The One Million Stars (超級星光大道) pop idol "reality" show continues to hold its own in the ratings and the gossip rags as its second season winds up to a well orchestrated climax. Favorite in a field dominated by women is club singer Lai Ming-wei (賴銘偉), who has quietly gained ground in the show, and though no match for showman and super crybaby Aska Yang (楊宗緯), is tipped to win the contest.
Speculation has been given substance by leaks that Yang is not quite as warm and fuzzy as the little chubby chops likes to make out. The rather tame allegations that he once hurt someone in a fight when performing in an Eight Generals dance seems calculated to give some color to a rather bland personality. Next (壹週刊) magazine has also published statements by various restaurant owners that the singer has used his success on television to boost his fees as a cafe musician to 10 times the going rate. The magazine revealed that he had demanded and got over NT$10,000 an hour for a gig at the revolving restaurant at the Taipei Incinerator in Beitou.
Another hot favorite on the show, Liang Wen-ying (梁文音), was eliminated in a "penalty shoot-out" (PK賽) round of the competition last week, which has given rise to comparisons with Yang, who was last session also eliminated only to make a return in a "resurrection" round (復活賽). Liang, who has performed strongly since the beginning, has sworn that she'll be back. This bit of deja vu might suggest the show's spin doctors are already running dry on new ideas. The ploy, however, could be a clever double bluff?
In other television news, Blackie (黑人), who hosts Blackie's Teenage Club (我愛黑澀會), has been seen getting a bit too close to one of his "teenage" proteges, to the rumored annoyance of seven-year girlfriend FanFan (范瑋琪). Next magazine's intrepid team of paparazzi have caught Blackie out and about with GueiGuei (鬼鬼), one of the Teenage Club - she's staying at his mother's house to avoid trouble at home. It's no surprise that the tabloid press is already getting flustered about possible favoritism.
Also on the romantic front, Pop Stop is surprised to see the more things change the more they stay the same. Recent developments in the four-year relationship between Terri Kwan (關穎), sometimes actress and daughter of Jih Sun Group (日盛集團) chairman Chen Kuo-he (陳國和), and boyfriend Huang Chih-wei(黃志瑋), reads like something from a turn-of-last-century melodrama.
Huang may well be Taiwan's No 1 male model, but with a father who drives a taxi and a mother who runs a convenience store, Kwan's mummy and daddy didn't see him as a long-term prospect. They have reportedly been hoping young Terri would find someone "more suitable." The pressure was on, and revelations about a serious rival Lin Chi-you (林知佑), who comes from established money and who works in the family-run Hua Nan Financial Holdings (華南金控), prompted Huang to pop the question. The young lady in question is keeping her options open, and keeping mummy and daddy sweet, by rejecting Huang's offer. Huang may be younger and look better in a suit, but that doesn't necessarily stack up too well against Lin's wealth and career prospects.
While Kwan is a young star on the rise, the only place celeb Suzanne Hsiao (蕭淑慎) is likely to be heading is a spell in the big house. It's only five months since she got out of rehab, but she is now back in the spotlight, and this time its not just for using. A Chinese Television System (CTS) report said that a search of Hsiao's home not only revealed a stash of heroin, but also a pair of scales, which could get her up before the courts for dealing. Police picked up seven people in a raid on property rented by Hsiao on Chongqing North Road.