Zhu Hou Ren bags first Asian Television Award

Plus, we catch up with ATA 2017 guest performers Kim Jong Kook and Joanna Dong

Zhu Hou Ren bags first Asian Television Award
Zhu Hou Ren bags first Asian Television Award
02 Dec 2017

Zhu Hou Ren bags first Asian Television Award

Photos: Tammi Tan
Videos: Charlene Chong

Zhu Hou Ren was clearly not expecting to pick up any prizes at last night’s Asian Television Awards (ATA) live show: not only did the veteran actor fail to prepare an acceptance speech, he also went for an acupuncture session right before the event, which made it difficult for him to walk.

Little did the 62-year-old know that he would end up really needing both his legs and a list of folks to thank as he was crowned Best Supporting Actor for his role as a psycho killer in Toggle Originals series Trapped Minds, triumphing over the likes of Taiwan’s Chen Mu Yi and the Philippines’s Tirso Cruz III.

This is Hou Ren’s first ATA victory – he was previously nominated in the same category for Served H.O.T. in 2014 – and his second time winning a Best Supporting Actor trophy after the 2010 Star Awards.

“I never thought I’d need to go on stage, so [Quan] Yi Fong kept telling me to walk slowly and be careful,” a visibly happy and high-spirited Hou Ren recounted to local media at the post party. But reaching the microphone in one piece with wobbly legs was only half the journey: he needed something to say once he got there.

Fortunately, Best Comedy Performance winner Bobby Au-Yeung unknowingly swooped in to save the day with his witty words on stage, which inspired Hou Ren. “I want to thank my wife,” the Hong Kong actor had said. “We’ve been married for 21 years, and she has never scolded me once. Don’t you men envy me?”

Hou Ren’s version went, “My wife and I have been married for 32 years, and I have never scolded her once. Don’t you women envy her?” Needless to say, his speech garnered a good amount of hearty chuckles from the crowd. Mission accomplished.

“Being up there on stage makes you feel very ‘vain’,” Hou Ren chortled during the interview. “Seeing all those people down there in the audience made me feel like I was holding a concert, except that I was not singing.”

On a more serious note, Hou Ren shared that he wanted to dedicate his accolade to his brother-in-law. “He’s currently sick and I wish him a speedy recovery,” he said. He also expressed his gratitude towards the cast and crew of Trapped Minds, whom he said gave him a lot of freedom to explore his perverted character.

So, any cool celebration plans? “No, I’m happy enough to be surrounded by you (reporters) like this,” he said, chuckling. Clearly, someone is having a whale of a time basking in the limelight, just like the next person we interviewed.

Continued on next slide: Joanna Dong is enjoying her newfound fame

Joanna Dong is enjoying her newfound fame
Joanna Dong is enjoying her newfound fame
02 Dec 2017

Joanna Dong is enjoying her newfound fame

It almost sounded like Joanna Dong was humblebragging when she told us that “performing at the Bird’s Nest stadium and going through the whole Sing! China thing” (pfft, no big deal, right?) helped make her a lot calmer, hence her lack of nerves ahead of her recital.

Well, that plus the fact that the song she sang, her mentor Jay Chou’s ‘Fade Away’, was the one she was supposed to perform if she had made it to the Sing! China finals. Unfortunately, she emerged second runner-up and the cover almost didn’t see the light of day – until last night, of course. “I’d already prepared myself for quite a long time and I’m grateful to have performed it,” she told us with a smile.

Ever since her participation in the popular singing competition, the 36-year-old’s star has been shining brighter than ever. “Some days I wake up and ask myself if it’s all a dream,” she mused. In fact, it’s a question that regularly pops up in the chat group she’s in with the rest of her Team Jay mates. “We constantly ask ourselves, ‘Did that really happen?’”

Well, yes, it did, and life has never been the same. For one, Joanna now has “a huge entourage” to help her; a stark contrast from the old days when she used to do everything – hair, makeup, contacting bands – all by herself.

“It’s a luxury to have a team of people who worry about everything,” she gushed. “Like tonight, I felt so comfortable going on stage because my team took great care of everything else before I stepped on, so that’s something that I’m really grateful for.”

