|Photos by Ulysses Ang|
It was a very long night for the contestants, in an effort to stay awake, local contestants sang the Singapore National Anthem, which could be heard all along Orchard Road. Since then, participants from Singapore, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, have stood strong, patiently waiting for their 1pm break, keeping their palm firmly on one of ten Subaru Imprezas stationed at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.
Contestants enjoyed an extra-long break today after Mediacorp offered to extend the break if people clicked ‘like’ on a post of the event on its Car Challenge Facebook page. The 1pm break was lengthened to six minutes, rather than the usual five, after over 220 people liked the image.
A total of 255 contestants have been eliminated from the competition in the first 24 hours, leaving 145 still in with a chance of winning the grand prize.
Out of the regional contestants, participants from the Philippines and Vietnam are showing the most staying power, with no eliminations, while Malaysia has had three drop outs, and Cambodia has had four. Taiwan and Indonesia has the least amount of contestants still in the game, with three still standing.
Philippines contestant, Rael Marcos, said: “We are proud to be here representing our country. Most of the Philippines contestants are first-timers, but we have a thirst to win, so will keep holding on as long as we can.”
“The Philippines contestants have raised the bar for this year’s Challenge. They have shown amazing endurance and competitive spirit as they come out stronger as a team against the other regional contestants. We won’t be surprised if the winner comes from the Philippines,” said Mr Glenn Tan, Executive Director, Tan Chong International Ltd.
“It is most heartwarming to see the human spirit among contestants shine through despite competing against each other. The newly formed friendship bonds amongst all regional contestants can be seen during the family breaks where participants who have withdrawn from the Challenge returned to massage and cheer their fellow country teammates,” he continued.
Contestants still in the game after 12 hours were rewarded with a Jean Yip discount vouchers at 1am. Participants will stand a chance to win exciting prizes every 12 hours they remain in the game, to mark the 12th year of the Challenge. Prizes include lifestyle vouchers, a GPS Navigation System, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.0 and more.
The Challenge’s oldest contestant, 69-year-old Ms Vivien Tan, who entered the contest for the sixth time this year, finally dropped out at the 1pm break today, after standing strong for 12 hours.
In addition to being eligible for this year’s grand prize, a Subaru car, regional contestants will also compete for additional titles and cash prizes. The title of Country Winner and a cash prize of S$1,000 will be awarded to the final standing representative of each participating market. The last standing regional contestant will win the Asian Winner title and walk away with an additional S$5,000 cash. The country or region whose participants have the longest combined standing time, will be awarded the Country Team Winner title along with a cash prize of S$10,000 to be equally divided among the team.