After winning Singaporean talent competition Star Search in 2019, Malaysia's Zhang Zetong (previously known as Teoh Ze Tong) is making headway as an actor in the Lion City, picking up his first acting award.
On April 18, the 27-year-old won Best Newcomer at Star Awards, a prestigious Singaporean award ceremony which honours the best in television.
He beat out six other nominees vying for the prize with his performance in workplace drama A Jungle Survivor.
"There is more pressure than honour with winning this award because people will have higher expectations of me. But I will make full use of every opportunity that I get, ” he told 8 Days following his win.
Former recipients of the award include Fann Wong, Fiona Xie, Jeanette Aw and Joanne Peh.
Although Zhang was a frontrunner for the award, he wasn't confident he would win.
Going into the ceremony, he shared he was touched by his parents' words of encouragement to him.
“They told me it doesn’t matter whether I win, and not to give myself too much pressure, which I felt was very heartwarming. They were worried that I would be disappointed if I lost."
Zhang's foray into showbiz began in 2019 when he gave up his steady job as an assistant manager at online marketplace Carousell to join Mediacorp's talent competition, Star Search.
Shortly after winning the competition, the pandemic hit. The Singapore-based actor persevered and has starred in multiple dramas including All Around You, A Jungle Survivor and Slow Dancing.
Watch Zhang's winning moment here: