Sunday 24 November 2013

A Singaporean for Sexiest Man Alive?

“I’m at a payphone, trying call home, all of my change I spent on you.”

For more than a year now, I’ve been roused awake every morning by Adam Levine's high whiney voice as he sings the opening line to his band Maroon 5’s hit Payphone.

My wife uses the song as her ringtone and the morning alarm on her phone.

It could’ve been worse. It could’ve been Moves Like Jagger.

When I read last week that the US celebrity gossip magazine People selected Levine as the Sexiest Man Alive, my first reaction was – why?

Is George Clooney dead? Did I hallucinate that he’s still alive like Sandra Bullock did in the movie Gravity?

(Uh... if you haven’t seen the movie, belated spoiler alert. Sorry.)

I’m so out of touch I thought Clooney was last year’s Sexiest Man Alive. In reality, he hasn’t been Sexiest Man Alive since 2006.

Last year’s Sexiest Man Alive was Channing Tatum, who has a great body, but that face – cringe.

Still, his “epic split” on YouTube almost – almost! – rivaled Jean Claude Van Damme’s in the now famous Volvo truck commercial.

I would nominate Van Damme for the Sexiest Man Alive except I'm not 100 per cent sure he’s actually alive.

My New Paper colleague Juliana June Rasul lamented that former Young Hercules star Ryan Gosling has been passed over once again.

In accepting the SMA “award” on US talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, Levine even thanked Gosling for “turning this down constantly”.

But then Gosling is just another white American actor. Why not someone in Singapore?

Like, say, Bobby Tonelli.

How sexy is he? Sexy enough to have dated cute MediaCorp actress Joanne Peh for about four years.

But isn't he just another white American actor too?

How about Qi Yuwu for Sexiest Man Alive then?

How sexy is he? Sexy enough to date Joanne Peh after she broke up with Bobby Tonelli.

But then after her split with Tonelli, Peh said that she did not want to date someone “too good-looking” – and she picked Qi.

So maybe Qi isn’t so sexy after all.

Speaking of unexpected couplings, how about former national footballer Quah Kim Song, who’s dating Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim?

He may not be the sexiest, but he deserves some sort of award just for being 61 and hooking up with a woman 13 years younger. Instead of Sexiest Man Alive, he can be Man Alive.

How about Ilo Ilo director Anthony Chen? He has already won every award in the known universe. He might as well be Sexiest Man Alive too.

Or how about the men in the sex-for-fill-in-the-blank trials earlier this year?

We have former Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon Gay, former Singapore Civil Defence Force chief Peter Lim and former National University of Singapore law professor Tey Tsun Hang.

Sure, they’re not lookers in the sense that Joanne Peh could’ve dated them after Bobby Tonelli, but the trials revealed that these three are pretty virile guys.

So who would you rather?

Gun to my head, I’d pick Ng. (Please don’t point a gun to my head.)

He looks lean and fit - plus the star witness of his trial was Ms Cecilia Sue, who is way hotter than Ms Pang Chor Mui and Ms Darinne Ko. That makes him hotter too.

Ng also gets bonus points for being the only one of the three men who was acquitted. So he's more likely to be available for a cover shoot.

But who am I kidding?

Tonelli, Qi, Quah, Chen, Ng, Lim, Tey – I’m just using them to fill space until I can get to the one Singaporean who can truly be called Sexiest Man Alive.

I am, of course, talking about Mr Baey Yam Keng.

Being Singapore’s sultan of selfies, Mr Baey can shoot his own cover picture.

I believe Oxford Dictionaries last week declared “selfie” the word of the year because of the ridiculously photogenic Member of Parliament for Tampines.

But he’s not all “me, me, me”.

He’s also selfless, recently giving a pro tip to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Instagram: “PM, hold your camera higher next time, it will look even better.”

I hope PM Lee follows Mr Baey’s advice as I don’t want to see any double chins in the selfies of our head of Government.

Movember? Mr Baey grows his ’stache all year long. Well, except for when he has to perform in a Teochew opera.

Earlier this month, he shaved off his facial hair for a role in an opera at the Wan Qing Culturefest. You know how politicians like to wayang? This is real wayang.

I wish I can get a recording of the opera. Anything to replace the ringtone on my wife’s phone.

One year of waking up with Adam Levine is enough. Even if he is Sexiest Man Alive.

I wouldn’t mind waking up with Mr Baey though. And I don’t just mean the ringtone.

- Published in The New Paper, 24 November 2013

UPDATE: What a day... I mean Baey... I mean day