THE lady did not bring it.
After so many seasons of exhorting singers and dancers, and a couple prancers, "You've got to bring it" on American Idol, Paula Abdul herself did not bring it.
The former AI judge - brilliant at finding something nice to say to each and every talent, however hopeless - was the lead red carpet trotter at last night's Universal Studios Singapore (USS) grand opening at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). Is that your own bling you are wearing?
"No, not today, I didn't bring it, I'm wearing..."
The singer/dancer/choreographer/actress/reality TV show judge who designs her own line of jewellery, Innergy, on sale online, is obviously not her own best customer.
Not when you've got a first-class ticket to headline an amusement park opening, albeit one of the greatest amusement parks on the universal planet.
Abdul joined Vicki Zhao, Jet Li, Maggie Cheung and a Miss Kimberly Caldwell ( yes, we were wondering too).
Imagine going through life as "she came in seventh in the second season of American Idol" but give her props - to quote Randy Jackson - for being a sport to fill in for Fantasia Barrino in record time.
Barrino was the original guest but had to pull out at the last minute, no reasons given.
The GST (governator, sperminator, terminator) Arnold Schwarzenegger was the big Hollywood celebrity slated to open USS but "due to personal issues" as one RWS spokesman said, hasta la vista, baby.
Would have been interesting to see the Arnie-Abdul double act on the streets of New York sector in USS.
It was now left to Paula and Kimberly.
Some 200 local and regional media had arrived in the red carpet pen to mark their spots, in hope of a doorstop quote from the celebrity guests.
Some 2,000 people invited began to stream in on the broadest red carpet in town, prompting one movie buff to observe, "doesn't this scene remind you of Zombieland?"
Stepping up first at 7.30pm were the stars you know from Caldecott Hill - Michelle Chia, Jack Neo, Adrian Pang, Jade Seah and then some who looked like stars but were VIP couples (sponsors, tenants etc).
Chia looked kind of lost all by her lonesome on the vast red carpet and when asked by one of the emcees, Chua Enlai, if she has a favourite character, went with "Shrek!". Handsome princes are so passe...
The loudest cheers greeted the arrivals of Li, Zhao and Cheung.
Asian stars rock.
Each was interviewed by E! News, or as another spokesman explained, "USS and E! News are owned by the same company. They may or may not stop to talk with you guys."
Li, who has a home in Singapore and whose daughter goes to school here, said this was his first time in USS, but his daughter has been three times.
And her favourite ride is "the most dangerous one" by which he meant the one that gives the most adrenalin rush, but you know what parents are like about thrill rides.
Cheung named Charlie Chaplin as her all-time favourite because he is a legend, "his humour is timeless," and he was in the same business as her - showbiz.
She was easily the best-dressed, in an off-shoulder floral dress.
The rest wore LBDs (little black dresses) - Zhao's of course outstripped Abdul's and Caldwell's. Did we say Asian stars rock?
The slew of celebs then went onstage for a cold towel moment. They left their handprints in fresh cement so as to make an imprint on our lives, were given cold towels to wipe off the wet, a cannon went off, a band of drumming chefs marched in and led us all into a buffet dinner.
The New York sector came alive with song and dance. Caldwell sang six songs, even inviting someone in the audience to join her and he breakdanced.
Then Paula came on with a group from her Live To Dance TV series, the Dance Town Chaos. She did not herself give us a song. Which was the only X-factor of the night.
This article was first published in The New Paper.
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