Sunday, January 11, 2004

[Oriental Daily]

It is said: "More people, more gossip", so it is little wonder that that 21 contestants for Miss Chinese International have had so many rumours in the seven days that they have been filming in Dalian. Apart from the suggestions that TVB has been showing favouritism during filming to their 'own contestant' Mandy Cho, by giving her the best positions, there have also been rumours that 'local' Nandy is displeased with the popularity of foreign guest Number 8 Jessica Xu.

Filming yesterday for MCI, Mandy and Jessica both appeared at TVB City and denied the rumours of their hostility and Mandy said candidly: "In truth, I am getting along better with Number 16 and Number 21, because we are in the same group for filming. Also, my Mandarin isn't very good and Number 8 Jessica is quite a slow warmer, so at first we didn't really know each other, but we are a lot better now."

Mandy is not surprised by the rumours, saying: "Actually when I was taking part in Miss Hong Kong, there were always plenty of rumours and it will not upset me as I am used to it." Also in response to the better treatment from TVB, Mandy says with resignation: "TVB is very fair to everyone and a beauty contest is all about your own performance and how you show yourself at the time, so these things cannot be helped along."

Rabee'a Yeung and Selena Li were promoting some Chinese New Year shows for TVB yesterday and the two have been following closely the qualities of the MCI contestants. Hearing the news of Jessica Xu being named as one of the favourites, they are still confident with the Hong Kong representative Mandy and are not worried about her being beaten by the favourite. They also laugh: "Hong Kong will definitely win!" The two will be visiting Mandy at the hotel this evening and on the night they will be holding up banners and blowing whistles, if they are allowed, to show their support for Mandy.

Both returning to Hong Kong from Canada, the westernised Rabee'a and Selena are full of excitement for the coming Chinese New Year. Their knowledge of New Year customs are different though as Selena admits she likes to play Mah Jong, but has never heard about wearing red underpants to bring good luck to win money. She says rather embarrassed: "I have never heard of wearing red underpants for the new year... if that can help me win at Mah Jong, then if I don't wear it I would lose out! I will have to consider it!"

As for Rabee'a, she seems to know more about customs than Selena and reveals that she is good at making onion cakes as a New Year food. It turns out that Rabee'a can make many homecooked dishes and having moved to a new apartment recently, she has started making her own food to keep healthy.


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