Friday, April 29, 2011

Beijing Students' Honour Aftershock

The 18th Annual Beijing Student Film Festival Awards were held on the 28th of April, with Feng Xiaogang's Aftershock (唐山大地震) taking home the main prize of Best Film. The epic drama that starts with the destructive Tangshan earthquake of 1976 and concludes with the 2008 Sichuan earthquake is the second highest grossing mainland Chinese film of all time. However, apart from the top prize at the Australian-held Asia-Pacific Screen Awards, this is its first Best Film award at a major awards ceremony.

The Best Actor trophy was awarded to local star Ge You ((葛优)) for his performance as a conscientious doctor in Chen Kaige's Sacrifice. The veteran actor, who recently turned 54, had a stand-out year in 2010, also appearing in the box office hits, Let the Bullets Fly and If You Are the One 2.

Best Actress was won by emerging superstar Fan Bingbing (范冰冰) for Buddha Mountain. Her performance as a teenager who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a retired Peking Opera singer had earlier this year won her Best Actress at the Tokyo Film Festival. Buddha Mountain was produced by Fan's own production company, Fan Bingbing Workshop, which she established in 2007.

Best Director award went to arthouse favourite Huo Jianqi (霍建起) for White Flower in Autumn, a biopic of one of the earliest leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, Qu Qiubai. A Jury Prize went to the film Biluo Snow (碧罗雪山). Directed by Liu Jie (best known as the cinematographer of Beijing Bicycle), the film also won the Jury Prize at the Shanghai International Film Festival last year. I know little about the film except that it employs a cast of non-professional actors.

The Festival also gave awards in the Most Popular categories. Wen Zhang (文章) won Most Popular Actor for his performance as the autistic son in the moving drama Ocean Heaven. Yao Chen (姚晨), China's most followed micro-blogger, was named Most Popular Actress, on the back of her performance in the television martial arts sitcom, My Own Swordsman. Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚), director of Aftershock, won Most Popular Director.

Television awards were also presented at the ceremony. Best TV Film Award went to the controversial Vegetate (我是植物人), an expose of shady practices in the pharmaceutical industry. Li Naiwen (李乃文), who played a paparazzo turned investigative journalist in the same show, was named Best TV Actor. Best TV Actress was awarded to Wang Liwen (王黎雯) for Moving Hearts.

The full list of winners can be found here - sorry, Chinese only.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

18th Oriental Billboard Awards

Some old news, from a month ago. The Oriental Billboard Awards (东方风云榜, sometimes referred to as the Eastern Billboard Awards) have a place in Mandopop musical history, being the first ever pop music awards ceremony in mainland China. The original awards ceremony was held back in 1993, organised by the Shanghai Media Group through leading radio station FM101. On March 19 this year, the Oriental Billboard Awards were held for the 18th time in Shanghai with many stars of the music scene in attendance.

Best Female Singer, for the third year in a row, was Jane Zhang (张靓颖, pinyin: Zhāng Liàngyǐng - pictured left, courtesy of, establishing herself as a genuine Mandopop superstar. The 26 year-old Sichuan native is a former runner-up in the popular TV talent show Super Girl. Her performance earned her a recording contract with one of China's leading labels, Huayi Brothers Music and her debut EP was released in 2006. She has gone on to record four studio albums, switching to the Universal Music label to record her most recent one, and has had six number one singles. She's best-known in the West for her appearance in 2009 on Opray Winfrey's The World's Got Talent show.

Best Male Singer went to Li Jian (李健), who was once one-half of the popular mainland singing duo, Shui Mu Nian Hua (水木年华) which he formed with a fellow classmate from the prestigious Tsinghua University in 2001. Shui Mu Nian Hua were an immediate success, scooping most of the Best Newcomer awards on the mainland, but after just two albums Li Jian left to embark on a solo career. A talented guitarist, the Harbin-born 36 year-old also writes most of his own songs. He had one of his biggest hits last year with the song Legend (传奇), written several years ago but revived by Faye Wong at last year's CCTV Spring Festival Gala.

