9 Nov 2007

men fridae awards 3

Strap on your drooling bibs as Alvin Tan unveils Fridae's annual selection of the most desirable men in Asia in its much-anticipated annual Men Fridae Awards!

From the top: Wu Chun (Taiwan/Brunei), Kim Jeong Hoon (Korea), Nicky Sura Teerakol (Thailand), Nathaniel Ho (Singapore) and Kenichi Matsuyama (Japan)
1. Wu Chun (Taiwan/Brunei)
Everyone I know seems to think that Wu Chun from boyband Fahrenheit is God's gift to teenage girls with raging hormones and homosexual men with working hormones - except for yours truly who is unable to get over the fact that he bears an uncanny resemblance to my brood of Blood Parrot Cichlids.

My personal opinion aside, the former gym instructor and member of Brunei's national basketball team first shot to fame after co-starring with Ella Chen of S.H.E. in Hanazakarino Kimitachihe where he plays a boy wrestling with his feelings for a girl desperate and mental enough to cross-dress as a boy just to enroll in an all-boys school attended by the object of her affection.

Star-chasers with a propensity for gold-digging would also be glad to note that the 1.81-metre tall actor-singer-model hails from one of the richest families in Brunei and was recently appointed Chairman of the newly opened Palm Garden Hotel and its neighbouring multi-storey Fitness Zone Centre in Brunei.

2. Kim Jeong Hoon (Korea)
I thought my fixation with Korean men was so five minutes ago until I saw Kim Jeong Hoon in 2006's Goong (Princess Hours) and my knees buckled at the sight of the doe-eyed pretty boy who looked even prettier than the entire cast of Korean actresses appearing with him in the top-rated drama series.

The actor-singer is apparently very well endowed - in the brains department - and is reported to have an IQ just four points below Einstein. A straight A-student in high school, Jeong Hoon dropped out from Seoul National University (where he was studying dentistry) to enroll in Chung-Ang University where he now majors in acting.

The Hallyu hottie is the goodwill ambassador for Korean skiing and during an interview in Taiwan, he was reported to have said that he "personally dislikes girls who are lazy or proud" when asked about his ideal girlfriend. In his free time, Jeong Hoon enjoys reading comics as well as playing table tennis and PC games.

3. Nicky Sura Teerakol (Thailand)
When I first laid my eyes on pictures of Thai singer-model-actor Nicky Sura Teerakol circulating around various Yahoo groups, my first reaction was to do as Viv Tudor does in Little Britain and proclaim "He's gawwwwgeous!"

The well-built and almost always undressed 28-year-old with the broad shoulders and signature tribal tattoos is the only male model who actually looks masculine with long flowing locks and makes tress-tossing Taiwanese boyband F4 look positively fey by comparison.

Just recently, the singer-actor-model made it to a list of people idolised by the Thai gay community in a poll conducted by the Bangkok Rainbow Coalition and was embroiled in a legal suit against magazine Star News for alleging that he was gay and in doing so, caused his girlfriend to break-up with him.

4. Nathaniel Ho (Singapore)
If anyone were to suggest a few years back that someone who served his National Service with the Singapore Armed Forces Music & Drama Company and who used to be a dancer at the Miss Singapore Universe Pageant would make it to the Men Fridae Awards - I would probably say that that's as likely as Steven Hawking learning to do the cha-cha.

Well, that was before singer-actor-model Nathaniel Ho came onto the entertainment scene and charmed viewers with his boy-next-door appeal as one of the contestants in 2005's Singapore Idol contest and subsequently, in the Singapore Idol Drama Shooting Stars and a number of TV series for Channel 8.

Despite a tendency to over-enunciate when delivering his lines in Mandarin, the 1.76-metre tall rising star snagged the lead role in an independent Chinese film entitled Smell of Rain and has appeared in commercials for Tiger Balm, M1, KFC, L'oreal and more recently, Crocodile menswear.

5. Kenichi Matsuyama (Japan)
I have a confession to make: Where my attraction to men is concerned, I'm about as deep as a roadside puddle and that explains why I almost overlooked Kenichi Matsuyama whose most high-profile appearance onscreen was as the character L in the Death Note series.

However, once the 22-year-old actor appeared without his Ju-on like makeup post-Death Note, I immediately did a Beyonce and fell "Crazy In Love" over his other-worldly beauty, his alabaster skin, his oh-so-kissable lips and lest I forget, his acting ability.

