A-pop! is a monthly column of all things Asian in popular culture
By Ninette Cheng
Northwest Asian Weekly
Let’s check out what’s in store for your favorite Asian American celebrities this summer! Last month (amid some grumblings), pop group Pussycat Dolls’ lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, a Filipina, won “Dancing with the Stars” and was promptly cast, alongside Vanessa Hudgens, another Filipina, in a new role. Eighteen-year-old Ryo Ishikawa clinched the Japan Tour title. Meanwhile, Disney Channel’s Brenda Song found herself in three films, Vivienne Tam debuted her netbook design, and Jackie Chan finished first. Let’s get started!
Scherzinger wins “Dancing,” stirring controversy
Nicole Scherzinger led the “Dancing with the Stars” pack all season long and on May 25 was declared the winner of the show’s 10th season. Scherzinger beat out Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek and ESPN’s Erin Andrews in the finale.
However, not everyone is thrilled about the singer’s win. Nicey Nash, Scherzinger’s fellow competitor, told People magazine, “There were moments you couldn’t tell her from the pro dancers.” This quote implies that Scherzinger’s previous dance experience gave her an unfair advantage.
Dancing with the Stars professional Edyta Sliwinska has defended the winner.
“She absolutely deserved to win,” Sliwinska said.
Scherzinger has little time to worry about these comments because she has already found herself a new gig.
She will be seen next in actor Neil Patrick Harris’ directorial debut of “Rent” in Los Angeles. The award-winning musical about impoverished artists and musicians in New York’s Lower East Side and living with HIV or AIDS will be shown for three nights this August. The show will also co-star Vanessa Hudgens. Good luck, Nicole and Vanessa!
Ishikawa ready to play with the big boys
Eighteen-year old Japanese golfing pro Ryo Ishikawa has done it again. On May 2, Ishikawa won his seventh Japan Tour title with a score of 58, the lowest score recorded at a major tour event. Ishikawa broke David Duval’s previous score of 59 set in 1999. At 18, this is just the beginning of a long career for Ishikawa.
Song to grace the big screen?
Hmong-Thai American Brenda Song currently stars on Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life on Deck,” the highest rated children’s television show. However, she may soon be taking her role to the big screen. There is still talk as to whether or not it will be a theatrical film or a television movie, but Disney Channel believes that it’ll make it to the silver screen. The film will also serve as the series’ finale.
Song has two other movie projects in the works, independent film “Little Sister” and the highly-anticipated “The Social Network,” co-starring Justin Timberlake. “The Social Network” is a film about the creators of popular social networking website Facebook. It has been announced for an Oct. 1 release date.
Get fashionably wireless
When “Sex and the City 2” debuted in May, Carrie had traded in her trusty Macbook for a trendy new PC netbook. The butterfly-adorned laptop was designed by Vivienne Tam. These so-called “digital clutches” are causing quite the stir on the runway, and Tam’s mini netbook has been the talk of the town and object of several giveaways. Your own is available for just … upwards of $550. Very cute!
Jackie Chan is box office gold
I’ve been talking about Jackie Chan in “The Karate Kid” remake for several months now and well, it was worth it! The film, co-starring Jaden Smith, debuted at number one on June 11. Raking in $56 million, the Washington Post credited the film with putting the summer box office back on track. Very impressive!
I’m excited about all this month’s good news on Asian American celebrities. Hopefully, I’ll see you back next month for more! ♦
Ninette Cheng can be reached at email@example.com.