The Best Band award was given to Mirror Band (反光镜), the veteran rock band who started off in the Beijing bar scene back in 1997. The three-member Brit-rock influenced band are best-known for their live performances, and have toured all over China as well as the US and Europe. Best Group award went to Milk@Coffee (牛奶咖啡), a duo from Beijing made up of singer-guitarist Kiki (Yan Fu) and keyboard player and producer Ge Fei. They released their debut album in 2005 and have gone on to record a further three albums. Both Mirror Band and Milk@Coffee are first time recipients of an Oriental Billboard Award.

The Oriental Billboard Awards also handed out gongs to non-Mainland artists. This year the Hong Kong award for Most Popular Singer went to Khalil Fong (方大同) and the Taiwan award was given to Kenji Wu (吴克群). There were also awards for Most Popular Singapore Artist (Tanya Chua, 蔡健雅), Most Popular Malaysian Artist (Michael Wong, 光良), and Most Popular Mainland Artist to 29 year-old singer Chen Chusheng (陈楚生), a former winner of a TV singing contest.

There were Asian Singer Awards to Hong Kong's Eason Chan ((陈奕迅) and mainland diva Han Hong (韩红), a Singer of the Year award to Taiwan's "queen of live music" Tiger Huang (黄小琥), and Annual All-Round Entertainer which went to the mainland singer-dancer Han Geng (韩庚).

The Awards also announced their Top Ten Songs of 2010 (in no particular order):
  • My Logo - Han Geng (韩庚)
  • 23 Seconds, 32 Years (23秒,32年) - Shang Wenjie (尚雯婕)
  • Special (特别) - Isabelle Huang (黄龄)
  • How Wonderful (多好啊) - Yu Quan (羽泉)、Xiao Juan (小娟)、Sitar Tan (谭维维)
  • Singing Stone (石头在歌唱) - Wang Feng (汪峰) and Sitar Tan (谭维维)
  • Fu Good - Della Ding (丁当)
  • Lucky Star (幸运星) - Milk@Coffee (牛奶咖啡)
  • Legend (传奇) - Li Jian (李健)
  • 'Love of the Hawthorn Tree' Theme Song (山楂花) - Chen Chusheng (陈楚生)
  • If This Is Love (如果这就是爱情) - Jane Zhang (张靓颖)
The full list of winners can be found here, but only in Chinese.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

F.I.R Rock Their Way to Top of G-Music Charts

Rock-pop band F.I.R (飞儿乐团; pinyin: Fēiér Yuètuán) head the G-Music Album Charts this week with their new album Atlantis - Chapter 6 (第六章 - 亚特兰提斯). Atlantis ends The Next Me by Aaron Yan's three-week stay at the top position, going straight to number one in its first week of release. According to G-Music it had 32 percent of Mandarin-language album sales for the week 15 to 21 April.

Atlantis is F.I.R's sixth studio album - hence the Chapter 6 subtitle - and the fifth F.I.R album to hold the top spot on the charts. The three-member group is made up lead singer Faye Chan, keyboard player and the band's producer, Ian Chen, and lead guitarist Real Huang. They formed back in 2004 as a studio band, gained fame when they performed the theme song of a hit Taiwan TV series, and followed up with a number one album on debut. The next year, 2005, they were awarded Best New Artist at the Golden Melody Awards.

Atlantis contains ten tracks, and its first release is the title track. Parts of it sound a little Celtic-influenced, and it's accompanied by an impressive music video that emphasises the underwater theme of Atlantis. The second single, Let Love Be Reborn (让爱重生) is more mellow-sounding but still rocks along.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lin Chi-ling Has The (Almost) Perfect Face

According to local media reports, Taiwanese plastic surgeons have determined that the face of supermodel/actress Lin Chi-ling (林志玲; pinyin: Lín Zhìlíng) is close to perfection. The finding was reached by looking at the symmetry of women's faces, including the ratio of spacing between the eyes. The study also surveyed one thousand female plastic surgeon customers, and found that they regarded celebrities with the most symmetrical faces as having "the perfect face".

Lin Chi-ling was measured as having a ratio of 1:1.2:1 or almost perfection. So on this issue at least men and women are in agreement. While women admire her facial features, men have voted her sexiest women in the FHM Sexiest Women poll for the last four years. Men also admired another of Lin Chi-ling's features: she was voted in a 2009 online poll as "the Queen of Beautiful Breasts".

