Mr Asia USA contestants at “Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning” DVD release red carpet party
Five among 30 candidates vying for the Mr. Asia USA 2007 title (April 7, Beverly Hilton Hotel, 6 PM) walked down the red carpet premiere of the DVD release party of the movie “The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning” held at the Forbidden City on Vine Ave. and Hollywood Blvd.

Mr. Asia USA 2007 candidates Steve Arnold, John Andreas, Don Chao, Mike Hake, and Brian Kong, posed with the photographers and answered questions from the broadcast media during red carpet arrivals. “What does it take to be a contestant? a host from asked. One of the guys answered, “Not only you have to look physically good but someone who has good personality and intelligence, responsible enough and be able to represent the Asian community.” Apparently, the candidates felt an important reason to join the contest, “one hundred percent of the profit of this will go to the HIV/AIDS Temple in Thailand, to help the victims of AIDS,” they noted. Later, all mingled with film cast members together with other invited celebrities.

(Photo L-R: Don Chao, John Andreas, Publicist Oliver Carnay, actor Kellan Lutz (upcoming movie The Tribe), and rock/pop singer Mare Dayco)

Also walked at the red carpet was Filipina Spitfire rock/alternative singer Mare Dayco, who just finished her “Dignity” video. According to her, two more videos are on the way before she’s launching them at a release party to be held in one of the industry hot spots in Hollywood. The singer is currently working on writing lyrics for Dr. Dre. “A lot of big things are happening right now and I can’t wait to divulge it,” she said. She got ecstatic to see familiar faces at the party, such as actor Brandon Molale, who was her former high school classmate. “This party is so cool!” she noted.

Among other guests at the party are actor Kellan Lutz (“Accepted,” with two films to be released this year “The Tribe” and “Deep Winter”), Will Estes (American Dream), twin brothers Carlos and Efren Ramirez, Harris Allan (Queer As Folk, A Home at the End of the World), Cassandra Hepburn (another Fil-Am model/actress who also appeared on “The Young & The Restless”), David Wachs (Hotel California, Terminal Trap), Erica Muñoz (Sueño), Elmo James, Larry Laboe, Brian Tee (The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, the upcoming movie “Finishing The Game”), Tyler Nietzel (“300”), Riley Weston (Felicity), Sam Bell, rock group Oh No Not Stereo, Nick Slatkin, and many others.

(Photo: DUKES OF HAZZARD: THE BEGINNING cast members Jonathan Bennett, April Scott, and Randy Wayne)
“Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning” takes a step back in time to show how young Bo and Luke Duke grew into the characters TV audiences came to know and love. The troublesome Bo (Jonathan Bennett) and Luke (Randy Wayne) are placed firmly in the clutches of their Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson) at the onset of the show, buty they’re soon teaming up with cousin Daisy (April Scott) to foil Boss Hogg’s (Chris McDonald) plans to seize their uncle’s farm.

Click Photo Gallery to see more pics from this event, courtesy of Sthanlee B. Mirador (for International Artists Photo)

Candidates for Mr. Asia USA bonded during first rehearsal; participating models join in a special dinner-party at Harbor House restaurant in Marina del Rey

The most anticipated pageant Mr. Asia USA 2007, (April 7, 6 PM at the Beverly Hilton Hotel) had its first rehearsal at the Roxbury Park Community Center in Beverly Hills on Sunday. The 31 candidates had their first briefing from Chairman Dr. Duke and producer Wora Boncheerd before the afternoon rehearsal. KU Alumni Association of USA members ( and coordinators were also present, headed by coordinator Tony Munoz (owner of Variety International Studio in Santa Monica, CA).

In conjunction with the Mr. Asia USA candidates’ rehearsal, other Broadway and opera singers who are participating for the full program were also present to rehearse and finalize the program sequence. On top of these, participating models from the featured fashion show (preceding the main pageant) also rehearsed their segment.

Trained actor Nicholas Penfold, also one of UK’s top commercial and print model, has been imported from England to personally handle and guide the candidates on how to walk and present themselves. I asked him about how did he get involved in this project, he replied, “I met Dr. Duke and he told and asked me if I want to be involved with the fashion show segment. What drove me to do it was because it is a benefit project for HIV/AIDS victims in Thailand, and I want to help in my own way, at no cost. It’s a way of networking as well, since I am planning to move here in Los Angeles.” Nicholas has worked on several television projects in England and will come back in L.A. to pursue his acting and modeling career. “I’m loving it here in L.A.!” he added.

It is interesting to note that most of the models participating at the fashion show segment are all industry actors who have worked in several projects. One of them whom I’ve recognized during our first meetings is Tim Lacatena. I couldn’t figure out at first where I met him, except that I’m sure that I’ve met him before. At this meeting, I was sure enough and told him that I’ve met him during the movie Premiere of “Step Up” held at the Cinerama Dome. I remembered now that Tim co-starred with STEP UP lead stars Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan. Other participating models include Abe Bedoyan, Clint Keepin, Don Jeanes, Jason Jordan Gates, Jason Napolitano, Jose Alvarez, Julian Sonteay, Khin Fe Sissis, Kevin Barrett, Nikunj Chokshi, Renzo Lewis, Shu Yuan, Octavio Sanchez, and Drew McKnight.

After the rehearsal, everyone proceeded to one of the sponsors, the Harbor House restaurant in Marina del Rey, and was treated with a sumptuous dinner. The evening started with a karaoke sing-a-long, before everyone danced with their best form. A couple of dance exhibitions from the candidates also were among the highlights of the party.

The Emerald Ball Night, featuring the Mr. Asia USA contest will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Tickets at $65, $85, and $100 have all dinner seats. Please call Wora Boncheerd at (310) 592-9780 to reserve your tickets. (See more photos at Photo Gallery)