SINGAPORE - Nathan Hartono, the first Singaporean to reach the finals of the immensely popular Sing! China show, came home on Sunday (Oct 9) around 10.40pm to about 20 fans who had gathered at Changi Airport Terminal 1 to receive him.
His flight landed around 10.10pm after a slight delay.
Some among the group of fans, mostly young girls, had bought him flowers. They also asked him for autographs and selfies.
While Hartono, 25, appeared tired from the flight, he maintained a smile when approached.
"Thank you guys very much for your support, once again. I'm glad to be back in Singapore. I'm glad to be home again, and I can't wait to get back on stage," he told The Straits Times as he left the arrival terminal.
Last Friday (Oct 7), Hartono snagged second place in the competition in Beijing, after a closely fought battle with China's winner Jiang Dunhao, 21.
But Hartono had said earlier that he was not disappointed with the result and urged his fans to be happy that he made it this far.
Among the fans at the airport on Sunday was a 47-year-old manager who wanted to be known as Ms Fong. She had bought him a bouquet with a sunflower in it and arrived at the airport around 8pm to wait for the singer.
"I've been supporting Nathan for several years, and have been listening to his English songs," she said.
"I share his dream of pursuing music and I think we should support local artistes of the younger generation like him."
On his performance in China, she said: "For the progress that he has made, he is a champion."
Ms Toh Jie Si, a 38-year-old housewife, added: "I saw his Instagram story, and we guessed which flight he was on and came to the airport to wait."
Earlier on Sunday, Hartono had posted a picture of himself on Instagram with the caption: "Coming Hoooome".
Ms Toh and Ms Fong belong to a fan group on micro-blogging site Weibo, which consists mostly of Chinese fans.
On seeing Hartono in person, Ms Toh said: "It seems like he has grown thinner and the journey must have been challenging for him."