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AXN Announces Asia’s Got Talent Season 3 – Open Auditions in Bangkok

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PHOTO: Thailand’s “Powerstorm” made it into last year’s finals.

Thailand, it’s time to get your act together!

AXN has announced that the Bangkok open auditions for Asia’s Got Talent Season 3 will be held at SHOW DC, Thailand’s first entertainment and retail mega complex on Sunday, 17 June, 2018.

Bangkok will be the first to kick off the regional Asia’s Got Talent audition tour which also includes stops in Singapore, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.

Doors will open from 10am at SHOW DC’s Ultra Arena with hundreds of aspiring performers expected to attend for their ultimate shot at international fame and a life-changing grand prize of USD100,000.

“Thailand has some of the most mesmerizing and entertaining talent in Asia so we expect incredible acts from around the country to attend the Bangkok open auditions,” said Derek Wong, Vice President, Production, Sony Pictures Television, Networks, Asia. “Last season, Thailand’s acrobatic dance group Powerstorm and young aerialist Krittaya Ariyasit made it into the finals, so we’re excited to see what Thailand brings to our new season of Asia’s Got Talent!”

A highlight of the day will be a special appearance at SHOW DC by popular Asia’s Got Talent host, Justin Bratton, who will report live via AXN’s Facebook page at 12 noon on June 17. Justin will interview acts on the day while providing a glimpse into the exciting audience experience.

Due to the expected turn-out and exceptionally high demand on audition day, performers are encouraged to pre-apply online to expedite the registration process on the day (www.AXN-Asia.com/AsiasGotTalent).

SHOW DC is located at 99/6, Rim Klong Bangapi Road (Chaturathit Road), Bang Kapi, Hua Khwang, Bangkok 10110, Thailand, and the open auditions will be held at Ultra Arena on Level 6.

Information including SHOW DC location map, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and the terms and conditions of participation are available at www.AXN-Asia.com/AsiasGotTalent.

Asia’s Got Talent is supported by regional sponsor Princess Cruises, the official cruise line of Asia’s Got Talent.

The Got Talent franchise was created by Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and is co-produced and owned by Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia. It is entered in the Guinness World Records as the Most Successful Reality Television Format in history with 70 local versions produced across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle-East, Africa and the Americas. Around the world, the Got Talent format airs in a total of 186 countries.

AXN is Asia’s leading general entertainment channel, featuring exclusive top-rated drama series, blockbuster features, reality programs and groundbreaking original productions. The channel appeals to a discerning audience seeking content that is smart, intriguing and unexpected, all delivered close to US telecasts. From The Blacklist and MacGyver to Asia’s Got Talent and The Amazing Race Asia, AXN is defined not by a genre, but by an attitude that truly redefines action.

Launched first in Asia in 1997, AXN is a global channel brand with a presence in Latin America, Africa and Europe. In Asia, the channel is enjoyed in 126 million households across 20 territories and is available in both SD and HD.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

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The new Blue Tree waterpark and entertainment precinct unveiled

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Phuket’s tourism industry has received a major shot in the arm with the unveiling of the new Blue Tree Phuket – a US$40 million investment and multi-dimensional destination waterpark and entertainment complex set over 140 rai in Cherng Talay.

Positioning themselves as ‘Phuket’s premier family attraction’, Blue Tree is the island’s first international-standard, fully integrated waterpark and family entertainment complex.

The complex will feature a compelling mix of retail, destination dining, waterpark, beach club, and health and fitness with its star attraction at its centre – Blue Tree Lagoon – designed and built by world-leading US-based water attraction specialists Crystal Lagoons.

Opening early next year, Blue Tree is led by Michael Ayling, former Managing Director of Laguna Phuket.

“We are delighted to be announcing what we feel will be a key component in Phuket’s tourism future as we are confident Blue Tree will appeal to families looking for high quality entertainment,” said Michael.

The 10 rai (17,000 sqm) Blue Tree Lagoon, designed by world-renouned Crystal Lagoons, is the star attraction of Blue Tree Phuket.

“Phuket’s tourism market has changed considerably over the past ten years. We now see strong demand for inland attractions driven by Thai families, residents of the island and the growth of the independent-travelling international tourism market. All three markets have one thing in common: a need for high-quality, family-focused entertainment away from the beach. This is what we will deliver,” he said.

