Fri, Nov 10, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lin Chi-ling sounds normal these days, after voice training.

PHOTO: TAIPEI TIMES

Former soccer player Hidetoshi Nakata is losing his touch and failed to score with Taiwan's top model Patina Lin (林嘉綺) last weekend. The Japanese playboy, who announced his retirement from the game after a disappointing World Cup, was unable to penetrate Lin's defense with his customary well-aimed passes and she turned down his invitation to a meal at the Grand Hyatt.

Lin is supposedly engaged to a German man but this has not prevented the flighty catwalk queen from dating at least two other guys in the last few months. And it did not stop her from attending another party on the same night, organized by a Japanese company, at which she made a move on 17-year-old model Albina. The two were caught on camera locked in a lipstick-smudging, saliva-swapping embrace. Albina is the exotic Chinese-Ukrainian who recently survived a high-speed crash in a Spider Ferrari — along with her red-haired poodle and sugar daddy.

Undeterred, Nakata turned to substitute Pace Wu (吳佩慈), who is a model and published "beauty expert." The Liberty Times (our sister paper) photographed the couple after dinner, making their way to celebrity bar Mint. Nakata, however, appeared to be more interested in his designer phone and spent little time talking to Wu. At the club he got intoxicated, but not with Wu, who was left with the bill when the soccer player took an early shower and returned to his hotel. Wu later explained her unrequited affection for Nakata to the Times by saying she had a predilection for "small-eyed men."

The makeover from struggling model to actress continues for national treasure Lin Chi-ling (林志玲). Eight years ago Taiwan's brightest bauble was paid NT$10,000 a day for draping herself over the hoods of automobiles at the Taipei World Trade Center. She now charges NT$1 million for 30 minutes work, according to the Times. But money's not everything and Lin also wants to be taken seriously.

Readers will remember Lin managed to persuade John Woo (吳宇森) she was the girl for him by tracking the director down to a Shanghai hotel and deploying her charms.

As a result she was picked as the lead for his new movie Battle of Red Cliff (赤壁之戰). The trouble is Lin sounds as if she's been inhaling helium. After all, most models are best seen rather than heard. Therefore, she's been taking voice-training lessons and can now simper not just in a mousey falsetto, but also across the full range of a normal voice.

Jerry Yan (言承旭) of boy band F4 and the lachrymose star of soap opera The Hospital (白色巨塔) has taken a leaf out of Angelina Jolie's scrapbook and is getting loads of positive media attention for being a World Vision Child Sponsorship Project ambassador. He got sent off to Mongolia this week and apparently learned to kneel on his haunches when talking to local kids. There was only one embarrassing moment for the star of stage and screen: at Beijing airport, when a fellow traveler mistook him for Jay Chou (周杰倫) and shouted out, "Hey, Chairman Chou." Yan, who used to be known for a foul temper, just smiled.

Finally, a budding star whose dress fell down at an inopportune moment revealed a bra that looked as though it was her grandma's. Unlike other wannabes' "wardrobe malfunctions," 20-year-old Weng Tzu-man's (翁滋蔓) 32B's were simply not substantial enough to support her dress and it kept slipping down when she was interviewed on Chang Fei's (張菲) weekly program Variety Big Brother (綜藝大哥大). It's good to know, in these cynical times, that innocence can still be found. Trust Chang to find and exploit it.

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