Rebecca Lim credits Miss Universe Singapore for opening door to stardom
Actress Rebecca Lim credits Miss Universe Singapore pageant for opening doors and boosting her self-confidence
She walked away from Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) 2005 with the Miss Photogenic title and finished fourth runner-up.
But Mediacorp actress Rebecca Lim insists she "wasn't upset at all" over not going home with the crown, which eventually went to veterinarian Cheryl Tay.
After all, the pageant was just the beginning.
Eleven years on, the 1.67m-tall beauty is now a bona fide A-lister in local showbiz.
Lim, 29, who took part in MUS right after her A levels, told The New Paper: "In fact, I didn't prepare much. The fact that I walked away with awards was already a huge surprise. I was in it more for the fun and experience... (not) to win.
BEAUTY QUEEN: Actress Rebecca Lim took part in the Miss Universe Singapore pageant in 2005 (above) where she was talent spotted by the head of Mediacorp's Artiste Management Division.
"For a girl fresh out of school, everything was such an eye-opener."
This year, Singapore's most prestigious pageant is back in a big way, with new presenter Singapore Turf Club and new imaging partner Canon Singapore on board.
For the first time, TNP will be the pageant's official media partner and co-organiser with the Miss Universe Singapore Organisation.
The winner will receive $10,000 cash and a Canon camera worth $1,000.
Registration is now open to women aged 18 to 27.
Lim recalled that she was selected to represent Victoria Junior College in an inter-junior college pageant and the organisers asked the girls who satisfied the height requirements to audition for MUS.
She said: "I was clueless during the auditions as I was a tomboy fresh out of JC.
"They asked us to bring a swimsuit and photographs of ourselves. I was the only one who turned up in a one-piece swimsuit and an IC photo. The rest were in bikinis and (had) their model portfolios.
"Perhaps the judges thought it was refreshing to see someone like me at the auditions and put me through to see how far this clown would go."
But it was at MUS where Lim was spotted by Mr Andrew Cheng, then-head of Mediacorp's Artiste Management Division.
"I guess being awarded Miss Photogenic gave people the confidence that I would look presentable on screen, but I needed to be groomed," she said.
Lim, who is currently starring in The Dream Jobon Channel 8 on weekdays at 9pm, said she is "grateful" for MUS as it "definitely opened the door for whatever I am doing now".
Other celebs like Jade Seah and Joanne Peh also had their start on MUS, but appear to have gone a lot further than some of the winners, who are out of the spotlight.
But Lim disagreed, saying: "The winners may have also achieved great things in their own lives but because we are in the limelight, it may appear that we have achieved more.
"Some of the winners have gone on to do more charity, succeeded immensely in their businesses or have started beautiful families and are very contented with their lives. I am glad my life turned out this way, and I don't wish to compare with the rest and discredit them in any way."
For Lim, the MUS experience has taught her to be "confident and courageous".
"To stand there and be judged by people who don't necessarily know you, that takes a whole lot of courage. Anyone who wants a different experience or a once-in-a-lifetime experience should take part. Be open-minded and you will enjoy the process a lot more. Be confident and know that your worth is not based on one competition alone," she said.
They asked us to bring a swimsuit and photographs of ourselves. I was the only one who turned up in a one-piece swimsuit and an IC photo... Perhaps the judges thought it was refreshing to see someone like me at the auditions and put me through to see how far this clown would go.
- Actress Rebecca Lim on her Miss Universe Singapore audition