Shila Amzah sings Let It Go in three languages on… on this Chinese TV show

Friday night provided a double dose of Shila, with appearances on Day Day Up and I Am A Singer.
Friday night provided a double dose of Shila, with appearances on Day Day Up and I Am A Singer.

Apparently, the Internet has decided that the English title for the popular Chinese variety show 天天向上 Tiāntiān Xiàngshàng should be “Day Day Up.” Day. Day. Up.
I feel as if I should have been consulted on this… I don’t like it very much.

I Am A Singer contestant Shila Amzah was joined by compatriot Gary Chaw in showcasing her dance and vocal talents on the aforementioned television show Friday evening. The Malaysian songstress performed a multicultural array of hits, including songs by Adele, Paramore and Beyoncé, as well as in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Malay, the Hindi Bollywood number Bole Chudiyan, and the Tibetan-themed Tibetan Plateau 青藏高原.

Tackling the Oscar-winning Disney song, Shila transitioned seemlessly between Let It Go, 隨它吧 (sui ta ba) and Bebaskan, the English, Chinese and Malay versions of the Frozen hit respectively. (more…)

I Am A Singer semifinals: Shining favourites, MH370 conspiracies and angry Malaysians

Hunan TV's I Am A Singer topped the ratings last night, beating out rival singing contest, Sing My Song, and a really cool scientific game show.
Hunan TV’s I Am A Singer topped the ratings last night, beating out rival singing contest, Sing My Song, and a really cool scientific game show.

I Am A Singer 我是歌手 drew one step closer to crowning its second season champion as the hit show’s semifinal aired last night. And while the performance results mostly mirrored the trends of previous weeks, Malaysian fans quickly took to social media to voice their discontent over Shila Amzah’s anomalous sixth place showing. Some questioned whether her low score was the result of Chinese backlash over the Malaysian government’s handling of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 investigation. More on that later.

Chinese reality singing contests often follow unconventional formats compared to their international counterparts. So if you’re confused as to how someone actually wins this show, or why a previously eliminated contestant is back on stage, here’s a quick guide. But if you’ve been following the show and just want to watch the videos and read some rants and reviews, feel free to skip ahead! (more…)

Nicky Wu, Liu Shishi Turn from Silly to Serious in “Incisive Great Teacher” Trailer

Huo Zhengyan attempting to rise above his third wheel status when hanging out with Nicky and Shishi.

If you thought Nicky Wu and Liu Shishi‘s upcoming collaboration, Incisive Great Teacher (犀利仁师), was going to be nothing but romantic slapstick, the drama’s newest trailer might not change your mind… until two-and-a-half minutes in, that is.

The trailer quickly walks us through the drama’s set-up: Liu Aotian (Nicky Wu) is dispatched to become an wushu instructor at Hong Wen Academy in order to ensure that the school follows the emperor’s new edict allowing female students. He accidentally messes up a marriage-partner-seeking martial arts tournament set up by Lu Yufei (Liu Shishi), who chases him to Hong Wen Academy and becomes a teacher there as well.

Bickering and flirting ensue, with a rival love interest (Huo Zhengyan) making an appearance and even the students (Gui Gui and Ye Zuxin) getting in on the romantic atmosphere. But then Yufei accidentally starts a fire at the school, and then she discovers that her father has been ensnared in a trap designed by Aotian. Cue the angst!

Check out the trailer below for some fun-turned-angst-turned fun, as well as Wallace Huo‘s cameo, which seems to pay homage to a certain scene from Bu Bu Jing Xin (步步惊心).


Drawing competition! Design the next Chinese Santa Claus and win $50,000(ish)

Gather 'round, all your creative folks. Here's your chance to win a ton of cash.
Gather ’round, all your creative folks. Here’s your chance to win a ton of cash.

Christmas has Santa. Easter has the Easter Bunny. And now one comics studio wants you to create a mascot for Chinese New Year. Tianjin Creator World Comics, most well known for its Romance of the Three Kingdoms graphic novel series, launched the “Spring Wawa International Comic Character Creative Design Competition” in South Korea earlier this month. The prolixly titled contest is seeking design submissions from around the globe for an iconic mascot to accompany the Chinese New Year season.

The “Spring Wawa” name derives from “Spring Festival 春节,” the common name for the Lunar New Year in China, and “Wawa 娃娃,” meaning doll or baby. Contest organisers hope this mascot will help promote the festive season and, a bit like Santa, encourage shoppers to spend more.

In a quirky twist, one of the competition judges is Peter Vesterbacka, the creator of Angry Birds. The competition is also being held in cooperation with Rovio Entertainment, the game’s developer. What are the chances we’ll be seeing some Spring Wawa/Angry Birds crossovers next year?

If you need a little motivation to get your creative juices flowing, the total prize pool for this competition is RMB690,000 (more than US$110,000). The first prize winner will receive RMB300,000. Ten silver prize winners will receive RMB10,000 each, and 20 bronze prize winners will receive RMB5,000 each. Additionally, 30 “excellence in creative design” winners will each receive RMB3,000, while the best organisation prize offers RMB10,000 to ten winners.
Winners will also receive trophies and certificates (though, let’s be honest, we’re a lot more interested in the money at this point).

More information on the competition is available on the official website. The English there can be a little bit wonky, so here’s a rundown of the stuff you need to know if you’re thinking about entering. (more…)

Ni Ni is beautiful (as usual) for Cosmopolitan

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Take a look on Cfensi’s sidebar! You should find a “weekly poll” (the actual poll for which I can’t figure out how to embed in our sidebar). At the rate Ni Ni’s churning out these photoshoots, the next question may as well be, “Which one of her photo shoots in the last few weeks has been your favorite?” (It’s not completely our fault we post so much about her, there are just too many high quality photoshoots with her~). Look under the cut for more pictures.


