What do the both of you bring as the new hosts of Asia’s Got Talent?
JB: We’re going to bring lots of fun and spontaneity. And definitely a useful quirkiness, I’d say.
AW: Justin and I have known each other for a bunch of years now, so I’d like to think that the banter and friendship that we have comes across on camera. Also, we’re like two children in a candy store — we love to be entertained. So in a lot of ways we’re an extension of the audience, sitting there watching amazing acts happen. And we’re blown away like how everybody else is.
JB: We’re channeling the inner audience.
What are your individual strengths as hosts?
AW: Justin’s quick with improvisational lines, witty banter and jokes. Sometimes I can’t even keep up with his puns.
JB: Is this what we’re doing? Telling how the other person’s good? I better start thinking of something for you then.
AW: I’ve been meaning to say that for a while now though.
JB: Aw that’s sweet. Alan’s really good at connecting with people…
AW: I touch them.
JB: …like good at being emotionally available. And of course, you’re good at improvisational stuff as well man!
AW: I take that from him. But this is what I mean by the back-and-forth, it shows up well because that’s just how we speak.
JB: It’s hard to be nailing it all the time, and honestly, you’re exhausted after shooting 15-hour days. We know each other well enough such that whenever one of us lulls down, the other’s there to pick them up without a hitch.
Do you guys have any hidden talents beyond presenting?
AW: It’s hard to consider what’s talent and what’s not; do you have to be good at it? I can beatbox a little, make drum sounds with my mouth.
JB: I used to play soccer, so I can juggle a ball reasonably well. Aside from hosting, people may not realise that Alan and I also do a lot of writing and work on projects on the side. I’ve got a film coming out that’s based in Bangkok. So we’ve got other things that we take seriously, that we consider a challenge.
AW: So we do get serious every now and then.
What are your greatest achievements since landing in Singapore?
J: [Laughs] We can’t just say hosting Asia’s Got Talent, even though it actually is.
A: That’s what I was going to say! I got to do a play with Pangdemonium, and working with Adrian Pang and his wife was awesome. Getting to do actual theatre in Singapore was pretty cool.
JB: I didn’t know you were going to be this serious. Being alive, making it this far. This is a rough industry, and we showed up here about three and a half years ago with no real knowledge of what to expect. There’s always new people coming in and out, so it’s hard to maintain and keep things fresh, keep doing enough work to survive. Singapore’s expensive man!
AW: Working. Honestly, just working.
JB: I did do this one show, Bespoke, that I really enjoyed. There were a lot of liberties given to myself and the production for that show, and we took advantage of that, so it ended up coming out well because of that.
Check out the other interviews of Men’s Folio 20 Men including cover star Pierre Png, DJ MYRNE and more in our 20th anniversary October issue, available now.