Receiving honourable mention were actress and singer Vivian Hsu (徐若瑄; pinyin: Xú Ruòxuān) and socialite Tsai Yi-shan (蔡依珊). Although Hsu (pictured right) started out as a topless model and soft-core porn actress she has for many years now been a mainstream star. She is particularly popular in Japan where she sang in the popular-for-a-time dance band Black Biscuit. Now 36 years old, Hsu still retains her baby face looks which have helped endorse products like Biotherm body care products.

Tsai Yi-shan (left) comes from a wealthy family (her father is a shipping magnate, her mother a restrateur), and became even wealthier when she married businessman and KMT political heavyweight Sean Lien in 2006. The 31 year-old mother of two spent several years studying in Canada and the United States. Although Tsai claims she doesn't like social events, she is a favourite of paparazzi because of her stylish fashion sense and delicate features.

Although Lin Chi-ling's face was rated the closest to perfection amongst Taiwanese stars, Angeline Jolie rated even higher. Taiwan's plastic surgeons gave her a perfect 1:1:1 ratio - clearly they like bee-sting lips. The original media report can be found here, but in Chinese only.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gallants Victory at Hong Kong Film Awards

In a David and Goliath battle, the low budget kung fu comedy Gallants ((打擂台, pinyin: Dǎ Lèi Tái) was named Best Film at the 30th Hong Kong Film Awards, ahead of its big budget rival, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (狄仁杰之通天帝国). An ode to the golden days of Hong Kong martial arts films, Gallants had earlier this year taken out the Hong Kong Film Critics Best Film Award, giving it the double of major Hong Kong film awards.

Gallants features a host of Shaw Brothers kung fu stars from the 60s and 70s, including Siu Yam-yam (邵音音, pinyin: Shào Yīnyīn) who was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her Gallants performance. Her Gallants co-star, veteran singer-songwriter Teddy Robin (泰迪罗宾, pinyin: Tàidí Luóbīn) took home two gongs: Best Supporting Actor for his scene-stealing performance as a martial arts guru, and Best Original Film Score, also for Gallants.

Although Detective Dee missed out on the big prize, it won six awards to make it the most successful film of the night. The judges proved they had a sentimental side by awarding the Best Actress prize to Carina Lau (刘嘉玲, pinyin: Liú Jiālíng - pictured left with Best Actor winner Nicholas Tse) for her performance as China's first female ruler, the Empress Wu Zetian. After six nominations, the 45 year old Lau finally broke through for her first Best Actress award - despite it not being her most memorable performance and, theoretically, probably belonging in the Supporting Actress category. Detective Dee's director, Tsui Hark (徐克, pinyin: Xú Kè) won Best Director, twenty years after his first and only other Best Director award - for the kung fu classic Once Upon A Time in China back in 1991.

Best Actor went to Nicholas Tse (谢霆锋, pinyin: Xiè Tíngfēng) for his performance in the title role of the crime actioner The Stool Pigeon (线人). Tse had previously won Best New Performer at the Hong Kong Film Awards back when he was an 18 year-old in 1998, and also won Best Supporting Actor last year for Bodyguards and Assassins.

This year's Best New Performer was given to Hanjin Tan (陈奂仁, pinyin: Chén Huànrén), the Singaporean singer-songwriter now turned actor. He was recognised for his performance in the otherwise disappointing martial arts biopic, Bruce Lee, My Brother (李小龙). Best Asian Film went to the Japanese drama Confessions, ahead of mainland productions Aftershock and Under the Hawthorn Tree, the Taiwanese gangster flic Monga and the Taiwanese-Australian co-production Seven Days In Heaven. The evening's biggest loser was the martial arts epic Reign of Assassins - nominated in 11 categories but going home empty-handed.

A complete list of award winners can be found at this AsiaOne webpage.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

3D Sex and Zen Steams Up the Box Office

Hong Kong's moribund Category III erotic film genre has been revived with the much-publicised release of 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy (肉蒲团之极乐宝鑑). The film, released on 14 April, has broken box office records in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. Billed as the world's first "IMAX 3-D erotic film" - the honour of being the world's first 3-D erotic film was taken last year by a Korean film - 3D Sex and Zen packed out cinemas despite admittance being restricted to 18 year olds and over.

