TV heart-throb says 'forget me not'

Never mind if there's no trophy.

Just don't forget I'm still around.

That is the plea of TV heart-throb Dai Yangtian to local audiences.

The Shanghai-born MediaCorp actor was speaking to The New Paper at a press conference on Thursday announcing the 40 nominees for the Star Awards Top 10 Most Popular Male and Most Popular Female Artistes categories, which is based on public voting.

The awards shows will be held on April 22 and 29.

Said Dai, 28: "I wouldn't mind if I'm not placed in the Top 10 because I'll go crazy if I care too much about it.

"What bothers me is whether viewers still remember me."

Last year, he was ignominiously booted out of the Top 10 despite having a fan club who voted for him religiously, fuelling speculation he had been placed in cold storage.

After being out of the public eye for nearly a year, his fear of being forgotten is real.

His last drama on TV was the thriller Breakout, which aired in December 2010.

He was seen only in local movie The Ultimate Winner last April, and in one episode of the Channel 8 variety show Buffet Buffet 2 last September.

Since last April, he was in China for five months filming My Precious (the mainland Chinese adaptation of The Little Nyonya) and another four months filming MediaCorp drama The Quarters in Malaysia.

Dai admitted: "The New Paper's recent attempt to match-make me has raised my exposure.

"But when (close to) 100 women sent in entries (to go on a date with me), they increased my confidence."

Still, Dai isn't hopeful about cracking the Top 10 this year and said he won't rally for votes and will instead "leave it to fate".

Nominees

Other nominees for the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes are Ben Yeo, Bryan Wong, Chen Hanwei, Chen Shucheng, Dasmond Koh, Dennis Chew, Elvin Ng, Guo Liang, Gurmit Singh, Huang Wenyong, Pierre Png, Pornsak Prajakwit, Qi Yuwu, Rayson Tan, Liu Qianyi, Terence Cao, Zhang Yaodong, Zheng Geping and Zhu Houren.

The nominees for Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes are Aileen Tan, Ann Kok, Belinda Lee, Cynthia Koh, Hong Huifang, Jeanette Aw, Joanne Peh, Kate Pang, Kym Ng, Lin Peifen, Michelle Chia, Michelle Chong, Paige Chua, Pan Lingling, Priscelia Chan, Rebecca Lim, Rui En, Vivian Lai, Yvonne Lim and Zhou Ying.

Last year's Best Supporting Actress winner Pan Lingling, 41, has been nominated for 13 years, but she's won only four times, the last time in 2000.

Pan and Kym Ng, who's in her late 30s, believe their supporters belong to the older crowd who wouldn't spend 80 cents per call to vote for them.

Ng hasn't been in the Top 10 Most Popular list for four years and said she's hoping for a "miracle".

She said one reason she didn't win in previous years was that she didn't know how to play the "voting game".

"It's a game played by young people who do whatever is needed to support their idols," she maintained.

"My supporters are not (young) and a mature person prefers to spend his money in another way.

"I don't know how to ask people to (spend money on a call) for me to win an award. It's like asking people to buy me a present."

But there's hope for artistes like Pan and Ng this year.

Supporters can now vote for the nominees for free on the official Star Awards 2012 website. Online voting contributes to 50 per cent of the overall results.

"I'll ask my uncle and aunty supporters to go online to vote for me," Pan said with a laugh.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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