Above: Wong Chak Fung, Lee Si Tung, Wat Ho Ming, Wong Ching Chung, and Bruno are applicants of the 2012 Mr. Asia pageant.
ATV held its first round auditions for the 2012 Mr. Asia contest on September 22. A mixed batch of twenty-four applicants appeared, with impressive muscle men but also balding, flabby candidates as well!
The media has focused on the poorer quality contestants, ridiculing the 2012 Mr. Asia contest for allowing balding and out-of-shape middle-aged men appearing at its first round of auditions. Since ATV does not have a maximum age limit for its Miss Asia and Mr. Asia contests, this has usually resulted in the advanced age of some contestants, who hoped to fulfill their dreams of becoming celebrities.
Meeting the five judges in their swimming trunks, some of the Mr. Asia applicants appeared to be regular weight-lifters, while some of the scrawny men showed their “spare ribs.” The men introduced themselves and answered questions from the judges to demonstrate their intelligent side.
The oldest applicant was a 53-year-old whose body glistened with oil as he demonstrated a somersault in his swimming briefs. A contestant named Tang Kan Man (鄧簡文) demonstrated a “banana act,” in which he wore banana pasties and swung a set of bananas in one hand. Laughter rippled through the stage.
“This year, Mr. Asia will once again allow audiences to vote for the candidates. However, TVB received much controversy for the 2012 Miss Hong Kong live voting system. ATV will make the proper arrangements carefully. We will discuss an appropriate strategy with our [technical] operators, allowing the audience to vote smoothly and not make the same mistakes,” said Program Director, Yip Sing Cheung (葉成昌).
ATV was the first station in Hong Kong to hold a televised male pageant. Last year, it brought back the contest in order to create greater buzz for the ailing station, garnering 3 ratings points in its program. With TVB shelving the Mr. Hong Kong Pageant this year in order to search for a “more meaningful direction for the program,” Mr. Asia may gather more media attention.
Since 2012 is an election year for many countries throughout the world, the theme for this year’s Mr. Asia is “remarkable, strong demeanor,” in which ATV hopes to find a “charismatic leader of Asia” from the male pageant.
The five judges for the 2012 Mr. Asia contest includes: ATV Senior Vice President, Yip Ka Bo (葉家寶); Program Director, Yip Sing Cheung; Strawberry Yeung (楊玉梅), Eunis Yiu (姚嘉雯), and Santino, a coach from TVB’s Bride Wannabes <盛女愛作戰>.
Jayne: Gosh, calling on some of the balding, out-of-shape candidates to appear at the auditions may have been to fill a quota. ATV should have reached out to some modeling agencies and convinced some more model types to round out the applications if quality was an issue. Now it looks more like a variety show rather than a male pageant.
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