Countdown starts for MTV Asia Awards 2003

SINGAPORE: Frenzy! That is the the kind of buzz there is in the air in Singapore as the hours tick towards what is MTV?s big event of the year in Asia. 

Considering that Singapore, unlike India, has tours happening by major acts all the time, one would have thought the public would be more blas? about the whole thing.

That is certainly not the case with the local media reporting that passes are being hocked in the black market (it?s not only India that has such problems) on local auction sites with bids crossing S$ 600.

Passes for the by invitation-only event cannot be had for either love or money, it appears. The daughter of a well connected local business man that this correspondent met at a pub last night was desperate as she had been in line for over five hours yesterday with her friends hoping for a precious pass but came back empty handed. The doting dad said he?d pulled all the strings he could, but still could not wangle an entry for her.

What all the noise is about is for the 8,000 or so tickets that have been given out free by MTV Asia through its roadshows and contests held by sponsors and partners in the last few weeks. 

So what are we dealing with here. Tonight (gates close at 6:30 pm) the Singapore Indoor Stadium will play the glittery playground for over 100 international artistes. That?s twice the number that was here last year for the inaugural event. The number of A-list stars who are appearing on the show this year appears to indicate that this event can only get bigger. Last year many of the award winners had taped messages aired. This had led many to assume that this event could never hope to come anywhere near the MTV USA or MTV Europe Awards in terms of prestige or scale. But this year?s turnout has certainly given MTV Asia a big booster.

Get backstage with the crew and check out what?s happening. That was the fond delusion that this correspondent entertained when he landed here. Forget it mate, he was told. Everybody is too frazzled and too busy making sure that everything?s ready and in place to give the time of day to inquisitive journos.

Anyway, this is what has been happening, we are told. Over the last 10 days over 250 lighting, sound and production crew members have been permanently camped at the stadium. The lady who is in charge of the proceedings is MTV Networks Asia's executive producer, creative and content, Fiona Wong. In production terms, this year?s event is 50 per cent larger than last year which should go a long way to make for a much tighter and slicker event than last time round. Last year?s show was reportedly marred by technical glitches, slow pacing and times when there was just nothing happening on stage.

American stars Shaggy and Co-Co Lee (Hong Kong born, LA based) are the co-hosts. The big name presence is provided by the likes of British pop superstar Robbie Williams, hip-hopper Miss Elliot, pop rocker Avril Lavigne, to name a few. 

Confirmed arrivals from India are of course the MTV heavies like Cyrus Broacha and beauty queen Aishwarya Rai. 

The MTV Asia award itself is another of their wacky ones. It is a two-kg transparent cube that is filled with soft oil.

The show promises a lot. Can?t wait to see what it delivers.

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