Text: Joanna Goh
Photos: Joanna Goh & Lim Wen Ying
Video: Ang Peiyi

For entertainment purposes only, folks.

This group of budding actors and actresses has no qualms kissing a fellow artiste of the same gender or posing nude for art's sake. We assure you this is not your typical case of raging hormones gone awry.

While a couple of participants impressed us with their wit and spontaneity at the press conference for the Top 20 contestants from Star Search 2010, what really took us aback were the progressive thoughts and brazen answers shared by a rare few.

Talent-scouted and scoured in Asian cities such as Taipei, Shanghai, Malaysia, and Singapore, these young and up-and-coming 20 lads and lasses are here to give MediaCorp actors like Dai Yang Tian and Elvin Ng a run for their money.

Top 20 Star Search Finalists // Top 20 Star Search Finalists(MediaCorp)

Top 20 Star Search Finalists

First up would be the tallest and oldest bloke amongst the guys, Alex Chuang from Taipei. The strapping-tall lad bowled us over with his 1.84m lanky frame and bold reply during the short Q&A segment when he chose "Chen Hanwei" as the older actor he would like to film an intimate love scene with.

According to the 27-year-old, his reason for going against the norm is "it'll be more challenging if we are both of the same gender."

Fellow male contestant, Darryl Yong, also stole the limelight with his frank answer when he had to make a tricky choice between "hard work and a slow rise to success" versus "baring-it-all for instant fame".

As the only contestant who chose the bare-it-all option, the 25-year-old justified himself by claiming that it is "a modern opinion" and "a form of art". His only condition, though, would be to have it "tastefully done".

Unlike the outspoken alpha males, the ladies were mostly saccharine-sweet and mild-mannered. Sora Ma stood out amongst her prim and proper peers and had us laughing in stitches with her mispronunciation of 'Orchard Road' in Mandarin and an impromptu impersonation of a Chinese priestess conducting a ghost-catching ritual.

Sora Ma and Jeffrey Xu // Sora Ma and Jeffrey Xu(MediaCorp)

L-R: Sora Ma and Jeffrey Xu

The spunky Malaysian lass, whom the rest look up to as their Ma da jie (meaning 'big sister Ma' in Mandarin), reckoned that her little feat will garner her headlines on the entertainment pages the next day if performed along Orchard road, and it will -- for causing us fits.

A couple of other contestants who were spontaneous enough to showcase their strengths and talents include Jeffrey Xu, the hip-hop dancer with groovy footwork and street moves, Vivi Hu, the tiny girl with a mighty voice, and Teddy Chin, a martial-arts practitioner who threw in a couple of strokes upon request.

After rounds of interviews and scrutiny, we pick out the few who made an impression. Read on to find out more!

Watch their video interview here!

Catch these Top 20 Star Search contestants every Monday on Ch8, 8pm, Oct 11 onwards.
Visit the official website for more photos and information on these contestants.

The Semi Final for Star Search 2010 will be held on Nov 14.
The Grand Final for Star Search 2010 will be held on Dec 5.