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Which princess ‘catch no ball’?

May 5, 2008

Three of MediaCorp’s seven princesses are heading to the world of balls in an upcoming volleyball drama, Qiu Ai Da Zhan. Joined by Pan Lingling, Christopher Lee and Jade Seah, we tell you who the best and worst players among them are. Also, which princess talks to balls?

5 May,2008
Editorial Team: Dion Tang 
Watch Dawn Yeoh, Joanne Peh and Jesseca Liu play beach volleyball? It was an opportunity too good to pass up. Of course, we braved the scorching sun and made our way to Palawan Beach at Sentosa to catch the girls in action!
Yet, when we reached there, we only saw one princess – Dawn Yeoh, as well as Pan Lingling and Christopher Lee. Undaunted, we decided to just make do with them and what we saw definitely did not disappoint us.
After one afternoon, we came to a conclusion. Dawn was terrified of balls and even Lingling fared better than her. The ever graceful princess was reduced to a nervous wreck in face of her nemesis, the volleyball. Covering her head when the ball comes her way, jumping away when the ball drops at her feet, and her fearful and expression when she actually receives the ball were just some of her tell-tale signs.
In Qiu Ai Da Zhan, Dawn plays a girl initially bad at volleyball but was talent-spotted and trained to national standards. The part they were filming that day was when Dawn was still in her initial stage, thus the director told her to be bad at the game.
It’s Dawn vs the volleyball!

However, Dawn was in such a clowning mood that she acted as if avoiding the ball was a very tough chore. Insisting non-stop that it was “so hard to be unprofessional” when she was actually “very good at volleyball”, Dawn reduced everyone to laughter, including the director.

Still, she was mercilessly teased by everyone for boasting about her non-existent ‘skills’, even by her coach, Mr Swiss Chng, who was hired by the production team to coach the girls in volleyball. Hailing from the Volleyball Association of Singapore, Mr Chng said that Dawn was physically weaker than the rest of the girls.
“However, she is very hardworking and is willing to learn, it’s a pity that her built is not very suitable for the sport,” said Mr Chng, who have had 15 years of coaching experience.
We decided to give Dawn a chance to speak up for herself, and she was ever so grateful.
“Finally, you all give me a chance to voice my thoughts!” exclaimed Dawn. “It’s actually so hard to be unprofessional when it is my instinct to receive every ball, but my character is supposed to be bad at volleyball, so I have to pretend that I’m a bad player. It’s true!”
When we told her that Mr Chng said that she was the weakest player, Dawn was so indignant that she went to find him immediately, to which he explained that to her that she was just physically “not very fit”.
Almost immediately, Dawn screamed in exasperation, “No! Actually, I’m very fit! I can do anything!”
The next thing we know, she started stomping her feet, insisting that she had improved since the beginning and that she was “not bad”.
In the end, to pacify her, Mr Chng told her that she will always be a good player to him. On hearing those words, Dawn was so touched that she wanted to hug him. Fortunately, the guy had more sense. He immediately scolded her, “You’re a star! Behave yourself!”
Christopher having fun in the game

Christopher, who is the male lead of the show, offered his comments as well. When asked whether he had played with the girls prior to this filming, he said that he had a game with Lingling, Dawn and Joanne.

“After seeing how they played, I think that this will be very tough drama to film!” exclaimed Christopher, before erupting in laughter.
In his opinion, Christopher felt that the worst and the most squeamish players were Dawn and Lingling.
“I have not seen Jesseca’s skills but Joanne and Jade are pretty good,” he said. “I’m not very good either, but since you asked me, I have to speak the truth.”
“But if they look as if they are good players when the drama airs, then they have succeeded,” he added. “I’m saying this to spite them, so they can strive to be better, hopefully they will hear what I’m saying.”
True to his words, Christopher went on a mission to spite Dawn and Lingling, seizing every opportunity to tease them about their poor volleyball skills. In the end, a three-way argument ensued, with an indignant Lingling challenging Christopher to a match. Regrettably, due to time constraint, the most anticipated match of the day did not take place.
Still, all was forgiven and forgotten by lunch time. After all, it was all in the name of fun. Time to satisfy our palates too.
-According to Mr Chng, Joanne was a volleyball player and was also his student when she was in Victoria Junior College. Naturally, she was the best among the girls. 
Lingling serving the ball

Unfortunately, due to weather changes, Joanne and Jesseca were unable to play when it came to their turn to film. Nevertheless, we give you a brief assessment of their skills, courtesy of Mr Chng.

Text: Teo Jing Ting

-Jesseca was in track and field, so she has natural sporting abilities. However, her hectic filming schedule has prevented her from performing as well as she should have.
-Jade Seah, who is also in the drama, was a netball player. Due to her sports background, she has a lot of strength and puts them to great use.
– Lingling has too many extra actions, thus it was very hard for her to get the sport right.
-As for Dawn, Mr Chng referred to her as the ‘crazy one’ as she talks to the volleyballs!
Having said that, catch Qiu Ai Da Zhan to see how far the girls have come, from the bottom to the top, literally.
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