Sunday, 24 July 2011

Show Me Talent

Who would you choose to be Mr Hong Kong 2011?

The Hong Kong TV channel TVB must be desperate for some new talent. It's hosting a variety of talent shows in hopes of finding the next "it" boy and girl.

But so far it seems it isn't having much luck.

Last week it held the Mr Hong Kong pageant in front of a live studio audience and a coterie of beautiful starlets who were dressed up in cocktail dresses who gave comments on which contestants they favoured as the competition went on.

The most hilarious part was probably the beginning as each contestant was introduced individually. You could see their statistics on the screen and one by one they emerged from a fountain in their tiny swim suits so by the time they came out the had to rub their eyes in order to see the stage. Then they attempted to show off their physical prowess by doing pullups, pushups or the odd dance move. They ranged from wimpy to really ripped.

They also had to go through a talent contest where they either sang, danced, demonstrated kungfu, painted or performed magic tricks. None were particularly outstanding.

Then for some bizarre reason the top four contestants had to split up into two teams and debate whether a male pageant should be judged equally as a women's contest.

Mr Hong Kong winner Clayton Li showing off his lean body
In the end a guy named Clayton Li who had lived overseas and wasn't able to express himself well in Cantonese was crowned Mr Hong Kong.

Then this week it was a kungfu contest and interestingly enough, one of the young men with abs was also in this contest. Again around 10 people competed and no one was particularly distinguished in their routines. A well-known kungfu master was one of the judges and he got up a few times to show them how to improve on their moves. How embarrassing.

It looked like many of them had not practiced kungfu since they were young (perhaps their parents wanted them to focus on academics?) so they looked like amateurs, or hadn't progressed far in their routines to perform more skilled moves or even at a faster pace. There was no Donnie Yen in the making.

The final four were chosen and they had to follow exactly what a stuntman did which was a simple somersault, a few fist moves and then jump through a glass panel.

All four copied the same moves without the glass and then one was chosen to go through the glass.

In the end it was a 19-year-old pretty boy who got to smash the glass panel. He had performed a dance with a fan and recited poetry than any kungfu moves as he didn't quite have the athleticism.

Apprentice Chef host Steven Ma
Following the kungfu show was a cooking contest called Apprentice Chef where contestants had to prepare dishes in three minutes. Yes you read right -- three minutes. Water takes more than three minutes to boil and here they had to complete five servings of a dish in 180 seconds.

It's like Iron Chef but the Twitter version.

Actual chefs competed but for some bizarre reason the one who almost burnt the pan-fried goose liver won the contest, while another chef did two versions of prawns and a Pakistani made a lamb curry that didn't have enough flavour. What do you expect after only three minutes?

If TVB thinks it can churn out talent like a factory, it's terribly mistaken.

These contests only reveal its desperation to find the new stars of tomorrow, who are willing to do almost anything to become famous. Whatever happened to pure raw talent?

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