While she doesn’t really get recognised on the streets all the time (“I hide myself quite well”), Joanna gleefully reported that when she does, people are always very polite and respectful. “I’ve waited all my life to achieve some level of fame, so I’m lapping all this up! (laughs)”

Joanna will have plenty more chances to bask in her elevated celebrity status in the near future. She excitedly outlined her upcoming schedule to us, “I launched my new single today, a cover of Wakin Chau’s ‘I Truly Give My Love’, and I’ll be releasing one single nearly every month and hopefully by the middle of next year, I can compile them into an album.”

There are also plans for a tour through major cities in China, as well as Kuala Lumpur, Taipei and Hong Kong. She also hinted – very coyly, we might add – that she “might be seeing Jay sometime” soon. Wait, do we dare hope for a collaboration? “No lah,” she said. “But he’s coming here for his concert next year so I’ll definitely be catching that.”

Continued on next slide: Kim Jong Kook reveals his ideal type

Kim Jong Kook reveals his ideal type
Kim Jong Kook reveals his ideal type
02 Dec 2017

Kim Jong Kook reveals his ideal type

To no one’s surprise, Kim Jong Kook incited some of the loudest cheers of the evening, whether he was walking down the red carpet or flaunting his soulful vocals on stage. His popularity continued to show at the post party when the media were practically climbing all over each other to get close to the hunky Running Man star for an interview.

While a few questions appeared to get lost in translation for the South Korean star (he can speak and understand English fairly well, but isn’t 100 percent fluent), we still managed to learn some amusing things from him, such as the fact that Cha Tae Hyun snores the loudest out of the “Dragon Brothers” (his group of friends) and that Jong Kook gets accused of having a “TV show disease”.

Wait, TV show disease? “I don’t know what that is, maybe I talk and nag a lot? I don’t know. I just like trying to make others have fun,” he shrugged. “I think I learned it from [Running Man co-star] Yoo Jae Suk. (laughs)”

The 41-year-old eligible bachelor also openly confessed to envying his married pals. “I’ve always wanted to have kids, but I don’t want to rush because I need to find the right girl first,” he said.

When probed for his ideal type, Jong Kook let on that he wants a woman “who will be a really good mother”, and that he doesn’t mind if she isn’t as big of a fitness buff as he is, as long as she lets him work out whenever he wants (um, who would stop him from maintaining that physique?).

Hwaiting, Jong Kook! May you follow in the footsteps of your Running Man former mates Song Joong Ki and Kang Gary, and find the lady of your dreams soon.

Continued on next slide: Felicia Chin and Zoe Tay graciously accept defeat

Zoe Tay and Felicia Chin graciously accept defeat
Zoe Tay and Felicia Chin graciously accept defeat
02 Dec 2017

Zoe Tay and Felicia Chin graciously accept defeat

Zoe Tay and Felicia Chin may have lost the Best Actress in a Leading Role gong to Hong Kong’s Kara Wai, but they seem to be taking things pretty well.

Shortly after the ceremony ended, both artistes shared their thoughts (and outfit details) on their respective Instagram accounts. Felicia, who was nominated for her role in Toggle Original 2589 Days Apart, said that she was “so filled with joy on this simple evening” and thanked everyone who made the show possible. She also included a special shout-out to her beau Jeffrey Xu, who brought her mum to the event as a birthday present (aww!).

As for Zoe, whose nod was for her role in Channel 8’s You Can Be an Angel 2, she got all philosophical about hard work and awards and reminding herself to always persevere. Don’t worry, Ah Jie, we’re sure you’re still the queen in many people’s hearts.

The 22nd Asian Television Awards will be aired on December 3, 3pm on Channel 5.

Click on for more photos from the 22nd Asian Television Awards!

For the full list of ATA 2017 winners, click here.

Photo: Felicia Chin/Instagram

Taiwanese pop star Bii
Taiwanese pop star Bii
02 Dec 2017

Taiwanese pop star Bii

Zhu Hou Ren accepts his trophy for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Zhu Hou Ren accepts his trophy for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
02 Dec 2017

Zhu Hou Ren accepts his trophy for Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Joanna Dong performs on stage
Joanna Dong performs on stage
02 Dec 2017

Joanna Dong performs on stage

Kim Jong Kook performs on stage
Kim Jong Kook performs on stage
02 Dec 2017

Kim Jong Kook performs on stage

Bii performs on stage
Bii performs on stage
02 Dec 2017

Bii performs on stage

Bobby Au-Yeung poses with his trophy
Bobby Au-Yeung poses with his trophy
02 Dec 2017

Bobby Au-Yeung poses with his trophy

The Hong Kong veteran actor won Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress for his role in House of Spirits​​​​​​​.

