Star Awards season is upon us and recently the list of the 40 nominees for the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes and Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes categories was released on Mar 16.
To the shock of many fans, last year's Top 10 placers Jesseca Liu and Ian Fang were not in the running.
In a surprising turn of events, "Sing!China" finalist Joanna Dong and Diana Ser, who had hosted two seasons of the documentary series "Innocence Lost" that sheds light on child workers around the region, made the shortlist instead.
They are just two of the many other shocking names who made (and didn't make) the cut.
Check out some of the other surprising nominees for the "Top Ten Popular Male/Female Artiste" award.
Surprise: Diana Ser
The Star Awards is primarily for the stars of Mandarin television channels, Channel 8 and Channel U, not those who star in its sister English-language channel's shows.
But news presenter and host, Diana Ser, is eligible for nomination as one of the Most Popular Female Artistes because she had hosted the Channel U documentary series "Innocence Lost".
While her nomination may come as a surprise, this isn't the first time the mother-of-three is in the running for the Top 10 Most Popular Female Artiste award. She had previously been up for the award in 1997, 1999 and 2005, but didn't manage to take home the prize all three times.
Surprise: Joanna Dong
Unlike Diana Ser, it's a different story for local singer Joanna Dong, who made the list for the first time.
Before placing third on the popular reality singing competition Sing!China last year, the 36-year-old singer was travelling the world hosting Channel U travelogues.
In 2017, she hosted the Channel U documentary, "National Flavours", where she tasted local cuisines from all around the world.
Snub: Jesseca Liu
Even though the actress made headlines and graced the covers of several local publications in the past year, the newlywed is not in the running for this year's Most Popular Female Artistes Award. Jesseca who starred in numerous television productions like "Eat Already " where she played a psychologist was mysteriously excluded in spite of her strong fanbase and placing in the Top 10 last year.
That being said, there's no time for Jesseca to sit around and mope. The star already has her work schedule packed and is currently working on the drama "Babies on Board" where she stars alongside Tay Pinghui.
Snub: Ian Fang
Jesseca's omission from the list is no less jaw-dropping than Ian Fang's since the 28-year old bagged his second Top 10 award in 2017 and starred in many Channel 8 programmes in the past year, including the long-running drama "Life Less Ordinary".
It seems Ian Fang remains positive about the results and he is working hard on the show "Thousand Years" that will air later this year.'
Snub: Xu Bin
Another "duke" who was dropped from the list this year is Fujian-born actor Xu Bin, who has won three Top 10 Most Popular Artiste awards to date (2014, 2015 and 2016).
Last year, the newly-married Xu Bin acted in the long-running drama 118 where he starred alongside Carrie Wong.
Snub: Shane Pow
Another star who did not make the cut is 27-year-old Shane Pow who is nominated for "Best Supporting Actor" for his performance in the army drama "When Duty Calls".
His omission came as a surprise to many fans as he starred numerous local productions in the past year like "Crescendo the Musical" and "Faculty", while also being the face of a recent Singtel campaign, "You Make The Call", which garnered more than 1 million views on YouTube.
Snub: Jayley Woo
27-year-old local actress Jayley Woo who has starred in over 20 television shows, telemovies and movies was also glaringly left out in the shortlist.
Her twin sister, Hayley Woo, on the other hand is a first-time nominee this year. Jayley's snub comes as a shock as she has been nominated consecutively for the past three years and won all three times.
Snub: Jeffrey Xu
Jayley was not the only "Have A Little Faith" star who failed to make the cut, her co-star Jeffrey Xu is also not in the running.
Jeffrey's omission was surprising because not only has he been nominated two years in the row, he was also involved in three drama series in the past year, including the long-running drama "Life Less Ordinary" and "Mightiest Mother-in-law."
Surprise: Jack Neo
While we do not doubt the actor-director's popularity, Jack Neo isn't exactly a name you expect to be in the running for the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes category at the Star Awards.
That said, this is most certainly not the first-time the "Ah Boys to Men" director is in the running for Most Popular Male Artiste award. He had previously been up for the award consecutively for six years from 1998 and won all six times.
Surprise: Ha Yu
The most surprising name on the list is Hong Kong actor Ha Yu who has been working on the television network TVB since 1970s. A familiar face in Cantonese serials, this veteran actor has been making his presence felt in Singapore television.
In 2016, he returned to our shores for his fourth local drama serial, playing Li Jinlong (father of Jeanette Aw) in the long-running drama "118 II." This is the 72-year-old actor's first nomination.
This article was first published in Her World Online