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Remember that Sheila Sim etiquette class for the Star Search 2019 contestants we observed last year? And our photo shoot for the Top 12 finalists? As it turns out, these weren’t exactly the most confidence-inspiring parts of the journey for Zhang Zetong, even if he did emerge the overall champion in the end.

We can’t say we blame him. While he was a customer relationship manager at Carousell, most of the other male contenders came from modelling backgrounds, which gave them a massive edge in terms of how to carry themselves and pose in front of the camera. And seeing them #werkit so expertly brought Zetong’s already “non-existent confidence even lower”.

“Imagine being in the Top 12 with a group of models, all so tall and full of charisma and confidence that I never knew someone could have at that age,” he told 8days.sg with a chuckle. We were catching up with the 27-year-old over coffee at Cafe Melba’s Mediapolis branch, just a stone’s throw away from the Mediacorp theatre where he was crowned the Star Search winner exactly a year ago today (Nov 3).

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