Singaporean singer Jeremy Teng is now 20kg lighter than when he won the Japanese TV singing contest Nodojiman The World in 2014.
He was comfortable with his 120kg frame, but he decided to shed the pounds when the weight started to take a toll on his vocals and health earlier this year.
"I felt I was not performing as well as before. I was not as energetic. I felt that my vocals lacked the power they used to have," says Teng, who weighed more than 138kg at his heaviest.
The 22-year-old recently returned to the competition, where foreigners belt out Japanese tunes. His performance on the show, which has been renamed I Can Sing In Japanese!, will air on Monday on cable TV channel GEM.
The show is also holding an Asia- wide audition for the first time.
Previously, contestants were invited by the show's producers, who scouted Teng after seeing his videos on YouTube.
He is ready to dive back into singing after completing his national service last month.
He has regular singing gigs at Japanese restaurants Tomo Izakaya at Clarke Quay and Enbu at Suntec City.
Both food establishments had approached him after watching his impressive performance on Nodojiman The World two years ago.
The Ngee Ann Polytechnic mass communication graduate is hoping for more.
"A recording contract is something that I have been dreaming of, but I will take one step at a time," he says.
One step he has taken is to lose weight for improved vocal performance.His weight-loss plan involved curbing his appetite and upping his exercise regimen.
He would brisk walk on the treadmill for 40 minutes twice a day, as well as eat in moderation, consuming more vegetables and less junk food.
"I brought down the volume of food that I would usually consume. I used to be able to eat two bowls of rice. I would eat whenever I felt hungry. I would eat my family's leftovers," says Teng, who is hoping to hit the 80kg mark from his current weight of 99kg.
His love of singing is partly influenced by his father, 58, who is an engineering executive and a part-time karaoke instructor. Teng, an only child, recalls watching him sing with his students at gatherings.
On the urging of friends, he started uploading song covers on his own YouTube channel in 2008.
He has joined more than 20 singing contests so far, including Campus Superstar (2009) in Singapore, Chinese show The Voice Of China (2014) and Taiwan's Super Idol (2014).
Teng, who speaks Japanese, advises those who hope to compete on I Can Sing In Japanese!: Take note of the pronunciation and understand the meaning behind the Japanese lyrics.
Beyond the techniques, he says: "You have to start with the right mentality. You cannot think that only people with the right privileges will succeed. If people see the passion in you, it will touch their hearts."
• I Can Sing In Japanese! airs on Monday at 10.10pm on GEM (Singtel TV Channel 519). For a chance to compete on the show, go to www.GEMtvasia.com/ICanSing.