Fri, Aug 08, 2003 - Page 18 News List

Pop stop

STAFF WRITER

Anyone who's anyone in Mando-pop was in Taipei last Saturday for the 14th Golden Melody Awards -- the music industry's annual orgy of self-congratulation that claims to recognize the best Chinese-language music released over the past year. Whatever the event's purpose, it's a convenient excuse for the whole pantheon of Chinese music celebrities to dress up to the nines and high-five each other all night.

Pop Stop showed up early for the red carpet extravaganza and, as in years past, this was probably the most exciting part of the show because of the thousands of screaming fans crushing the barricades for a view of their idols. Of course, the clothes worn by the stars is what generates most of the hoopla and this year there were good reasons to blush, drool and reach for a doggie bag.

Judging from the reactions in the post-event fashion analyses of local papers and with Pop Stop's complete concurrence, Little S (S) and Karen Mok (莫文蔚) shared top honors among the women for jaw-dropping outfits. Karen brought to mind the Little Mermaid in a short, fish-scaled dress, while Little S shocked and awed with a skirt about as wide as a band aid and a backless top that revealed almost as much in the front. The award for most hideous outfit worn by a woman to the Golden Melody Awards went by unanimous Pop Stop vote to Faith Yang (陽乃文) who showed up in a Victorian-era girdle and Doc Martens that looked like lace-up cowboy boots. Who let her out of the house that way?

It was also impossible not to notice that the ladies this year were showing more flesh than in recent memory.

As for the men, it seemed like they had collectively raided Pablo Escobar's wardrobe, cleaning it out of all its white double-breasted suits. Jay Chou (周杰倫) bucked the gangsta trend, though, with a funky black tux.

But being one of only a handful of presentably dressed men at the show wasn't enough to earn Jay an award. After cleaning house last year at the Golden Melodies by taking the best songwriter, best producer and best album awards, he came up empty this year and has since been quoted in papers whining about the "unfair" judge panel.

Harsh words have also been directed at the judge panel by the three nominees of the best male Taiwanese singer award: Tsai Hsiao-hu (蔡小虎), Wang Shih-hsien (王識賢) and Hung Rong-hung (洪榮宏). Apparently the panel felt that none of the nominees deserved the award, which made for an awkward moment when the envelope was opened and no name was listed.

The dignified losers of the night were A-mei (阿妹), who was bested by Karen Mok in the female singer category, and Jackie Cheung (張學友), who lost to Eason Chan (陳奕迅) for the best male singer award.

The only surprise winners of the night were Goth rockers Chthonic (閃靈), who won the best group award, edging out schlock rock bands like Shin (信樂團) and Chairman (董事長). When the award was announced, the reaction backstage in the press room was something like this: "What the hell?"

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