JJ Lin, f(x)’s Amber steal the show at ATA 2016

Local artistes assure us they aren’t upset with their Asian Television Awards losses; plus, JJ address rumours of discord with Jam Hsiao

JJ Lin, f(x)’s Amber steal the show at ATA 2016
JJ Lin, f(x)’s Amber steal the show at ATA 2016
03 Dec 2016

JJ Lin, f(x)’s Amber steal the show at ATA 2016

Photos: Tammi Tan, Melinda Woo, Elis Ching
Videos: Foong Mien Shi, Vina Chia

Last night (Dec 2), celebrities from across the region descended on our little red dot for the 21st Asian Television Awards (ATA), held at the Suntec Convention Centre. Just like last year, the annual event was broadcast live on various channels (including Toggle) and was held over two nights, with the technical awards being given out on December 1.

While most of the attendees received a raucous reception from the audience, two clear fan favourites who roused the most enthusiastic cheers were JJ Lin and f(x)’s Amber Liu. Both performed two songs each during the live show, much to the delight of supporters who showed up armed with fan boards and light sticks, ready to scream and sing along.

Although Amber was one of few words during her brief appearances, the 24-year-old K-pop star expressed her excitement to be here through several social media updates, including a selfie with the Marina Bay Sands building in the background. She also held a Twitter Q&A session to address fan questions such as “What’s your favourite Disney movie?” (it’s Finding Nemo, by the way) and “What’s one thing you love most about each f(x) member?” (Luna’s energy, Krystal’s honesty and Victoria’s kindness).

JJ, on the other hand, had plenty to say in his 20-minute group interview. The home-grown, Taiwan-based musician was glad to be back for a few days to see his family, even if it meant missing out on the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) in Hong Kong, which was also happening last night and where he won Best Asian Artist (Singapore).

The 35-year-old has been a busy bee as always. One of his most recent endeavours is on reality singing show Sound of My Dream, where amateur crooners vie to outshine and out-sing their professional mentors.

“What drew me to the show was that it’s not just about performing, but fulfilling others’ dreams,” he explained, adding that the stint has helped tighten his friendships with his co-mentors A-Mei, Hebe Tien, Yu Quan and Jam Hsiao as they spend so much time together.

Continued on next slide: JJ on Jam Hsiao and EXO’s Lay

JJ Lin talks about Jam Hsiao and EXO's Lay
JJ Lin talks about Jam Hsiao and EXO's Lay
03 Dec 2016

JJ Lin talks about Jam Hsiao and EXO's Lay

In recent months, reports of bad blood between label mates JJ and Jam have been making their rounds in showbiz news. When Toggle asked JJ to clear the air regarding these gossips, he feigned ignorance and smiled, “What rumours? We’re good friends, man! There’s nothing to clear up.”

“People talk, but it’s just talk. (It’s) nonsense,” he went on. “I always joke about it (with Jam), I tell him, “Hey, I think we don’t get along. What should we do?” (laughs) We just brush it off, we’re fine.”

Speaking of friends, an old pal JJ recently had the chance to meet up with is Zhang Yixing, more commonly known as Lay from Korean-Chinese boy band EXO. “He was in Taipei so I invited him over to just chill and talk,” he said. “I’ve known him since he was 13, so to see him doing well is interesting and special to me.”

And if anyone is wondering how Yixing behaves around his senior, JJ revealed, “When he talks to me it’s always ‘Ah Ge, Ah Ge’ (big brother), he’s pretty adorable in that way (smiles proudly). He’s a really passionate kid, and that’s what I really like about him.”

When it comes to romantic relationships, however, JJ told us that “work still comes first” at the moment. “I want to go with the flow and wait for the right one to come into my life,” he said. “My parents, relatives and everyone else are all concerned (for me), and a lot of people are getting engaged or married, but there’s no use getting stressed about it; I’ll leave things up to God!”

Click through for more photos and our interviews with Julie Tan, Zhang Zhen Huan, Pierre Png and Vernetta Lopez:

For the full list of ATA 2016 winners, click here.

Julie Tan is honoured to compete with her idol
Julie Tan is honoured to compete with her idol
03 Dec 2016

Julie Tan is honoured to compete with her idol

“Please do not feel sad for me – I already feel honoured to be standing here!” said the 24-year-old starlet, gushing that she was content with the chance to be pitted against her idol, newly-married Taiwanese actress Tian Xin, who emerged triumphant in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category for A Touch of Green. “I heard that getting nominated is no easy feat because the selection process is strict. I still have a lot to learn so I will improve myself, and I want to try harder to get better results.”

