It was a night of glitz and glamour at the annual Star Awards ceremony, which saw the best of the best gather to celebrate the stars of Singapore’s Mandarin entertainment industry. Here’s what went down in the three-hour long show.
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About 45 minutes into the show, the mood in the auditorium turned sombre as the audience spent some time paying tribute to the late actor Aloysius Pang. Fellow Noon Talk artistes sang a tribute (Xiao Ren Wu de Xin Sheng), as a video montage of his past interviews and works played in the background. The emotional sequence brought tears to many in the audience, including his manager Dasmond Koh, Chen Shucheng, Ian Fang, girlfriend Jayley Woo and more.
Aloysius died on January 24 in New Zealand after succumbing to serious crush injuries sustained from a military accident while he was on reservist training. The 28-year-old was carrying out repair work on a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer (SSPH) as part of his reservist duties. His death sparked a wave of grief from colleagues and fans alike, with hundreds of people thronging his wake to pay their last respects to him. His absence at the ceremony has been sorely missed.
Watch the tribute here:
Actor Shane Pow was hospitalised on Saturday morning after he was apparently hurt in a dispute with a fellow patron at the opening weekend of Marquee Singapore nightclub in Marina Bay. According to Channel 8 news, he had reportedly bumped into the patron and spilled his drink on the latter’s shoes. Despite apologising, Shane was assaulted and taken to the hospital. Although he was discharged on Sunday, a Mediacorp spokesperson said he will not attend the ceremony. Shane was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Mind Matters; the award went to Chen Shucheng in the end for his role in A Million Dollar Dream.
Hong Kong-Australian starlet, Cecilia Cheung, F4’s Jerry Yan, Hong Kong TVB star Roger Kwok, 5566’s Tony Sun and Story Of Yanxi Palace’s Wu Jingyan were some of the overseas stars making a guest appearance at the Star Awards this year. Cecilia was spotted making her rounds around Singapore in a series of Instagram stories. In one, she was digging into what appears to be roast meat rice while others at the table ordered bak kut teh at a kopitiam. In another, she seemed to be having supper at Lau Pa Sat. She showed up in a gorgeous backless ruffle dress while Jerry was in a bold pastel pink suit.
Frequent online shoppers will recognise Jasmine Sim as the face behind local fashion brand Love, Bonito. The rising star started her career as the brand’s model and is also the first runner-up in The New Paper New Face 2014. She began dabbling in acting last year, and has been in dramas such as Doppleganger alongside star couple Fann Wong and Christopher Lee. Her work paid off — she snagged the Best Newcomer Award for her role as the pair’s daughter. I’m sure we’ll see more of this up-and-coming actress soon.
The veteran host-actress nabbed the Best Programme Host award this year, making this the third time she has won in this category for the Star Awards. The bubbly straight-shooter is also the first to have won this many times for this category. Not surprising, Yifong is known for her eloquence and ability to handle multiple situations. Well-deserved.
Chew Chor Meng, better known as Zhou Chuming to many, gave a moving speech that drew tears from his colleagues after he was awarded a Special Achievement Award for his achievements after close to three decades in the industry. Chor Meng, who was diagnosed with Kennedy’s disease, a muscular dystrophy illness in 2008, has been open about his battle with the debilitating disease and his struggles with his symptoms.
“The past few years have not been great for my health. But I’m very grateful to my father who’s in heaven and my family and fans. In future, if you are willing, if you still want to watch my work, I will continue to persevere — because I really love acting,” he said, tears brimming. “If there’s a day when I can’t walk anymore, even if i have to sit down to do it, I’ll finish my scene. That’s because I’m an actor, and the first rule of thumb is to be responsible and take ownership for my work.” Respect.
The two veteran Ah Jies, Fann Wong and Zoe Tay, went head to head in the Best Actress award this year — reminiscent of the good old days when the pair were engaged in friendly competition in their heyday. It’s been seven years since both of them were nominated in the same category. In their category was tough competition, including Rebecca Lim who won the award last year.
The winner in the end? Zoe, for her role as a dowdy housewife in A Million Dollar Dream. In her speech, Zoe said she can breathe a sigh of relief now — she was more worried about whether she could fit into her dress! She also thanked her producers (the same folks behind the drama that gave her her 2017 Best Actress win) and said they should always look for her every time they have a series in mind. “I might be expensive but I’m a pro,” she joked. Couldn’t agree more. Congrats!
What a revival! The top 10 Most Popular List saw the coveted spots handed out to veteran artistes for the first time in many many years. Chen Xiu Huan returns to the list after she was included in the Top 10 showing in 1994 — the very first Star Awards ceremony. “I never thought 25 years later I’d be back on this stage,” she exclaimed in her speech, visibly touched. She had left showbiz in the late 90s and only returned to screens about two years ago. Lina Ng, who received her last Top 10 nomination in 1998, received her second award this year. Thanking her family’s support, she said in a message to her sons: “I want you to know no matter how old you are, all you need to do is work hard and present the best you can.”
Another surprise of the evening was Hong Hui Fang, Zhu Hou Ren and Chen Shucheng, all of whom snagged their first ever top 10 spots in their decades-long career. Expressing her shock, Hui Fang said she has been here for more than 30 years and nominated 25 times, but has never gotten one of these. “I was thinking I’d give myself a special award this year!” she joked. “This didn’t come without hard work, thank you to everyone who voted for me,” she said, as she kissed the award. What a great end to this year’s ceremony — old is indeed gold.
Here’s the full list of winners:
Best Actress: Zoe Tay – A Million Dollar Dream
Best Actor: Chen Hanwei – A Million Dollar Dream
Best Supporting Actress: Lin Meijiao – Fifty and Fabulous
Best Supporting Actor: Chen Shucheng – A Million Dollar Dream
Evergreen Artiste Award: Xiang Yun
Best Newcomer: Jasmine Sim – Doppelganger
Best Programme Host (Variety, Info-Ed & Infotainment): Quan Yifeng – Fixer 2
Best Drama Serial: Blessings 2
Best Variety Programme: Getai Challenge 2018
Newcomer Award: Natalie Mae Tan – Blessings 2
Top 10 most popular female artiste: Paige Chua, Rebecca Lim, Felicia Chin, Ya Hui, Carrie Wong, Chen Xiu Huan, Pan Ling Ling, Jesseca Liu, Hong Hui, Lina Ng
Top 10 most popular male artiste: Shaun Chen, Romeo Tan, Pierre Png, Zheng Geping, Zhu Hou Ren, Pornsak, Desmond Tan, Dennis Chew, Dasmond Koh, Chen Shucheng