updated 15 Dec 2010, 08:54
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Mon, Dec 13, 2010
The New Paper
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She's no sore loser
by Germaine Lim

THERE'S no doubt that this year has been a fruitful one for local actress-host Michelle Chong.

The 33-year-old received rave reviews for her uncannily good impersonations on popular satirical shows The Noose 3 on Channel 5 and Black Rose on Channel 8.

An unofficial Facebook fan page has been set up for Chong's flirtatious sarong party girl Barbarella, who has become one of The Noose's most beloved characters.

Chong also nabbed a leading role in the recently concluded Channel 8 drama Mrs PI.

To top it off, she received two nominations for Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress for her work in The Noose 3 and Black Rose at the 15th Asian Television Awards onThursday night at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Despite her having twice the odds in her favour than other nominees, she didn't think she would win.

Chong, who was wearing an orange Lanvin dress, told The New Paper before the awards show started: "It's hard to say. The votes may be split."

As it turned out, she was right. Chua En Lai, her co-star in The Noose, bagged the award instead.

Chong insisted she wasn't unhappy over the outcome. She said after the show: "The Noose won two out of the three categories it was nominated for. It's a great accolade for the show.


"Everyone on The Noose is wildly talented. I'm very happy that at least it was someone from The Noose who won - better us than others. The night ended beautifully."

Also nominated in the same category was The Noose's Alaric Tay, Thai comedian Sudarat Bootprom and Filipino comic Michael V.

Chong and Tay were "highly commended" (read: runners-up) for their work in that category.

Chong was also up for the Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress award in 2008 but lost to Thailand's Chusak Lamsuk and was "highly commended".

The Noose 3 won Best Comedy Programme last night but lost Best Entertainment Programme to travelogue World Cafe Middle East - Istanbul, which is hosted by celebrity chef Bobby Chinn. (See report below.)

They 'plotted' to lock Chong up

The Noose ended its third season in August and a fourth instalment has been slated to air early next year.

Tay and Chua, both 31-year-old Fly Entertainment artistes, had thought Chong was a shoo-in.

Chua joked: "I thought Barbarella would've bribed a judge and got away with it. I just presumed Michelle would win because she was one up over everyone else.

"I don't know how the judging process works. Maybe her votes were split. There should be one category just for women, like what they do with the drama categories. She would've won then."

But he added: "I think this is our award. It's not just for one person."

While they hadn't speculated on the winner, the good-humoured trio "plotted" against each other.

Tay said: "En Lai and I were thinking of locking Michelle in a room so she couldn't make it to the ceremony and we would have a better chance of winning.

But the opposite was true. En Lai wasn't present and he won."

Borrowed shoes

Chua, who was performing in the pantomime Cinderel- lah! at the Esplanade Theatre, rushed to the hotel after hearing about his win.

He said: "I was in my dressing room after my show and had stripped down to my underwear when I received an SMS from my manager. I ran out in my underwear and announced my win to everyone backstage.

"I originally had flip-flops on and had to borrow shoes - which are ugly - to come here. I actually ran here, which explains why I'm sweaty. Everyone is in suits and gowns. I look terrible."

He was in a T-shirt and khaki slacks and carried a backpack.

This is his third nomination and first win. Local actress Rebecca Lim was another big winner at the Asian Television Awards.

The 24-year-old starlet won Best Drama Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for playing a budding lawyer in the Channel 5 drama series The Pupil. She beat co-star Janice Koh and more established local actresses Jeanette Aw, Quan Yifeng and Michelle Chia.

Lim, who was dressed in Marc Jacobs, was so surprised that she didn't realise her name was called.

When she finally made her way on stage from her table at the dinner function, the first thing she uttered was: "I totally wasn't expecting this. I didn't even touch up my make-up."

When The New Paper asked her for a photo with her trophy, she said: "Hang on, let me touch up first."

She added: "I was shaking as I made my way to the stage. When I composed myself, the first thing that came to my mind was, 'Oh no, no lip stick.' "

Of her win, she said: "It's the first time I've been nominated, so this is huge for me. Hopefully this will be a turning point in my career and I'll get more and better roles."

Broadcasters and production companies from 15 Asian countries were invited to participate in the awards show in May.

More than 200 finalists were chosen from nearly 1,000 entries. A panel of 52 judges from 15 countries deliberated over the 37 awards.

Each judge was allocated three to four categories and points accrued for each category were averaged out before they were audited.

Selected winners at the Asian TV Awards

Best Drama Series: Changes (China)

Best Single Drama or Telemovie Programme: Father's Home (South Korea)

Best Comedy Programme: The Noose 3 (Singapore)

Best Entertainment Programme: World Cafe Middle East - Istanbul (Singapore)

Best Music Programme: Singapore Idol 2009 (Finals) (Singapore)

Best Animation: Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Mandalore Plot (Singapore)

Best Lifestyle Programme: Passage To Malaysia - The Cradle (Singapore)

Best Entertainment Presenter: Bobby Chinn for World Cafe Middle East - Istanbul (Singapore)

Best Drama Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Bowie Lam for Sister Of Pearl (Hong Kong)

Best Drama Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Rebecca Lim for The Pupil (Singapore)

Best Drama Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Lim Kay Tong for The Pupil (Singapore)

Best Drama Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Susan Tse for Beyond The Realm Of Conscience (Hong Kong)

Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress: Chua En Lai for The Noose 3 (Singapore)

Terrestrial Channel of the Year: Channel 5 (Singapore) Cable & Satellite Channel of the Year: Discovery Channel (Singapore)

Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year: MediaCorp (Singapore)

Cable & Satellite Network of the Year: Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (Singapore)


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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