Hey everyone! Wow. It’s been ages since I’ve updated and I sincerely apologise for that. I’ve been really, really busy with uni recently. Second year of uni is really catching up with me, and assignment after assignment has basically sucked up any semblance I have of a social life, let alone be fascinated by the TVB world. Thankfully, after slogging day and night, I finally handed in my final assignment for the semester and have time to take a breather before cramming for finals in early November. But enough of that boring stuff, I’m sure you guys don’t want to hear about my sordid uni-life. And, I’m pretty sure you all are sick of coming here (that is, if you all even come here anymore) and seeing the Moses/Bernice fanfic on the top of the page. Lol.
P/S: I’m going to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their lovely compliments and feedback on the Moses/Bernice fic. You all really made my day.
But well, without further ado, to this feature. It’s something I’ve been planning for quite some time now, but just never got the chance to write. I’m a music junkie, admittedly, but never really quite got into HK-pop until this year. I understand spoken Cantonese, but not in the context of song lyrics or poems, so I guess that’s the main reason. However, I do find that HK-pop songs have great melodies, and am trying to learn the lyrics and understand them now. That’s one of the reasons behind his post.
It Takes Two; HK-Style.
It Takes Two is an Australian singing competition that aired about two months ago on free TV. It’s not your everyday run-of-the-mill singing competition. Instead, it has singers pairing up with local celebrities from every field. The recent season of It Takes Two had homegrown vocal talents paired up with various stars ranging from actresses, to radio DJs, comedians and even a swimmer. The singers will guide and the non-singers through the weeks and are in charge of song choice, key, choreography amongst other aspects. Each week, pairs will compete with each other, singing different themes, to avoid elimination. Results are made out of 50% judges scores and 50% from the public’s SMS votes.
TVB and the various record companies in Hong Kong have always had collaborations not only in concerts, but they have had the singers hosting and acting as well. At the same time, TVB has an uncanny habit of pushing their actors to sing even if they possess no singing ability whatsoever. It’s a chance for them to give their new and upcoming stars a chance for recognition and get some vocal training from the singers in the process. Here’s who I would pick and pair them with, if there really was such a competiton:
Chris Lai Lok Yi, 27, & Niki Chow Lai Kei, 28
Why him? Chris has been given loads of chances as of late what with Heart of Greed, then The Green Grass of Home, and most recently as bad-boy-turned-good Ben Lui in Fathers and Sons, all of which did well ratings-wise. Of course, the least promoted amongst the Olympics star alumni, it might finally be his chance to shine. TVB love all their lead male actors to sing, and this might be the one extra step Chris needs on his way to a higher status in TVB.
Why with Niki? For some reason, Chris reminds me of one of those popular guys back in high school who’s popular and yet gets along with everybody. He seems to have a friendly, easygoing demeanour, which matches Niki’s wholesome, healthy, girl-next-door image. He’s tall, dark and handsome too, which makes him look very compatible with Niki. (Sorry, Kevin/Niki fans, I couldn’t possibly choose Kevin for this feature, since he’s definitely already got all the promotion in the world).
Theme they might excel in: The ‘pop’ week. I can really imagine these two singing a very happy, upbeat poppy song in my mind.
Fala Chen Fa La, 25, & Justin Lo, 31
Why her? Fala has been a rumour magnet since early on, and only of late has she been creating an image for herself for something other than a just a pretty face with a nice body. TVB has given her plenty of chances, and there is no doubt that if they were to do something like this, Fala would definitely be on the list. They’ve already proven she can dance with casting her in Steps, why not prove that she can sing too?
Why with Justin? Justin seems like he has a rather outgoing and funny personality. Fala also seems like she’s very communicative and fun-loving. Plus, both are natural born performers. Justin has oodles of charisma while he’s on stage, and Fala moves very gracefully with her dancing, and also just has a very magnetic presence. Also, based on both of their overseas upbringing, I think they could be a good pair together.
Theme they might excel in: The ‘English’ week. I know it might be an unfair advantage to the both of them if there was an English week, but quite frankly, I’m rather sick of hearing awful English in TVB series. Case in point, Francis Ng‘s in TITS. With TVB having their characters, especially the ‘professional’ ones, speak in English, there’s no reason their actors/actresses should start to learn how to sing in English too.
