Not being able to sing or dance, by her own admission, did not stop blogger Mae Tan from emerging tops at an audition and becoming the star of a South Korean television series.
Miss Korea: I'm Mae is a travelogue featuring the 18-year-old's colourful escapades in that country, which includes visiting the scenic Jeju Island and queuing at the crack of dawn to get into the filming set of popular music variety show M Countdown. It is airing on Channel M (StarHub TV Channel 824 and SingTel mio TV Channel 518).
While taking a gap-year break from her studies this year, she never expected to score a dream deal that would make K-pop fans green with envy.
At the auditions held in June this year, many of the 90 hopefuls sang and danced.
Tan did something else altogether.
"I don't dance, I don't sing. I'm really good at drinking, so I decided to bring a bottle of soju (Korean spirit) and show the organisers that I know how to drink the Korean way," says Tan, who is signed with Gushcloud, a social media marketing start-up that manages YouTube personalities and bloggers.
Her ingenuity and liveliness struck a chord with the judges.
A Channel M spokesman said: "She was a natural in front of the camera and blogs very frequently. Her candour and energetic personality won the judges over, especially when she brought a prop to the audition - a bottle of Korean soju."
Her reward: a two-month all-expenses-paid stay in South Korea which started in July.
"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, such chances don't come by easily. I felt it was a very good experience for me to learn how to be on my own for two months," Tan tells Life!.
The middle child from a well-to-do family admits that the most challenging part of the trip was having to rely on herself.
Surviving on a one-time allowance of 1.5 million Korean won (S$1,790), she stayed in a backpackers' hostel, did her own laundry for the first time and had to navigate around the streets of Seoul (below) with her limited Korean vocabulary.