On its opening day in Hong Kong, the novelty of viewing soft-core porn in 3D attracted box office takings of HK$2.78 million (US$357,000). This made it the most successful debut of a 3-D film in Hong Kong, beating Hollywood blockbuster Avatar's first-day takings of HK$2.5 million. It was also by a large margin the highest opening day earnings of a Category III film, way ahead of the previous best of HK$1.2 million grossed by Ang Lee's spy thriller Lust, Caution.

By the end of the weekend, 3D Sex and Zen had gone on to gross HK$13 million (US$1.7 million), another record for a four-day opening period. It still has a long way to go to top Avatar's final box office grossings of HK$180 million - the most successful box office takings of all time in Hong Kong. The highest grossing Category III film is Lust, Caution which eventually took in HK$40 million - a target that looks achievable for 3D Sex and Zen considering the profitable Easter and May Day holiday periods are coming up. The producers are also expecting a large influx of mainland tourists to visit Hong Kong specifically to catch the movie - not surprisingly, it won't be getting a showing on the mainland.

3D Sex and Zen was also the box office champ in Taiwan last weekend, earning an estimated NT$15 million (US$515,000) for its first three days.

The film is a remake of a 1991 film that, until Lust, Caution, was the biggest grossing Category III in Hong Kong. Both movies are loosely based on a 17th century Chinese erotic novel, the Carnal Prayer Mat.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Jay Chou Wins Six at Golden Chart Awards

The inaugural Global Chinese Golden Chart Awards (全球流行音乐金榜) were held in Taipei on 9 April, and Taiwan superstar Jay Chou (周杰伦, pinyin: Zhōu Jiélún) was the biggest winner collecting six awards. The Golden Chart Awards were organised by several Chinese-language radio stations from around the world, including Taiwan, mainland China, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.

Jay Chou's trophies included Favourite Male Singer and Outstanding Global Chinese Artist. His album, The Era ((跨时代), was also named Best Mandarin Album. Another big winner was Jay's former girlfriend and reigning Queen of Dance Music , Jolin Tsai (蔡依林, pinyin: Cài Yīlín), who collected four awards, including Favourite Female Singer and DJs Favourite Artist of the Year.

Best Male Singer went to Leehom Wang (王力宏, pinyin: Wáng Lìhóng), and Best Female Singer to Malaysia's "Queen of Love Songs", Fish Leong (梁静茹, pinyin: Liáng Jìngrú). Show Luo (罗志祥, pinyin: Luó Zhīxiáng) won awards for Best All-round Entertainer and also for his album Rashomon (罗生门) which won Album with the Longest Chart Run. Singapore's JJ Lin (林俊杰, Lín Jùnjié) was awarded Best Singer.

In the group awards, Taiwan's eight-member boy band Super Junior-M, an offshoot of the Korean boy band Super Junior, was awarded Most Popular Group. Best Band went to the indie band from Taiwan, Sodagreen (苏打绿, pinyin: Sūdá lǜ), while Best Group went to the three-piece girl group S.H.E. Former Super Junior-M band member Han Geng (韩庚), who released his debut solo album last year, was named Newcomer of the Year.

Over sixty trophies in 29 categories were handed out on the night. The main award winners follow - this Chinese-language article has the complete list.

Best Male Artist: Leehom Wang
Best Female Artist: Fish Leong
Favourite Male Artist: Jay Chou
Favourite Female Artist: Jolin Tsai
Most Popular Group: Super Junior-M
Newcomer of the Year: Han Geng
Annual Excellence Award: Kenji Wu (吴克群, pinyin: Wú Kèqún)
Best Stage Performance: Elva Hsiao (萧亚轩, pinyin: Xiāo Yǎxuān)
Album with the Longest Chart Run: Rashomon, by Show Luo
DJs' Favourite Artist of the Year: Jolin Tsai
Media Recommendation Award: Hebe Tien (田馥甄, pinyin: Tián Fūzhēn)
Outstanding Global Chinese Artist: Jay Chou
Best Band: Sodagreen
Best Group: S.H.E
Best Mandarin Album: The Era, by Jay Chou
Best Singer: JJ Lin
Best All-round Entertainer: Show Luo

