Singer Cilla Chan, 22, has put a bit of Singapore on the musical map as the first Singapore-born performer to make it onto the reality singing competition, The Voice.
The Singapore permanent resident and American citizen was picked by country music superstar Blake Shelton, a coach and judge on the show, to be part of his team. The episode containing her audition will air on Sunday on AXN (StarHub TV Channel 511) at 8.10pm.
She tells Life! in an exclusive interview yesterday: "When he turned for me, I was just like, 'No way, this is actually happening right now.' It was the most thrilling moment of my life."
On The Voice, singers are judged solely by their vocal performances and not their looks. The four coaches - music industry heavyweights Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine - have their backs to the stage and turn their chairs to see the performers only when they hear a voice that inspires them or moves them.
For her audition, Chan sang a stripped-down arrangement of Selena Gomez's Come & Get It. She attended the auditions in New York a week after she graduated from the prestigious Stanford University in California earlier this year with a degree in human biology and a concentration in economics.
She was offered a job at the tech start-up Dropbox, but has put that offer on hold to be in the fifth season of The Voice.
She says: "Stepping onto the stage didn't feel real. It was a very surreal moment for me, to see those four chairs in front - I mean, even if there was no audience, I would still have been totally terrified because those are four of the biggest music stars in the world.
"I just remember the music starting and my mind going a little blank, I didn't really know what happened. And then all of a sudden, Blake turns and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, this is not happening right now. This is crazy.' It was all sort of a blur for me."