Is the AlDub love team still at the top of their game?

It seems only yesterday when this phenomenal love team Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, more popularly known as AlDub, took the whole country by storm. You can see their faces in almost every billboards along major highways and almost every commercials in television feature them. Not to mention the many social media world records they broke last year.

After seven months of craziness and frenzy, things are beginning to slow down for this dynamic duo that some are saying they’re steadily losing their steam. I wouldn’t actually call it that way though. I think it’s more like things are beginning to settle down for them. We can now see who their real fans from the ones who were just curious of them. After all, they can still generate more than a million tweets every day. They’re still at the top of their game in terms of television ratings and endorsements.

Phase one is definitely over for them, the phase where they have to introduce themselves to the public with a loud bang. It’s now time for phase two to begin, which is stabilization, a prerequisite to longevity in the entertainment industry.

Their segment Kalyeserye in the daily noontime show Eat Bulaga! is fast becoming monotonous. Th excitement is almost, if not yet, gone, and each plot is becoming more predictable. Split screen is so last year, and so does dubsmash since they can now directly speak to each other. Many of their fans are now getting bored with their usual routine. Though their daily program is still lording over the other rival show, their ratings have definitely dipped down from the usual more than 30% to less than 23%. Their mother network and respective management teams must think of a new gimmick fast in order to generate renewed interest on this duo before the remaining fans also start to leave one by one. It’s quite beyond me why these two still don’t have their own movie nor their own television show. “Strike while the iron is hot” seems to be a foreign saying to their mother network and respective management teams. Time is of the essence here, since fans are naturally impatient and new stars are coming out almost everyday.

At this point, the people behind them must clearly define their careers, either individually or as a love team. Though in my opinion, the safest route is still as a love team since it’s still way too early for them to go their separate ways. I still see them going strong as a love team as their chemistry is clearly undeniable.

Another thing that’s currently causing a major stir in their love team is their very own fandom. Lots of rumors have been coming out lately involving both Alden and Maine. Most are are third party rumors and some are alluding to them only being reel partners. Of course, their fans don’t like it, and it’s starting to cause a “mutiny” within their very own fandom.

Out of curiosity, I decided to do a little snooping around in Twitter and Instagram in order to further understand what’s this ongoing hoopla in their fandom all about. I wasn’t disappointed though. My discovery was actually both fascinating and shocking. Eureka!

The dedication of Alden and Maine’s fans is something to be admired. As I’ve said earlier, they can still generate more than a million tweets daily to show their unwavering support for these two. They still actively participate in any available online polls out there to increase their idols’ chances at winning in whatever contest that may be. Despite their daily shows becoming repetitive, it’s still the top rating noontime show in the country, and also one of the highest rating shows on television.

However, as much as the fans’ dedication is something to be admired, their obsessiveness on this love team is beyond my comprehension. It’s almost scary how the fans want, or rather demand in a no nonsense way, for Alden and Maine to become a real life couple.

It’s unfortunate how their onscreen partnership is fast becoming both a blessing and a curse for them. I’ve heard news of their fans becoming aggressive and possessive of their love team. Aggressive and possessive in the way they don’t want to see either of them getting close with anyone, even to the point of not wanting to read their names alongside any other artist (Gasp! Shocking!)

The one who’s always at the receiving end of the angry brunt of the fans has always been Alden. It’s not surprising though as it’s quite common in love teams how the guy has always been the one at fault whenever something happens that could jeopardize the love team. It just follows the rule how the guy must always be the one in command or the one to lead in any relationship, and how the girl has always been the underdog. I’ve read some negative comments against Alden, and some are just so harsh and below the belt that I actually feel so sorry for him. It amazes me even that despite the excessive bashing he receives all the time, he can still show up everyday in that noontime program and put on a happy face. If truth be told, he can pull out of that show anytime he wants since he is just “on loan” to that program by his mother network. His love team with Maine can still continue outside of that show through movies, advertisements and whatnots. Yet he still chooses to stay and endure all the severe criticisms for whatever reasons he only knows.

While some fans are happy to just watch them act all sweet and romantic on screen, some fans wouldn’t have it any other way. They wanted them to be real and not just reel. Some even threaten to turn their backs on them if they could confirm they are anything but real. I think it’s sad how it has come to this with their fans at this early point in their careers. I can’t understand why they have to become a real couple just for their fans to continue supporting them. Why can’t they just support them as they are and what they have to offer is beyond me.