Top 20 Songs (in no particular order)
  • It's Okay To Be Lonely (寂寞寂寞就好) - Hebe Tien
  • Not So Simple (没那么简单) - Tiger Huang (黄小琥)
  • The Opposite Me (相反的我) - Jing Chang (张芸京)
  • Once In A Lifetime (十年一刻) - Sodagreen
  • The Leading Role (爱的主场秀) - Show Luo
  • SHERO - S.H.E
  • Heartache On Your Heartache (心疼你的心疼) - Farenheit (飞轮海)
  • I Believe (我相信) - Jane Zhang (张靓颖)
  • It's Love (这,就是爱) - Jason Zhang (张杰)
  • What Love Songs Didn't Tell You (情歌没有告诉你) - Fish Leong
  • Play (玩乐) - Khalil Fong (方大同)
  • Meet You at the Next Crossing (下个,路口,见) - Li Yuchun (李宇春)
  • It Doesn't Matter (没关系) - Kenji Wu
  • Honey Trap (美人计) - Jolin Tsai
  • Say No - Han Geng
  • All The Things You Never Knew (你不知道的事) - Leehom Wang
  • Superman Can't Fly (超人不会飞) - Jay Chou
  • Hundred Days (第几个100天) - JJ Lin
  • Grandpa (爷爷) - Gary Chaw (曹格)
  • Wrong Person (错的人) - Elva Hsiao

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Charmaine Sheh Named No. 1 Artist By Next Magazine

Hong Kong's entertainment glossy Next Magazine every year publishes its Top Ten TV Artists and Top Ten TV Shows. This year the number one artist was Charmaine Sheh (佘诗曼, pinyin: Shé Shīmàn), while the series she starred in, TVB's historical romantic comedy Can't Buy Me Love (公主嫁到), was named number one TV program. The awards were dominated by Can't Buy Me Love - Hong Kong's most watched TV program in 2010 - with four of the Top Ten Artists - Sheh, Moses Chan (陈豪, pinyin: Chén Háo), Linda Chung (钟嘉欣, pinyin: Zhōng Jiāxīn) and Fala Chen (陈法拉, pinyin: Chén Fǎlā) - starring in the series.

Charmaine Sheh's number one award may prove to be the crowning achievement of her twelve-year career with TVB. Earlier this year she announced that she would not be renewing her TVB contract in order to pursue opportunites elsewhere. It has been remarkable career for the 35 year-old former Miss Hong Kong runner-up. She has been named in the Next Magazine Top Ten Artist lists for an amazing ten consecutive years, and the second time she has been ranked number one (the previous occasion was in 2007).

No Regrets (巾帼枭雄之义海豪情), 2010's second most watched TV series in Hong Kong, came number two in the Top Ten Programs. And two of the stars of the show, Wayne Lai (黎耀祥: Lí Yàoxiáng) and Sheren Tang (邓萃雯, pinyin: Dèng Cuìwén), were named number two and number three in the Top Ten Artists list. Lai's two ranking was the second year in a row that he has held the runner-up position, while Tang was last year's number one. Fala Chen was No Regret's other Top Ten Artist.

In something of a surprise, Raymond Lam (林峰, pinyin: Lín Fēng), who won the Favourite Male Character at this year's TVB Anniversary Awards, could only finish number eight in the Top Ten Artists. Last year he starred in The Mysteries of Love (谈情说案), which was ranked number three in the Top Ten Programs. And Natalie Tong (唐诗咏, pinyin: Táng Shīyǒng), who appeared in the martial arts drama A Fistful of Stances (铁马寻桥), made her first appearance in the Top Ten Artists list, sneaking in at number ten.

