Sing!China 中国新歌声 Episode 6 Recap

Here is a link to Episode 7 recap.

This week’s episode features Team Wang Feng as the first group to go through the elimination rounds to reduce members from 10 to top 5. His team is divided into 5 pairs, and only one singer from each pair can move on. Wang Feng’s team actually begins with 11 members, so each singer sings something before he decides which member to initially remove from the team. It ends up being a vocalist that didn’t get airtime in previous episodes.

Team Wang Feng also has an assistant coach, Tanya Chua from Singapore. She’s won the Best Female Vocalist Golden Melody Award three times. She sings the opening performance while strumming guitar, and she has a nice voice. I think it was a good decision for Tanya to help guide this team because her song style appears to be more ballad-y, a nice contrast to Wang Feng’s rock style.

Before the elimination round to determine the top 5 members of Team Wang Feng begins, he mentions that each member will receive a pretty nifty pair of headphones. We also find out that the other teachers’ students are also in the audience. Na Ying tells her team to learn well from the performances. Harlem tells his team to just have fun (GO TEAM HARLEM). Jay Chou tells the other teachers to be a little more relaxed and not put so much pressure on Wang Feng.

The pairs are as follows:

Ari vs. Zheng Jiawen

(Zheng Jiawen wins)

This match up confuses me, because their song styles are so different. Ari goes first, and I commend his bravery, given that he goes first out of all the contestants in this round. He does a great job of hyping the crowd up, and even inserts a cool guitar fingerstyle in the beginning of the song. I do think the guitar solo is a little too long though. With a seamless transition, Ari sings in Chinese halfway through the song, his pronunciation alright. Zheng Jiawen also sings an English song. The initial part of the song was somewhat disappointing but his singing improves greatly throughout the song.

Na Ying says the improvement of Zheng Jiawen is surprising, and she would say that he won this round. Harlem says that it’s surprising that his tone seemed to change (the “air”) since last time’s performance. Jay Chou praises Ari’s guitar-playing and comments that Wang Feng’s team almost seems to be competing in a guitar competition, there are so many guitars. Tanya says she got goosebumps when Zheng Jiawen started singing, and adds “You won my heart”.

Zheng Jiawen tears a bit while he thanks the teachers and audience. Ari struggles a bit speaking Chinese, frequently switching to English when talking to the judges. But I love his enthusiasm and energy. Wang Feng is told by the show host that he has to hug whoever is to go home (how harsh is that?!) and he hugs Ari. The person who gets to stay on the show is Zheng Jia Wen.

Liu Xuejing and Xu Geyang

(Xu Geyang wins)

I am not a big fan of Liu Xuejing’s interpretation of See You Again. Her rap is a bit aggressive and when she says “I’ll see you in a better place” it’s almost like she’s squeezing out her words. I can’t feel emotion behind the singing, since the words she emphasizes doesn’t match the feel of the lyrics. I will say that her vibrato is pretty good. On the other hand, Xu Geyang has a sort of unrefined but beautiful vocals. Emotion is a lot more present in her singing than in her competitor’s. Her technical abilities lack training but it almost doesn’t matter, since she communicates emotion so well in the song.

Jay Chou comments that while Wang Feng was speaking, it seems like Liu Xuejing’s eyes were teary and Xu Geyang didn’t dare to look at him– both girls seem nervous. Geyang explains that she’s shy. Jay Chou says Xuejing’s own style of “See You Again” is nice. Tanya says that Xuejing’s vocals were stable in the performance and says she gives her two thumbs up, but she also likes Geyang’s voice. She says she would choose Geyang. Wang Feng says that it’s been a difficult road for Xuejing. She had to change her song after two training sessions. And he also says Geyang has successfully overcome singing the deeper parts of the song.

Xuejing starts half crying and smiling, the poor girl. She says she feels very blessed and that she’s met many great people here. Geyang says she doesn’t really like talking too much, but is thankful towards all the teachers. Ultimately Geyang wins.

Xiang Yahong vs. Jiang Dunhao

(Jiang Dunhao wins)

 

Rock song vs. ballad. I wish these two weren’t competing against each other, because they both sing such great performances. Xiang Yahong’s slightly 沙沙 voice captures the energy of the song perfectly. Love the way he ends the song as well.  Jiang Dunhao sings part of the song in Mongolian, and he is able to balance both the gentle, peaceful parts and more agitated, sorrowful parts of the song. I think I would say Xiang Yahong won, but not by a large margin.

Jay Chou says he didn’t turn for either of these competitors, but today he really felt like doing so for them today. Na Ying says instead of completely reinventing the song, Yahong’s brings a different attitude or outlook towards it, which is nice. Harlem notices that while Yahong sang, Dunhao seemed to have a strange expression on his face. “吓坏了” (Scared) Dunhao says. But Harlem says he was able to not channel any of that fear when he started singing afterwards. Tanya says Yahong’s voice controls and captivates the audience, while Dunhao’s voice is like heaven. She doesn’t know who she would choose.

Yahong says he’s thankful for the opportunity to compete on the show. Dunhao thanks the teachers as well as his friends who helped Dunhao record a demo to audition for the show. Wang Feng takes some time to decide, since it’s such a difficult decision. He chooses Jiang Dunhao.

Karen Lam vs. Bai Ruoxi

(Karen Lam wins)

Karen has a distinct vocal color that really transforms any song she sings to fit a particular sort of dark or longing type of feel. I like her interpretation of the song. Ruoxi also has a unique voice that’s gentle and angelic. However, there is no new vocal variety since she sticks to a similar type of song as the one she auditioned with on the show. It’s also difficult to feel much emotion and the song gets boring after the first verse.

The teachers pretty unanimously prefer Karen’s performance over Ruoxi’s.

Ruoxi says since she was young she’s loved music and calls it her own little world. She thanks her friends who have come see her on stage today. She loves to sing and is thankful for this stage. Karen thanks her teacher and thinks her decision to pursue music two years ago was right, and is thankful for her family’s support.

Liu Wentian vs. Lu Jun Zhe

(Liu Wentian wins)

It’s difficult for me to evaluate Jun Zhe’s performance because I don’t listen to rock often and am not familiar with this genre, but I do think the whole song was sang nicely. Liu Wentian sings a soft rock song. In terms of emotion, I think Wentian succeeded, and did better than Jun Zhe.

The judges praise the two’s ability to support each other on stage — teamwork effort — such as Liu Wentian feeling the song when Jun Zhe was singing. Na Ying praises their rock performances as one of the most perfect ones she’s seen, and also compliments their strong stage presence. The show host asks why Wang Feng chose to put these two students in one round, and he has a smart answer — “If I didn’t do it this way, would the audience get to see such an exhilarating round?”

Jun Zhe thanks the year 2016 and thinks it’s like a dream that he was able to compete on this show and says he loves his wife. Liu Wentian says he’s never given up on rock, and he never will. He also says he loves his family. Wang Feng ultimately chooses Liu Wentian.

liuwentian.jpg

So at the end of Episode 6, the remaining 5 singers on Team Wang Feng are Zheng Jiawen, Xu Geyang, Jian Dunhao, Karen Lam, and Liu Wentian. I’ve also just realized maybe it’s a bad thing that so many of my favorite singers are on Team Harlem, because they’re all going to have to go through this same elimination round. nooooo

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