updated 26 Feb 2013, 11:22
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Mon, Feb 18, 2013
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They're friends, not love rivals

Be Our Valentine

At 15 years old, she was the baby of the group.

Tyeisha Ayub cried upon seeing her "love rivals" from Mike Kasem's group date because she was overwhelmed by the thought of having to "compete" with the older women.

But as it turned out, the shy, pretty teenager ended up having the time of her life as they made sure she felt comfortable with the non-stop laughter and great conversation.

Two weeks ago, we asked single women to write in to win a Valentine's Day date with Kasem and fellow bachelor, TV host Paul Foster, in our date-a-celeb series, which saw a total of 50 entries.

On Thursday night, the Irish-Lebanese deejay picked six - Magdalene Tan, Susanna Revi, Ayu Omar, Mindy Chia, Tyeisha Ayub and Serene Chua - while TNP readers voted for Pamela Wong.

What Kasem didn't expect was to meet a bunch of great women who were as interested in making friends with one other as they were in dating him.

Romantic feast

The Valentine's Day dinner, held in a cosy private room at Osia restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), saw a splendid spread of foie gras, red king crab curd, Hokkaido scallop, smoked Black Angus beef tenderloin, Atlantic cod fish and lavender chocolate crumble peach melba.

All the women had 15 minutes of one-on-one time with Kasem.

Ever the dashing gentlemen, he had bought pink gerberas for all his dates, prompting Miss Wong to exclaim that she'll "never throw it away!"

The 31-year-old telesales executive, who works in the same building as Kasem, gets to see him every day at work.

She had revealed in a previous interview that she had a "Mike shrine" at her workplace, with pictures of him all over her desk and computer screensaver.

This year, she was one of two women who brought Valentine's Day gifts for Kasem.

She had originally baked him stained glass heart-shaped cookies - cookies filled with crushed candy - but the batch had gone bad.

So she bought him a heart-shaped cookie instead, which she presented to him yesterday.

She said: "I'm very flattered (to go on this group date). He said on air before this that he'll be very nervous with us but I think he's doing fine."

Kasem said: "I see Pam at work every day and I have always enjoyed chatting with her.

"I found out more about her today, which was nice. Her dad knows judo and is a minister of a church."

Dental assistant Susanna Revi, 45, who shared with the rest how she has been helping strays in Singapore and has 17 cats at home, gave him a more practical present.

On finding out through Kasem's radio show that he was learning Mandarin, she gave him a learner's guide to Mandarin which she had used herself to great success.

Miss Revi also appears to be Kasem's No. 1 fan because she could quote most of the anecdotes he had shared on air. Said Kasem: "Susanna's a sweetheart, we had a decent conversation."

Added Miss Revi: "I hope he finds someone special he can date by the end of tonight, even if it isn't me."

Blushing Tyeisha, who kept burying her face in her hands, finally got over her nerves when all the women were asked to share what they loved about Kasem.

Said the student, whose parents dropped her off and picked her up from RWS by bus: "He's so protective and that's what I love about him.

"During our one-on-one time, I told him things that I've never told anyone else before, like how I am sometimes upset by my friends.

"And that this is the first time I'm having dinner at a restaurant because my family isn't that well-to-do.

"Mike's a good listener, very handsome and do I want to marry him? Why not?"

Kasem himself admired the teen's sweet, bashful personality.

Cool teen

He said, smiling: "If Tyeisha were 10 years older, I'd definitely pick her, she is very cool.

"Do you know that I'm two years older than her dad and six years older than her mum?"

During the dinner, two of the women found out that they lived just two blocks away from each other in Bedok.

Miss Ayu Omar, a 42-year-old accounts manager, couldn't shake off the feeling that she had seen Miss Magdalene Tan, a 41-year-old physiotherapist, somewhere before.

They immediately offered to share a cab home together.

Miss Omar made everyone laugh when she recounted how she had thought Kasem was cute during his MTV Asia VJ days in the 90s. She had bugged her cousin, who worked at MTV Boom then, if she had met him and she always said no.

Miss Tan, a mother of three, grinned when she confessed that her children had no idea that she had gone on a group date with Kasem.

She said: "Do my kids have a say in who I pick as my future husband? No.

"Ultimately, I'll be the one spending time with him. Mike and I bonded over the fact that we both love 80s music."

Another music lover was Miss Serene Chua, a 43-year-old trainer who never fails to listen to Kasem on air when she's cooking up a storm in her kitchen.

Said Kasem: "Ayu's a good-looking girl who has a good career. Magdalene, I had a great conversation with.

"Along with Serene, they are all sweethearts."

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