My Amazing Bride Releases Trailers

For a romantic comedy with such bright colors, this drama plot implies something a little darker.

We’re used to the serious, dark, cunning, and evil side of period dramas but every now and again, something different is nice.  Enter My Amazing Bride.  My Amazing Bride is set in the Ming dynasty and stars Li Qin, Jin Shijia, Gao Yang, Maggie Shiu, Howie Huang, Kingdom Yuen, Vence Soong, Zheng Peipei, Xiong Naijin, and Chen Zihan in this comedic take on the typical story arcs every period drama requires.

The drama describes the “tofu Xi Shi” Tang Doudou (Li Qin), who is on the way to becoming a spinster. This is because she refuses to marry unless she meets a first-class gentlemen, who understands her and who she loves (therefore worthy of her true affections). After a misstep with the officials, the Tang clan faces its demise, but fortunately, the Zhuang family*  reaches out to help. Madame Zhuang wants Doudou to marry her oldest son, who has long been both good-looking, well-principled, and cultured genius – yet on the day of the wedding, he turns into an idiot with the intelligence level of an eight year old! Doudou is furious, and runs home, but without money to pay for her father’s illness, she must meet up with Madame Zhuang again. Her oldest son is still lovesick for Doudou, and his mother works out a one-year agreement with Doudou. But wait, Dou Dou discovers something very unusual about her husband’s illness, something a little out of place in the family, and seeks to find the truth – yet her mother-in-law is strangely unperturbed…?

*Pun: The “Village” of the Zhuangs is Zhuang Zhuang. More trailers and stills below the cut.


Round up: What’s Yu Zheng up to?

Which drama does this still remind you off? This one? Or this one?

Quiz up (can someone make me a Chinese entertainment version?)! Which one of these is not a drama recently produced by Yu Zheng? Song in the CloudsPalace 3Return of the Condor Heroes 2014, or The Palace? Colorful stills are abound from each drama, and synopses for these can be found by following links to previous posts.

More than once he’s been called upon to “scat from the entertainment circle,” but Yu Zheng is still going strong: his upcoming dramas include Turnip 蔓蔓青萝, a story concerning the young lady Li Qingluo (“Green Carrot”). The daughter of a concubine, she and her mother are disdained by the rest of her high ranking family, and she rarely puts on make up or competes with her sisters for attention. Yet she is a talented zither player and a skilled cook, and when her mother is sick in bed one day, only she leaves to search for medicine. Disguised as a boy one day, she meets the “Five Princes of Feng City,” thus opening a tangled love story…

Also upcoming is his “sequel” to the Legend of Lü Zhen, Legend of Mingyue. (Looking forward to seeing Chen XIao in uniform? This is a Republican era piece). The drama series is based off of the novel The Last Prince, the love story of the “last prince” of the Qing dynasty. Yu Zheng also has plans to adapt the last series in the Condor Trilogy, Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber, to television sometime in the future.


Yan Kuan, Du Ruoxi Wed in Bali

Yan Kuan in a blog post on the eve of the wedding: “I will take my stubbornness, loyalty, and courage toward marriage, and solidify them into a sapphire. They will become a wedding ring for you to wear on your finger.”

Actor Yan Kuan and actress Du Ruoxi, who got engaged in April of last year, held their wedding ceremony on Bali Island on March 22nd. Both the bride and the groom, who have been together since 2009, choked up when it came time to exchange their vows.

Yan Kuan, who officially changed his name to Yan Yikuan but whom we’re still calling Yan Kuan for continuity’s sake, arrived with an elephant to escort the bride, since elephants are an auspicious symbol in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the elephant devoured the bridal bouquet that it was supposed to give Du Ruoxi. Luckily, the groom had come prepared with a second bouquet.

Although the newlyweds aimed to keep their wedding open to only close friends and family, there were still a lot of celebrities present, such as Du Chun and Ying’er, who served as a groomsman and a bridesmaid. Other attendees included Jeff Bao Jianfeng, Shen Tai, and YOYO.

Check out the collection of pictures (taken by Z&L Studio) behind the cut, including this absolutely precious photo of Yan Kuan tearing up when addressing his princess, whom he called “the best gift that Heaven has bestowed upon me”:


Bai Baihe Goes Plastic for “Facelift Diary”

“I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me… but I can’t help it that I’m popular.”

Rising young star Bai Baihe takes on the issue of plastic surgery in her upcoming comedy film Facelift Diary (整容日记), which opens in theaters on April 4th.

Facelift Diary is the story of Guo Jing (Bai Baihe), who lost both her job and her boyfriend of three years after she graduated from college. In order to change her fate, she starts undergoing plastic surgery, giving herself double eyelids, an altered chin, polished cheekbones, and a bigger bust. Her fortunes take a change for the better thanks to her new appearance, and she lands a new job and a new boyfriend. But when her new coworkers and boyfriend find out about her facelifts, everything returns to how it used to be.

Check out the trailer below, thanks to iMovieChina, where you can see how a false nose and false breasts can go horribly wrong…


Photoshoot Friday: March 21, 2014

Spring has been coming to us through photo shoots for a while now, so I’ll try not to use that as an introduction until next year. That said, Yao Chen is covered with blossoms in her shoot for Cosmopolitan, while Liu Xiaoran kisses a red rose wearing bright red lipstick. Zhao Liying is fresh faced and wears a giant gray-silver chrysanthemum on her head. Meanwhile, Zhou Xun goes for a sexy punker look, with dark crimson lipstick and heavy eyeshadow (though Liu Xiaoran’s red eyeshadow is rather more unusual). Ni Ni (+ Beautiful)’s make-up is lighter, but no less glamorous.  (more…)