I decided to delve deeper to know, and hopefully to get a better understanding why their fans became this obsessive on them. Clearly, the major fault is on both Alden and Maine, as both have been dropping hints here and there that, somehow, they are already a real couple in private, or at least they already have some kind of a special mutual understanding between them. One doesn’t have to be a major degree holder to notice their hints and insinuations. I’m not even basing my observation on their actuation and interactions with one another at any segment of their daily noontime show because I’ve always been firm on my stance that whatever happens in that program should always stay in that program. Best to keep all expectations low than hope for the moon and stars. I actually based my observation on their interviews and all their behind the scene moments during their commercial shoots. They don’t even have to say it out loud. One can clearly see it through their actions. That subtle look, that small smile, those gentle touches here and there. Even if they’re not yet a real couple, it seems to me they really have something special going on between them. And why not? Sometimes real feelings can develop between love teams.

It’s all because of those hints and insinuations, not to mention their vague answers when asked of their real status, that their fans began to hope whatever they have between them is for real. With the third party rumors currently going around, their fans are now even more adamant for them to admit their real status in order to dispel such hearsay. It’s okay for them to admit if their true feelings for one another are congruent with what their fans wanted. But what if not? While some of their fans believe they are already a real couple, there are also some who are doubtful. These two sets of fans are the ones causing the major split in their once solid fandom. It’s sad to think that the downfall of this love team would be caused by their own fans just because neither wants to back down with their own beliefs.

Alden and Maine still have a long way to go with their love team. They can still milk this for all its worth. It’s really up to their mother network and management teams to come up with a well defined direction where their love team should go before it becomes a little too late. It’s clear some fans are starting to lose their interests. It’s high time for the team behind them to act fast and now.

As for Alden and Maine, I hope they won’t fall victims to the same fate of some previous love teams who decided to enter into “pretend relationship” just for the sake of their careers. Those “pretend relationships”, as expected, did not last long. I’d rather for them to remain friends than to force themselves to each other as lovers just to please their fans. If something that goes beyond friendship is meant to develop between them, then let it happen naturally and not because their fans dictate it. That could save both of them from major heartaches later on. And most importantly, that could also save whatever relationship they have with each other right now, whether friendship or more than that, and even make that relationship lasts their entire lifetime.

For their fans, it’s best to keep their expectations low. The best surprises happen when you least expect them. Their fans should know this by now.

As for the rumors, they will remain as such unless proven otherwise. And you know what they say about rumors, right? “Rumors are created by haters, spread by fools, and believed by idiots.

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Vic Chou marries longtime girlfriend Reen Yu in a low-key ceremony

I know I said I wouldn’t write about anything that has to do with Chinese/Taiwanese entertainment for the time being. However, for this day only, I want to break that vow since I couldn’t just let Vic Chou’s wedding news escape me just like that.

Earlier this week, former F4 member Vic Chou finally tied the knot with long time girlfriend of four years, Taiwanese actress Reen Yu. The newlyweds registered their marriage, a first for both, on November 10, 2015 in a very low key manner. The 34-year old actor posted two of their wedding pictures on his weibo, happily introducing his wife to the world by saying that Mrs. Chou looks beautiful, and thanked everyone for all their blessings. Shortly after, Reen posted another of their wedding photo on her Facebook, thanking her husband for staying by her side, and also thanking everyone for their support.

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Reen’s manager said that Vic proposed to Reen very casually while the two were having a meal together in their abode. He asked her out of the blue if she would like to marry him, to which she happily agreed. The two immediately registered their marriage during the only free time available to them and some of their closest friends. Since Vic would be very busy working in the coming months, there are still no plans yet for a wedding banquet. Her manager went on to say that Reen is not yet pregnant and is still open to return to showbiz if there’s a suitable script available.

The respective managers of both Vic and Reen said they were not aware the two were planning to wed and only found out about it later after it already happened. Vic’s schedule would still go as initially planned, which includes promoting his latest movie Go Lala Go with Ariel Lin and Chen Bolin, plus a possible television drama in the works for next year.