In fact, she already has her sights set on winning another supporting or even leading role award again, although she’s realistic about her chances. “I don’t think that will happen next year – I haven’t worked on many dramas this year because of my trip to New York.”

Zhang Zhen Huan: I still have a long way to go
Zhang Zhen Huan: I still have a long way to go
03 Dec 2016

Zhang Zhen Huan: I still have a long way to go

Despite not being able to fulfil his wish of winning Best Actor in a Supporting Role (for The Dream Makers 2’s Chen Guang), Zhen Huan was still all smiles as he recounted the good time he had at the ceremony, such as when he boldly spoke English on the red carpet.

“But I was very nervous when they were about to announce the winner for my category,” he admitted. “I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to win, but I’m really happy for the recipient of the award (Jeff Catz for Suria’s Bunga Tanjong). Being nominated is a great encouragement and affirmation for me, I still have a long way to go so I will continue to work hard and improve myself.”

When asked why he thinks he managed to pick up the trophy at this year’s Star Awards and not ATA, Zhen Huan reasoned, “The Asian Television Awards are more competitive than the Star Awards because the Star Awards have a lot more awards for us to win, while the Asian Television Awards have less; I believe it would be even more competitive if South Korean actors were nominated as well!”

Pierre Png: We don’t act for the sake of awards
Pierre Png: We don’t act for the sake of awards
03 Dec 2016

Pierre Png: We don’t act for the sake of awards

The 43-year-old, who was previously crowned Best Actor in a Leading Role (for Channel 5’s Zero Calling) in 2014 but missed out on a second consecutive victory last year, mused that “we should be happy for all nominees, whether they win or not”.

This time, he was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (for Channel 5 telemovie Rise), but was named Highly Commended while Suria actor Jeff Catz took home the grand prize. “We all thought the A Touch of Green actor (Taiwan’s Lan Chun Tian) would win, but (Jeff) won, so we’re all happy for him,” said Pierre. “I’m not disappointed that I didn’t win; actors don’t act for the sake of awards, they’re just a bonus and an affirmation for our hard work.”

He continued, “I’ve been acting for so long, maybe it’s just your luck. It might not be that you act badly, so just work hard and you might get an award soon.”

So what’s next for Pierre? “All I want to do is look for some food because I can relax now.”

Vernetta Lopez knew Carla Dunareanu was going to win
Vernetta Lopez knew Carla Dunareanu was going to win
03 Dec 2016

Vernetta Lopez knew Carla Dunareanu was going to win

The Gold 905 DJ is no stranger to the Asian Television Awards: in 2000, she picked up Best Performance by an Actress (Comedy) for her role in classic series Under One Roof, followed by Best Performance by an Actress (Drama) for Ceciliation in 2003.

Unfortunately, she did not manage to win either of her two nominations for Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress (for Channel 5’s Rojak and for Toggle Originals series Run Rachael Run), losing the title to FLY Entertainment artiste Carla Dunareanu for her role in Channel 5’s Rojak. But the 43-year-old remains unfazed, even claiming that she “knew Carla was going to win”.

“Something just told me! (When she won), my first response was ‘Well done, girl!’ before ‘Ugh, I didn’t win’,” she told us, chuckling. On the bright side, she can now go off the semi-diet she was on for the past week and indulge in carbs. “But I have to be careful because I still have countdown shows at the end of the year.”

f(x)'s Amber waves to fans on the red carpet
f(x)'s Amber waves to fans on the red carpet
03 Dec 2016

f(x)'s Amber waves to fans on the red carpet

f(x)'s Amber
f(x)'s Amber
03 Dec 2016

f(x)'s Amber

Amber performed two of her solo tracks 'Shake That Brass' and 'Borders'.