Bobby Au-Yeung wins Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress
Bobby Au-Yeung wins Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress
02 Dec 2017

Bobby Au-Yeung wins Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress

Mediacorp CEO Tham Loke Kheng receives the award for Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year
Mediacorp CEO Tham Loke Kheng receives the award for Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year
02 Dec 2017

Mediacorp CEO Tham Loke Kheng receives the award for Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year

This is the 14th time Mediacorp has been named Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year at the Asian Television Awards.

Indonesian pop star Afgansyah performs on stage
Indonesian pop star Afgansyah performs on stage
02 Dec 2017

Indonesian pop star Afgansyah performs on stage

Electronic artist GG Magree performs on stage
Electronic artist GG Magree performs on stage
02 Dec 2017

Electronic artist GG Magree performs on stage

Vietnamese boy group The Air performs on stage
Vietnamese boy group The Air performs on stage
02 Dec 2017

Vietnamese boy group The Air performs on stage

Korean drama 'Love in the Moonlight' wins Best Drama Series
Korean drama 'Love in the Moonlight' wins Best Drama Series
02 Dec 2017

Korean drama 'Love in the Moonlight' wins Best Drama Series

Best Actress in a Leading Role winner Kara Wai
Best Actress in a Leading Role winner Kara Wai
02 Dec 2017

Best Actress in a Leading Role winner Kara Wai

The Hong Kong actress, who won for her role in Affairs of the Heart, could not make it to the ceremony and gave her acceptance speech via a pre-recorded video.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role winner Yang Kuei Mei
Best Actress in a Supporting Role winner Yang Kuei Mei
02 Dec 2017

Best Actress in a Supporting Role winner Yang Kuei Mei

The Taiwanese actress, who won for her role in She's Family, could not make it to the ceremony and gave her acceptance speech via a pre-recorded video.

A representative accepts the trophy for Best Leading Actor on behalf of Taiwan's Tsai Chen Nan
A representative accepts the trophy for Best Leading Actor on behalf of Taiwan's Tsai Chen Nan
02 Dec 2017

A representative accepts the trophy for Best Leading Actor on behalf of Taiwan's Tsai Chen Nan

Thailand's Niti Chaichitatorn wins Best Entertainment Presenter/Host
Thailand's Niti Chaichitatorn wins Best Entertainment Presenter/Host
02 Dec 2017

Thailand's Niti Chaichitatorn wins Best Entertainment Presenter/Host

Richie Koh presents an award
Richie Koh presents an award
02 Dec 2017

Richie Koh presents an award

ATA 2017 hosts Wang Li Huan, Baki Zainal and Stephanie Carrington
ATA 2017 hosts Wang Li Huan, Baki Zainal and Stephanie Carrington
02 Dec 2017

ATA 2017 hosts Wang Li Huan, Baki Zainal and Stephanie Carrington

Allan Wu and Quan Yi Fong walk the red carpet together
Allan Wu and Quan Yi Fong walk the red carpet together
02 Dec 2017

Allan Wu and Quan Yi Fong walk the red carpet together

Local funnymen Chua Enlai and Alaric Tay on the red carpet
Local funnymen Chua Enlai and Alaric Tay on the red carpet
02 Dec 2017

Local funnymen Chua Enlai and Alaric Tay on the red carpet

Oon Shu An and Bobby Au-Yeung walk the red carpet arm-in-arm
Oon Shu An and Bobby Au-Yeung walk the red carpet arm-in-arm
02 Dec 2017

Oon Shu An and Bobby Au-Yeung walk the red carpet arm-in-arm

Felicia Chin walks the red carpet
Felicia Chin walks the red carpet
02 Dec 2017

Felicia Chin walks the red carpet

Local artistes Richie Koh, Desmond Ng and Nat Ho on the red carpet
Local artistes Richie Koh, Desmond Ng and Nat Ho on the red carpet
02 Dec 2017

Local artistes Richie Koh, Desmond Ng and Nat Ho on the red carpet

Vietnamese boy group The Air on the red carpet
Vietnamese boy group The Air on the red carpet
02 Dec 2017

Vietnamese boy group The Air on the red carpet

WATCH:
Highlights from the red carpet
Joanna Dong has no regrets after performing

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