I’m happy that my boy is finally married to a very suitable and charming lady. He’s been longing to have a family of his own and it’s high time he makes that dream a reality. I doubt Reen would be returning to acting even if there’s a suitable script available for her because I believe the newlyweds’ next plan would be to have a child, especially since Vic has been very vocal lately in expressing his desire to become a father soon.

Whatever their future plans are, I wish them all the best. I hope this would be a long, lasting and happy marriage for the two of them.

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The perfect time for Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza has arrived; shatters all Twitter records

The onscreen pairing of Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards, popularly known together as AlDub, has been enjoying immense success since its birth three months ago. This newest love team has been relentlessly sweeping the Philippines by storm, that soon after, its tidal waves are also now hitting overseas. Twitter Vice President Rishi Jaitly recently recognized the authenticity of the 25.6 million twits made last September 26 with their hashtag #ALDubEBforLove, making it the world’s second most twitted hashtag in the world. The popularity of this onscreen pairing and Kalyeserye, the street series where they’re both appearing on, have not shown any sign of letting up. Even famous singers like Bryan White, Dawin and famous rock band Lifehouse also began to take notice of them.

Maine Mendoza aka Yaya Dub

Maine Mendoza aka Yaya Dub

Alden Richards

Alden Richards

The star power of this unexpected love team was once again shown in full force when the hashtag of their latest episode last October 24,  #ALDubTamangPanahon, broke the record for the world’s most twitted hashtag with a staggering 41 million twits as confirmed by Twitter officials, beating the previous record of #BRAvGER (Brazil versus Germany from the FIFA World Cup 2014) which has 35.4 million twits.

Last Saturday’s episode happened to be a very special event for Alden, Maine and their legions of fans, as this was their most awaited moment, the Tamang Panahon or the right time. Tamang Panahon means the right time for the reel couple to formally get to know each other in person without the use of split screens and fan signs anymore. For more than three months, many viewers (myself included) faithfully and painstakingly followed each episode of Kalyeserye, patiently waiting for that Tamang Panahon to come, like a small eager child trying to reach out for a piece of candy just a few inches away from his fingertips. So you can just imagine the unrivaled jubilation of their fans when it was announced that Tamang Panahon would finally arrive on October 24, 2015. And so it did.

The said event was held at the Philippine Arena, the world’s largest indoor arena with a 55,000-seat capacity. The 55,000+ tickets were sold out in three days, with a total earning of Php14 million. All proceeds from the ticket sales would be used to help build libraries in remote schools lacking this fundamental facility.

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The 55,000-strong crowd who came to witness the Tamang Panahon at the Philippine Arena.

I did not go the concert as I don’t fancy the noise and company of large crowds (blame the introvert in me). Instead, I chose to enjoy the event in the comfort of my own living room, with just my lovely pet Golden Retriever by my side as my sole company. The event started at 10:00 am, but the actual concert program started at 11:30 am where it was shown live on television. The televised event was three hours long, with no commercial breaks in between, making the televiewers feel as if they were in the actual concert themselves.

I won’t be discussing anymore what happened during the first half of the show as I would just like to concentrate on the heart of the event which is on Alden and Maine. Though having said that, I think it’s still worthy to mention the wonderful performance of the three female hosts of the noontime show Eat Bulaga, namely Pauleen Luna, Patricia Tumulak and Julia Clarete, where they played the young versions of the Kalyeserye’s three grandmothers, Nidora, Tidora and Tinidora, respectively. Their dance performance has a vintage theme to it, as they danced and grooved to different tunes with an old school and jazzy arrangement. It was an outstanding performance which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Outstanding performance from Eat Bulaga’s female hosts as the young versions of the three grandmothers of Kalyeserye.

On one hand, I would also like to voice out how deeply disappointed I am over the performance of some notable and supposedly talented singers of the songs that were used as soundtracks in Kalyeserye. It seemed the invited singers didn’t practice at all, with some of them forgetting the correct lyrics of their own songs. Some couldn’t even hit the high notes, while some just sang out of tune. It was a very embarrassing and disappointing performance. Some fans were kind enough to surmise that the loud cheers in the arena might have dampened and weakened the sound system for the singers to hear their cues. But still… very disappointing (I could say that over and over and over again). It’s a good thing the fans came there to watch AlDub and not those singers. Otherwise, rotten tomatoes would have surely flown across the stage had they’ve been accessible.

