Singapore, 26 April 2012 – Come 8 July 2012, expect a whole lot of drama to hit your viewing screens! StarHub is importing Academy Fantasia, a popular and internationally-successful singing competition into Singapore. With the promise to groom the winner to stardom, this multi-platform singing competition will bring reality TV to a whole new level where viewers get to see the makings of a star from start to finish.

Named Sunsilk Academy Fantasia, this 10-week competition is StarHub’s biggest ever foray into content production, and inaugural collaboration with Sunsilk, a leading hair care brand. StarHub will also work with Refinery Media, an established local production house to produce Sunsilk Academy Fantasia. Refinery Media is the creator and producer of Supermodelme, an Asian modeling reality contest that offers viewers sneak peeks into the competitive fashion industry.

Auditions for Sunsilk Academy Fantasia, which will be held at Square 2 shopping mall on 19 May and 20 May 2012, are open to youths of all nationalities between the ages of 16 and 30. 14 contestants will be selected to enter the finals. These 14 finalists will then be housed in a specially built academy monitored by close circuit cameras. For 10 intensive weeks, they must adapt to living life in the limelight, whilst undergoing intensive training which include singing, dancing and acting lessons by well-known personalities. 

Contestants will pit against one another on their singing abilities and showmanship during weekly concerts held at Dragonfly Bar, St. James Power Station where contestants with the lowest votes will be eliminated. Results will be based on a 70-30 ratio, with 30 percent of votes decided by a panel of judges and 70 percent through SMS voting by the public.

The winner of Sunsilk Academy Fantasia will bag the coveted prize of a two-year singing contract and a recording album with renowned local record label, Ocean Butterflies Music (OBM). OBM will take the winner under its wings and be responsible for grooming the winner.  Mr Billy Koh, one of Singapore’s most influential figures in the Chinese music industry and founder of Ocean Butterflies Music, will be one of the resident judges for the competition. Ms Eva Chang, General Manager of Ocean Butterflies Music said, “It is not easy for winners of local singing shows to make it big beyond Singapore. Therefore, we hope that with our strong regional presence, it will help the winner of Sunsilk Academy Fantasia to succeed and shine in the music and entertainment arena regionally."

When Academy Fantasia was first conceptualised in Mexico in 2002, it instantly scored top ratings, generating more than 10 million votes in its first season. The show format was so successful that regional countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, India and China bought the rights to launch the competition in their respective countries.  Ratings for both Malaysia and Thailand soared through the ceilings in their first season too, with more than five million SMS votes in Malaysia, and more than three million SMS votes in Thailand.

Mr Tan Tong Hai, Chief Operating Officer of StarHub, shared, “Any operator can acquire a piece of content and telecast it on its platform. So how do we differentiate ourselves? Going forward, content development is the way to go. The production of Sunsilk Academy Fantasia marks a major milestone for StarHub as this will be our biggest ever foray into content production.”

“StarHub has always been keen on avenues to empower and engage youths, Sunsilk Academy Fantasia will be the perfect platform for us to achieve both goals. It is a platform for them to showcase their talents and a great opportunity to gain stardom. At the same time, viewers can participate and influence the results by voting for the contestant whom they feel is best suited for stardom,” added Mr Tan.

The Sunsilk Academy Fantasia weekly concert will be hosted by Joe Tsoi, who was born and educated in Singapore but ventured to Taiwan to develop his career in the early 1990s. He is a veteran in hosting youth and entertainment programmes such as are Joe’s Music Report, Asian Music Spin and 100% Entertainment. The Sunsilk Academy Fantasia daily shows will be hosted by Louis Wu, who was one of the finalists in the 2005 Super-Host competition, and Ophelia Su Bei Ru, a popular host discovered in the first season of One Million Star.

Apart from Sunsilk, other sponsors who are supporting StarHub’s production include Darlie (Hawley & Hazel) and Eclipse (Wrigley Company). In response to the sponsorships, Mr Tan expressed, “We are very heartened and encouraged that our sponsors have come onboard to show their support for Sunsilk Academy Fantasia. We hope to repay their confidence by making the show a success, a production that we can all feel proud of.”

Sunsilk’s Brand Manager of Unilever Singapore Pte Ltd, Mr Shawn Lee added, “We are extremely excited to be part of Sunsilk Academy Fantasia because this quest represents a search for passion, exuberance, and excellence – qualities that embody the spirit of Sunsilk.”

360º Multi-platform AF Experience

For the first time ever, a dedicated Academy Fantasia Channel will be made available on StarHub TV, allowing viewers to catch ‘live’ non-stop excitement within the Academy. StarHub is also offering a simulcast of the Academy Fantasia Channel online on and StarHub TV on Mobile.

E City (StarHub TV Channel 111/ 825) will screen daily recaps, highlighting the best and funniest moments. The weekly concerts will also be aired on E City, Academy Fantasia Channel, StarHub TV on Mobile and online.  

On the social media front, viewers can “Like” the StarHub Entertainment Facebook page for exclusive behind-the-scenes footages and contestants’ blogs. For the latest gossip, viewers can follow tweets on AcademySG. To join in the discussion and share their thoughts, they can use the hashtag #AFSG. There will be a Weibo account for users to join the discussion platform as well.

For enhanced interactivity, smartphone users will be able to connect to contestants with just one touch when the Sunsilk Academy Fantasia app developed by StarHub is ready at a later date.