Fri, Jul 03, 2009 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

By Noah Buchan  /  STAFF REPORTER

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The 20th Golden Melody Awards (金曲獎) ceremony has come and gone with the notable absence of some celebrities, questionable performances by others and rumors of backroom sleaze.

The Apple Daily reported that this was the fifth year that Jay Chou (周杰倫) failed to make an appearance at the ceremony, where he took top honors for Best Mandarin Male Singer, Best Song of the Year and Best Music Video. He was busy with concerts in China. The Chairman’s ex-lover and Mando-pop diva, Jolin Tsai (蔡依林), didn’t show up either. Apparently she was in Shanghai getting ready to open up her own clothing store.

Their absence led a quick-witted reporter from NOWnews (今日新聞) to suggest that these artists are more interested in making a buck in China than supporting Taiwan’s music industry.

Bloggers, on the other hand, questioned whether Chou should have won the best singer award in the first place. It turns out that some music fans feel that the Chairman’s Mandarin pronunciation is too, er, taike (台客). One blogger went so far as to warn those learning Mandarin as a second language to avoid Chou’s songs.

Meanwhile, the much-anticipated performance by Huang Yi-ling (黃乙玲), who took home the Best Taiwanese Female Singer award, turned out to be mediocre. The singer and producer apparently had a throat condition and gave what the Apple Daily called one of her worst performances, ever.

Perhaps Chan and Chou should follow in the footsteps of Korean boy band Super Junior. The 13-member band reportedly lip-synched its way through its Golden Melody sets to the squeals of adoring teenage fans.

In other Golden Melody news, the China Times wrote that one of the organizers for the awards ceremony, Chen Le-jung (陳樂融), is also a judge for Super Idol (超級偶像) — a reality “talent” show. When former Super Idol judge Shandee Chen (陳珊妮) won the award for Best Mandarin Female Singer, the China Times speculated that there might be some back room dealings going on. When asked for comment, Chen Le-jung said he wouldn’t dare pressure any of the judges.

It looks like Gary Tsao (曹格), winner of last year’s Golden Melody Award for Best Mandarin Male Singer, is something of a lush who can’t hold his liquor. “Tsao gets blindly drunk and suffers a beating (曹格被爆喝茫挨打),” screamed a headline in Wednesday’s Apple Daily. The report said Tsao was admitted to the hospital with a puffy face and cut pinky finger after celebrating his 30th birthday at Person, a Taipei nightspot.

The gossip rag even provided a list of Tsao’s past drunken indiscretions, which included kicking a sign (2006), scowling at reporters (October last year), scaring his friends (same month) and getting bitten (November last year). Small wonder, Apple reported, that Tsao’s wife doesn’t let him hold their baby when he’s drinking.

Recalling the latter 2008 incident, paparazzi asked Tsao if the wound on his pinky finger was the result of a bite. The singer’s agent emphatically denied the suggestion and said he cut his finger on broken glass. He added that Tsao stayed at a hospital overnight because he was too drunk to be anesthetized when he was first admitted.

Chinese actress and singer Zhou Xun (周迅) has split with her Taiwanese lover, stylist Lee Da-chi (李大齊). In a statement released to the media, Zhou said the break up was due to irreconcilable differences. Her lack of specifics, however, sent the rumor mill into overdrive with Apple quoting a Chinese gossip Web site that said Zhou had dumped Lee for renowned Chinese novelist Wang Shuo (王朔), who apparently gave The Banquet (豪門夜宴) star a Rolls Royce. The pair are said to have shacked up in Beijing.

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