Right after winning the biggest payout in the history of local reality talent TV shows, Farisha Ishak is going back to school.
The first-year political science undergraduate will join her classmates at the National University of Singapore on Monday, two weeks after the term started.
The 19-year-old went home with a recording contract from Hype Records worth $50,000 as well as $50,000 cash after winning the inaugural singing competition, The Final 1, on Wednesday night. She has had to miss school due to rehearsals, but is now determined to juggle her studies and a singing career.
Farisha beat 28-year-old Shaun Jansen, a marketing communications executive, to the crown in an hour-long finale show at the Star Performing Arts Centre. Organised by MediaCorp, the show was shown live on Channel 5.
Both Farisha, a soul singer, and Jansen, who was known for his pop-rock style, enjoyed strong support in the lead-up to the finals.
The Final 1 has relied more on social media than other reality singing competitions. For example, the first round of auditions took place online, with contestants submitting videos.
Both finalists sang three songs each, and the results were determined solely by fans, who voted via phone, SMS and Facebook. MediaCorp declined to reveal the number of votes cast and Farisha's winning percentage.
For Farisha, time has passed in a blur since her win. "I didn't even get to talk to my family. I just hugged them briefly. Everything feels so surreal and it still hasn't sunk in yet that I have a recording contract waiting for me," she said.