She has Taiwan in her sights

Bring it on.

That's Ming Bridges' feisty attitude towards taking part in wacky, over-the-top Taiwanese game shows, which is de rigueur for showbiz rookies promoting their albums.

"Game shows are fun, I love them," the 19-year-old fresh-faced singer-songwriter, who released her debut album Who Knows last month, told The New Paper.

"If the jokes are on me and they're funny, I really don't mind.

"Plus, I'm very competitive, so people better watch out when I'm there!"

Who Knows, which has three Chinese and nine English tracks, marks Bridges' maiden foray into Mandopop.

Like her celebrity seniors before her - the likes of Kelly Poon, Huang Jinglun and Derrick Hoh - cracking the Taiwanese market seems to be the natural next step for the Eurasian.

Bridges, born to a British dad and Singaporean mum, said she is likely to be heading to Taipei for a slew of promotions in May or June.

While she has no qualms taking part in zany game shows to get herself acquainted with the Taiwanese masses, the auburn-haired lass admitted she "could be a little more prepared" when it comes to mastering the Chinese language.

"My Mandarin definitely has to improve, or I would have communication problems," said Bridges with a laugh.

"Two of my music videos (for the songs Miss Thinkalot and Some Boys Aren't Made For Love) were shot in Taiwan last year.

"It was my first time there and I liked the night markets a lot! The food is so yummy."

Weekly talk show

Local audiences can catch her on Channel 8's weekly talk show series It's A Small World III, starting tonight at 8pm.

She joins the show's regular panel of multi-national guests, alongside comedian-host Mark Lee, to discuss issues concerning foreigners living in Singapore - albeit in a light-hearted way.

Though Bridges, who was born in Australia, has lived here for more than 16 years and can code-switch effortlessly between British-accented English and authentic Singlish, she recalled her growing-up years as a struggle to gel with the local kids.

"Initially, I studied at a local primary school. I was this half ang moh (Caucasian) and nobody wanted to be my friend," she revealed.

"I had a tough time trying to fit in anywhere. So, subsequently, my parents transferred me to an international school."

She studied at Tanglin Trust School and at 17, headed to London's Wellington College, where she got her International Baccalaureate diploma last year.

With her parents' stamp of approval, Bridges - who once starred in local teen detective series R.E.M. The Next Generation on okto - has taken a year off school to focus on her music career.

"I don't want to have any regrets in the future," she said, explaining her decision to halt her studies temporarily.

"After winning (local talent search) Teenage Icon at 13, I spent five years juggling school and singing, which wasn't easy."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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