Standing at 1.8 metres tall, the lanky Kenichi enjoys pole-vaulting, models for Hong Kong apparel company 2Percent, and will be playing a pianist in Shindo as well as a nerdish detective obsessed with robots in the manga-adapted TV series Sexy Voice and Robo.
From the top: Mario Maurer (Thailand), Wang Lee-Hom (Taiwan), Satoshi Tsumabuki (Japan), Chaiwat Tongsaeng (Thailand) and Sheng Long (Taiwan)
6. Mario Maurer (Thailand)
When I chanced upon Mario Maurer in his movie debut Rak Haeng Siam (Love of Siam), I was guilt-stricken by the stirrings in my loins and felt as if I had publicly declared my lust for members of the Vienna Boy Choir.

Fortunately, I am not alone as hordes of Thai women and gay men went mad over Mario (who plays a student with an attraction for his musically talented male classmate) and voted Rak Haeng Siam as their "Favourite Movie with a Gay Theme" at the Pantip Webboard.

A Thai-German with irresistible boy toy looks, Mario is presently studying Mass Communications at Ramkamhaeng University in Bangkok and recently appeared in a music video by "Dunk" Punkorn Boonyachinda playing a motorcycle taxi driver with a crush on a male trolley dolley.

7. Wang Lee-Hom (Taiwan)
The appeal of Wang Lee-Hom lies in his baby face, his musical talent and his ability to craft modern weepies such as "Forever Love," "The First Morning" and "Kiss Goodbye" which connect with gay men writhing in the throes of love or languishing in the agonies of a break up.

The 31-year-old American Born Chinese would also appeal to those who enjoy having an over-achiever for a boyfriend - after all, he plays over 10 musical instruments and was listed among "The 80 Most Inspiring Asian Americans of All Time" by Goldsea Asian American.

A four time Golden Melody Award winner, Lee-Hom was recently voted favourite heartthrob in a poll conducted by Taiwanese gay website Club1069 and his appearance in Ang Lee's Lust, Caution made many a gay man wish that it was he who participated in the film's acrobatic bedroom romps and not the Brylcreem-ed Tony Leung.

8. Satoshi Tsumabuki (Japan)
I personally hold the Japanese movie Water Boys responsible for brainwashing gay men into donning testicles-damaging Made-In-Japan Speedos which appeared to be made from an amount of fabric more suitable for dressing Ken dolls.

Still, Water Boys did introduce Japanese actor Satoshi Tsumabuki (so kawai!) to the rest of the world and kick-started the gay craze for "Sunshine Boys." And thanks to Water Boys, the lean-to-the-point-of-skinny 27-year-old also won the "Newcomer of the Year" at the Japanese Academy Awards.

Since then, the perpetually sun-kissed Satoshi has buffed up quite a bit for his film Nada Sou Sou (Tears for You) where he plays a terminally ill chap who falls in love with his adopted sister (scandalous!). In his free time, the 1.71-metre tall actor is also the bassist and lead singer of the Japanese band Basket Lite.

9. Chaiwat Tongsaeng (Thailand)
Gay men in most Thai movies are portrayed either as katoeys, effeminate volleyball players, or afflicted with severe limp-wrist-gitis - that is until actor "Top" Chaiwat Tongsaeng (what a nickname!) came along in Poj Anon's gay drama Bangkok Love Story.

In the movie, Chaiwat plays a buffed clean-cut cop who falls for a hitman and enjoys living dangerously by engaging in gun-fights, man-on-man action and potentially health threatening activities such as prolonged love-making in the rain (hello? ever heard of pneumonia or lightning strikes?).

Although a self-proclaimed "terrible flirt" with the ladies, Chaiwat endeared himself to the gay community by confessing that he became used to lip-locking with another man after shooting Bangkok Love Story and appearing in a fashion spread for VZMen wearing a pair of wet-to-the-skin Playboy underwear which left very little to the imagination.

10. Sheng Long (Taiwan)
When my partner bought me a recent issue of Achilles featuring final Men Fridae Award nominee Sheng Long, my inner brazen hussy was awakened and I did what Britney did and screamed: "Gimme gimme more! Gimme more! Gimme gimme more!"

With muscles the size of juicy melons, Sheng Long is a popular fitness model who has been featured in numerous homoerotic photo spreads and appears to be allergic to clothes given that he is always photographed wearing nothing more than a pair of swimming trunks or tiny running shorts.

Not surprisingly, the 1.76-metre tall beefcake is also the subject of two pictorials (published in 2003 and 2005) and a hot favourite of gay men who enjoy the sport of muscle worshipping and are willing to overlook what appears to be a not-too-well-developed "love muscle."