Fred Cheng Chun Wan, 24, & Kary Ng Yu Fei, 21
Why him? It’s no secret that I like Fred. And I’m probably not the only one, or rather, I hope I’m not the only one. He’s one of the few of the new generation actors whom I actually like and think has potential to be developed further. He’s easy on the eyes, and I find that his charisma translates very well from the screen. But what really made me choose him for this, was that he was actually found after coming in second in the 2001 TVB New Talent Singing Contest. With already the singing ability, this might be the boost he needs to move beyond his bit roles.
Why with Kary? Kary’s a chameleon, in my opinion. She’s pretty flexible with various genres, having gone the complete pop route with Cookies, and then a slightly rockier sound with Ping Pung after that. She could probably pair up with a lot of different people, but for some reason or other, I think Fred and her could get along pretty well together, as Fred seems to have a very fun-loving personality, just like she does.
Theme they might excel in: The ‘rock’ week. Kary’s got a sweet voice, but there’s also that extra edge to it that’s good for rock songs. Fred also looks like he could rock out, I can just imagine him really getting into a rock song, I don’t know why.
Jack Wu Lok Yin, 30, & Fiona Sit Hoi Kei, 26
Why him? To be honest, Jack has impressed me since I first saw him in Net Deception. He’s a lot more natural than some of his peers and I was disappointed that he never got another role as significant as his one in Net Deception ever again. He’s also released a few albums back in the day when he had floppy boyband-ish hairstyles. And now he just needs to show TVB that he’s still got what it takes and that he’s still got that voice.
Why with Fiona? Fiona, although having reports about her being diva-like, seems very easy to get along with after watching some interviews of her. With her being so physically tested for her for her first TVB series, The Academy, and Jack having to put on so much weight for To Grow With Love, the both of them seem to be have a commendable work ethic, which might enable them to work together easily. They do look rather compatible together too.
Theme they might excel in: Since this would be a TVB production, I’m pretty sure they would have a week where the pairs have to sing themesongs from popular TVB series. That is one week which I think Jack and Fiona would do well in, what with both of them having acted in series and Jack having been with TVB for such a long time.
Matthew Ko Kwan Yin, 23, & Ella Koon Yan Na, 28
Why him? He doesn’t float my boat, but I have to admit, his fanbase is growing day by day. He’s young, and tall and most would say, handsome. And TVB absolutely loves him. He’s getting mega-promotion these days, as well as larger roles as time progresses. His name can only get more popular after Steps shows. He’s definitely TVB’s new current It-boy, and they even had him showcased his singing and musical abilities in To Grow With Love; that is reason enough for me to put him in here.
Why with Ella? Matthew, in my honest opinion, isn’t a very strikingly masculine actor (I can feel rocks coming my way from crazy fangirls already). However, there’s this slightly flamboyant side to him, and he does have quite a bit of stage presence, so I think he will be a rather good performer. Who better to pair him with than the super-sultry Ella Koon?
Theme they might excel in: The 40’s week. I can totally imagine them doing a song from the same period as Christina Aguilera’s Candyman was modelled after. With both of them being such natural performers and comfortable with dancing and being on stage compared to some of the other pairs, I think they could come in tops for this theme.
Natalie Tong Sze Wing, 26, & Kenny Kwan Chi Bun, 26
Why her? Simply because she’s one of TVB’s upcoming young actresses. I think she’s got great potential, and I honestly am a fan of hers, but she still lacks the it factor. She’s carved the girl-next-door, bubbly image for herself, and while that got Tavia Yeung great places, it doesn’t look like it will do the same for her. She’s been doing some sexy photoshoots recently, but she’s still waiting for her breakthrough role. Hopefully The Seventh Day will do that for her, but until then, she needs something like this to showcase the other sides of her personality and her talent.
Why with Kenny? No particular reason, really. They seem like they could get along, and these two pictures that I’ve chosen to put together really match. It’s just one of those things that feel right. Natalie’s also had chances to collaborate with many young male artists in their music videos before, so she should be able to get along with Kenny pretty well.
