Monday, January 24, 2005

[Ta Kung Pao, The Sun & Oriental Daily 25/01/05]

The Miss Chinese International Pageant 2005 will be held on Saturday and a special press conference was held yesterday, where the girls met the five judges - artistes Andy Lau and Cecilia Yip, Dr Robin Chan Yau-hing GBS JP EOE, The Hon Maria Chan Wai Chu and The Hon Henry Wu JP. The three guest performers Eason Chan, Linda Chung and Gigi Yiu were also present alongside MC's Cheng Dan Shui and Stephen Au, but guest MC Joe Ngai was absent. The figures of the 22 contestants are not bad at all, but it was No 3 Annie Chang rom San Francisco and No 14 Kelly Wang from Brisbane who stood out from the rest and caught the attention of the cameras, whilst No 2 Jessica Young wore a low cut deep V dress.

Andy has been a judge in a beauty pageant before, but he has forgotten what contest and year it was. He jokes: "In the past, I represented the opinion of the young people, but now I am representing more mature men and there is a big difference between them. When you are younger, you look for external beauty, but now I also take their internal personality and how lovable they are into account." After the press conference, the judges each had twenty minutes to chat with each of the contestants. When Andy was asked about what he would be asking them, he syas that he does not have any special topics and will improvise. As for the earlier criticisms that No 16 Kimberley Chin had received from people about her looks, Andy laughs: "The people who are criticising should look at themselves first. (Will you show favouritism towards the Hong Kong representative?) Of course! I support Hong Kong! However long hair and big breasts will not get higher points, but maturity will. (There are so many contestants already 25 this year?) No wonder they asked me to be the judge this year."

Andy adds that 40% of the score will be down to the pageant's structures, the other 60% is down to the opinion of the judges, otherwise they could judge using robots. As Andy has travelled to many places before, he was asked which location has the most pretty girls. He says openly that it is India because in facial shape, they look very sharp and their eyebrows are especially defined.

Originally working away in Shanghai, Cecilia Yip took time out especially to judge the contest before heading back to work. She says on meeting the contestants for the first time that that their figures are very good maybe because of the good nutrition of modern times. When asked what her standards are as a judge, she says that her first wish is for girls to get to know about Chinese culture. When it was mentioned that Andy would give more points to the Hong Kong rep, Cecilia insisted that she would not do this because in her eyes, every girl in the contest has the same standing and she will be giving out her points fairly.

In response to becoming the target for the press at the event, Annie says that out of the six outfits she had tried, this was the most conservative. When asked why she did not choose the high cut dress, she says that it was rather tight. Was she embarrassed at being the focus of attention? She says no, because she does not usually wear this type of clothing and No 14 was looking sexier. Asked if she felt she would get more points from the judges for looking sexier, she says she does not know, because the other contestants have great figures too. Kelly had already added a tube top to her outfit, but her figure still stood out and gave the impression of 'overflowing'. When asked if she thought the judges would show favouritism over Hong Kong, she says that she believes that they will be fair and she has confidence in herself, especially in her eyes, because they are the windows to the soul. Kate Tsui responded to Andy's comments about giving her more points by saying she believed that Andy would be very fair to the other contestants, but she thanks him for his support. She has always been in admiration of Andy for his hard working and determined character. As she has lost some weight, her original dress no longer fitted her, so the black dress she wore yesterday was borrowed from No 21 Tahiti's Elodie Chung.

Meanwhile, guest star Eason said modestly that the responsibility of being a judge is very great, so he would have to consider very carefully if he was offered the role. He adds that he has his own criteria for a pretty girl: "I like girls who are confident and their own personality. All you have to do is look at who I am with to see. She (Hilary Tsui) once threw a can at someone, even I have never dared to do that!"

It was also revealed that the stage design for this year's pageant will be kept simple to avoid hazards resulting from too many traps and gadgets.


[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun 25/01/05]

Michelle Yim has been described as the "Legend of Everlasting Youth" and recently she has been signed to be the spokesperson for a range of health foods in a two year contract worth a seven figure fee, that she is extremely happy with. Earlier she took part in a shoot for still picture ads and a TV commercial and she will be taking part in a promotional event on Saturday.

Before taking on the role, Michelle had tried out the product for nearly a year and as she was filming for TVB's "The Gentle Crackdown" at the time, often having to work hard and late into the night, she felt that she really benefitted from the health effects of the product, making her more alert and also putting the life back in her eyes. She says: "This product is made from 'Dong Cong Cao' [Cordyceps Sinensis - a rare Chinese herbal remedy] and it is very benefitial to the lungs. If you have healthy lungs then you will naturally look more beautiful." On the day that Michelle filmed the ad, the temperature was only 8 degrees C, but fortunately she was filming indoors and had the heating on, so it was not hard work at all and to top it all off, the photographer complimented her saying she looked 'ravishing', making her very happy indeed and leaving her in an extremely good mood despite nearly 20 hours of filming.

As for her 'Legend' title, Michelle was asked if this put any pressure on her and she smiled: "Everyone is too kind. Having worked in this business for so many years, I have never put pressure on myself. No matter if news is good or bad, it is just a laugh and if it is praise, then it is like a dessert, but of course I will do my best to keep healthy. (Are you usually early to bed and early to rise?) No, I do not sleep until around 2am and I wake up at 6am." Michelle says that mainland reporters like to ask her age, but she will reply that she is whatever age they think she is. She admits that as an artiste, then if you constantly talk about your age, it will affect the roles you will be offered because it will be less convincing for the viewers if they have it on the mind.


[The Sun 25/01/05]

Kingdom Yuen took part in a shopping mall event yesterday and joked that after the end of "Virtues of Harmony", she is now unemployed. "I am not bored though because I am busy making stage performances and doing openings. I am planning to try different businesses and also to study a course on law to try and improve myself."

Also, the ratings reports indicate that the final week of "Virtues" resulted in an average rating of 31 points, up five points on the previous week, with the final episode averaging at 26 points. "Master of Kung Fu - Wong Fei Hung" and "Shades of Truth" reached average ratings of 30 and 26 points respectively.


[The Sun & Oriental Daily 25/01/05]

After being arrested for drink driving on New Year's Day and bailed for $5000, Gordon Liu was required to report back to the police station on 24th. However, Gordon indicated that he had to film for TVB series "My Sassy Mother-in-Law" on that day, so he was unable to attend and has left the matter in the hands of his lawyer. Reports indicate that the police have formally charged him with drink driving and he is due to appear in court on 7th February.

In response to the charges against him, Gordon says that he has received notice from his lawyer and if he has to work on that day, then he will take time off to go to court. In a telephone interview, Gordon says that he will not be pleading guilty: "I was actually just asleep in the car, so how can they actually prove I was driving under the influence? If there was a charge of 'drink sleeping' then I would admit that. The police saw a dent in the car and tried to blame me, but that dent was there beforehand, so I will not be pleading guilty. If they have the evidence, they can prove otherwise. I will definitely take time out to attend the hearing though because I want to get it all sorted out before the Chinese New Year."


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