Singapore singer Nathan Hartono will be bringing home the Sing! China crown after Friday night's final of the televised singing competition, if Singapore fans have their way.
In an online poll conducted by The Straits Times, over 82 per cent say that he will win.
After all, Hartono, 25, had received the highest score of 93.65 among the 12 contestants during the semi-finals broadcast on Sept 30. He also received 47 out of 51 votes from the judges and 333 votes from the audience of 350.
According to Sing! China's page on Baidu, the format of the final and how the winner will be picked have yet to be determined.
In past years - on the previous incarnation of the Zhejiang Television show, The Voice Of China - the winners were determined by votes from the live audience and a selection of industry professionals. The champs were all from China and comprise Bruce Liang Bo (2012), Li Qi (2013), Diamond Zhang Bichen (2014) and Zhang Lei (2015).
Based on the score he got from the China viewers,he is one of the highest.Hence chances are high that he will win.He also has more stage experience.
PRE SCHOOL EDUCATOR CAROL TAN
Hartono is the only singer from Mandopop superstar Jay Chou's camp to make it to the final. The other judges are Taiwanese singersongwriter Harlem Yu, China rocker Wang Feng and singer Na Ying.
Preschool educator Carol Tan, 37, says: "Based on the score he got from the China viewers, he is one of the highest. Hence chances are high that he will win. He also has more stage experience. But he has to choose his songs wisely as it is still a China market."
Others struck a more cautious note.
UFM 100.3FM radio DJ Wong Woon Hong, 45, says that Hartono is likely to come in second or third. "I think that the championship might not be given to a foreigner."
The other foreigner in the final is 16-year-old Li Peiling from Penang.
Wong adds: "Nathan has been very impressive in the previous rounds, but this means that others have a high chance of surprising everyone in the final, whereas he would maintain his usual very good standard."
There is also the fact that this is, after all, a television show. "If everyone could guess the outcome, then it wouldn't be fun," Wong says with a laugh.
Hartono is the first Singaporean to make it past the televised blind auditions of Sing! China as well as The Voice Of China.
On the fourth and final season of The Voice Of China in 2015, husband-and-wife singers Alfred Sim and Tay Kewei represented Singapore, but were not picked by the mentors.
That series was the show's most diverse up to that point, with Australian-Chinese Li An from Sydney making it to the top five.
In some ways, the results might not matter that much.
As Ocean Butterflies managing director Colin Goh puts it: "At the end of the day, the winner might not necessarily be the best as there are many conditions to determine the winner. More important, to me, is who will really advance his or her career after that TV show."
There is no denying, though, that the programme is a good platform for boosting one's profile.
Facebook user Leong Janice says in a post that even though the competition has been going on for a few years, previous winners have yet to make a mark on the international stage.
But, even before the final, Hartono has already garnered support from countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.
"See, he's already won."