Singing pair Swathi Suresh and Nandhitha Gurunath beat more than 100 hopefuls to win Vasantham Star 2017 at the reality singing competition's finals at Mediacorp Campus on Sunday.
The sixth edition of the contest was also the first time Vasantham Star was open only to duos.
In Sunday's show, televised live on Mediacorp channel Vasantham and in front of a 700-strong audience, Swathi and Nandhitha went up against two other finalists, Sheetal Bharadwaj and Khirthanah Mugan, who came in second; and Nishmen Nair and Shobana Vasudevan, who were third.
The results were decided by the show's resident judges: entertainment veterans Erfanulla Khan, Vicknesvari Vadivalagan and Yugendran Vasudevan, as well as guest judge and playback singer from India, Shakthisree Gopalan.
The winning pair, both 24, join past Vasantham Star winners such as Shabir and Ebi Shankara, and took home $15,000 cash.
Nandhitha, who freelances as a graphic designer, credits the chemistry between her and Swathi, a student at PSB Academy, for their win. "I definitely could not have done this without Swathi. She's been the ice to my fire.
"As cheesy as that sounds, it is true because I get very stressed and she is always there to calm me down. It was more about giving good music to the audience and pushing ourselves to the limits."
Swathi, too, credits her singing partner, her family, music guru Amit Dhamelia, the show's judges, the audiences and her friends for motivating her and pushing her abilities as a singer.
She adds: "We have been given songs which I would not have taken, tunes that were out of my comfort zone. That allowed me to grow as a singer because it made me ensure that I learnt them the right way."
The auditions for Vasantham Star 2017 were held in May this year and the competition started two months later.
Nandhitha, who broke down at the end of the finals, says winning the competition is only the beginning of the duo's music journey.
"This is like our first step, so we are definitely not going to rest on our laurels. We will see what the future holds, maybe put out a few covers and continue to learn and grow."
The head of Mediacorp community segment, Dr Chitra Rajaram, says in a statement that the competition unearths new talents who will "continue to be part of Vasantham's entertainment scene".