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Nine Faces Of Channel 5

12 May

SINGAPORE : Here’s a quick pop quiz: What do Gurmit Singh, Adrian Pang, Fiona Xie, Michelles Chia and Chong, Andrea Fonseka, Utt, Aaron Aziz and Jas Arora have in common?

If you don’t know, you’re obviously not watching enough TV. Suffice it to say, these are the nine faces of Channel 5 who are tasked with spearheading the channel’s latest re-branding exercise, which aims to put more home-grown talent on air.

Their faces certainly are familiar enough: Gurmit is a 13-year Channel 5 stalwart; you could say that Adrian has been in almost every drama, variety, comedy and game show; Andrea became TV’s “it” girl just after one season on Deal Or No Deal; Fiona and Michelle Chia have successfully crossed over from Channel 8; Michelle Chong is known for her comic turns on TV; Utt’s perennial hosting duties have given him a wider demographic; while Aaron and Jas had impressive outings on Heartlanders and Achar!, respectively.

So why then?

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One Is Never To Old To "Live The Dream"

16 May

Singapore Idol it sure isn’t, but a new singing competition will give closet singers a shot at fame, and a $40,000 cash prize to boot.

In a format reminiscent of past Talentime contests, Live The Dream aims to encourage the singing aspirations of warblers and crooners who might have shelved their singing aspirations for other careers.

And unlike Idol, which had a maximum age limit of 30, Live The Dream has no age limit. Its message is: You can never be too old to pick up that mic again.
It has a minimum age limit of 25, though.

Explaining, local pop icon Dick Lee, who will be a judge on the show said: “In Asia, the concept of an idol is someone who is young and cute, but not necessarily talented. Now we’re just looking for someone who’s always wanted that chance to be a great singer.”

Lee, 50, said the older crooners will be judged less on looks and styling than on their vocal quality. Besides Lee, the other judge will be Hype Records executive director Ken Lim, 42. Both were also judges on Singapore Idol.

MediaCorp TV Channel 5 vice president Selena Ho said: “A lot of professionals who didn’t fall into a certain age range (for the channel’s other contests), who’ve harboured dreams of singing but had to go and become a financial analyst or teacher (perhaps) – these are the people we want to come forward and audition.” The show will also have a separate category for groups, who stand to win $60,000.

Potential contestants may also be nominated by friends or family, or send a clip of themselves singing via 3G video call. A mobile crew will also be staking out shopping malls to identify possible participants.

“Logically speaking, the contestants should be more talented, because they’ll be more matured, more practical in their choices of songs,” said Lim.

Lee said it will be a “very Singaporean” show.

“It will be fun in a good oldfashioned way. We’ve forgotten about this kind of dream. Our only dream now is to live in an apartment that will go en bloc,” he added, laughing.

The hosts of the show will be Deal Or No Deal’s Andrea Fonseka, briefcase girl number 10 on the game show, actress Michelle Chia and former MTV VJ Utt.

Said Fonseka, 22: “I really want to see an uncle or auntie come on to the show and sing Chinese opera. Wouldn’t that be great?”

Auditions will be held June 2 and 3 at the Toa Payoh HDB Hub. Visit for more information. –

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Grin (Or Grimace) But Just Bare It

9 Mar

It was the first time MTV VJ Greg Uttsada and Thai actress Ploy had posed nude, and with each other no less.

But before anyone gets any impure thoughts, there was nothing naughty about the photo shoot and it was all for a good cause: To produce a coffee-table book aimed at benefiting and also sending a message to charities here.

“I was initially very concerned about the project and posing nude for it,” said Utt in a telephone interview with TODAY. “And I had a lot of questions about it.

“But speaking to the brains behind the project, photographer Dominic Khoo, and knowing that the project is to raise awareness of how charities are run, I said yes.”

Of course, it is no secret that the charity scene has been taking a beating of late, what with reports of fund mismanagement at some agencies.

In a bid to promote more transparency in how charities are run in Singapore, about 30 celebrities, including actress Michelle Chia, model-host Jaymee Ong and host Mark Zee, agreed to bare all for the camera.

Copies of the resulting coffee-table book, aptly titled

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This Is For My Ex-Wife

11 Dec

SINGAPORE: Huang Yiliang did it again – made another controversial speech involving former wife Lin Meijiao.

At Sunday night’s Star Awards, which were held at the St James Power Station for the first time, Yiliang won the Best Supporting Actor Award for his role in the drama Women of Times.

When he went on stage to accept the award, he said he wanted to give the award to Meijiao. In the same speech, he also thanked his current wife. It was a speech that raised eyebrows, not least due to the little-known fact that he has remarried.

In 2003, when he won the same award, Yiliang mentioned Meijiao in his thank-you speech, comparing her to a giraffe and saying her neck had grown from yearning for an award.

Meijiao was not present at Sunday night’s show.

Backstage, Yiliang lost his cool when quizzed him about the speech.

“Meijiao is more talented than me but she doesn’t have my luck,” he said. “I’ve always wanted her to win something so I’d like to give this award to her.”

He claimed he was simply voicing the wish of his daughter with Meijiao. He has been married for three years to Lily Liu.

“When I made that speech in 2003, I only had good intentions. I regret that it’s a joke that fell flat, I shouldn’t have made it.”

Visibly annoyed, he added: “Do you know how influential the media is? If you write bad stuff about me, that’s the end of me. Please spare me. I don’t have any bad intentions.”

Meanwhile, the Best Actor and Actress Awards were won by Li Nanxing and Ivy Lee, respectively, while Hong Huifang nabbed the Best Supporting Actress Award. Bryan Wong won Best Variety Show Host, while Kelvin Tan won Most Popular Newcomer.

The top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes were: Christopher Lee, Gurmit Singh, Tay Ping Hui, Vincent Ng, Edmund Chen, Qi Yuwu, Mark Lee, Kelvin Tan, Elvin Ng and Bryan Wong.

As for the women, the top 10 were Kym Ng, Huang Biren, Xiang Yun, Rui En, Michelle Chia, Jeanette Aw, Felicia Chin, Fiona Xie, Quan Yifeng and Jesseca Liu. – TODAY

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