If you grew up in the '80s and '90s listening to Mandarin pop songs, these guys might have a special place in your heart.
The Little Tigers - with Nicky Wu, Julian Chen, and Alec Su - was Taiwan's first Mandopop idol boy band, and part of a generation's collective memory with their wholesome looks and catchy radio hits like Hong Qing Ting, Qing Ping Guo Le Yuan, and Fang Xin Qu Fei.
The trio disbanded in 1995 and last performed together in 2010 in a Chinese New Year show, although they met for dinner in November last year.
So you can imagine the poignancy when Julian and Alec made a teary reunion on stage after 10 years in a recent episode of the Chinese music variety show, The Treasured Voice, where Alec is a judge.
The entire 98-minute episode — featuring other singers as well — is available on ZJSTV Music Channel's YouTube page.
But for readers who only want to catch the parts featuring Alec and Julian, read on and let's take a nostalgic walk down memory lane together. (This article won't explain what else happens in the episode or the competition mechanics, for simplicity's sake. We're here just for the Little Tigers, yah?)
From the 23rd-minute mark: Julian, 48, comes on stage, and Alec's eyes widened in surprise. Cue a video montage of the Little Tigers' old music videos, and Julian in rehearsal for his performance with rookie, Yao Chen.
From the 32nd-minute mark: Alec, 46, calls Julian "er ge" (second elder brother) and admits: "I became extra emotional when I saw him. I got teary watching him sing." Cutaway footage shows Alec wiping away tears as he gazes at Julian.
The two old friends hug and clasp hands on stage.
Taiwanese singer Angela Chang, also a judge in the show, admits: "I chased after celebrities only twice in my youth; once was to see (Taiwanese pop-rap group) L.A Boyz, and the second was after Little Tigers. I've never told anyone this. I went to their autograph session, and ran with everyone else after them. I wanted so much to see them but I couldn't because I was standing too far away."
Julian also says: "It has been 10 years since I was on a TV show. I thought to myself, was it because I'm not popular? I feel a roller-coaster of emotions… You might have seen my news some time back. People saw photos of me in a show and said I looked coquettish.
"But when (the organiser) told me the make-up had to be very exaggerated, can I say 'no'? Can I reject the outfit? I can't. I must be a performer when I'm performing."
In April last year, his unusual outfit during the Shanghai Fashion Week led to rumours that he was mentally unstable.
From the 39th-minute mark: Julian does a soulful snippet of the late Leslie Cheung's song, Wo (Me).
From the 42th-minute mark: As part of the show mechanics, Alec has to choose the better singer between Julian and Yao Chen, with the selected one winning the chance to duet with Alec in the second part of the show. He struggles.
He tells Julian hesitantly: "Both of us have sung for many years, and have a very rich trove of experience performing on stage. The young singers may need more opportunities. Are you okay?"
Julian, nodding his head, replies: "That's not a problem with me. I'm already very happy performing with Yao Chen and singing for everyone again."
"I get it. You're still the brother I know, very magnanimous. I'm touched," Alec says.
He reveals his choice: it's Julian!
"(Yao Chen) will get a lot of opportunities in the future. But I don't know when I'll get the chance to sing with you again," Alec explains.
From the 67th-minute mark: The two Little Tigers meet backstage to discuss the song to perform.
From the 78th-minute mark: The moment 10 years in the making: Julian and Alec perform together, singing Eason Chan's Sha Sha Nong. (Yeap, we wish it was a Little Tigers song, too.)
Alec later explains: "I chose this song as a sign of support for Julian, after seeing how much he's suffered for staying true to himself. He is like the dragon mentioned in the song, one that isn't accepted by everyone else. The dragon is his own hero, Julian is my hero."
While Alec didn't elaborate on what "suffering" Julian endured, it could be the controversy over what happened during the Shanghai Fashion Week mentioned above.