The top ranked variety show on the list was the cooking show, Kitchen Diva Louisa (和味苏), hosted by Hong Kong actress turned celebrity chef Louisa So. The highest ranking non-TVB program was the ATV law drama series The Men of Justice (法网群英)

The Top Ten TV Artists were:
  1. Charmaine Shen (佘诗曼)
  2. Wayne Lai (黎耀祥)
  3. Sheren Tang (邓萃雯)
  4. Moses Chan (陈豪)
  5. Tavia Yeung (杨怡)
  6. Linda Chung (钟嘉欣)
  7. Bosco Wong (黄宗泽)
  8. Raymond Lam (林峰)
  9. Fala Chen (陈法拉)
  10. Natalie Tong (唐诗咏)
And the Top Ten TV Programs:
  1. Can't Buy Me Love (公主嫁到)
  2. No Regrets (巾帼枭雄之义海豪情)
  3. The Mysteries of Love (谈情说案)
  4. The Rippling Blossom (鱼跃在花见)
  5. Kitchen Diva Louisa (和味苏)
  6. A Fistful of Stances (铁马寻桥)
  7. Beauty Knows No Pain (女人最痛)
  8. Fun With Liza and Gods (荃加福禄寿)
  9. The Men of Justice (法网群英)
  10. Ghost Writer (蒲松龄)
The full list of Next Magazine's award winners can be found at this Asian Fanatics post.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Leehom Wang Wins Most at Malaysia's MY Astro Awards

(Leehom Wang has his hands full with awards at the MY Astro Music Awards)

American-born Leehom Wang (王力宏, pinyin: Wáng Lìhóng) picked up six awards at the MY Astro Music Awards held in Kuala Lumpur on 26 March. Other big winners were Taiwan's queen of pop Jolin Tsai (蔡依林, pinyin: Cài Yīlín), and Taiwanese boy band Fahrenheit (飞轮海, pinyin: Fēilúnhǎi). The MY Astro Awards are organised by Astro, one of Malaysia's largest satellite TV networks, and MY FM radio station, and were held for just the second time.

Wang took home the major award of the evening, the Annual Best Award (至尊年度大奖), as well as Best Male International Singer, and Best Male Creative Artist. His songs All the Things You Never Know (你不知道的事) and Bo Ya Cuts the Strings (伯牙绝弦) - both from the movie Love in Disguise which the multi-talented Wang directed and starred in - were amongst the 25 Golden Melody Songs, and he also picked up an award for Best Producer.

Jolin Tsai's awards included Best Female International Singer, Best Dance Song for Honey Trap (美人计), and two songs in the Golden Melody Songs - Honey Trap and Love Player (玩爱之徒). Fahrenheit were named Best Band and Best Professional Performance, and also had two songs in the Golden Melody Songs list - Super Hot (太热) and Heartache on Your Heartache (心疼你的心疼).

Awards were also handed out to local stars, and Gary Chaw (曹格, pinyin: Cáo Gé) was named Best Male Malaysian Singer, while Amy Wang (王明丽, pinyin: Wáng Mínglì) won Best Female Malaysian Singer. Wang, although 30 years old, is a relative newcomer - releasing her first EP in 2009 and her follow-up EP last year. Chaw began his career in 2006 and has gained popularity not just in his country of birth but throughout East Asia. In 2008 he won Best Male Mandarin Singer at Taiwan's prestigious Golden Melody Awards.

The major award winners were as follows (a complete list can be found here, but in Chinese):
Best of the Year: Leehom Wang
Best Male International Singer: Leehom Wang
Best Female International Singer: Jolin Tsai
Best Male Malaysian Singer: Gary Chaw
Best Female Malaysian Singer: Amy Wang
Gold Award for Best Band: Fahrenheit
Best Male Creative Artist: Leehom Wang
Best Female Creative Artist: Lala Hsu (徐佳莹)
Best Album: Eason Chan (陈奕迅) - Time Flies
Best Rock Song: Guardian (守护者) by Y2J (神木与瞳)
Best Dance Song: Honey Trap by Jolin Tsai
Best Love Song: It's Okay To Be Lonely (寂寞寂寞就好) by Hebe Tien (田馥甄)
Best Music Video: You Are Too Savage (你太猖狂) by Hebe Tien
Best New International Act: Alien Huang (黄鸿升)
Best New Malaysian Act: Josh Lai (赖力豪)
Best Professional Performance Award: Fahrenheit
Best TV Theme Song: I Love Him (我爱他) by Della Ding (丁当)
Best Single: Rainbow Family (彩虹的家) by Stephanie & Fyone (刘佩芯、陈慧莹)
Most Popular Singers: Thomas Jack (东于哲)
Best New Interpretation: I'm a Little Bird (我是一只小小鸟) by Della Ding
Best Interpretation: Eason Chan
全台主持联颁至尊歌手(Malaysia): Thomas Jack
全台主持联颁至尊歌手(Internationa): Jolin Tsai
Best Producer: Leehom Wang

