Fri, Oct 27, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

Matthew Ming Dao seems to believe sixteen is sweet.

PHOTO: TAIPEI TIMES

Pop Stop goes where angels fear to tread and this week it takes a look at the budding romance between 16-year-old TV starlet Yang Ya-ju (楊雅筑) and Matthew Ming Dao (明道), the 26-year-old actor and Club 183 band member — so called because their average height is 183cm.

Like many other Taipei couples playing the courtship game, the two were recently discovered picking flowers and sharing an intimate dinner at Bamboo Lake in Yangmingshan. Since there's no law against sharing a meal and admiring the scenery, there would be little to add if it were not for the fact they have denied rumors of a blossoming love affair.

Earlier this month, in an online interview with TVBS, Yang went so far as to say that Dao "is not my kind of vegetable." This week, in response to a claim they were seen holding hands under the table at the Yangmingshan restaurant, Yang told the Apple Daily it was a mistake. She admitted, however, the gallant Dao may have inadvertently taken her hand to guide her through the flower fields, as it was getting dark and he didn't want her to fall.

Dao's agent, Sun Te-rung (孫德榮), is against the alleged affair and has been begging his protege — who had a lead role in the series The Prince Who Turns Into a Frog (王子變青蛙) — to drop the young "minx." Sun even blamed Yang for wrecking another actor's career.

The Apple Daily lists six men (including Dao) who have been linked with Yang. This is quite a record for a young lady whose 16th birthday was just five months ago, though she may be relying on the fact that in Chinese culture (where a baby is born one year old) she is now a relatively mature 17.

Actor Hsu Heng (徐亨) took note of this record of achievement when he appeared on a recent TV show with Yang and asked her straight whether she was a virgin. "I'm a Leo," Yang mystifyingly answered and was saved from further embarrassment by the show's host. The age of consent is 16.

Another young lady who hit a media speed bump last week was the 17-year-old model Albina. The Chinese-Ukrainian has hooked up with the direct-sales guru Lee Kang-rui (李康瑞), who lives in a NT$20 million bachelor's pad in Xinyi district and rakes in an estimated NT$37 million per annum. In a story subtitled, "To be rich is glorious" — which echoes the words of China's former leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) — the Apple Daily reported the couple went to Jay-Z's concert and boogied the night away at Room 18. They left at 6am for a drive in his yellow Spider Ferrari and ended up bouncing off a tunnel on the Xinyi Expressway, writing off the car, which can hit a top speed of 295kph and costs around NT$10 million.

Fortunately, Albina, her red-haired poodle and the playboy were all unscathed, but Lee was taken in for driving under the influence and endangering public safety. He was unrepentant, however, and told journalists after being released from the police station that he would be buying another Spider soon, to add to his BMW super bike and car. It looks like Deng was right.

In a quick take on other pop news, Taiwan's national treasure Lin Chih-lin (林志玲) is depreciating faster than the NT dollar. In an online poll to find the "most disgusting" star in China, Lin came second, because she sounds too zhuang ke ai (or "fake"). Also, former queen of cuteness Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) spent what must be close to a record 15 hours getting her hair done for a shampoo commercial in Shanghai. The born-again redhead deserves a little pampering, though, after her three concerts scheduled for next month sold out in just a few days.

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