Fri, Sep 21, 2007 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

Compiled by Aandrew Huang

Patty Hou, right, lost out to Jolin Tsai in the TV ratings war.

PHOTO: TAIPEI TIMES

Fans of popular culture have ringside seats to a slugfest between some of the biggest names in show business this week.

Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) and Patty Hou (侯佩岑), two former beaus, reportedly, of Jay Chou (周杰倫), are following 50 Cent and Kanye West's lead and battling it out with their latest releases.

Tsai, who reportedly lost her former squeeze to Hou, appeared to kick Hou right where it hurts - on the career front.

Tsai continues on an upward path with her upcoming album Agent J (特務J), for which she traded in her dreamy princess look for that of a dominatrix complete with latex gear and an exaggerated bustier. The album has racked up over 50,000 prerelease orders.

Hou, former anchorwoman and talk show hostess, has decided to crossover - into acting. She is starring in the TV romance series Delicious Relation (美味關係), which aired its pilot episode Sunday. According to A.C. Nielson, a marketing and TV rating company, Delicious Relation was trumped by another new romance series, Romantic Princess (公主小妹), which stars rising pop starlet Angela Chang (張韶涵), 1.67 rating points to 3.33 points.

Worse was to come. Variety show Sunday 8pm Gang (周日八點黨) fired a broadside by extending its airtime 15 minutes with a slot featuring Tsai, which coincided with Hou's acting debut. Tsai's 15-minute appearance on the variety show garnered a 4.45 points rating, which outshone Hou's acting stint, which mustered a measly 1.72 points, according to A.C. Nielson.

Despite having won the coveted Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, the Chinese-language press continued to speculate on the erotic nature of Ang Lee's (李安) new film Lust, Caution (色,戒). (See Pages 13 and 17 for the movie review.)

Next magazine ran a cover story chronicling Hong Kong superstar Tony Leung's (梁朝偉) serial stripping in Happy Together (春光乍洩), 2046 and now Lust, Caution. In the road flick Happy Together, Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai (王家衛) purportedly planned to shoot the film with a scene which required Leung and Leslie Cheung (張國榮) to strip. The prospect of opening a film in the nude sent Leung into a sulk and he refused to talk to anyone for three days. Then came 2046 in which Leung bared his buttocks in a bed scene with actress Zhang Ziyi (張子怡). Now, with the envelop-pushing Lust, Caution, Leung showed off considerably more in a full-frontal scene with actress Tang Wei (湯唯).

Sina.com reported that after the passionate encounter with Leung, Wei developed a passion for her coworker and ditched her long-term boyfriend.

Not one to back down from a challenge, Leung's 42-year-old actress girlfriend Carina Lau (劉嘉玲) reasserted her position as his life partner at a press conference held earlier this week. "I will go to the church when I feel like it," she said and courteously praised the pairing of Leung and Wei on screen as a "perfection combination."

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