DUKE OF THE YEAR
He was touted as the hot favourite to win Duke Of The Year.
And sunshine boy Xu Bin did not disappoint.
The 25-year-old actor netted more than 13,000 votes to be crowned the top Duke among MediaCorp's 8 Dukes who, until now, have never been openly pitted against each other in a popularity poll.
Coming in a close second was Shane Pow (more than 11,000 votes), while Aloysius Pang was third (8,000 votes).
The other dukes include Desmond Tan, Zhang Zhen Huan, Ian Fang, Romeo Tan and Jeffrey Xu.
The label 8 Dukes, which was coined in April, is the unofficial spin-off of former showbiz collective Seven Princesses and features eight of Caldecott Hill's rising male stars.
When presented with the Flame Awards medal, the China-born Xu, who studied in Singapore, flashed a wide smile and asked in Mandarin: "Me? I won? Is this for real?"
He added: "I did think I might have a chance of winning. My fans have always been very hard-working and I really want to thank them for their support in the past two years (since his debut)."
Xu, who has more than 133,000 followers on Instagram, made it to the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes list at this year's Star Awards.
Xu, who plays Chew Chor Meng's son in long-running Channel 8 drama 118, believes the show has given him a lot more exposure in recent months.
"In the past, all my fans were young girls," the chatty idol said,
"These days, even aunties and uncles who see me at the coffee shops will say hi to me. I have 118 to thank for that."
Viewers will soon get a double dose of Xu. He will be seen in Channel 8 medical drama You Can Be An Angel Too, playing a man who follows in the footsteps of his elder brother to become a nurse.
The series, which also stars Zoe Tay, Xiang Yun, Bryan Wong and Elvin Ng, premieres on Jan 5 at 9pm.
To celebrate his win, the affable star hopes to organise a fan meet to thank his supporters.
"If there is a chance, I want to share this win with them. They have put in a lot of effort and I want to thank them personally."
Xu, who has been keeping a hectic schedule, laments that he has not seen his parents for close to three years now.
He said matter-of-factly: "My company gave me four days of leave to visit my family in China and I am looking forward to it.
"I am hoping to get a few more days, as I haven't seen my parents in a long time and I miss them."