The program started off with a video featuring both Maine and Alden as they gear up for their big event. In the video, Maine recounted how she once dreamt of becoming a big star, and how she prayed and believed it would truly happen someday. Alden, on the other hand, mused how his life suddenly changed one day, and how one person would suddenly arrive to become a big part of his life. Everything is all about perfect timing, if they would only wait patiently for the right time to come along…

On to the main event, starting with the performance of the heroine, Maine Mendoza. She made a grand entrance in the arena by riding the Philippines’ most famous mode of transportation, the colorful jeepney. She was all glam up in her fancy red dress, a far cry from her usual wardrobe as a nanny in Kalyeserye. She did a couple of her famous dubsmash snippets before breaking out in a lively dance number accompanied by the noontime show’s two children hosts. Her performance ended with a resounding applause and cheers from the audience.

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Maine Mendoza dances her way into people’s hearts.

The camera cut back to the three grandmothers in a living room setting, where one of the grandmothers, Lola Nidora, started telling Maine’s life story, her humble beginnings and her dream of becoming a celebrity, while showing a video montage that included some interviews from her family and close friends. They also showed a brief video footage of her audition in the noontime show last June 19, 2015, the very same audition video of which she fervently wished to never be shown in public (Hah! Wish not granted!). In the video, she was asked whether she could sing or dance, to which she replied no to both questions. Clearly, in just a span of just three months, she has indeed come a long way. She has already done a lot of things which some of her contemporaries whose been around in the biz longer than she is could ever do. Her future never looked so much brighter than it is right now. The old grandmother’s short storytelling was also like Maine’s formal introduction to the world of show business, a sort of like a trumpet heralding the arrival of the next superstar.

Lola Nidora also mentioned how Maine has always dreamed of becoming like a princess, an introduction to her next performance. The camera went back to the stage, where she was now seen wearing a lovely pink ballgown, looking every inch like a beautiful princess. She started waltzing with a few men, constantly changing partners, as if looking for her perfect Prince Charming. The big clock suddenly started striking loudly, and everyone around her stood frozen except for her. Not far away, a drone caught a white car (in lieu of a white horse) arriving in the venue. The car door opened and out came Alden Richards, all donned in a gray tux with long coattails befitting for a prince. He was carrying a box of roses and a mysterious red box as he entered the arena in a dramatic fashion, his entrance punctuated with videos of their past encounters with meaningful quotes in between. Maine was shown standing, now all alone, in the middle of the stage, awaiting his arrival.

Then the moment arrived, that most magical moment when the two of them finally laid their eyes on one another. It was a beautiful and touching moment, almost like a fairytale coming to life. The dim lights onstage and the sea of lights coming from the audience’s phone led lights only made the atmosphere more romantic that it already was. At that moment, despite the 55,000+ strong audience in the background, everything seemed to dissolve in the background, as if they were the only two people left in the world. The feeling coming from both sides were very much palpable, even from just my TV screen. Both seemed to be showing mixed emotions, apprehensive and yet yearning of one another. That yearning was much stronger on Alden’s side, even if all along the fans thought it was Maine’s emotions that were much stronger. And why not? He’s been in the industry for five long years where he only enjoyed lukewarm success despite doing several movies and TV shows. It was his unexpected team up with Maine that finally catapulted him to superstardom and even to immortality in the industry, way beyond his dreams and even his wildest imaginations, much more that he could have ever hoped for. And because of that, he was so grateful of her unexpected appearance in his life.

Alden and Maine came face to face onstage for Tamang Panahon.

Alden and Maine come face to face

...in a fairy tale-like setting.

…in a fairytale-like setting.

It was a magical moment when they met onstage, eyes on one another. It was almost surreal. That is, until the moment was broken with the entrance of Lola Nidora. You can even hear the audience audibly groaning in frustration. But unlike in the past, the stern grandmother no longer objected to their relationship. Instead of coming in between them just like she did in the past, she finally gave her heartfelt blessing to the couple as she silently left them alone on the stage.

Lola Nidora finally gave her blessings to the couple.

Lola Nidora gives her blessing to the couple.

Once again, it’s only the two of them left. Time seemed to stop. For a moment, there was a moment of awkwardness between them, having only seen each other in person for just five brief moments in the past weeks where they were even forbidden from touching one another and were only allowed to stand one foot from one another. However, the awkwardness was brief, as a sense of familiarity and emotional connection with one another started sweeping over them.

