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Thu, Jun 03, 2010
China Daily/ANN
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A-ya quits top variety show

Most viewers in the city might be surprised to see Taiwan television hostess A-ya standing on stage by herself. For 12 years, A-ya, 32, has been co-hosting the variety show Guess, Guess, Guess with one of Taiwan's top hosts, Jacky Wu. The glittering duo even won one of the industry's highest honor, Taiwan Golden Bell's Best Variety Show Presenter, in 2008.

But A-ya, famous for her quick responses and humor in variety shows, has stretched herself and is now hosting a Beijing-based TV talk show, Power of Public Service.

A-ya's move came as a surprise to fans. In the middle of March, she announced her decision to quit Guess, Guess, Guess, partly due to poor ratings, in favor of the talk show.

In a quiet cafe, A-ya shared with METRO her new program and reasons for the resignation.

Most people are used to your image as a variety show hostess. Why are you switching to host Power of Public Service?

A: I am desperate to try something new. Different from a variety show, this program focuses on more serious topicsand it also gives me a chance to work solo.

In the past decade, I have been co-hosting Guess Guess Guess with Jacky Wu, who is adept at making fun. When I host shows on the Chinese mainland, I also have other partners.

It is said that hosting solo is more difficult than having partners. I really want to take the challenge.

You have already made several programs. What was the experience like?

A: I guess I scored 65. I remember my first guest was Sang Lan, the former Chinese gymnast who was paralyzed after landing head first during a practice vault at the Goodwill Games in New York.

I was so excited to meet her, as I am a big fan, that I asked too many questions as a fan rather than as a hostess. That made the program longer than the time limit and failed to ask questions to the point.

Have you encountered some troubles in switching host style?

A: In the first few programs, I tended to be serious and didn't dare laugh as loudly as I had on variety shows.

Thanks to my 12-year hosting experience, I realized there must be something wrong and I adjusted myself. I think the program should be serious in a relaxing ambience. To be serious is to be sincere to the guests as well as to the audience. In order to create a relaxed ambience, I would have fun with the audience, most of whom are college students, such as asking them questions or playing tricks with them.

After recording several programs, things improved. Some staff told me I was able to get some exclusive quotes and stories from the guests. I believe that is a kind of success.

Variety shows bring you big fame and recognition. Why you decided to quit the Taiwan show hostess that you have been very adept to be?

A: I've been thinking about leaving the show for some time. In fact I have been with the program for more than a decade. Even in its first trial, I was there with star sisters Asos and sat among the audience. I appeared on TV for about half a second the first time.

Then I got on to be an extra, an outdoor hostess, and finally studio hostess, which is an encouraging story, saying that if you stick to a dream, you will eventually realize it.

But life is divided into different chapters. Every one has an end. I prefer to conclude every chapter by myself rather than being told to do so.

Guess, Guess, Guess to me is an 18-year-old A-ya. I enjoyed standing beside brother Jacky Wu very much, clowning and making fun. But I can now do more and really want to be independent.

Would talk show be your new direction?

A: The change goes with a change in me. When I returned from studying overseas, I took part in drama. Now, as I discover my elegant side, I want to show it, like in talk shows. But that does not mean I will stop hosting variety shows. I don't want to lose my humor. It is good to host two kinds of programs.

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