Fri, Sep 08, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

The MTV chart concert (MTV封神榜萬人演唱會), a rich resource for gossip rags, jogged through its annual five-hour music marathon at the Zhongshan Soccer Stadium (中山足球場) last Saturday featuring 25 glittery pop idols and bands that were guaranteed an audience of tens of thousands of screaming teens.

Revelers left behind tonnes of garbage that cost NT$300,000 to clean up and a few red faces among the stars.

While perennial cutie Vivian Hsu (徐若瑄) sang off-key, girl band S.H.E barely kept up with the beat and Mando-pop king Jay Chou (周杰倫) hastily wrapped up his act and walked off stage without greeting his fans, local rock outfit Mayday (五月天) won concertgoers' hearts.

Performing with equal strength, three-piece boy band W-inds. from Japan elicited high-decibel screams from fans while sweating out in their black suits in the sultry summer night. The heat proved too much for some overexcited fans in the audience who suffered heatstroke and were ferried by ambulance to hospital. At the airport a mini riot broke out among 500 fans who had gathered to see the band off at the airport.

On the other side of the globe, Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮) is in Italy this week to attend the 63th Venice International Film Festival as his latest work I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (黑眼圈) has been selected to compete for the festival's highest prize, the Golden Lion. A frequent guest of the event, Tsai seems to perfectly blend into local life as he was spotted playing with pigeons at squares and grocery shopping at supermarkets.

Yet first-time visitor Cheng Yu-chieh (鄭有傑) doesn't seem to take the flamboyant world of cinema in his stride as his compatriot does. With his debut feature Do Over (一年之初) selected to screen at the festival's International Critic's Week Section, the artless lad is flabbergasted by the five-star treatment he has received, such as flying business class and living among Hollywood stars at a grand hotel.

“I should have brought my swimming trunks,” Cheng lamented to the Chinese-language press. A word to the wise: swimming trunks of all kinds can be purchased at stores in the world-famous summer resort. And, of course, there's always the skinny-dipping option.

Local pop singer Melody Chiang (江美琪) stunned her fans and local media at a press conference for her latest album Crying Baby (愛哭鬼) last week. The reason for the commotion was not the quality of the album but her conspicuously smaller face and pointy chin, both the work of a plastic surgeon it is suspected.

Brushing off questions about her apparently artificial looks, Chiang attributed her new newfound beauty to a cosmetic dental makeover. The star's record label backed up the singer by saying she had enjoyed the services of a very competent makeup artist.

Ironically, Chiang's supportive fans all seemed to embrace the idea that her new face is the achievement of modern medical science and said it was natural that the singer followed her good friend Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) in transforming herself from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan (醜小鴨變天鵝).

Ending a five-year hiatus, Coco Lee (李玟), another star suspected of going under the surgeon's knife to augment her looks, is set to release a Mandarin album at the end of this month. The has-been Mando-pop queen reportedly asked her alleged one-time lover Wang Lee-hom (王力宏) to write for her album as a well-intentioned gesture of reconciliation.

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