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Alden and Maine walks arm in arm for the first time.

The cue for their signature song God Gave Me You started filling the air and he started to serenade her, face to face for the first time. He offered her arm to her which she readily took, and together they walked onstage, clearly enjoying the moment. He held her hand so tight, not wanting to let go even for just a brief second, as if doing so would make her disappear again right before his eyes. No, not this time, nor ever again. In the middle of the song, he became emotional. She’s finally there, standing right before him, smiling back at him, silently assuring him that everything’s going to be just fine from now on, that no one’s going to separate them from one another again. His voice started cracking a little in the middle of the song as strong emotions overtook him. No longer able to hold back his yearning for her, he pulled her closer to him for a tight embrace, as if holding on to his dear life. He held on to her really tight, holding her head so close to him, as if the whole moment was like a dream which he would rudely awaken from in any moment. But it’s real, she was there, and she embraced him back. Both were crying tears of happiness. Finally, the moment they had long been waiting for had arrived.

Alden serenaded Maine with their signature song God Gave Me You.

Alden serenades Maine with their signature song God Gave Me You.

Alden held Maine in a tight embrace.

Alden holds Maine in a tight embrace.

The song ended, and the three grandmothers once again entered the picture. This time, they encouraged Maine to speak her mind. She thanked Alden first and told him how so many things have changed in their lives, though some things would never ever change including the two of them. Once again he became emotional, looking at her and hearing those words coming straight from her mouth, he closed in the gap between them for the second time and held her once again in a tight embrace, allowing the tears to fall freely from his eyes. Finally, she was really there, right next to him. She reached out her hand as she wiped away the tears from his eyes. Perfect moment.

Lola Nidora had one more request, that was to see them dancing the way a prince and a princess should dance. Alden suddenly remembered the red box he was carrying, and proceeded to get it. Out of the red box came the little glass slipper that Maine had left behind weeks ago when she hastily left the place where they should have first met but did not in order to escape from her evil grandmother. Now he got the chance to put it back on her foot, a la Cinderella. The three grandmothers left the stage, and the young couple shared a very heartwarming waltz, like a true Prince and Princess. They looked awkward together during the first few steps, laughing at one another as shyness seemed to overcome them. But the awkward moment only lasted briefly, and they immediately fell in perfect synced with one another with their every step until the end of their dance. They waved to the audience and the three grandmothers invited them down the stage for a quick “afternoon snack”, signalling the end of the performance to usher in a new one.

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Maine and Alden dancing like a Princess and a Prince.

This time, Alden Richards took centerstage. His performance highlighted the objects that aided in keeping them apart for three months – the alarm clock, the long table, the blindfold and the wooden wall (now also serving as a love graffiti wall for them). After his performance, the young power couple once again returned to the stage together for a final dance number, the theme of their performance showcasing their power over Twitter where they constantly trend, breaking twitter records left and right.

Alden Richards performed his solo dance number.

Alden Richards performs his solo dance number.

The event ended successfully and peacefully, leaving everyone feeling good and high from all the positive energy coming from all the performers. Each segment of the concert was punctuated here and there with tears and laughter, with anticipation and delight, with lots and lots of surprises, but most especially and most importantly, with love.

The energy and chemistry coming from both Alden and Maine were so powerful, that once again, their fans are expecting so much from them. Many were saying they have witnessed the couple’s true emotions for one another onstage. In a way, yes, as both of them are truly grateful of one another. Romantically though, I can’t say, I don’t know, and I refused to speculate.

If in the future they do fall in love with each other, I hope they do out of their own free will and not because it’s what their fans want to happen. I also hope they never ever mistake the feeling of gratitude to being in love, because love can never be used as a reciprocation for one’s gratitude. Love can’t be forced nor can it be imposed, but it can be given enough time to allow it to grow and blossom into something beautiful.

What I do know, and this I am sure, is that these two lovely people can become very good friends to each other for the rest for their lives. After all, they did change each other’s lives forever, making each of them an indelible part of one another. Whether their relationship can go beyond friendship, that I can’t tell. Only time can… sa tamang panahon (at the right time).

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Random thoughts

Starting today, I won’t be writing anything about the Chinese/Taiwan entertainment scene, though I won’t say that I will never write about it again. Fans of some celebrities sometimes amaze me, but most of time they baffle me. I can’t even call them crazy as it’s just too weak a word to even describe them. I have long forgotten what made me stop following Korean entertainment. Now, I fully remember why. Only too well.

