Tuesday, August 10, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao, The Sun & Oriental Daily]

This year's Miss Hong Kong pageant final will be taking place this Friday (13th) and a meeting with the judges was arranged for the contestants yesterday. As well as judges Jessica Hsuan and Gigi Leung, MC Natalis Chan and guest performer Hacken Lee were also at the press event. The girls appeared in a range of dress styles, with number 8 Winnie Shum and number 14 Kayee Tsang in the sexiest numbers.

Number 17 Bonnie Cheung and number 4 Jaymee Tang have both returned from Australia to take part in the contest and there have been reports that suggest that they knew each other before the contest, but pretended not to when they met in Hong Kong. The reports also say that Bonnie has strong backing, with veteran artist Sima Yin as her nominator as well as being an active part of the local Chinese community. The two clarified the situation, explaining that they only met each other after returning to Hong Kong and did not know each other before. As for the reports of Bonnie's background in Australia, she explains that as the Chinese community is only small there, so it is easy to meet people. She takes part in many Lion's club activities to expand her experiences.

As well as performing with Hacken at the final, Gigi Leung will also be a judge for the Miss Photogenic award. She admits that there is a great pressure on her because her decision could change the future of one of the girls. After travelling with the 18 girls to Kenya, Gigi says that they have changed a lot after their intensive training, gaining in confidence and having their looks sharpened. As for her criteria for Miss Photogenic, Gigi says that of course she has to look better than everyone else on camera.

Jessica appeared at yesterday's event in a strappy dress and was very eyecatching, but she explains that this was not to outshone the girls, she was just dressing for the occasion. As a judge for the first time, Jessica will be talking to the girls more so as to get to know them a little better. With her birthday approaching soon, Jessica was asked how she would be celebratig and she says that as she is getting older now, she will not have any special celebration. She would be very happy with just a meal.

Nat appeared at last year's contest wearing his swimming trunks and was criticised by many for his actions. He brought the incident up again yesterday with an air of arrogance as he said: "Wearing my swimsuit was just playing along with the atmosphere, but anyone who does not like me or gets on the wrong side of me will have bad luck, losing their jobs or even their health! This year my wardrobe will total a six figure sum, but who knows if I will still be doing it next year?"

This year's contest will begin by selecting the top eight, who will then be interviewed by the hosts before being eliminated down to four to battle it out for the top three awards. This year's judges will be renowned movie director Johnny To, Jessica Hsuan, Internationally famous violinist Yao Jue and Dr Lee Lok Si. The Miss Photogenic judges will include Jordan Chan, Gigi Leung and Karen Mok. Earlier there were suggestions that Sam Hui might be invited as a special guest judge, but production manager Ho Lai Cheung indicated: "Sam will be involved as a leader of the judges, but we are still discussing the details."


Hacken Lee has been bogged down by flu lately, but he is still working despite being ill even though it is hard for him. Earlier, he still went up to Panyu for his "Left Alan Right Hacken" concert, performing with the risk of losing his voice. The doctors had given him a shot of steroids, but this made him even more tired as a side effect and whilst he was performing, he was a little weak at the knees and nauseous. After the performance, he will continue his tour in September in Shantou and can finally take some time out to rest now.

When Kelly Chen was ill, she daren't see her boyfriend in case she passed on the illness, but Hacken laughs that there is no need for him to quarantine himself from girlfriend Emily Lo because they are both ill at the same time. So who infected the other? Who can tell! As for the saying 'More wealth, less health", Hacken forces a smile and says: "I have been to see the herbalist and he says that when I have fame and fortune, I will constantly go to see him, if I am hiding at home withoout work, the I don't need to go and see him. He is so funny!"

Also, Hacken met the Miss Hong Kong contestants at yesterday's event and he feels that they have a lot of talent. As the semi-final has been cancelled this year, it will be difficult to work out who has the better performance on the night, so he predicts that there will be a few surprise wins on the night.


[The Sun & Oriental Daily]

Gigi Lai was filmiing a K-100 promotional clip yesterday for "War and Beauty" and she says that in the show, her role is both good and evil and this was a great challenge for her acting ability. She says: "The character is actually very innocent, but for her family, she has to play some tactics to win the emperor's affection, whilst pretending to be a nice person on the outside, so it was quite difficult to do." She also reveals that she has to seduce Bowie Lam in the show and she says that it was quite difficult, so she remembers it well. Another memorable time they had whilst filming for the show was when they all headed out to Hengdian to film and she says: "The weather was so cold it was unforgettable and in this show, every scene has some true acting in it." She also adds that strictly speaking, the four lead females, played by her, Charmaine Sheh, Maggie Cheung and Sheren Tang are all evil roles: "But we all had a good time filming!"


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