Theme they might excel in: The R&B week. Kenny strikes me as the soulful, yet sleek R&B type, a little bit like what Ne-Yo might do, and seems like he might even be able to bust out some rapping. He also places R&B maestro, Wang Lee Hom amongst his idols while Natalie lists the other R&B great, Jay Chou, as her favourite. Might they be able to emulate their idols’ success in this theme? I think it’s possible.
Selena Li Sze Wan, 26, & Patrick Tang Kin Wan, 33
Why her? Selena Li has really grown on me after watching To Grow With Love. For me, she and Jack Wu were the highlight of the show. Everything was rather pretty trashy. But, I digress. Being named as one of the 10 top next fadans by Ms. Lok, and singled out to be in one of the more anticipated filmings of the year, The Four Great Constables, can only mean one thing – the company favours you, and they favour you greatly. To mould her into the next top actress, she’s already go the look, TVB has made sure she can act, and I’m sure they want her to be able to sing and dance as well.
Why with Patrick? I’m sure everyone has heard of the Patrick/Selena rumours by now. That’s part of the reason why I paired them together, because they were cute together in Just Love. Patrick’s also just came back to TVB recently, and while he was given some interesting roles to play in the past, they’re gonna want to promote him more, and this can be best achieved by pairing him up with the most highly-rated actress amongst this lot. Plus, I really think Patrick has a great voice.
Theme they might excel in: The ‘acoustic’ week. After watching the All About Men concert, I thought Patrick sounded really good when they stripped the music down and focused on the strumming of the acoustic guitar. It was just rather simple music and a nice voice and enthusiasm from Patrick. With his experience, I’m sure he can guide Selena to excel in the same theme too.
Stephen Wong Ka Lok, ?, & Stephy Tang Lai Yan, 24
Why him? Why with Stephy? To be very honest, it was an elimination process. I had singled out five male singers and five female singers that I wanted to include in this feature. Some I had already paired them up with their respective TVB artists when I chose them. Stephy, however, I couldn’t find anyone whom I thought would match her well enough, unfortunately. I had Joel Chan and Charles Szeto in mind for this feature as well, but neither one of them has particularly gotten my liking after watching them in series, and I don’t think either would work well with Stephy. Stephen Wong, on the other hand, also still has a long way to go on his acting, but he gives me a better impression compared to the other two. If I had to choose between the three of them, I’d rather promote Stephen. Besides, Stephen comes off across as very gallant and well-mannered, which I think would go along well with Stephy’s sweet personality. I swear, the fact that their names are Stephen/Stephy had nothing to do with it. Lol.
Theme they might excel in: Songs by the professional singer. It Takes Two had a week where the pairs had to tackle a song which the singer made famous, and one of the pairs had to sing The Prayer, while another had to sing a Spanish opera song, because they were songs that their partner had made famous. Thankfully, Stephy’s songs are very melodic and catchy, and aren’t difficult to sing. Hence, it should be fairly easy for Stephen to catch on and for them to harmonise together.
Tracy Ip Chui Chui, 26, & Deep Ng Ho Hong, 24
Why her? I can’t read Mandarin to save my life (and am hoping TVBSpace comes back soon so that I can get my fix of TVB news in English!) but I go to TVB Chinese News just to look at the latest pictures, and over the past two weeks, I’ve seen so many events that feature Tracy. It’s about time too, as Kate Tsui‘s Miss HK successor, since TVB has already given Kate significant supporting roles and recently, the lead female rold in The Four Great Constables. Tracy’s acting actually isn’t half bad, I liked her over Carrie Lam in Heart of Greed. TVB have also had her singing at events lately, so without a doubt, she’d be on this show if they were to do it.
Why with Deep? Out of all the male singers here, Deep has the most masculine, strong image, which I think would match Tracy’s tall and elegant persona the best. For some reason, I can picture them having really good chemistry.
Theme they might excel in: The ‘Greatest Love Songs of All Time’ week. Like, I said, I can imagine them having amazing chemistry on stage. It takes that very same chemistry to be able to pull off singing a good love song, and I think the both of them can do it. Deep’s also got a great voice for love songs that can make girls go weak in the knees.
