Since the beginning, I had stated that I feel having 100% audience vote for TV King and Queen is a stupid idea because it makes the awards lose even more credibility (not that they had much credibility to begin with, but with this OVPP thing, the little bit of ‘respectability’ that the awards still had went completely down the drain). It pretty much turns these awards into a ‘popularity contest’ whereby the artists with the most number of fans voting for them wins, since we all know that most fans will vote for their idols out of loyalty, irregardless of how they actually perform acting-wise that year.
Despite how much I oppose the OVPP thing, I must say that I also hate TVB’s previous method of determining the winners – combining the ‘votes’ from audiences, TVB producers, and TVB management (aka the ‘high up execs’). To me, TVB management has no place in determining the winners because they are so biased, it’s not even funny – plus many of the execs are ‘business people’ who have no experience in actually ‘making series’ (acting / scriptwriting / producing / directing, etc.), so what right do they have to ‘judge’ who does the best job in acting?
For the record, my ‘preference’ when it comes to determining the winners of these types of awards is to have a professional judging panel consisting of industry ‘experts’ (i.e.: producers, directors, scriptwriters, fellow actors/actresses, etc.) who can truly judge the quality of the acting and the series without bias. It’s just like with singing competitions, where the ‘judges’ are usually singing teachers, music producers, songwriters, veteran singers, etc. – that type of judging panel makes sense because those people are ‘qualified’ to judge singing skill, technique, etc., due to their expertise in ‘making music’.
As for the article below about TVB’s decision to implement OVPP for the Anniversary Awards – the only thing I have to say is that I felt Mr. Tsang Sing Ming’s responses were extremely LAME…in fact, I actually feel that he didn’t really answer some of the question and instead gave one of those general, vague responses that doesn’t truly address the issue. But oh well – I’m already used to those types of answers from TVB, so no point in getting worked up over it….let’s just wait and see what happens come awards time!
TVB to implement ‘One Vote Per Person’ method to choose TV King/Queen; Spokesperson won’t rule out possibility that ‘loopholes’ exist
Despite the fiasco created by the voting failure at the Miss Hong Kong pageant earlier this year, TVB is still very much interested in continuing to utilize the ‘One Vote Per Person’ (OVPP) method for future programs. On October 25th, via a phone interview, our reporter was able to obtain confirmation that TVB will once again be utilizing the ‘One Vote Per Person’ method at this year’s TVB Anniversary Awards to choose the winners in 3 categories: Best Actor (TV King), Best Actress (TV Queen), and Best Series.
Earlier, when TVB utilized the OVPP method for the Miss Hong Kong pageant, the process failed due to ‘technical problems’, resulting in severe criticism from the general public. Even with the ‘technical problems’ seemingly resolved now, new questions surrounding the OVPP process have arisen – including the biggest question of all: “If the audiences vote to determine TV King and Queen, what happens to the ‘professional’ aspect of the awards?”
Audiences vote for ‘the Best’, rest of the awards don’t change
Heading into anniversary season, the yearly TVB Anniversary Awards has become a hot topic of discussion as usual. A few days ago, TVB released the results of the investigation into the Miss HK voting failure – the report stated that the voting outage had nothing to do with hackers [as previously suspected], but rather resulted from ‘technical’ problems. [TN: according to the official report, users attempted to vote multiple times in order to increase their chances of winning the car, resulting in a high volume of transactions that exceeded a predefined limit for the specific time frame and thereby crashing the system.] With the investigation complete, TVB has plans to continue utilizing this method in future events.
On October 25th, our reporter called up TVB’s director of external affairs Tsang Sing Ming (曾醒明). He expressed that TVB has already confirmed that they will utilize the ‘One Vote Per Person’ method to determine the winners of the Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Series awards at this year’s ceremony, however the method for determining the rest of the awards won’t change for now. Mr. Tsang also revealed that the anniversary awards ceremony itself will likely go through a process change this year – the ‘other’ awards will be determined more in advance so that the last 3 days leading up to the ceremony will be reserved for audiences to vote on the 3 ‘main’ awards: “By giving audiences 3 days to vote, we can avoid the issue we had during Miss HK where too many people voting at the same time paralyzed the system.”
Mr. Tsang continues: “Nowadays, many younger audiences prefer using the Internet rather than television -- the HK television industry is considering a better way to attract these younger audiences to participate. The ‘One Vote Per Person’ method can be conducted over the Internet, which is more convenient compared to the ‘old’ way of having to fill out a form.” From the Miss HK pageant to the Anniversary Awards, it seems that TVB has become especially fond of the ‘audience vote’ method – Mr. Tsang explains that this will become a ‘trend’ in the future of HK television.
The ones with most fans win, lacks credibility
In the eyes of many industry insiders, the method of OVPP becoming a more formalistic ‘trend’ in the industry is definitely cause for concern. TV Series Magazine’s《電視劇》Editor Sui Chak (水澤) [specializes in writing about TVB series and artists] expressed that he does not see a good future for the OVPP method.
