Fri, May 12, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan's catwalk queen, right (of course), is going back to school so she doesn't embarrass herself on the big screen in John Woo's, left, new movie.


The official list of nominees for this year's Golden Melody Awards (金曲獎) was released last Friday, eliciting oohs and aahs as well as disapproval over its non-commercial appeal. Puyuma folk singer Kimbo, or Hu De-fu (胡德夫) in Chinese, is the most surprising dark horse, securing six nominations including Best Male Singer, Best Chinese-Language Album, Best Lyricist and Best Composer.

Also with six nomi-nations, David Tao (陶吉吉) is the only pop singer able to match the powerful presence of Kimbo. Tao and the Aboriginal singer are up against Wang Lee-hom (王力宏) and Jackie Cheung (張學友), among others, for the best male singer gong.

Local rocker Wu Bai (伍佰) and folk singers Cheer Chen (陳綺貞) and Penny Tai (戴佩妮) helped add an alternative flavor to the annual music awards bash as they outgunned the teen-idol pack on nomination lists.

Chen and Tai are also in the Best Female Singer category with Tanya Tsai (蔡健雅), Jasmine Leong (梁靜茹) and Stefanie Sun (孫燕姿).

Notably absent from the roll call are the Double J pair Jay Chou (周杰倫) and Jolin Tsai (蔡依林). Having expressed a keen interest in bagging the Best Musical Video Director honor, the Mando-pop king had six MVs entered in the competition, but none of them got in and it looks like he won't accrue any new titles this time around.

On a queer note, TV host Kevin Tsai's (蔡康永) partner George Liu (劉坤龍) was spotted visiting a gay sauna last week. Protective of their 12-year relationship, Tsai asked local media not to publish speculations based on the outing: "I trust him. It won't affect our relationship. ... Gay gatherings are always stigmatized as if we go there only for sex."

It's understandable that Tsai, as a public figure, is reluctant to publicize his private life in the mainstream media. But it is common knowledge that gay men don't go to saunas just for a relaxing bath.

In more gay-related news, Lee Joon-gi, the lead actor of South Korean box-office hit King and the Clown came to Taiwan last weekend to meet his mostly high-school-age female fans. Playing a feminine man torn between the love of a king and a masculine clown, the 24-year-old androgynous-looking star's sexual orientation was the subject of considerable speculation. "I love women," Lee repeatedly told local media while demonstrating taekwondo moves in a bid to prove his masculinity (as if it would help) at a press conference last Saturday.

Still, it wouldn't surprise Pop Stop if male audience members begin to question their feelings toward their girlfriends when they see the beautiful star dressed up on the big screen.

International director John Woo (吳宇森) has officially confirmed the rumor that Taiwan's pride and joy, Lin Chi-ling (林志玲), will play the leading lady in his historical drama Battle of the Red Cliff (赤壁之戰).

Also starring in the flick with a NT$1.6-billion budget will be Woo's old pal Chow Yun-fat (周潤發).

Even though the script has yet to be finished the movie has generated heated discussion and cranked up the rumor mill.

For the sake of her debut movie and becoming something more than a hack actress in the shortest possible time, the supermodel quit all her TV work and started taking acting classes. Her agent said Lin's career will turn away from local television in favor of cinematic "international production." A lucky career break for Lin, since working in international productions with hot Asian directors has repeatedly proven to be a short cut to international stardom.

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