Blue Tree Phuket will offer a Water and Entertainment park, a four-storey vertical Beach Club, Fitness Zone, Kid’s Club and multiple retail spaces. In addition, 17 restaurants and food outlets will cater to all tastes and budgets, centred around the complex’s star attraction: Blue Tree Lagoon.

The 17,000-square-metre man-made lagoon has been designed by Crystal Lagoons, who most recently completed a mega inland lagoon project in the family attraction capital of the world, Florida. It is flanked by artificial beaches and offers an aquatic playground for family-friendly and adrenaline-driven activities such as a Slip N Fly, water slides, splash zone and even cliff jumping.

Michael Ayling

Aside from utilising state-of-the-art technology to maintain water clarity, Blue Tree Lagoon also boasts eco-friendly credentials. Powered by Crystal Lagoons’ sustainable technology, the lagoon uses up to 100 times fewer chemicals and 50 times less energy than conventional swimming pool systems.

The vertical Beach Club is open throughout the day and into the night.

Blue Tree has been in development for the past two years, from the master planning stages to partnership selections and management – with environmental sustainability a core component of the project’s DNA and fundamental to its promotion of an active and healthy lifestyle.

“Blue Tree has natural borders. These are thick, mature rubber plantations that surround the project and emphasise the lush tropical environment found throughout the grounds. The name itself is testament to our commitment – a green and blue oasis in the shape of a tree, with deep roots and strong connections to the destination, its heritage and its future,” said Michael.

“Phuket will always be known for its spectacular sea and sand, but there’s been a clear demand for inland entertainment alternatives for some time now and this will fit the bill, showcasing a lesser known side of Phuket but one that will appeal to both middle class Thai families and Amanpuri guests in one strategically located destination.”

Admission fees will be kept affordable with a pay-and-use concept, while full access to all activities will be priced lower than 1,000 baht.

Find out more about Blue Tree HERE.

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A very Asian tale “Crazy Rich Asians” opens

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“The last high-profile Hollywood film with an all-Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club released in 1993.”

By The Star, Asia News Network, Kuala Lumpur

It was a sweltering night in Singapore and the production of Crazy Rich Asians was in the last leg of filming. Director Jon M. Chu was sweating buckets and it’s not entirely because of the humid weather.

Chu, who has worked on big budget Hollywood sequels like G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Now You See Me 2, said Crazy Rich Asians presented a whole new set of challenges for him.

Check out the Hollywood premiere of Crazy Rich Asians.

“Sometimes dressing people up for a wedding takes a lot more effort than filming ninjas on a mountain,” Chu shared briefly on the set of Crazy Rich Asians, before rushing back to finish another scene.

Members of the media were observing the filming of an emotionally-charged moment featuring Rachel (Constance Wu, TV’s Fresh Off The Boat) screaming into the night. In the scene with her were Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh and veteran actress Lisa Lu.

Some context: The ladies were all dressed to the nines for a high society wedding. At a later interview, Wu did not want to talk about how she prepared for that screaming scene.

“It’s just actor stuff. If I have to tell you, it would be like I’m telling you how to fix a car, it’s just boring,” 36 year old Wu said with a laugh. Mind you, she had to do that scene over and over again just to get it right.

The truth is, there is nothing boring about what her character Rachel goes through in Crazy Rich Asians.

For the love of money

Rachel is an Asian-American economics professor living in New York with her charming boyfriend Nicholas Young (Henry Golding). One day, Nicholas invites her back to his country, Singapore, to attend his best friend’s wedding.

It is only then that she finds out that her boyfriend is from a wealthy and well-connected family. Just how wealthy is this guy? Think crazy rich.

Based on the book by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians is said to be inspired by real families and wealthy personalities in Asia. Kwan goes into specific details on what the rich do when they have too much money. From buying a hotel just to get rid of a snobby manager to hiring the Vienna Boys’ Choir for a wedding, nothing is off-limits for the ultra-wealthy characters in the book.

However, Kwan won’t divulge who these actual crazy rich Asians are.

“Nicholas is from this old money family. Wealth is passed through generations. He is very acutely aware that he is the heir to the riches that his family holds,” Golding, 31, said about his character.

It’s one thing to be rich but to be dating someone who is not from the same exclusive social circle? Oh, the madness.

Financial security

56 year old Yeoh steps in as Eleanor, Nicholas’ mother and respected (think feared) matriach of the Young family. Eleanor makes it clear that she does not approve of Rachel. To be fair, she’s just like most mothers with an only child who is set to inherit the family fortunes; tiger mum becomes (over)protective.

