As beer and wine flowed through the evening, the stars came out to play.
At the 18th Asian Television Awards (ATA) held at Resorts World Sentosa Convention Centre on Thursday night (Dec 5), our local celebrities showed that no occasion was too strait-laced for taking selfies or pulling off hilarious antics, reported The New Paper.
Here are the newspaper's top five highlights of the annual gala awards ceremony, which celebrates the region’s best on the small screen.
1) Selfie queens
The title goes to MediaCorp Ah Jie (big sister in Mandarin) Zoe Tay and fellow smartphone-toting actress Yvonne Lim.
The pair, both presenters at ATA, were obsessed with taking selfies at the pre-show cocktail reception.
Tay, 45, told The New Paper she has become “quite an expert” at this hobby and proclaimed selfies to be “the best kind of pictures”.
“You don’t have to worry about angles or lighting, they will always turn out amazing,” she said, before proceeding to grab a spontaneous group selfie with gal pals Lim, Aileen Tan and Rebecca Lim. That shot, by the way, turned out perfect.
Lim said she mastered her selfie-taking skills while filming in China.
“In between scenes, it can get boring, so I’ll take lots of selfies and post them on Weibo,” said the 37-year-old.
2) Comedy king
Now if only every winner could be like Chua Enlai.
The 34-year-old funnyman’s reaction after bagging the night’s biggest comedy accolade, Best Comedy Performance By An Actor or Actress for Channel 5’s The Noose Season 6, was priceless.
He had animated facial expressions and gave emphatic whoops of delight as he hugged good friend Michelle Chong, and also did a parody of US actress Jennifer Lawrence’s unfortunate fall on her way to the podium at this year’s Oscars.
Yes, he deliberately took a tumble as he went up on stage to collect his trophy.
Backstage, he said he had not expected to win.
“I thought the votes would be split and I’d become a Julianne Moore,” he said with a guffaw.
In 2002, Moore scored two nominations in the Best Actress category — for The Hours and Far From Heaven — at the Oscars, but ended up going home empty-handed.
Thankfully Chua, a double nominee in the same category for his work on Channel 5 sketch comedy Random Island, did not suffer the same fate.
3) Dancing queen
Whoever knew there was a bit of JLo in Malaysian pop queen Siti Nurhaliza?
Known for her sweet looks, mellifluous voice and conservative image, the 34-year-old tudung-clad star rocked the ATA stage as guest performer, wowing audiences with two songs, Malay ballad Lebih Indah and Jennifer Lopez’s club banger On The Floor.
Siti’s voice was in top form and she even danced and shook her hips to the thumping electropop beats. Whoa, time to wave goodbye to old-fashioned singing.
A pity that Siti gave the red carpet a miss — a bunch of local die-hard fans came with a huge banner, only to be disappointed by her absence.
4) Baby boost
MediaCorp babes — Best Actress In A Supporting Role nominee Kate Pang (below, right), 30, and presenter Rebecca Lim, 27 — walked the red carpet together.
Even though the latter looked splendid in a strapless white dress, she was totally outshone by her Taiwan-born colleague.
While almost every reporter rushed up to first-time mum-to-be Pang to ask her about her pregnancy — she dished on missing Taiwan-based actor-hubby Andie Chen, her breasts growing bigger and that the thought of taking nude artistic pregnancy photos did cross her mind — nobody bothered with poor Lim.
5) Say what?
As with most awards ceremonies, there were tears of joy and stirring speeches.
MediaCorp’s Shanghai-born actor Jeffrey Xu, 25, looked visibly shaken when his name was announced for Best Actor In A Supporting Role (for Channel U drama Marry Me), the disbelief that he had beaten out seniors Pierre Png and Rayson Tan written all over his face.
Veteran actress Aileen Tan, 47, who received her last acting accolade more than a decade ago at the Star Awards, cried backstage during the photo call after emerging victorious in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category for Channel 8 mini-series The Day It Rained On Our Parade.
As she clutched her trophy, she told reporters: “This doesn’t feel real. I’m putting the trophy next to my bed. Tomorrow morning, if it’s still there, then it’s real.”
The most unique speech of the night, however, belonged to relatively unknown Taiwanese actor Wu Kang-Ren.
The 32-year-old, upon receiving the coveted Best Actor In A Leading Role for Taiwanese drama Emerging Light, kept his thank-yous short and sweet, ending with a sales pitch-like one-liner: “I’m Wu Kang-Ren from Taiwan and I am passionate about performing.”
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Wu Kang-Ren (Emerging Light)
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Jade Chou (Falling)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Jeffrey Xu (Marry Me)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Aileen Tan (The Day It Rained On Our Parade)
Best Comedy Performance by an Actor or Actress
Chua Enlai (The Noose Season 6)
Best Entertainment Presenter
Phanya Nirunkul (Ching Roi Ching Larn Sunshine Day)
Best Sports Presenter
Richard Lenton (Football Faceoff)