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Li-Ching sizzles at Golden bell

The 49-year-old transgender host, who has never been shy to flaunt her assets, instantly made heads turn when she strutted down the red carpet. -TNP
Tan Kee Yun

Mon, Oct 24, 2011
The New Paper

It seemed that even before the 46th Golden Bell awards ceremony began, Regine Li-ching was determined to upstage all the other female attendees including her onscreen arch rival Matilda Tao.

The 49-year-old transgender host, who has never been shy to flaunt her assets, instantly made heads turn when she strutted down the red carpet at Taipei's Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall last night.

Decked out in an exotic, bodice-ripping leopard-print gown, complete with a gold choker - one that oddly brings to mind the neck rings of Thailand's Kayan tribe - Li-ching outshone her younger, cleavage-brandishing counterparts such as actresses Megan Lai and Chi Qin.

Her outfit prompted red carpet emcee Pink Yang to exclaim: "Li-ching Jie (big sister), your 'career line' (cleavage, in Taiwan's popular media parlance) is about to reach your belly button!"

The Golden Bell, a glitzy annual event that celebrates the best in Taiwanese television, is often known for fuelling fierce competition between veteran nominees.

Li-ching and Tao, 41, were up for the Best Variety Show Host category.

It was the fifth time they had gone head-to-head for the award, which Tao bagged in 2007.

Ongoing battle

In an earlier interview with the Taiwanese press, Li-ching had jokingly called the "ongoing battle" between her and Tao a "century-long rivalry".

If her attire was meant to boost her confidence as she took on Tao once again, for a while, it worked.

Tao, who was handed the task of hosting the evening's proceedings, chose not to dazzle in the fashion department and turned out in a relatively simple, plain bronze-coloured gown.

The mother of two was more concerned about pulling off the awards ceremony with aplomb.

"I'm a little nervous now," Tao admitted to Yang.

"During the rehearsals, I realised there was a teleprompter for me to put in my lines. But while I was putting them in, midway, it hung on me."

In the end, neither Li-Ching or Tao went home with the Best Variety Show Host accolade. Instead, it went to spunky hosting duo Hao Zi & Ah Xiang, for their travelogue Foodie Traveller.

Then, there were those who disappointed their ardent fans.

Leading ladies Sonia Sui and Wu Tian Xin, both nominated in the Best Actress category, looked a dismal shadow of themselves on the red carpet.

Model-turned-actress Sui, 30, appeared unusually skinny in her leg-baring black dress.

Similarly, the voluptuous Wu, 35, often dubbed "Sexy Goddess" by the media, failed to live up to that tag in her modest dark green outfit.

Thankfully, there were some bizarre wardrobe choices to spice up the otherwise rather staid night.

Political talkshow host Sisy Chen, 53, wore a hat topped with a miniature Golden Bell statue.

"See? Never mind the result, my talkshow team has already given me the accolade," she said with a wide grin.

keeyunt@sph.com.sg

This article was first published in The New Paper.

 
 
 
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