So, Eleanor hatches a plan to sabotage the relationship between Rachel and Nicholas.

“Eleanor would do anything for her son. She would die for him. And the thing is, she’s not afraid to tell him all that,” Yeoh laughed while explaining her character’s motivation.

But that’s not the craziest thing about Crazy Rich Asians. The fact that Hollywood is making a contemporary romantic comedy featuring Asians in leading roles is something unheard of.

Wu noted: “We’ve never had a studio movie with an all-Asian cast that was not a period piece.”

Rich in diversity

The last high-profile Hollywood film with an all-Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club released in 1993. Wu lamented that Asians don’t often get to be seen in a Hollywood film with a modern setting.

“Like, why don’t we see Asians using cellphones? It’s a way to include Asians in the current conversation by showing them in a contemporary context. We are here. Our stories matter and that to me is really groundbreaking,” she said.

Other Hollywood cast members in Crazy Rich Asians include Ken Jeong (The Hangover), Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8), Gemma Chan (Transformers: The Last Knight) and Sonoya Mizuno (La La Land).

From this region, expect to see the likes of Ronny Chieng, Pierre Png, Carmen Soo, Tan Keng Hua and Fiona Xie on screen. Hollywood newbie Golding described filming for Crazy Rich Asians as “insane” (his pun, not ours). Producer Nina Jacobson said they were looking for someone like Cary Grant to play Nicholas.

“There’s a sense of class and elegance to Nicholas. At the same time, he’s also down to earth. It was hard to find all those things.”

“Henry did amazingly well on his screen test and he had all those qualities that we were looking for,” Jacobson explained why the studio went with a newcomer.

While Golding has made Malaysia proud, his casting also stirred some controversy. There were those who noted how Golding was not “Asian enough” for the role seeing that he is part European.

Instead of dwelling on the backlash, Golding said he is proud to represent a part of South-East Asia that is mostly unknown to his Western counterparts.

“We have such a melting pot of identities in South-East Asia and that is something to be proud of. It’s really important that we make this film. We’re breaking boundaries and that is the most important takeaway,” he said.

Value for money

Despite its very specific setting, Jacobson believes Crazy Rich Asians has stories that will resonate globally.

“We have a great universal story for anyone who has been rejected by their in-laws or people who have their foot in two different cultures,” she said.

She also identified with Rachel as someone who is fascinated by a strange yet familiar new world.

“When I first read the book, I couldn’t put it down. The expectations on Nick from his family was relatable. The story felt fresh and new. It took me to somewhere that I wanted to go,” Jacobson said.

Will Nicholas’ love for Rachel triumph over his family money?

Yeoh said you can’t live on love alone: “When you’re in love, you say you don’t need money or you don’t need anything (else). When love cools down and reality sets in, then what? Love is not bread and butter. You have to be sensible.”

Yeoh saw Crazy Rich Asians as more than just a story about unimaginable wealth.

“It’s also about the responsibilities of a family. Many people depend on them (Nicholas’ family) for their livelihood. It’s not just about them getting rich, it’s also about the community.

“It’s good to have money but it’s what you do with it that really counts,” she concluded.

And that token of wisdom is priceless.

STORY: The Nation

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Twinpalms hotels & resorts celebrate their 14th anniversary

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PHOTO: Collard Studios

One of Phuket’s home-grown brands, Twinpalms is inviting members, guests and residents to join the revelry at Catch Beach Club on Saturday, September 22, to mark 14 years of offering luxury hospitality and entertainment on Thailand’s largest destination island.

Bang Tao Beach will once again be adorned with party- goers beautified in white clothing (as is the annual strict white dress code custom) and will be THE place to be to enjoy the very best music and entertainment in Phuket. In signature Twinpalms style, the evening will be a stunning jamboree with complimentary entrance for everyone and traditional reduced prices for all to enjoy the spirit of inclusive hospitality in style.

The party and festivities kick off at 9pm with resident DJs Romain Pelletti, Joey Adisak, Fred Jungo and Shane Ob on the decks, live musicians and dancers until the small hours.

For those who would like to reserve VIP tables for free flow beverages and cuisine packages, prices start at 10,000 baht for cocktail tables and goes up to 50,000 baht for tables of 10 guests.

Contact Catch Beach Club for bookings and details.

PHOTO: Collard Studios

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