Social media star Xiaxue lands her first reality show gig

A 30-minute episode on Xiaxue will be broadcast around the region on the E! channel on Tuesday

Blogger Xiaxue, whose real name is Wendy Cheng, has landed a reality TV show on E! channel where in the first episode, she and her mother went for Botox injections.
Xiaxue and her American engineer husband Mike Sayre on the show.
Xiaxue and her American engineer husband Mike Sayre on the show.PHOTO: NBCUNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL NETWORKS/E!

Over the years, fans have been keeping up with Xiaxue on her blog, Instagram account, YouTube channel and Web variety shows.

Now the social media star, whose real name is Wendy Cheng, has landed her most mainstream gig yet - a reality TV show on E! channel.

Titled Wendy Vs The World, the 30-minute episode airs on Tuesday. It will be broadcast around the region, including territories such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

For that episode, the camera filmed her sporadically over a six-week period from April.

There are cameos by her American engineer husband Mike Sayre, 34, whom she describes as "elusive" and "introverted", as well as their son Dashiel, three, affectionately known as Dash.

Love her or hate her, Wendy’s unique brand of wit and brutal honesty will surely entertain viewers across the region.
MR SCOTT MACKENZIE, vice-president of Channels, Asia at NBC Universal International Networks

There is also a Botox bonding session with her property agent mother Doris Yip, 57.

Cheng, 32, is no stranger to plastic surgery. She was filmed undergoing a nose job procedure as part of the local reality TV series Girls Out Loud in 2007. Other sponsored works on her face include double eyelid surgery and the occasional Botox jab and injectable fillers.

On the never-ending quest for physical perfection, she jokes: "The only way that I will be satisfied is if I wake up tomorrow as Angelababy. And if she wakes up in my body, she will be crying."

Angelababy is a Chinese actress known for her doll-like looks.

If the first episode is successful, the show may be turned into a series.

  • Xiaxue's tips on how to be popular online

  • 1. Do not resort to buying followers or likes because people can see through the pretence. Xiaxue says: "That is so desperate and sad."

    2. Remember that people have a short attention span, especially on the Internet with its flood of information. Stand out with loud photos. She says: "You cannot be in the background where people cannot see you."

    Do not put up long-winded posts. "Get to the point. Put the most important thing at the top in caps," she says.

    3. Invest in a good camera and master photography. Even if you have only a phone camera, make sure the focus and lighting are right.

    Put thought into the photo shoot location and spend time editing the photos.

As for no-go areas during filming, Cheng drew a line at two things. There will be no sexy footage with her husband or scenes of her disciplining her child.

On the latter, she says everyone has a different opinion on parenting and she would get a lot of unsolicited comments on her style.

Blogging since she was 18, Cheng has carved out a successful career as a social media celebrity.

She has more than one million followers on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Though she declined to reveal how much she is paid for the show, she reveals that she can earn a five-figure sum in a good month.

"Love her or hate her, Wendy's unique brand of wit and brutal honesty will surely entertain viewers across the region," says Mr Scott Mackenzie, vice-president of Channels, Asia, at NBCUniversal International Networks.

NBC runs E! channel, which also airs Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the long-running reality TV show featuring the eponymous clan and now one of the world's most well-known families.

Like the Kardashians, Cheng has received her fair share of haters over the years.

"I feel the hate really motivates me, I really like it," she says. "It gives me a really nice feeling when I prove my haters wrong."

The worst of the online vitriol happened when she was writing about politics during the 2011 General Election, she says.

A photo of Cheng and her friends attending a People's Action Party rally was the subject of mockery by netizens when it resurfaced a year later.

"Nowadays, people have calmed down. Not so many haters, I feel. I need to start writing something controversial again," she quips.

She says she wants to enjoy her time in the sun.

She says: "Maybe in 10 years' time, I will have three more children and be a stay-at-home mum. I will definitely try to stretch out this social media career for as long as I can because I really, really enjoy it and I never want this ride to end."

• Wendy Vs The World airs on Tuesday at 10pm on E! (Singtel TV Channel 328 and StarHub TV Channel 441).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2016, with the headline 'Local blogger gets own reality TV show'. Subscribe