Homegrown singer Kit Chan's journey on Chinese reality singing competition I Am A Singer 3 came to a premature end last night, when she became the first contestant to be booted out of the show.
She delivered a stirring rendition of Jacky Cheung's sweeping ballad Heart Pierced With A Knife, but it was not enough to keep her in the game.
For two consecutive weeks, the 42-year-old came in last of the seven contestants, a strong pool that includes Chinese powerhouse vocalist Han Hong, Hong Kong singer-actor Leo Ku and Taiwanese aboriginal pop diva A-Lin.
Chan performed Shino Lin's classic ballad Tempting Heart last Friday, and managed to dodge the axe. That debut episode was a non-elimination round, but she was not so lucky in last night's second episode.
I Am A Singer, which has enjoyed high ratings, is in its third season in China. It pits professional singers against one another. The show famously boosted the careers of Hong Kong's G.E.M. Tang, Taiwan's Terry Lin and Malaysia's Shila Amzah.
Contestants, who join the show by invitation, are ranked each week entirely based on votes cast by a 500-member live audience. There are no judges.
The Hunan TV show, which takes its format from South Korea's MBC network, is pre-taped in Changsha.
Chan, the first Singaporean to appear on the show, took defeat in her stride. In an official statement sent to the local media via her publicist, she said: "Starting at ground zero, every new person I made a connection with through my performances is one more music fan won.
"What have I got to lose? I (wasn't) playing to win, but I wanted to make sure I've used this platform to showcase who I am now, what I do best, as well as what I believe in at this point in my life as a person and performer."
Referring to herself as a "hermit", she added that the best thing she took away from the competition was "being on stage with many great singers" whom she would "otherwise never have met".
"It has been both a humbling and uplifting experience, something I am truly grateful for," she said.
Initially, Chan had reservations about joining I Am A Singer 3. In an interview with The Straits Times last month, she admitted that she had been biased against the reality show genre, until her former public relations manager Sandy Chi convinced her that the show was a chance to reach a wider audience.
Narrowly escaping elimination last night were Chinese crooner Anson Hu and Taiwan's A-Lin, who came in 5th and 6th respectively.
Sichuan-born songbird Jane Zhang came out tops with her powerful delivery of Legend Of A Hungry Wolf, an energetic Jacky Cheung number.
Despite her early exit, Chan can take consolation in the fact that many netizens on Sina Weibo, China's popular social network, are on her side.