Spunk is what seems to set this year's Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) contestants apart from those of previous years.
Speaking at the press conference for the pageant yesterday, the 14 finalists exuded confidence and for some, even a daredevil attitude that was a refreshing change from the shy Singaporean girl stereotype.
Competing for a cash prize of $5,000 and a chance to represent Singapore at the international finals in December, the girls brought along what contestant Lynn Tan called their "A-game".
This year's Miss Universe Singapore local finals, which will be hosted by Jean Danker and Mike Kasem, will be held on Sept 9 at the Shangri-La Hotel.
Said MUS chief executive officer Errol Pang: "The standard of the girls this year is high and can rival previous years as more intelligent girls are coming forward and not shying away from the pageant any more."
We spoke to four who are hopeful of taking the crown.
Swimming with sharks, flying over a lava-spewing volcano and frequent rides on the roller-coaster are some of the activities she has taken part in.
Lynn Tan, 24, who also won the FHM Model Of The Year accolade last year, was one of the most outspoken contestants at the press conference.
With a "bring-it-on" attitude, she surprised everyone when she stepped forward with her introduction and alluded that she would blow the competition out of the water.
Tan, an associate with accounting firm Deloitte, told The New Paper: "I'm a thrill seeker because I like to push personal boundaries and challenge myself constantly.
"Yes, I think I'm going to win because I'm bringing my A gameto this competition.
"I've been modelling part time since my university days, so taking part in MUS would be an extension of what I've always enjoyed doing."
A former Raffles Junior College student, she added that her reasons for joining this year's pageant included her desire to change society's perception of beauty queens.
"There's always this notion that beautiful women can't be intelligent.
"My sister, who is nine years older than me, is beautiful and she's a lawyer.
"She's my role model and I want to show the world that beauty and intelligence do exist together."
Brought up single-handedly by her father, Catherine Chua wants to do the one thing that would make him really proud.
The Temasek Polytechnic student has watched the MUS pageants with her dad since she was young and they would often talk about her donning the coveted crown one day.
Said Chua, 18, who is also a part-time children's art facilitator: "My dad's smile is my motivation as I have no recollection of my mum.
"He has played both the mummy and daddy roles and I'm thankful to have him.
"Since I was young, I've learnt to handle many things myself, such as learning about puberty which I did through school as I knew that my dad would feel awkward about that."
Chua's parents divorced when she was three and all she knows about her mother is that she has remarried. But during this time, she has never questioned why her mother hasn't visited her even once.
Her own good looks, Chua surmised, comes from her dad.
She said: "I once asked my grandma if my mother was pretty and she said 'No la'.
"She went on to say that my mother used to wear a lot of make-up like a wayang (Chinese street opera) artiste.
"If my mum were to contact me now, I don't think I would have much feelings for her as I never knew her, but I would listen to her side of the story."
The 1.68m-tall lass weighs only 44kg, but she sure has a huge appetite.
Naturally thin, Chua confessed to being able to down 28 plates of sushi in one sitting and "beating" her male friends to a "who can eat the most" contest.
She said: "There was once when I ate buffets every day for a week.
"I think I got my my ability to eat so much and still stay slim (without much exercise) from my dad."
Being the tallest contestant in the competition at 1.79m may give her a slight advantage over other contestants.
But Nowreen Khan's height is both her glory and her crutch.
When the lass, who is of Pakistani heritage, was young, the boys in school used to call her Bigfoot and tease her about towering over everyone else.
She also used to weigh 75kg and slimmed down to 55kg after eight months of exercising and dieting when she was 21.
When she was studying in Dunearn Secondary School, Khan would cry and skip school because of the bullies' cruel taunts.
The 24-year-old Nanyang Polytechnic student said: "I think if they (the bullies) were to see me now they'll be like damn!
"Many of my friends have also commented on how good I look now.
"I used to cry a lot because people would call me the ugly duckling."
After a trip back to her ancestral town of Karachi back in 2006 where she saw the children living in poverty, she now has dreams of being a philanthropist.
Her goal is to help Pakistani children and children from other third-world countries get on their feet and lead better lives.
Just how is she going to achieve that?
By selling cupcakes - pure chocolate or vanilla offerings only - when she graduates and opens her cupcake shop.
Said the currently single Khan: "I'm a fall-in-love-with- soulmate kind of girl, that's why I've never had a boyfriend.
"If I meet him, I will know because of the sparks and chemistry, I will know when it happens."
She is a marine fuels trader at the tender age of 19 who dreams of digging up fossils of dinosaurs.
This Raffles Junior College student scored an impressive six As for her A levels. So why does Michelle Qiu want to be a beauty queen?
Said Qiu, who took a year's break after her A-levels and had no qualms scoring her trading job in a male-dominated industry: "I'm a T-shirt-and-shorts kind of girl and I will walk out of the house like that.
"Being a tomboy, I wanted to challenge myself by doing things that I'm not comfortable with.
"It's the toughest thing buying and selling fuels for vessels as I was an arts student and I knew nothing about petrochemicals."
Qiu confessed that she aspires to be a palaeontologist( someone who studies fossils).
But, if that doesn't happen, she would be happy to settle to be a "part-time fossil hunter".
Qiu, an avid animal lover and volunteer at the Society For The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, added: "I get very upset when I hear of animals being abused.
"In my past two relationships, my boyfriends couldn't understand my love for animals and why I would cry when for example I found out that a kitten went missing.
"One of my boyfriends said, 'It's like global warming, you feel sad and you move on'. We broke up."
This article was first published in The New Paper.