This blog will continue, of course. I will continue to write, but mostly just my random thoughts. For those expecting me to write updates on Chinese/Taiwanese celebrities, they would have to find another blog to satisfy their cravings. I will veer away, at least for now, from writing anything about them, though my love for them has not wavered. Not one bit, and I think it never will. But for now, I could not deal with the immaturity of some fans. It’s not that they’re offending me or harassing me. Actually, far from it. I could not even care less what they say to me. I’m just so embarrassed for them whenever I see how narrow-minded they are, how immature they are. It’s so embarrassing that I can’t help but think if I had been that way too at some point in my life. I can’t even begin to imagine.

A couple of words (or rather sentences) to the wise. We must understand that we don’t own these artists. They have their own life to live. They’re not our dolls or puppets that we can just simply dictate what they should do, whom they should be with or what they should say. Just be happy with what they have to offer. If you’re not happy about them, then just walk away and find another star to adore, instead of saying hurtful words. It doesn’t do anyone good. Words can bleed, deeper than any tools. The wounds they cause can’t heal overtime. Sometimes, they never do anymore.

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This monster called fandom

A fandom is always a big thing to a celebrity. It can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because without the fans, an artist is nothing. It’s the fans that pay a lot of money from their own pockets just to see their favorite artist perform live, or watch their movies, or buy their albums or attend their concerts. It’s the fans that usually take the time, no matter how painstakingly, to wait in long lines and queues just to personally meet and greet their idols. They’re the ones who are ready to do battle against other celebrity fans, tooth and nail, just to defend their favorite stars, even if they get nothing out of it. It’s because of these fans’ overwhelming love and devotion that makes a celebrity’s star shine brighter than the rest.

However, behind this seemingly harmless adoration is a hidden monster, lurking behind the dark shadows of fame, waiting to be unleashed once a celebrity does something to disappoint it. This is the curse.

For fans, they admire a certain celebrity based on the image that they project onscreen, be it the the goody two shoes, bitch face or bad boy image. This image is what the fans love, and talent only comes in second, if truth be told. It’s this projected image that meets their expectations, it what feeds their fantasies of things that could never be in their own lifetime. However, there is a downside. This image that they so dearly love doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the artist’s true and real persona. It can even be the complete opposite. It’s only unfortunate that most fans won’t have any of that utter nonsense. For them, what they see is what they get. Or rather, what they wanted to get. Fans unknowingly demand this, and the celebrities only willingly cater to it to maintain their popular status. This is the hidden monster. It’s growing stronger and stronger each day, more powerful and more destructive as days go by, because it feeds well on the imaginations of the fans.

Until the day comes when a celebrity can no longer pretend, when he/she has had enough of being someone he/she is not. When the time finally comes that they just wanted to be their real true selves, it is here when the feeding stops. It is here when this hidden monster will start inching out of its hiding place, sometimes slowly, but most of the time sudden, to finally claim what it believes is rightfully his.

The fans who once placed a celebrity upon a pedestal, would be the one to pull him/her down from there. They can easily turn their back from their favorites stars once they see them doing something unpleasant to their eyes, once they see them destroying the sacred fantasy that they created inside their heads. Be it smoking, drinking, going to nightclubs, gender preference, dating other people aside from their onscreen partners, etc. Sometimes, the backlash from these once adoring fans can be so powerful as to cause their sudden downfall. It’s ironic, but that’s the way it is.

It already happened many times, for decades and decades. In my entire lifetime alone, though I have not lived that long enough, I’ve already seen it happened many times, if not all the time. Celebrities who are famous some years back, can no longer be found on this present time. A fandom has that much power. Nothing much has changed through the years.

It’s because of this curse that some celebrities are forced to live a life of lies for as long as they could. Some would rather die with this pretend mask than to take it off for the whole world to see. They have to, they need to. Unless they learn how to adapt to certain changes in their respective career, they have no other choice but to continue catering to their fans’ every whim, faithfully abiding by their fans’ rules. They have no choice but to continue feeding this hidden monster, to keep it fully satisfied so it stays right there in its hiding place. This is the only thing they can do, it is the only easy way to do, so this monster won’t consume them in the end.

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