Singaporean singer-songwriter JJ Lin and Taiwanese singer A-Mei began the evening on a high note, with both up for six awards each at the 29th Golden Melody Awards, the Chinese equivalent of the Grammy Awards. But the two stars went away empty-handed.
The big awards went to Hong Kong singer Eason Chan, who won Album Of The Year, as well as Best Male Vocalist (Mandarin).
Also jubilant was Taiwanese singer Lala Hsu, who won awards for Best Mandarin Album and Best Female Vocalist (Mandarin).
Appearing shocked each time her name was called, Hsu said in her acceptance speech for Best Mandarin Album: "This feels like a dream because my fellow nominees are outstanding. I will continue to work hard."
Chan, in contrast, was at ease on stage and whipped out his mobile phone to take a photograph of his trophy. He said: "I'm very relaxed today, and my body is stiff from sitting for so long. I will focus on singing for everyone, and I'm sorry to keep everyone waiting for a concert."
The five-hour-long award show at the Taipei Arena in Taiwan was hosted by Taiwanese singer Jam Hsiao, who sang, painted on stage and bantered with his fellow singers.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
C'mon In by Eason Chan
BEST MANDARIN ALBUM
The Inner Me by Lala Hsu
BEST MALE VOCALIST (MANDARIN)
BEST FEMALE VOCALIST (MANDARIN)
SONG OF THE YEAR
He-R (Yu Zai) by Crowd Lu
Lin joked with Hsiao that he had returned to his seat after performing to "increase his luck" with a hug from him. Hsiao quipped: "But I've been down on my luck."
Lin's 10-minute performance featured a medley of his hits, including Little Big Us, Jiang Nan (River South), and Bu Wei Shei Er Zuo De Ge (Twilight).
He had been up for six awards for his album, Message In A Bottle. The album had received nods in the categories of Best Album Producer, Best Mandarin Album, Best Composer, Best Male Vocalist (Mandarin) and Song Of The Year. It was also eligible for the Album Of The Year category.
In 2016, he had won Best Composer and his second Best Male Vocalist (Mandarin) award.
Other winners included Taiwanese singer Crowd Lu, who beat Lin to win awards for Song Of The Year, and Best Composition for his song He-R (Yu Zai). Taiwanese indie group EggPlantEgg (qie zi dan) also bagged two awards for Best New Artist and Best Taiwanese Album for their album Cartoon Character.
Taiwanese jazz pianist and composer Hsu YuYing picked up three awards - Best Instrumental Album Producer, Best Instrumental Album, Best Instrumental Recording Album - for her album happened, happening.
Singaporean singer Stefanie Sun and music producer and composer Kenn C, who were nominated for Best Single Producer for their song A Dancing Van Gogh, also missed out on the award. The award went to Taiwanese folk musician Lin Sheng-Xiang.