The nominations of actresses Gong Li, 54, and Eleanor Lee, 21, (daughter of local TV host Quan Yi Fong) as representatives of Singapore in TCCAsia’s Most Beautiful Asian Faces 2020 list, were met with some controversy.
This is the first time a female Singaporean artiste has made the list of nominees. Meanwhile, local male celebs singer JJ Lin and actor Lawrence Wong made the inaugural list of Most Handsome Faces in 2019, with the former coming in at 35th in the top 100 ranking.
The decision to place Gong Li as Singapore’s representative created a slight buzz with netizens as they pointed out that she’s actually from China. One netizen didn’t recognise Singapore’s flag while another commented pointedly: “Since when is she a Singaporean? Please be more professional, such a disgrace.”
While it’s true that Gong Li was born in China, she actually took up Singapore citizenship in 2008 when she married Singapore businessman Ooi Hoe Seong. Her decision drew flak from Chinese netizens as many saw it as an act of betrayal to China. The couple were married for 13 years before divorcing in 2010.
Gong Li is now rumoured to be married to French composer Jean-Michel Jarre.
However, as of the latest vote count on Oct 1, it seems that both Singaporean actresses didn’t break into the top 50. It’s unclear if they made the top 100 because TCCAsia did not release anything beyond the 50th position for the preliminary results.
The list is generated based on the total vote count on Instagram and Weibo. It seems that each ‘like’ on a nominee’s individual post counts as one vote.
It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, as competition is stiff with around 300 female nominees vying for the coveted 100 spots. High-ranking celebs like Blackpink’s Lisa (first last year, but fourth as of the current vote count) garnered 90,000 votes on Instagram, compared to Gong Li’s 1,000 and Eleanor’s 4,500.
Even popular South Korean actress Son Ye-jin came in 19th with around 30,000 votes on Instagram.
However, this isn’t the final ranking as the final vote count has not been released.
This annual ranking is compiled by TCCAsia — a company linked to British film critic TC Candler, who has been churning out lists of the world’s most gorgeous men and women since the 1990s.
Text: Bryan Lim/AsiaOne