Vin Choi Kei Chun, 23, & Janice Wei Lan, 25
Why him? I didn’t think he was fabulous in Brink of Law, but he’s been apparently getting good reviews for his role in Best Selling Secrets. Already getting a huge fanbase since his Sunshine Heartbeat days, and backing from TVB, what with him being on the TVB calendars and all, he’d be on this in a heartbeat (no pun intended) if this competition were to materialise.
Why with Janice? Janice has a great personality, along with tons of passion and zest for her music, and that really shines through when she sings and performs. While this might seem like an unlikely pairing, I get the feeling that her enthusiasm could be just what is needed to coax the suave-looking Vin out of his shell and to embrace whatever musical inclinations that he might have.
Theme they might excel in: The jazz song week. Jazz is such a great genre, and although it’s never been showcased much in the HK music world, I think it would be a good theme to have. Jazz songs aren’t easy to sing, but with Janice’s great vocals, both of them should be able to tackle it fairly easily. I can also imagine Vin being very Michael Buble-ish, so that’s an added plus.
Vivien Yeo Sau Wai, 23, & Hins Cheung King Hin, 26
Why her? After Selena, I’d say she’s the next highly promoted actress in this group. Her roles are getting more and more significant with the most recent one in the famous sequel to War of In-Laws, and I have to say she’s getting better. Her Cantonese has improved since her pageant days, and her image has gotten more refined. Coupled with her piano-playing skills and her spot on the Lady in Red compilation, you know that TVB wants to push her to sing.
Why with Hins? Although her Cantonese has gotten better, her first language is still Mandarin. With Hins’ Mandarin album releases, I can only assume that he’s proficient in the language. Having said that, it will then be easier for him to coach and guide her through this competition. Hins is an excellent live singer and performer, and I’m sure he’ll be able to lead her past the language barrier and improve her singing.
Theme they might excel in: The Mandarin song week. If there was a week for singing in Mandarin, they’d probably come out top, hands down, based on pronounciation.
Yoyo Chen Chi Yiu, ?, & Alex Fong Lik Sun, 27
Why her? I actually thought she was pretty decent in Brink of Law as Steven’s bitchy sister, at the very least she conveyed emotion a lot better than many of the newcomer actresses. After that, she landed herself a spot on Best Selling Secrets, and I thought that would help her a lot in her acting career. Unfortunately, the whole scandal happened, and I heard she’s been written out of BSS since. Such a shame, because I think she had potential and was doing well up to that point. Her quiet, meek role in Phoenix Rising had also impressed me. While I’m not sure if she’s been frozen, I’d really like to hear her sing and overcome the whole scandal thing at the same time, which is why I put her in here.
Why with Alex? They both have that cute, youthful image despite their ages, which makes me think that they’ll look good on stage together. Also, Alex reminds me a lot of the young Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. Squeaky-clean, good-boy image. Which could be just what Yoyo needs, someone who’s never had a history of notoriety or been involved in scandalous happenings. You can never go wrong with the Prince of Pop.
Theme they might excel in: The ‘Famous Duets’ week. Alex, as you all probably know, is the King of Duets, what with his constantly duetting with Stephy and other female singers as well. This shows he already has had experience with harmonising and collaborating with a female voice, so he should be able to help Yoyo pull off this theme with ease. I think they would sound really great singing ‘Kei Nim Yat‘ by Ronald Cheng and Kelly Chen.
What do you guys think of this concept? Unfortunately, there might be a lot of many barriers in the way. There’s no knowing if TVB could spare so many of their young actors and actresses away from filming for two-three months. At the same time, I don’t know if the singers and their record companies would be willing to give their consent for this concept. After all, nobody wants to be voted out first – it has a bigger impact when you’re already a celebrity. There’s also the problem of the singers being from different record companies; I don’t know how that would go down with them. The paparazzi would have a field day with all the male-female pairings.
I really liked the Australian version of it, and hope that there could be a Hong Kong version as well. Let’s just pretend that there really was such a competition – which newcomers would you all like competing? Which singers? Who would you pair up with whom? Do you like or dislike my choices?