The Queen of Caldecott Hill once again proved why she is showbiz royalty by snagging one of the highest honours at Star Awards 2021.

At the end of the awards ceremony held on Sunday (April 18), the 53-year-old walked away with the Best Actress award for her role in the 2020 drama My Guardian Angels. She was nominated alongside other formidable actresses – Felicia Chin, Rebecca Lim, Rui En, Chen Liping, Kym Ng, and Carrie Wong.

Speaking to local media over Zoom, the Mediacorp Ah Jie said of her win: “All the other nominees are really good. It’s not that they’re not. Maybe the judges like my role more.”

Since Star Awards was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this marked her second consecutive win in the Best Actress category after clinching it in 2019. This will also be her fourth Best Actress award overall.

However, just because she’s besties with Chen Hanwei – who has snagged six Best Actor trophies – doesn’t mean Zoe wants to match up to him.

“I’m not chasing after the Best Actress award. When I receive a role, I hope to make it as realistic as possible,” she shared.

As reported in February, the local veteran actress is also one of a handful of Mediacorp artistes who will be represented by global talent management company, Bohemia Group.

When asked about going global, Zoe replied that it’ll be a new challenge for her.

This year’s Star Awards was held at Changi Airport Terminal 4 and the HSBC Rain Vortex at Jewel.

The new venue — it’s usually held at Mediacorp — might have been a breath of fresh air for viewers, but the winners mostly failed to surprise. Predictably, Star Search 2019 winner Zhang Zetong clinched the Best Newcomer award.

In a Zoom interview with local media after receiving his award, 27-year-old Zetong said he was more nervous on stage tonight than when he won Star Search in 2019, because he was afraid he would miss out some people in his thank-you speech.

AsiaOne asked whether he felt it was a given that he would win, seeing as how he’s the Star Search champ. He replied: “I never thought that, because there are different people in the running for this category, and the judging criteria are different.

“But I did my research beforehand, Star Search champions don’t necessarily win Best Newcomer.”

Zetong’s parents are in Malaysia and they sent him voice messages earlier to console him in advance, lest he lost. “They were worried that I would be bothered if I didn’t win, so they told me to pursue my career regardless of the results.”

Another predictable win was Best Actor, which went to veteran actor Qi Yuwu for his role in 2020 drama A Quest to Heal.

Credit: Mediacorp

Though he was vying for the trophy with other celebrated actors – Chen Hanwei, Elvin Ng, Romeo Tan, Desmond Tan, Pierre Png, and Zhang Yaodong – the period drama was popular among audiences and tipped to win big.

Yuwu, 44, smiled and told local media over Zoom that his win meant that his daughter will have something to report to her teacher tomorrow.

A Quest to Heal also won the Best Theme Song and Best Drama Serial, and local actor-host Bryan Wong won Best Supporting Actor for his role on the show. Though nominated, lead actress for the show, Carrie Wong, failed to win in her category.

A surprising win, though, came in the form of Kym Ng who snagged Best Supporting Actress for her role on Daybreak. She was also nominated in the Best Actress category but lost to Zoe.

Credit: Mediacorp

Kym told local reporters – quite hilariously – that her fan club members didn’t think that she would win this category.

“They told me it would be very hard for me to win because the other nominees are very good. They consoled me that it’s ok because the competition is tough. They told me they would still love me regardless of the results,” the 53-year-old actress-host said.

One of Mediacorp’s most beloved veteran actresses also walked away with some trophies.

Jin Yinji took home the Evergreen Artiste award. While many might think an actress’ career shines brighter the younger they are, the opposite is true for the 74-year-old.

Credit: Mediacorp

AsiaOne asked Yinji which period, in her 30-plus-year career, she felt was the best. She replied: “It’s right now. I felt that the look in my eyes when I filmed the drama Recipe of Life was really fierce and on-point.

“I don’t think I could do fierce when I was younger. Even when you’re old, keep learning. It’s only when you have life experience that you can flesh out the script.”

Yinji was also one of the Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes, alongside (in no particular order) Jesseca Liu, Rebecca Lim, Yvonne Lim, Paige Chua, Ya Hui, Hong Ling, Ann Kok, Carrie Wong, and Bonnie Loo.

Credit: Mediacorp

As for the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes, the winners are (in no particular order) Romeo Tan, Shaun Chen, Chen Shucheng, Pierre Png, Pornsak, Desmond Tan, Marcus Chin, Dennis Chew, Guo Liang, and Zheng Geping.

Both Dennis and Geping scored their 10th win in the category, so we’ll be seeing them collect the All-Time Favourite Artiste award next year.

The full list of winners can be found here.

This article was first published on AsiaOne.