Saturday, July 10, 2010

Male Version of Ris Low - found

Hu Hanxiong...

Meet "the male version of Ris Low". That's what some netizens on file-sharing site YouTube and citizen journalism site Stomp are calling this Singaporean.

He's Hu Hanxiong, Mr Singapore World 2010.

The 25-year-old events organiser is being slammed online for his poor English in a self-introduction video for the Mr World finals held on March 27 in Incheon, Korea.

The video was first uploaded on the pageant's website, but has since found its way to YouTube, where it has been viewed more than 8,000 times, and Stomp, where it received more than 5,000 hits.

Low, you'll remember, was crowned Miss Singapore World last year but had to relinquish her crown after it was discovered that she had been convicted of credit card fraud.

She was flamed for her bad English and for using nonsensical words like "boomz".

Netizens who compared Hu to Low were particularly caustic about his poor pronunciation.

Hu began his video by saying: "Harrow everybody, I'm Hanxiong, twenty-fise years of age..."

Other boo-boos include pronouncing basketball as "buttsketball", and saying "I love any sports that leads me to a healthy lifespou..."and "warming hospitality".

Netizens also jeered at how often Hu blinked his eyes in the video, with one claiming he blinked more than 65 times in the 30-second clip.

When The New Paper contacted Hu over the phone at work, he called the video "tragic".

He had first seen the clip when he was competing in Korea and wished he could record it again.

He is aware of the brickbats on YouTube.

Sounding light-hearted throughout the interview, he added: "While I was waiting for my turn to film the video clip, I had prepared in my head what I was going to say.

"I wanted to talk about how I prepared for the competition, and how much I loved Korea.

"But when I sat down to do the video, the producers (from the UK) told me that I only needed to give my name, age, where I was from and my hobbies."

He confessed that he got nervous and tongue-tied.

It was hard to fill up those 30 seconds, he said. Hu, who was unplaced in the finals, also didn't want to do a second take like some of the other pageant contestants allegedly did.

"The producers had spent the whole day filming and they weren't in a very good mood. I wanted to make Singapore proud by going for just one take.

"I didn't want them to think that Singaporeans can't speak proper English," he admitted.

When asked about the excessive blinking in the video that netizens complained about, he explained that there were several strong spotlights shining on him during filming, which made his eyes very dry.

He admitted that he was initially upset by the harsh comments,but he has learnt to take things lightly.

"Everyone has their point of view and I can still accept their criticism," he said.

"They don't know me and I can't tell every one of them that I'm not that bad in real life."

During the interview, even though Hu's English was occasionally ungrammatical , he spoke confidently and conveyed his thoughts well enough.

Hu said he barely spoke English in school and was more fluent in Mandarin.

On being called Mr Ris Low, Hu said he thought it was funny, especially because they are friends. They met when she took part in Miss Singapore World last year


  1. I guess it was nerves. I have been in a drama school before, and even having a background of theatre, and months and months of intensive rehearsals. Sometimes, when the nervous energies come in, i get tongue-tied and its really out of my control.

    Once, I entered an audition room, having prepared my piece for 2 months. Upon seeing the camera starting to roll, my legs started trembling and shaking LIKE CRAZY. I felt so embarrassed but got even more nervous.

    In drama school, we're taught to spot people's nerves. Hu's nerves is visibly obvious by excessively blinking of his eyes.

    His written English in the Interview seems pretty acceptable. I think it isn't right to judge a person based on a 30 second interview which was done in ONE take.

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