updated 28 Jan 2012, 23:40
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Mon, Jan 23, 2012
The New Paper
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She misses win by just one vote
by Charlene Chua

The last time a Singaporean made a mark in the Miss Chinese International Pageant was in 1996, when Cheng Siew Kee won the title.

So local serial pageant queen Cheryl Wee did us proud by coming in second in this prestigious international beauty pageant, held last week.

And it was a close one, too. Winner Kelly Cheung, from Chicago, scored just one more vote from the judges.

Lenna Lim, from Kuala Lumpur,came in third.

Organised by Hong Kong's leading television station TVB, Miss Chinese International Pageant 2012 saw contestants from three different regions - Asia Pacific Region, Euro America Region and Greater China Region.

It's not the first time Wee, 24, has put on a beauty queen's sash, but it is her best performance thus far.

Wee was also crowned Miss Singapore Chinatown 2011, was second runner-up in Miss Singapore Universe 2009 and represented Singapore at the Miss Tourism International 2010 where she won the Miss Fresh Face subsidiary award.

Normally, Wee - daughter of beauty chain tycoon Jean Yip - jogs for 45 minutes three times a week and watches her diet to maintain her slim physique.

But if there's one time of the year when the babe indulges in her favourite food, it's Chinese New Year.

Unfortunately, Wee will miss her family reunion dinner this year for the first time in her life.

That's because she has to join in TVB's countdown show in Hong Kong along with Cheung and Lim.

Wee's mum, however, has promised her another reunion dinner when she returns on the first day of Chinese New Year.

Wee told The New Paper: "I'm a bit sad that I have to miss reunion dinner but (doing the countdown show) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"During Chinese New Year, I look forward to enjoying all the food that my mother would make.

"I especially love her lobster porridge that we would have after midnight on Chinese New Year's eve."

It's not just lobster porridge that Wee is looking forward too though. Her mum is also making her favourite pen cai (treasure pot).

Other dishes on the menu- braised duck, claypot rice and lobster sashimi.

A typical reunion dinner, Wee said, would see more than 20 family members from her mother's family.

Said Wee, who has a younger sister and brother: "We will stay up very late on Chinese New Year's eve - usually 3am - so that our parents will lead a long life.

"This year I will be up till then as well because the countdown show will end after midnight."

Wee graduated with honours in psychology from the National University of Singapore two years ago.

She hopes to be a full-time artiste and said she has sent an audition tape to MediaCorp.

Said Wee: "I'm also recording my first album. Singing and acting has always been what I wanted to do and my family has always been very supportive."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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