You may not have heard of Sit Yeng Yi, also known as Ah Yi to fans.
But the former Hong Kong beauty pageant contestant turned internet celebrity could soon be appearing on a (digital) screen near you.
Hers is probably a story of how one can achieve their dreams with the right dose of determination and confidence.
The 38-year-old first gained fame in 2021, when she was a contestant in the Miss Asia pageant, organised by troubled digital broadcaster Asia Television (ATV).
During the audition, Ah Yi stood out among the line-up of pageant hopefuls not just for her age, but also for her far-from-modelesque physique.
In an interview, Ah Yi shared that she decided to join the competition after it was announced that the age limit for contestants had been relaxed.
Despite not fitting the typical beauty queen mould, Ah Yi did not lack self-confidence.
Asked about the physical features she's most proud of, Ah Yi shared that her skin is "fair enough" and she is happy with her body shape. "In fact, I jog every day," she was quoted as saying.
'Best Effort' award
Her chutzpah earned her a following online and a special "Best Effort" award during the finals of the pageant. She also landed a contract with ATV too.
Bad press, however, soon surrounded the showbiz newbie.
Ah Yi was arrested for assault in September 2021 over a confrontation for not wearing her face mask. She was sentenced to two weeks' jail and fined HK$5,000 (S$90.60) in March this year, Dim Sum Daily reported.
It was later reported that Ah Yi's two-year contract with ATV had been canned due to the digital broadcaster's financial woes.
But she soon bounced back, announcing on Sept 8 that she had scored a contract with Asia Momentum Media (AMM), a subsidiary of ATV which curates content across Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.
And her first assignment has apparently taken her to Malaysia, reported Hype.my. The country is also where Ah Yi will be based to develop her career due to her popularity there, her manager added.
And already, the budding celebrity has stirred up controversy.
This time, it's over her choice of swimsuit during a leisurely shoot at Sunway Lagoon.
In the photo posted to AMM Malaysia's Instagram account, netizens alleged that the "sexy" swimsuit worn by Ah Yi looked more like lingerie repurposed as swimwear.
First Malaysia, next Singapore?
It's anyone's guess if Singaporeans will soon be seeing Ah Yi and her signature deadpan expression in local media productions.
In June this year, however, she did share an Instagram post showing her posing with Singaporean celebrities Xixi Lim and Glenn Yong during a promotional event for Ah Girls Go Army.