriburee Chananan, 18, did not win.
The contest was won by Taiwanese Andy Su, 15, who also beat Malaysian Putri Norizah, 22, to bag the title.
Miss Koh told The New Paper after the results were announced at Suntec City on Sunday (Jan 12): “Pik (Miss Siriburee) didn’t deserve to win because she wasn’t the most talented.
“She isn’t the best at singing and she isn’t the strongest in dancing.”
She said the best singer among the four finalists was Miss Putri, and the best dancer, Su. Miss Siriburee, on the other hand, made it to the top four by “acting cute”, she said.
Although the two appeared friendly on stage, Miss Koh, a Ngee Ann Polytechnic mass communications diploma holder, didn’t hold back her dislike of her fellow finalist when she spoke to TNP.
She said: “When we were in Korea, I was very annoyed by her constantly saying ‘Otoke’ (How in Korean). She always says it and uses the word out of context. She also keeps saying ‘Unnie’ (elder sister) and ‘Oppa’ (elder brother) in a very high-pitched voice, it’s very annoying.”
Miss Siriburee could not be reached for comment.
Concluding its third season, K-pop Star Hunt 3 saw two contestants from each participating country in the region travel to South Korea. There, the 12 finalists took part in song-and-dance challenges, with weekly eliminations.
Miss Koh, Miss Siriburee, Miss Putri and Su made it to the top four finalists of the competition, and they battled it out during the four-hour finale yesterday in front of a 1,000-strong crowd.
Su, who received the loudest cheers from the mostly teen audience, became the first male contestant to bag the title in this competition.
In the past two seasons, the winners were female contestants from Thailand.
The Taiwanese earned himself a contract with CJ E&M and FNC Entertainment, which has produced K-pop boy bands such as FT Island and CNBlue.
Miss Koh said she was disappointed when the winner was announced, as she had hoped for and expected herself to win.
“I did expect to win when I got loud cheers from the audience. And I believe I was the only other contestant in the top four who could actually sing,” she said.
“But I am proud that Andy won, as I took care of him a lot when we were in Korea. I am glad that Pik didn’t win because I didn’t want Thais to win three seasons in a row.”
Even though she didn’t win, Miss Koh received praises from the judges for her renditions of Korean singer Lee Hi’s Rose and Avril Lavigne’s Rock N Roll.
FT Island member Lee Jae Jin, who was one of the judges, gave Miss Koh two thumbs up for her performance, saying: “I like it a lot, and am surprised by it. She has her own style of performing and she should think about becoming a band’s vocalist next time.”
Koh had gained a lot of attention and drew criticism during the show for constantly shooting her mouth off on set.
Her most infamous outburst was directed at the show’s manager, who had asked the contestants to surrender their mobile phones. She told him: “I’ll attack you, I’ll scratch you and I’ll kill you.”
She also told RazorTV that she was not proud to be a Singaporean -- as "everyone here is submissive; everyone here don’t know how to think out of the box" -- and that she was actually 'one of a kind'.
But Miss Koh said she would do the same thing if she was on the show again.
“If I don’t like something, I’ll say it. It’s who I am. I’m pretty strong in my opinions and I don’t want to be fake just because I am in front of the camera,” she said.
Now that the competition is over, Miss Koh might return to being a YouTube star.
Miss Koh, who has a YouTube channel with more than 121,000 subscribers, said: “I’ll go back to doing that, and I may join X-factor Australia next year.”
She added: “It would have been nice to win the competition though... I might not have signed the contract with FNC, but at least I would have had the chance to contemplate if I wanted to.”