JJ Lin takes a wefie with a group of lucky fans at the red carpet
JJ Lin takes a wefie with a group of lucky fans at the red carpet
03 Dec 2016

JJ Lin takes a wefie with a group of lucky fans at the red carpet

JJ Lin performed 'If Only' and 'Twilight'
JJ Lin performed 'If Only' and 'Twilight'
03 Dec 2016

JJ Lin performed 'If Only' and 'Twilight'

Frederick Lee and Christopher Lee
Frederick Lee and Christopher Lee
03 Dec 2016

Frederick Lee and Christopher Lee

The brothers were both nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Christopher Lee and Frederick Lee
Christopher Lee and Frederick Lee
03 Dec 2016

Christopher Lee and Frederick Lee

British singer Charli XCX looking fierce on the red carpet
British singer Charli XCX looking fierce on the red carpet
03 Dec 2016

British singer Charli XCX looking fierce on the red carpet

Charli XCX performs her hits 'Boom Clap' and 'After the Afterparty'
Charli XCX performs her hits 'Boom Clap' and 'After the Afterparty'
03 Dec 2016

Charli XCX performs her hits 'Boom Clap' and 'After the Afterparty'

Charli XCX answers fans' questions on Twitter
Charli XCX answers fans' questions on Twitter
03 Dec 2016

Charli XCX answers fans' questions on Twitter

Bernice Liu
Bernice Liu
03 Dec 2016

Bernice Liu

The Hong Kong actress, who was nominated for Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress for Channel 5's Lion Moms, took the plunge on the red carpet in a low-cut dress.

Carla Dunareanu
Carla Dunareanu
03 Dec 2016

Carla Dunareanu

The actress was visibly emotional as she accepted her award for Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress, saying that this was the first time she had received a solo nomination.

Belinda Lee
Belinda Lee
03 Dec 2016

Belinda Lee

Popular Korean show 'Descendants of the Sun' picks up Best Drama Series
Popular Korean show 'Descendants of the Sun' picks up Best Drama Series
03 Dec 2016

Popular Korean show 'Descendants of the Sun' picks up Best Drama Series

Filipino songstress Ivy Grace Paredes
Filipino songstress Ivy Grace Paredes
03 Dec 2016

Filipino songstress Ivy Grace Paredes

The singer blew everyone away with her powerhouse cover of Sia's 'Chandelier'

Jeff Catz wins Best Actor in a Supporting Role for 'Bunga Tanjong'
Jeff Catz wins Best Actor in a Supporting Role for 'Bunga Tanjong'
03 Dec 2016

Jeff Catz wins Best Actor in a Supporting Role for 'Bunga Tanjong'

Filipino comedian Michael V. and Julie Tan present an award
Filipino comedian Michael V. and Julie Tan present an award
03 Dec 2016

Filipino comedian Michael V. and Julie Tan present an award

Zhang Zhen Huan on the ATA red carpet
Zhang Zhen Huan on the ATA red carpet
03 Dec 2016

Zhang Zhen Huan on the ATA red carpet

Indonesian singer Rossa performed two of her hit songs
Indonesian singer Rossa performed two of her hit songs
03 Dec 2016

Indonesian singer Rossa performed two of her hit songs

Rossa and Ivy Grace Paredes on the red carpet
Rossa and Ivy Grace Paredes on the red carpet
03 Dec 2016

Rossa and Ivy Grace Paredes on the red carpet

Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominee Nadiah M Din
Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominee Nadiah M Din
03 Dec 2016

Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominee Nadiah M Din

Mediacorp CEO Shaun Seow receives the award for Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year
Mediacorp CEO Shaun Seow receives the award for Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year
03 Dec 2016

Mediacorp CEO Shaun Seow receives the award for Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year

This is the 13th time Mediacorp has been named Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year at the ATA.

Chen Kun Chang wins Best Actor in a Leading Role for 'The Taste of Dang-Liang’s Family'
Chen Kun Chang wins Best Actor in a Leading Role for 'The Taste of Dang-Liang’s Family'
03 Dec 2016

Chen Kun Chang wins Best Actor in a Leading Role for 'The Taste of Dang-Liang’s Family'

Taiwanese actress Jenny Wen
Taiwanese actress Jenny Wen
03 Dec 2016

Taiwanese actress Jenny Wen

Jenny accepted the Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role trophies on behalf of her A Touch of Green co-stars Cheryl Yang and Tian Xin respectively.

Tsao Jui Yuan wins Best Direction (Fiction) for 'A Touch of Green'
Tsao Jui Yuan wins Best Direction (Fiction) for 'A Touch of Green'
03 Dec 2016

Tsao Jui Yuan wins Best Direction (Fiction) for 'A Touch of Green'

WATCH:
JJ Lin has been trying to get some “inspiration” in his love life?!
Vernetta Lopez is going to try for ‘Best Entertainment Host’ next year!
Mediacorp artistes assure us they are not upset with their losses

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