The official list of nominees for this year’s Golden Melody Awards (金曲獎) was released last week, sending some big-ticket pop stars back to prominence. Last year’s sore loser Jay Chou (周杰倫) leads the pack with eight nominations for his album Jay Chou on the Run (我很忙) and the soundtrack for Secret (不能說的秘密).
Singaporean pop singer Tanya Chua (蔡健雅) comes in second with seven nominations, including one in the Best Mandarin Female Singer category, which sees Taiwan’s pop diva A-mei (張惠妹) competing against Chua, Jasmine Leong (梁靜茹) from Malaysia, Hong Kong’s Karen Mok (莫文蔚) and Stefanie Sun (孫燕姿) of Singapore.
Last year’s Mandarin pop diva title-holder Jolin Tsai (蔡依林), however, falls from grace with a mere two nominations in minor categories for her chart-topping Agent J (特務J).
Overjoyed that he has been vindicated after last year’s neglect, Tsai’s rival in music and former lover Chou has reportedly taken back his unfavorable opinion of Golden Melody jury members as a bunch of dilettantes, saying that they have quite good taste.
In film-related news, Taiwan’s pride and joy, Lin Chi-ling (林志玲) is one step closer to her dream of becoming an international movie star as she made her debut at the Cannes Film Festival last week. While helping to promote John Woo’s (吳宇森) highly anticipated Red Cliff (赤壁) dressed in a golden cheongsam, she proved a smash hit with photographers; so much so that festival staff had to lead her away from the slavering press pack.
Although Lin helped burnish Taiwan’s reputation with her beauty and sentiment — she was caught shedding a tear of joy or two as she walked down the red carpet — the Government Information Office (新聞局) did Taiwan few favors with its poorly reviewed Taiwan Night party.
More than 200 Asian stars, international distributors and buyers arrived at a dinner only to find that wine and hors d’oeuvers were all that were on offer for the four-hour mingling session. Many of the guests left still famished, or half drunk from drinking on an empty stomach. This was one instance when President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) famous frugality in public display did the country a disservice.
On the romantic front, pop idol Elva Hsiao (蕭亞軒) was spotted by local paparazzi getting her hands all over a Russian stud in front of the exclusive residential complex Xinyi Star (信義之星) in Xinyi district last weekend. The two were then whisked off in a taxi by a friend.
Her agent gave the usual they-are-just-friends speech and stressed that the star would stay chaste; a fortuneteller has told Hsiao that her career would prosper if she quits men until August.
Another mild fling, one may say. But with the release date for her new album just around the corner, the timing for the budding romance seems suspect to the trained eyes of gossip hounds.
Just try to answer this: if it was all so innocent, why would Hsiao put herself in the line of fire at Xinyi Star, just at a time when the paparazzi where known to be staking out the apartment block to catch a glimpse of A-mei, who just returned from Japan, and her young sweetheart Sam Ho (何守正)?