25 Golden Melody Songs:
  • World's Most Romantic Song (地球上最浪漫的一首歌) - Alien Huang (黄鸿升)
  • I Love Him (我爱他) - Della Ding (丁当)
  • Fairy Tale (说谎) - Yoga Lin (林宥嘉)
  • Goodbye to Singlehood (再见单身) - Chen Weiquan (陈威全)
  • Grandpa (爷爷) - Gary Chaw (曹格)
  • Back to Back (背对背拥抱) - JJ Lin (林俊杰)
  • All the Things You Never Know (你不知道的事) - Leehom Wang (王力宏)
  • Cry and You'll Be Fine (哭过就好了) - Rachel Liang (梁文音)
  • Desperado - Yise Loo (罗忆诗)
  • Superman Can't Fly (超人不会飞) - Jay Chou (周杰伦)
  • Honey Trap (美人计) - Jolin Tsai (蔡依林)
  • Tourbillon (陀飞轮) - Eason Chan (陈奕迅)
  • Cut Song (切歌) - Sam Lee (李圣杰)
  • Miracle of Love (爱的奇迹) - Thomas Jack (东于哲)
  • If You Can Love Again (如果能重新恋爱) - Zeng Guohui (曾国珲)
  • It's Okay To Be Lonely (寂寞寂寞就好) - Hebe Tien (田馥甄)
  • Nice Guy Card (好人卡) - Hao Ren (朱浩仁)
  • Bo Ya Cuts the Strings (伯牙绝弦) - Leehom Wang (王力宏)
  • Acrophobia (惧高症) - Lala Xu (徐佳莹)
  • Love Player (玩爱之徒) - Jolin Tsai (蔡依林)
  • Super Hot (太热) - Fahrenheit (飞轮海)
  • Forgiveness (宽恕) - Y2J (神木与瞳)
  • Fragile (脆弱) - Kay Tse (谢安琪)
  • Love and Not Love (爱与不爱) - Will Ng (黄威尔)
  • Heartache on Your Heartache (心疼你的心疼) - Fahrenheit (飞轮海)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Farenheit's Aaron Yan Rises to No 1 on Album Charts

Aaron Yan (炎亚纶, pinyin: Yán Yǎlún), a singer in the popular Taiwanese boy band Farenheit (飞轮海), has gone straight to the number 1 position on Taiwan's G Music Album charts with his debut solo record The Next Me (下一个炎亚纶). The new release, an EP, finally displaced Show Luo's Only For You after a marathon five-week stay at the top. The Next Me had an impressive 55.7 percent of all Chinese-language record sales for the week 25 March to 31 March. Show Luo dropped to number 2 on the chart with 7.1 percent of sales.

Yan is the first of the four members from Farenheit to release a solo album. Born in either 1985 or 1986 (depending on which website you read) Yan spent a few years of his childhood in the US before returning to Taiwan to complete his schooling. He started off his entertainment career in 2004, appearing in Taiwanese television dramas before being recruited to the newly-formed Farenheit in 2005. Best-known as the "cute shy one" in the band, his solo foray shows another side to him, including a strip tease on the music video for the title track.

The Next Me is a two-CD EP with CD 1 containing six tracks including the first single, a ballad The Next Me (下一个我) and an instrumental cover, The Truth That You Show, which shows off his piano skills. The second CD contains six live tracks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

March Flavour of the Month: Mavis Pan

Up until March 16, Mavis Pan (潘霜霜, pinyin: Pān Shuāngshuāng) was a minor model and aspiring actress, best known as a Shu Qi lookalike with a 36D bust. However when phone cell photos were released showing her in bed with Hong Kong's TVB heartthrob Raymond Lam (林峰, pinyin: Lín Fēng), the mainland born Mavis suddenly became a household name. It became news for at that time know one knew Lam was in a relationship. Once the photos were released, an upset Lam admitted that they had once been in an item together but that Lam had called off the relationship months earlier.

