Omigosh. I can’t believe I didn’t find this earlier. Sing!China 中国新歌声 is a new show (first season) that takes a similar format to The Voice. Yes, there are the spinning chairs and all, except instead of turning around, the chairs now resemble mini roller-coaster rides from the back to the front of the auditorium. Looks fun, I’ve got to admit. The four judges are Jay Chou, Wang Feng, Na Ying, and Harlem Yu.
The episode starts out introducing the speedy chairs (“不能再快了” -Wang Feng, ahaha) which seems to be engineered in a really modern manner. Then the judges begin to sing each other’s songs while pressing the button one at a time to get their own spotlight on stage before the competitors start singing. They are all so talented– Wang Feng at one point actually starts playing the violin (!!) and they all look so charismatic and at ease.
19:10 The first competitor is Xiang Yang from Singapore. When he starts singing, my jaw literally drops open. He sings the English parts better than the Chinese parts, but goodness his voice is so smooth. Wang Feng and Na Ying turn for him in the middle of the song (“还蛮帅的” -Na Ying, LOL). Na Ying’s got good taste. Then before he finishes singing, the rest of the judges turn! Dang, what a great way to start off the show :3 We find out this is Xiang Yang’s first time singing a performance in China. He studied MPE (music production and engineering) in Berklee College of Massachusetts. He typically sings jazzy English songs or R&B. Na Ying says his voice is very warm, like light. In the end he chooses Jay Chou as his teacher. Wise choice.
33:30 The next competitor hails from Beijing and a 30-year old called Bai Ruo Xi 白若溪. She raises 18 cats and has written many songs before. From the intro video she seems softspoken. Oh wow, when she starts singing there isn’t any background music at first. Simply an angelic acapella showcasing her delicate yet controlled high notes. Wang Feng turns after the first stanza. A very pure, unadulterated tone to her voice. Na Ying turns after the chorus. 2 out of 4 judges turned, that’s pretty good. Wang Feng praises her song-selecting ability (he originally wrote the song for his wife Zhang Zi Yi, aw). The judges ask what else does Ruo Xi like doing beside singing, and she says she enjoys raising cats. Ruo Xi chooses Wang Feng (despite her singing style actually resembling more of Na Ying’s).
46:45 The next singer hails from Sichuan, called 游淼 Yong Miao. He’s 30 years old and a veterinarian. He plays a lot of instruments including flute and guitar. He performs his own version of a Jay Chou song, with various Sichuanese accents. I’m not a big fan of the way he sings; it’s as if he’s reciting stage lines for a play or something. At first it seems like no judge will turn, but at the last moment of the song Jay Chou presses the button. Jay Chou explains that while Yong Miao was singing, all the other judges were laughing — but he has different taste from the other judges.
56:35 Next up is Li Pei Ling, a student from Malaysia. Her voice sounds like an experienced singer’s, strong yet with quite a vocal range. Wang Feng and Na Ying turn. She chose this song because her parents both really love that song, and she wanted to dedicate her singing of this song to them. Her dream is that one day she can be able to bring her parents on vacation, since they are getting older and her father has never been on a plane before. She chooses Na Ying as her teacher.
1:09:55 Next is Jiang Ge Hao 蒋墩豪 (dunno if I got the name right), 21 years old from Xin Jiang. I like his addition of whistling in the middle of the song–and hey, it’s not off-tune. Wang Feng turns first, and then Na Ying. I’ve gotta say this is my second-favorite performance so far. (Behind Xiang Yang’s) He’s got a soothing, folk-type of voice. Harlem Yu comments that his voice doesn’t sound like that of a 21 year old’s. And in fact this competitor doesn’t really add any fluff to his stories, his answers are short and concise, similar to his simple yet beautiful rendition of the song. He chooses Wang Feng.
1:20:19 Finally we have Yang Bo, 26 years old from Hu Bei. His job revolves around music. He live broadcasts himself on stream while singing, audience ranging from 2000 to 10000 viewers. I love the tune of the song he chose. Na Ying turns, and then the rest of the judges follow suit. At the finish of the song, he says 我先冷静一会儿 (let me first calm down a bit); aw, he was probably quite nervous. Na Ying says the song touched her. Well, with four of the judges trying to get Yang Bo onto their teams, he’s got no lack of choice for sure. And he ultimately chooses teacher Na Ying.
So at the end of episode 1, so far we have:
Team Na Ying: Yang B0, Li Pei Ling
Team Harlem Yu: no one
Team Wang Feng: Jiang Ge Hao, Bai Ruo Xi
Team Jay Chou: Yong Miao, Xiang Yang