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Chris Friel wins first star-studded Mr. Asia USA 2007 pageant

Photo above: Chris Friel - Mr. Asia USA 2007 winner

Photo above: Mr. Asia USA 2007 pageant winners (Top from L-R): Chitsanupong Khaonak (Thai, Mr. Popularity), Chris Friel (Filipino, winner), Don Chao (Chinese, Mr. Superstar), Yoo Soo Kim (Korean, Mr. Congeniality); Bottom from L-R: Mike Hake (Thai-Filipino, 1st runner-up), Steve Arnold (Thai-German, 2nd runner-up and Mr. Photogenic), John Andreas (Filipino, Mr. Supermodel). No winners have been announced for Mr. Tuxedo and Mr. Swimwear. The event was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 7, 200.

by Oliver Carnay

Filipino-Japanese Christopher Friel bested out 30 other candidates and was crowned Mr. Asia USA 2007 during the 3rd annual dinner-gala of KU Alumni Association of USA ( dubbed as The Emerald Night Ball 2007, held last Saturday, April 7, at the posh Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The event, endorsed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, is a non-profit organization which aims to give 100 percent of proceeds to the AIDS Temple, a hospice in Thailand. Also declared as winners were Mike Hake from Thailand (who has a quarter Filipino blood) receiving $700. cash prize for winning 1st runner-up title and Thai-German, Steve Arnold, who took two awards: 2nd runner-up winner ($600.) and Mr. Photogenic ($500.).

Friel is a former titlist-holder of an all-Filipino male pageant in 2006 (the Ginoong-Pilipinas USA 2006) based in San Francisco. He earned favorite nods from the crowd and celebrity judges of Mr. Asia USA which featured and paraded with casual wear, underwear, and tuxedo presentation among other contestants. Friel will receive a $1,500. cash prize and a free one-year acting class at MichaelJohn Studio in Van Nuys, California.

Special awards were given to the following: Fil-Am John Andreas took the Mr. Supermodel title, winning $500. From Thailand, Chitsanupong Khaonak, received the Mr. Popularity Vote (an award given who had the most beads sold during the course of the show presentation) winning $500 in cash. Don Chao, representing China, won Mr. Superstar ($500.) and Soon Yu Kim from Korea won Mr. Congeniality ($500.) Although, it was ironic to some people who have attended a usual male pageant, the “best in swimwear” and “best in tuxedo” here were altered. According to the first two-years of Teppabute Nonsi Competition (also originally known as the “Mr. Prince Charming” pageant), there was none of that category. The producers of the show have continued the rules but decided to widen the scope of participants by having a more diverse Asian descent this year, hence the first Mr. Asia USA.

Among judges and celebrity guests (I’ve invited) include Nick Verreos (Bravo TV’s hit series Project Runway), Sunkrish Bala (from new ABC 7 comedy hit show Notes from the Underbelly), Fil-Am actors Leilene Onrade (Vh1’s new tv show star of Charmed School), Reggie Lee (Pirates of the Carribean 3 and currently on Fox 11’s Prison Break), Johnny Lee of Frequency 5, Sean Michael Afable (Akeelah and the Bee), Camille Mana (was a regular on UPN’s tv series One on One, and will next be seen in the new Dennis Quaid movie Smart People; she is currently shooting a new movie called College), singer Mare Dayco, Sheila Ferrari (northern California Pinoy Pop Superstar Grand Champion and will soon be seen on KSCI LA18), Christina Fandino (former Miss Philippines of the World, currently filming “Urban Ice”);

Sharon Nash (producer of “America’s Got Talent”), Noureen Dewulf (she’s going to be seen this year in the upcoming films: “Oceans Thirteen,” “Americanizing Shelley,” “The Strip,” and “The Comeback”), James Kyson Lee (currently on the hit tv series “Heroes”), Mei Melancon (was last seen in XMen: The Last Stand and will next be seen in a new movie Irreversi; [Mei was born in the Philippines – raised in Japan, but is of Japanese, French, Chinese, and native American descent]), Brandon Molale (next projects to be released are Bar Starz and Balls of Fury), and Will Estes (best known for his characters in tv series American Dream and Reunion, currently in production with Taxidermist, a horror-thriller), Michelle Krusiec (soon to film Far North, with Michelle Yeoh), and David Ren (a young director who is making a buzz in the industry, with his feature film Shanghai Kiss starring Kelly Hu).

See more photos at Photo Gallery.
04.13.07 by OC