Episode 5 felt like a letdown compared to Episode 4. Not only did I feel like the overall vocal strength of the contestants lower in quality, I also thought the episode suffered from editing mishaps. Anyway, I’m looking forward to when the actual vocal battles start, now that the contestants all know which teams they’re on.
0:00 Right from the beginning of this episode the viewers are thrown into disarray wondering why we are shown seemingly random snippets of various contestants’ performances. I suppose there wasn’t enough time to allocate each singer 10 to 15 minutes of airtime, but still, starting off the episode without an introduction to this segment was a bit disorienting. Here are these competitors:
- LilAkin 阿克江。阿依丁, 25 years old: I like the beats and electronic music. Na Ying and Harlem turn, and he chooses Harlem.
- Fu Hao 付豪, 24 years old: He sings his rendition of “Wake up call”. He says his dream is to be like the four judges, iconic in that people recognize his voice when they hear his songs. Na Ying and Harlem turn, and he chooses Harlem.
- Lu Jun Zhe 吕俊哲 33 years old: He sings an ACDC song and all four judges turn. He chooses Wang Feng.
- Yue Jing Qi 岳靖淇, 21 years old: Na Ying is the only one who turns, so he is automatically on her team.
- Xiang Ya Hong 项亚蕻 26 years old: Featuring a Wang Feng facepalm at 5:16. Wang Feng is the only one who turns, so he is automatically on his team.
6:01 Jay Chou does some magic tricks trying to predict how many members will end up on each team. His predictions: Harlem – 12, Na Ying – 13, Wang Feng – 11.
11:44 The first contestant is 57-year-old Guan Ling Zhi 宫灵芝 from Taiwan. She is a very experienced singer, evident from the amount of control she exercises over her vibrato. Na Ying and Harlem turn. Apparently she has won 金曲奖 before, a prestigious music award. Her musical career has spanned 38 years so far, and she can sing in multiple languages, including Chinese, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The judges ask why she’s here on Sing!China, and she replies that after 50 years old, she set new objectives for herself to do something really big each year. She chooses teacher Harlem.
20:13 Next is 周旸 Zhou Yang, 20 years old from Zhejiang. I feel like her intonation was a little shaky in the beginning, but her vocals shine through in the chorus. Jay Chou, Harlem, and Na Ying turn. She aspires to be righteous and kind like Totoro 龙猫 (yas Studio Ghibli!). Jay Chou asks her whose music does she listen to the most, and she says that her morning alarm is GEM’s Bubble (泡沫) and at night she falls asleep to Chou’s Secret (不能说的秘密).
33:27 Next is the first duo appearance I’ve seen on this show, a group formed from hip hop rivals Yang He Su 杨和苏 and Zhang Xin Yue 张馨月, from Chengdu and Shenyang respectively. They seem pretty close to each other (but they say they’re not dating). Xin Yue’s high notes are very good. At one point in the song He Su attempts Rap God by Eminem; it’s pretty good, but the enunciation needs some work. I don’t blame him though, since English isn’t his native language. All four judges turn towards the end of the song. He Su explains that the first time he heard hip hop he thought it was an energetic type of music, with movement, but as he gained more understanding, realized it was also a vessel for expressing oneself. They call themselves the “low key” duo. They choose Jay Chou.
44:48 The next contestant is the main lead singer in an acapella group. She’s 25-year-old Wang Chen Rui 汪晨蕊, from Guangdong. I like how you can hear her smiling while she sings. I also applaud how she is able to maintain a constant relatively-quiet volume even while singing high notes. Wang Feng and Na Ying turn. She chooses teacher Na Ying.
52:56 Next is Wu Jiang 吴江, 30 years old from Sichuan. He is a music cassette collector, and has albums from Jay Chou, Wang Feng, and Harlem Yu. He sings reggae, which is a nice break from the music styles the other competitors have been singing. His transitions are particularly well-executed, from rapping to a high-note interlude. Jay Chou and Harlem turn. Jay Chou encourages Wu Jiang to go to his team, because he’s already picked out the next song for him to sing. He chooses teacher Jay Chou.
1:03:19 Next is Wu Ying Xiang 吴映香 from San Paulo, Brazil. She and her sister had dreams of becoming singers, but since her sister’s studying at university now, the dream is left to Ying Xiang. She has a really pretty voice but she’s sometimes off-tune and doesn’t appear comfortable with the low notes. Occasional crescendos are misplaced, but her high notes are clear and her song choice is good. All four judges turn. She chooses teacher Harlem.
1:14:37 Next is Lin Cai Lun 林恺伦, 18 years old from LA. She also writes her own songs. I love her song choice. The tune is gorgeous. Wang Feng, Harlem, and Jay Chou turn. She chooses teacher Wang Feng.
1:23:40 Next is Yu Tian 羽田, 24-year-old Canadian. He’s my favorite singer from this episode. A very warm tone and beautiful song. Especially when the song came around to the English parts, I thought his technical abilities were quite strong. After searching up his other songs or covers on Youtube, I found out he’s actually competed on a different Chinese music show before, with judges turning as well. All four judges turn. He chooses to join Jay Chou’s team.
1:33:14 Next is Bao Shi Yu 包师语, a 19-year-old student. Apparently some of her friends say that her voice is sleep-inducing, and Shi Yu says she hopes the judges won’t fall asleep while listening to her sing. She plays guitar while she sings 安河桥. I personally thought this performance was a bit underwhelming, but the crowd seems to love the song. Wang Feng, Na Ying, and Jay Chou turn. She ultimately chooses teacher Jay Chou.
So at the end of episode 5, here are the final team compositions:
Team Na Ying: Wang Chen Rui, Zhou Yang, Yue Jing Qi, Yang Shan, Vinida, Hou Zhi Bing, Su Li Sheng, Bai Jing Chen, Yang Bo, Li Pei Ling 
Team Harlem Yu: Wu Ying Xiang, Guan Ling Zhi, Fu Hao, LilAkin, Yang Mei Na, Wang Chuang, Li Ruixuan, Zhao Xiao Xi, Yao Xi, Jie Ke Hao 
Team Wang Feng: Lin Cai Lun, Xiang Ya Hong, Lu Jun Zhe, Ah Rui, Xu Ge Yang, Zheng Jia Wen, Liu Wen Tian, Liu Xue Qing, Jiang Ge Hao, Bai Ruo Xi 
Team Jay Chou: Bao Shi Yu, Yu Tian, Wu Jiang, Yang He Su & Zhang Xin Yue, Huang Jun Jie, Shan Liang, Pu Xiang, Cheng Si Jia, Ceng Min Jie, Yong Miao, Xiang Yang 
new members in bold