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Asia Pacific Arts observes the dynamics of a Hollywood press junket for Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay -- but first, a sonnet about John Cho's uncanny ability to sport a pair of low-rise jeans.
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While BoA's appearance made Kollaboration a global affair, local Asian American entertainers made the entire night a memorable showcase of talent.
Kollaboration 9 marked the annual Asian American talent show and competition's ninth year, and a selection of skilled performers and entertainers took to the stage -- dancing, singing and joking their butts off. It was an entertaining night, beginning with the cramped red carpet and ending with the awkward high-school-dance-like after party (right down to the deejay cutting the party short by stopping in the middle of the song). APA is here to bring out the highlights.
1) Jane Lui
Goodness, the girl had the voice of an angel, but dressed like the devil cursed her. More than a few of us swooned at her soulful and crisp piano serenade. The singer-songwriter, who also won Kollaboration Acoustics last year, took home the second place title and a $2,000 cash price. If the after party's buzz about her stunning performance is any indication, this won't be the last we hear of her.
2) Fanny Pak live!
The America's Most Robbed Best Dance Crew did not disappoint as they rocked the Shrine Auditorium with their eclectic and kooky dance-style.
3) Norman Ng
He was charming, self-deprecating, adorable and a pretty decent magician. The young magic-maker cracked family-friendly jokes as he made cell phones disappear and bowling balls appear out of thin air.
4) Jo Koy
The Comedy Central comedian kept audiences roaring with his spot-on impressions of his mother's Filipino accent. However, the joke got old when his gag on his mom playing wii started running over ten minutes long.
5) David Choi
We didn't think the "YouTube Song" demonstrated his capabilities to the fullest. But the singer paid tribute to his fame-creator by bringing his Mac to the stage and recording his entire performance onstage, which you can watch on (what else?) YouTube. It was pretty entertaining watching him have a mini-freak out right before the curtains rose.
Good things do come in small packages. After making a smashing "last but definitely not least" grand entrance, BoA showed Kollaboration why she is a global pop superstar. Her dancing and singing could rival that of another pop princess, Britney Spears, in her early years. One gripe that fellow APA writer LiAnn Ishizuka had was how her backup dancers were more "dressed up" than she was. "It looked like she had just returned from working out at the gym before they threw her onstage."
7) Kenichi Ebina
Because the competition comprised mostly of vocalists, it was a bit of a surprise that the choreographer and two-time grand champion of Showtime at the Apollo dancer took home the grand prize. But Ebina was definitely going for the gold. Just look at his outfit.
8) Paul Dateh
Violinist and singer Paul Dateh had charisma and talent to spare but should have picked a better song for the competition. Case in point: this video (the one that also made him big on YouTube) would have been more audience engaging. It sounds more hip hop.
9) Kunal Nayyar singing to BoA's English single, "Eat You Up," on the red carpet.
Looks like someone's giving the headliner a run for her money. Please don't fire him from The Big Bang Theory.
10) Host "PK"
Executive Director Paul "PK" Kim pulled double duty as the host of the show. In between acts, Kim demonstrated his own stand-up comedy chops by cracking jokes about his newborn son and how Asian men dance. The best parts of his performance, though, was when he showed his sincere, serious side and talked about empowering Asian Americans through the arts. Kollaboration has come a long way since 2000, when PK first founded the event. Nine years later, it's filling up the Shrine Auditorium and pulling in headliners like BoA. It's our hope that the event will only grow more in the years to come.
Date Posted: 3/6/2009