Like all good scandals, the revelations didn't stop there. Pan's side quickly counter-claimed that the relationship hadn't ended and indeed Lam had proposed on Valentine's Day. There were further rumours that Lam had visited her Beijing apartment just the day before the photos were exposed. Neither rumour could be confirmed, though gossip magazine Next Magazine, the originally publisher of the photos, showed alleged Valentine's Day photos of the two as a couple.

Then claims were made on the internet that Pan was/is in fact married to a Westerner know only as John. A photo was posted online showing Pan sitting arm in arm with an older Caucasian male, a young boy on her knee. The rumours were contradictory over whether the boy is Pan's son or not - one rumour had them meeting and marrying just two years ago, though the boy is six years old. In any case, Pan's management denied the marriage claims.

Then there was the question of how the photos managed to fall into the hands of Next Magazine. Pan claimed that her mobile phone had been stolen, while Pan's manager put the blame on a sacked personal assistant of Pan's now seeking revenge. Lam's fans on the net took the cynical view, that Pan had leaked the photos herself to gain publicity for her career.

24 year-old Pan was born in Zhejiang province on the mainland and is based in Beijing. She got a big break with her modelling career when she did a photoshoot for online betting agency during the football World Cup in 2008. She made her acting debut in the yet-to-be-released action film Treasure Inn starring big-name Hong Kong stars Nicholas Tse, Nick Cheung and Charlene Choi. Now film production companies are lining up to sign her up for further roles.

China Dominates Asia Rainbow TV Awards

No posts for some time, due to a few weeks' stay in hospital. But I'm now in recovery mode and can resume blogging - and there's a few news items to catch up on over the next few days.

Zhou Yun and Chen Jianbin with their Best Actor awards

We'll begin with the Asia Rainbow TV Awards which were held back on 22 March. The awards, held for the first time, were dominated by Chinese shows and actors. Best Modern Drama was awarded to A Beautiful Daughter-in-law Era (媳妇的美好时代), a family drama which focuses on the relationship between mother and daughter-in-law, a sometimes rocky relationship in Chinese society.

A Chinese production also won in the Best Action Drama category, A Legend of Shaolin Kung Fu: Heroes in Trouble (少林寺传奇). In the Best Comedy category, the award went to the Taiwanese romantic comedy Hi My Sweetheart (海派甜心) starring pop superstars Show Luo and Rainie Yang. The only category in which Chinese productions missed out was Best Historical Drama - won by Japan's The Pleiades. The Chinese nomination, Three Kingdoms (三国) may have failed to win the Historical Drama award, but compensated with the Jury Grand Award for Television Drama Program.

Chinese actors were also to the fore at the ceremony. 40 year old mainland actor Chen Jianbin (陈建斌), a regular in Chinese TV dramas, was named Best Actor in a Drama for his portrayal of the famous warlord and military strategist Cao Cao in Three Kingdoms. Rising actress Zhou Yun (周韵), who had small but important roles in the blockbusters Let the Bullets Fly and Bodyguards and Assassins, took home Best Actress in a Drama. She was recognised for her performance in the popular drama Golden Anniversary of a Stormy Romance.

The two co-stars of the mainland show Marriage Battle (婚姻保卫战), Huang Lei (黄磊) and Ma Yili (马伊琍), were named Best Actor and Best Actress in a Comedy respectively. Huang made his acting debut back in 1991 in the Chen Kaige film Life on a String, in which he played the blind apprentice Chinese lute player. In 1996 he was awarded Best Supporting Actor at the Changchun Film Festival for The Phantom Lover, and is twice Best Actor winner at the Golden Phoenix television awards.

34 year old Ma first came to Chinese TV viewers' attention with her appearance in the 1997 idol drama Black Hole. She became a bona fide star with her leading role in the third series of the historical drama Princess Returning Pearl in 2002, and followed up with another hit historical series, Residence of the Qiao Family. In 2007 she starred in the modern drama, Struggle, and in the same year was awarded Best Actress at the Changchun Film Festival for The Good Man. She then took an extended break from acting when she gave birth to her first child, a daughter. Marriage Battle marked her return to the small screen.

The full list of award winners can be found at the official Asia Rainbow TV Awards website.
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