I actually got a kick out of reading this article so I figured I’d share it with everyone. Why did I get such a kick out of it, you ask? Well, because the article echoes my sentiments exactly when it comes to the topic of music awards in HK. The part I found the most interesting is that the writer of the article compares the JSG voting thing to the universal suffrage debate currently going on in HK right now – I actually didn’t think about it in that light, but when it’s put in that context, the writer is absolutely correct (those who have been following the universal suffrage discussion in the news will probably understand the writer’s point of view).
Of course, since the article is an editorial, take it for what it’s worth – whether people agree or disagree with the sentiment that the HK music industry is ‘dying’ (or, for some people, it’s actually already ‘dead’), that’s not really the point. To me, the point of this article is to highlight the pathetic state that HK as a city / nation is in right now…though I guess in a sense, for us die-hard Hong Kongers, this also serves as yet another ‘depressing’ reminder of what our once beloved city has become. Sad….
Is TVB’s Jade Solid Gold Top Ten awards the blueprint for universal suffrage?
Written by Vivienne Chow at SCMP
Strange enough, attention to music award shows has resurfaced this year. It’s not just because Eason Chan Yik-shun shocked the crowd when he looked to his iPhone screen for lyrics and gave a performance that was worse than karaoke upon receiving the top awards (best male singer, album, etc) at Commercial Radio’s Ultimate Song Chart Awards Presentation on January 1. At the height of political debates over universal suffrage and Occupy Central, people began to compare these pathetic music awards shows with the political status of Hong Kong.
For those who aren’t familiar with the music awards shows (well, I never attended or covered them as, unlike the Hong Kong Film Awards, which is organised by an industry association and voted by the industry, these music awards have little credibility), Hong Kong has four major music awards organised by four media companies – Metro Broadcasts, Commercial Radio, RTHK and TVB. Every year, Metro Broadcasts hands out over a hundred awards to almost anyone in the showbiz. Commercial Radio’s awards have better reputation as it claims the awards are based on airplay but this means DJs and station management have a high chance to manipulate the results. RTHK...I don’t know what the criteria are. Just like how Hong Kong is run, these are simply no transparency. Perhaps they don’t need to as the awards are just another show, and they don’t have to be accountable to the audience.
TVB’s Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation, on the other hand, attempted to be accountable to the public but at the same time, many netizens argued that the TVB show was a preview of what 2017 universal suffrage might look like.
This year Jade Solid Gold followed Miss Hong Kong and The Voice of the Stars to bring public voting on board. Those who pre-registered with TVB online could vote for a number of awards, including most popular male and female singers as well as the song awards.
The game was “universal suffrage” in principle – you were allowed to vote as long as you have registered. But the problem is, many netizens argued, there weren’t that many choices available.
It turned out that only singers who have contracts with TVB (and turn up for the night) were allowed to participate in the race. This meant singers like Eason Chan, who is currently the best loved singer in Hong Kong and has won almost all the big awards at other awards shows, got banished from entering the TVB race. The remaining contracted male singers who fulfilled TVB’s requirements were either too inexperienced irrelevant – seriously I cannot name one single song by Raymond Lam Fung (but he won the most popular singer award with 30 per cent votes). Joey Yung Cho-yee won the most popular singer award for the ninth time in a row with 58,815 votes (well, 85 times more than CY Leung’s 689 votes).
TVB might have played transparent, but the screening process made the awards an unfair race by squeezing out the capable ones who deserved to win. If the Jade Solid Gold award is the blueprint for the 2017 so-called universal suffrage for Chief Executive, be prepared to struggle with choosing among a range of B to C-list candidates if you are stuck in Hong Kong by then.