Sui Chak states that a bit of ‘controversy’ already existed in the previous method of choosing the winners for TV King / Queen [TN: previous method was a combination of audience, TVB producers, and TVB executives votes], but at least the “underlying basis for determining the winners was based on acting -- plus in the past few years, non-management contract artists, such as Sheren Tang (鄧萃雯) for example, were able to win, which is proof that things were getting better. Applying the OVPP method would cause the awards to become ‘popularity’ awards instead where the artist who has the most fans wins – this lacks credibility and is unfair to the older, ‘talent-path’ veterans who may not have such a large fanbase. In terms of Best Series, many audiences don’t consider whether the series is truly good or not – most of the time, audiences will support a series merely because of their idols. Fans will likely vote for a series because their idols star in them, but do they really think that the series is good? Probably not.” According to Sui Chak’s analysis, if TVB utilizes the OVPP method, the winner of the TV King award will “without a doubt be Raymond Lam because when it comes to popularity, no other artist can surpass him.”
Sui Chak continues: “The ‘One Vote Per Person’ method should actually be used for the ‘Favorite Male / Female Character’ awards – there would be no problems with 100% audience vote with these 2 awards because by virtue, these are ‘popularity’-based awards anyway. As for the other awards, those should be determined by the management team and producers – the ‘professional’ versus ‘popularity’ awards should remain separate.” Sui Chak feels that by implementing the OVPP method [for the Anniversary Awards], TVB seems to be going in the wrong direction.
Q & A with Tsang Sing Ming
The ‘concern’ over the OVPP situation seems to have divided on-line fans of TVB series into 2 groups: while some netizens / fans feel that using the OVPP method can reduce the ‘cannon fodder’ resulting from TVB’s notorious ‘party politics’, an even larger group of netizens / fans are worried about the ‘fairness’ factor [TN: artists winning based purely on number of fans rather than performance]. The concerns of these netizens can be summarized into 4 main questions, which our reporter took the opportunity to ask TVB’s spokesperson Tsang Sing Ming over the phone (see below). Mr. Tsang admits “that ‘loopholes’ definitely do exist in the process, however we won’t know [how it’ll turn out] until we try it.”
Question 1: Certain artists have large fanbases, so naturally they will receive the most number of votes. However, wouldn’t this be unfair to those artists who truly perform [act] well but don’t have as many fans?
Tsang’s response: We cannot deny the fact that artists with large fanbases have more of an advantage. However if these artists were truly able to gain so much support and ‘influence’ so many people to rally behind them in the first place, then it proves that the artist must already have a certain solid foundation – in that case, winning the award is understandable.
Question 2: Prior to this, there were already 2 ‘popularity’ awards chosen mostly by audience votes – the ‘Favorite Male Character’ and ‘Favorite Female Character’ awards. Now that the TV King and Queen awards will be decided by audience vote as well, then wouldn’t the 2 awards essentially mean the same thing?
Tsang’s response: For the ‘Favorite Male / Female Character’ awards, we will be utilizing a combined audience vote + professional judges method to determine the winners, which will help differentiate them from the TV King / Queen awards. As to the specific criteria that the judges will utilize, we will continue to study it and hopefully come up with the most suitable solution.
Question 3: What about the possibility of overzealous fans voting repeatedly for their idols, thereby creating duplicate votes?
Tsang’s response: We will be using the same system that we did for the Miss HK voting earlier – each person must register using their HK identification card number and each ID number will only be allowed to vote once. This will be able to prevent people from voting multiple times.
Question 4: For the ‘Best Series’ award, won’t the series that air closest to the anniversary period have the greatest advantage, since these series will still be fresh in audience’s minds? So this means that series such as The Hippocratic Crush 《OnCall36小時》, which aired close to 6 months ago, won’t have much of a chance, since audiences have likely forgotten about those series already?
Tsang’s response: That’s why we arrange for certain grand production ‘anniversary series’ to air around anniversary time. Anniversary series do have a little more advantage, since audiences usually pay more attention to them. True, other series might possibly be affected a bit, but if the series are truly ‘good series’, we believe that audiences will still have a deep impression of them.
Producer Chong Wai Kin responds: “It’s only a ‘program’!”
Compared to the many ‘concerns’ that netizens have, people within TVB seem to have a more ‘relaxed’ attitude toward the OVPP issue.
This year, producer Chong Wai Kin (莊偉建) has anniversary series Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles《名媛望族》in the running – the series just started airing and already, it has received much acclaim from the general public. However, in the face of the new ‘One Vote Per Person’ method this year, whether the series will be able to hold its own against the series manned by the younger, popular idols remains to be seen. Towards this, Chong Wai Kin candidly states that it doesn’t matter to him: “We have to give it a try in order to know if it’s going to work!” The way he sees it, the purpose for implementing this type of method is to attract more audiences: “After all, the previous method was used for too long already – audiences are tired of it.” As for netizens’ concern that using OVPP will cause the awards to become ‘popularity’ awards, Chong Wai Kin admits that he is not too concerned with it: “Actually, whether a series is good or not, everyone already has their own ‘conclusion’ about it. Therefore, the way I see it, this awards thing is merely a ‘program’!” [TN: My interpretation of Chong Wai Kin’s last comment: ‘people are making a big fuss over this unnecessarily…]