Fri, Dec 18, 2009 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

Compiled By David Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

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Allen Chao’s (趙樹海) recent return to the entertainment world continues to be bumpy.

His new Saturday night variety show on CTS (華視) didn’t pass the muster of station executives, who have put the program on hold and requested major “structural changes,” according to the United Daily News.

The executives also reportedly were unimpressed with Chao’s “old school” style of hosting, which they feared wouldn’t live up to competition from variety show kings Hu Gua (胡瓜) and Chang Fei (張菲).

Chao’s temper hasn’t helped, either. The atmosphere at the studio has been “tense,” as he has reportedly bawled out many crew members on the set.

The 59-year-old singer-turned-TV celebrity, who has been out of the limelight for most of the past decade, has recently attracted some unwelcome publicity over the past few months, with entertainment media portraying him as an ambitious and overbearing father and womanizer.

In October, there was intense speculation that he had pulled strings to help his son Mark Chao (趙又廷) win a Golden Bell Award. Then several weeks ago, the Apple Daily spotted Chao having dinner with model Sonia Sui (隋棠), prompting rumors that he was stepping in between Sui and her boyfriend Yao Yuan-hao (姚元浩).

Earlier this week The Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported seeing Chao at yet another dinner, holding court with three shounu (熟女), which roughly translates as attractive women over 30.

At least he received some kind words from would-be competitor and old friend Chang Fei, who complimented him on his “outspokenness” and “steadfastness.” Chang recalled how Chao threw a tantrum when he tried to back out of a golf outing because it was raining. They wound up playing 18 holes in the rain, leaving Chang with a nasty cold that lasted a week.

Actor and singer Eddie Peng (彭于晏) has a new flame, according to the Apple Daily, whose paparazzos snapped a few photographs of the two on a movie date at the Core Pacific Mall (京華城). Apple’s report portrayed the date with the mystery “square-faced girl” as something of a comeback for Peng, who supposedly once dated Mando-pop diva Jolin Tsai (蔡依林). Apple asked for a response from Tsai’s manager, Wang Yung-liang (王永良), who replied, “Best wishes to him.”

Peng is probably the last thing on Tsai’s mind, as she is just fresh from a three-week vacation in Montreal, where she took French classes. This stirred the imagination of the press, which asked if her studies had led to any romantic encounters. “I mostly just asked for directions from elderly men and women on the street,” the pop star said. “But some people whistled at me from a casino ... does that count?”

Tsai admitted that while in Montreal she got recognized on the street a few times, but never let on about her identity. According to the Liberty Times, she told her would-be admirers, “A lot of people say I look a lot like her, but really, I’m not Jolin.”

And faithful Jolin-watchers just can’t seem to let go of the possibility of a rekindled romance with fellow Mando-pop star Jay Chou (周杰倫). Both the Liberty Times and Apple Daily mentioned how the two “rumored former lovers” are both scheduled to appear at an awards ceremony in Beijing this weekend.

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