When Ariel Lin won best actress for They Kiss Again in 2008, the noise was between her fans and those of Chen Qiao En who was nominated for the mega TV hit Fated To Love You. To this day, the rivalry between the two fandoms remains touchy. I think Qiao En should have won best actress as the role gave her something more to work on than that of Ariel’s TKA. But then, I’m not a Golden Bell judge.
The following year, 2009, there was even much louder noise when Mark Chao defeated Vic Chou to win best actor for their drama Black & White. Almost swiftly, accusations were hurled at the newbie Mark (it was his first drama role) who was said to have gotten the gong thanks to the influence of his father Allen. The squabble was not just between their respective fandoms but between Mark and Vic themselves. According to reports, Zai Zai was so disappointed that his “brotherhood” with Mark was ruined for good. The bell rings for Mark’s corner.
In 2010, the uproar came from fans of the pig who felt he should have won best actor for Hi! My Sweetheart. Some fans even scoffed at how he could have been beaten by a child star. The horror! Well, flash news for you sweetie pies, an acting award is not according to age. Whoever thought seniority should matter in handing out awards? A year later, his fans are still sore on why he lost, and even the pig himself, who strutted the red carpet that night acting like a winner but going home a loser.
And this year, the fiercest noise is coming from The Fierce Wife team. James Wen, who has been nominated four times already, wanted to know where he failed. I can just imagine the frustration.
“It does not matter who won but I really want to know where I lost. I hope the mechanics could be more transparent, quantifiable, and will not give me a suffering feeling. ”
“This is a game, and I hope it won’t be too subjective, maybe the audience could also take part in voting, I’m not saying this because I did not win the award, I just hope that the industry would be more transparent.”
Sonia Sui also expressed her disappointment, which was obvious when she was presenting the best actor award. The poor lady, why do they do that to nominees? They’re humans, not robots that have no feelings and can face the world with a smile a few moments after they have lost.
Sonia posted on her Facebook:
“Is really disappointed, very disapointed that I could not go up the stage and thank all the people who were behind “The Fierce Wife”. But when I come home, I realized that I act not because to get an award, but because I really love acting. I will put everything behind so that I could be a better actress in the future.”
Sonia’s case reminds me of Qiao En in 2008. Both of them were highly tipped to win the gong for best actress. Their roles in those respective dramas were breakthroughs in their careers. Unfortunately, GBA is not out to reward breakthroughs but the acting itself, according to the standards it sets.
James did make a very valid point, GBA is a game but hoping that it won’t be too subjective is like hoping for men not to cheat in marriage (like his character in The Fierce Wife), you can only hope for the best but you know that hope is not enough. The GBA judges are prone to their own biases, they are people like you and me. The choices on the winners will be subjective. One judge’s opinion of what consists of good acting will be different from another.
But I do agree that there should be transparency in the voting system. But even the way Oscars voting is done is subject to controversy. The Oscars use choice voting in selecting the best actor, actress etc. Here’s an explanation on how Oscars ballots are counted and believe me, it is complicated. It is not a straight-forward winner-takes-all voting. I am not sure if GBA uses the same system but I also wonder if the judges will be willing to explain their votes and be subjected to fandom ire. I highly doubt it.
As to James’ suggestion that the audience should take part in voting… HELL NO! Then all the more that the quality and credibility of institutions like the GBA would be dlluted and handed over to whoever can rally the most votes and since we are talking here of actors and actresses, whoever has the most fans. This won’t be fair to actors and actresses who are not backed by fandoms that would not even consider the acting abilities but just the “likability” of a nominee when they vote. In the end, GBA won’t be different from those cheaper by the dozen popularity awards that are handed out everywhere.
As it is, GBA’s credibility has already been questioned and eroded by accusations of biases. Based on the recent pattern, it does look like the bell tolls for one idol a year as I have previously blogged about. This may just be a coincidence or a business decision. Idols pull in the ratings, sponsors and the fans. It keeps the academy alive. It makes good business sense indeed.
Let’s not forget, everything in this world is either just business or politics. Even in the way a body like the Golden Bell would hand out awards. You have to play the game or the bell won’t toll for you.
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