Gift of the gap: Odelle Sabrin Masil

In The Final 1, 22-year-old student Odelle Sabrin Masil wows the judges easily with her smooth, soulful voice.

Behind that voice is a colourful personality and a kooky side that makes her, like Ong, one of the most interesting contestants in the history of the competition.

We spoke to Masil, who is pursuing a bachelor of commerce degree in human resource management at Kaplan Higher Education Institute, and found out more about her secret quirks.


On social media, Masil's supporters use a special hashtag coined just for her - #TeamGap.

This, thanks to a prominent gap in her front teeth, in the style of US Queen of Pop Madonna and Australian model Abbey Lee Kershaw. In the early stages of the competition, Masil was conscious of this, but she has since accepted it as her "signature" feature.

"I tried to stuff wet cotton wool in between to hide it but I couldn't sing. My mum told me that it sets me apart and I should ignore what people say.

"I've started appreciating the gap more since I joined the competition. While in the past I wanted braces, now, I don't anymore. A lot of people love my gap now," she said.


It is a childhood habit that reared its head again recently due to the pressures of the competition.

Recently, Masil gave her mother a fright when she woke up in the wee hours, stood by her bed for a few minutes, and walked to the microphone stand in her room before crawling back into bed.

Once, she also woke up screaming "Final 1, Final 1!" before falling asleep again.

"I think it started again, thanks to the disturbed sleep and my parents were so scared. When I was younger, I used to sleep run," she said.


While Masil is Indian, her extended family is made up of members of the four main races in Singapore.

This means that every year, the family celebrates all the main festivals, Hari Raya Haji and Hari Raya Puasa, Christmas, Chinese New Year and Deepavali.

She joked: "Sometimes we get so tired of eating but it's nice because we gather as a family so often."

Masil, who is also fluent in Malay, said she grew up listening to songs in various languages.

Her favourite songs include Terukir Di Bintang by Malaysian singer Yuna and Tong Hua (Fairy Tale) by Malaysian singer Guang Liang.


Masil's family's three-storey house is easily distinguishable from the other homes in her neighbourhood in Sembawang, thanks to its signature chocolate brown colour.

Friends and taxi drivers refer to it as "The Chocolate House".

"Four years ago, my mum decided that she wanted to paint the house a colour that was 'classy and us' so she chose brown. My two brothers and cousins all helped out. We became known as the chocolate people from the chocolate house," said Masil with a laugh.


The honour goes to the competition's no-nonsense judge and Hype Records boss Ken Lim.

"I didn't expect him to be this friendly. I get starstruck when I see him. He's nice and gives us good input to improve on our performances," she said.

This article was first published on September 21, 2015.
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