On 2 December 2016, a sold-out Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre played host to the second night of the 21st Asian Television Awards. Hosted by Adrian Pang, Stephanie Carrington, Alden Richards, Baki Zainal and Fiona Su, the awards ceremony was broadcasted live across Asia, with an estimated half a billion people tuning in to watch. 28 awards were given out that night, in addition to the 18 presented during the trade dinner on 1 December.
The show started on a high note, with award nominees and other celebrities walking down the red carpet amidst piercing screams from the lively crowd. British singer Charli XCX treated everyone to her hits “Boom Clap” and “After the Afterparty”.
Indonesian performer Rossa and X Factor UK star Ivy Grace Paredes also took to the stage to much fanfare. It would not be the Asian Television Awards without K-pop, and Amber Liu hyped up the crowd with a roaring rendition of “Shake That Brass”.
The loudest applause of the night was reserved for homegrown talent JJ Lin, who concluded the awards show with an energetic performance.
The big winner of the night was A Touch of Green – a Taiwanese drama series that took home a total of 5 awards, including 2 of the highly competitive categories “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” and “Best Actress in a Leading Role”. Meanwhile, Mediacorp Pte Ltd also had a great showing, for not only was it named “Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year” for a 4th consecutive year, but it also picked up 3 more awards that night including “Best Reality Show” for Death is Our Business.
Competition for “Best Actor in a Leading Role” was a heated affair which pitted brothers Christopher Lee and Frederick Lee against each other, though the award eventually went to dark horse Chen Kun-Chang for his role in The Taste of Dang-Liang’s Family. Descendants of the Sun won “Best Drama Series” and MAMA (Mnet Asian Music Awards) topped the category “Best Entertainment (One-Off/Annual)” to an enthusiastic reception from the audience.
Local actress Carla Dunareanu clinched the award for “Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress” for her work in Rojak. She was noticeably emotional as she thanked her management, colleagues, and family for “letting [her] be stubborn enough to chase [her] dreams”. Carla remarked, “I started [acting] when I was really young, and I’ve always loved performing, so I figured I’d just make it into a career. [Acting] is the only thing I have known.” Thus, her win was all the sweeter for she revealed that it was her first individual award nomination in over 17 years in the entertainment industry.
She has no plans to stop her ventures into comedy, saying, “Comedy is absolutely one of my favourite genres, and it comes very naturally to me.” But Carla is also keen to branch out and explore other acting varieties – “I’d love to do an action film, like backflips and stuff. I think I will kick ass! If Jackie Chan or Jet Li or anyone wants to hire me, I’m down for it.”
Carla is grateful for the recognition bestowed upon Asian stars by the Asian Television Awards. She commented, “We don’t have a very long way to go before catching up to Hollywood. We already have some very creative people, and it’s just a matter of people being exposed to what we have. We constantly look to foreign markets but we should be looking at what we are good at. That will not only give us pride, but also call the Western world’s attention to us. I definitely feel Asia is a force to be reckoned with.”
By Zhao Jiayi