Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner

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Rounding up the season with a spectacular finale.

Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner
The Voice of China Season 4 has finally built up a crescendo to its finale on the evening of 7 October 2015. It is the best episode of this season because every contestant really showed that they could hold their own fort and deserves a place in the top 5. Finally, Zhang Lei from Na Ying's team was crowned winner. Chen Zi Tong from Jay Chou's team was the runner-up of the season.
Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner
Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner
The Voice of China proved itself to be the most influential Mandarin Chinese singing competition with its impressive stage set-up - in Beijing's Bird Nest, no less, surround sound system, and even the judges line-up consists the best in the industry. Viewership records have shot through the roof, with so much gossip and advertisers fighting for space on the show, we've got to admit... this season is the best yet. I personally found contestants from other seasons to be individually stronger, but on an overall, Season 4 has a relatively more comprehensive quality group in their top 48.
Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner
Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner

#5: Bei Bei (Prediction #3, After watching, #2)
Sweet child of Wang Feng's team. Bei Bei has improved leaps and bounds from Episode 12, she managed to showcase more of her gentler moments which are much more pleasing and emotive. Despite the fact that she has established the most vocal fanbase among the five contestants, she doesn't garner enough votes to bring her into the top three. Her live performance is highly stable for the level of difficulty she has to maneuver through. She has the makings of a C-pop queen. I especially liked the duet she did with her teacher, Wang Feng 汪峰 - 石头在唱歌 (literally: The Rock is Singing). It is my favorite performance of the entire finale. Although the song is enjoyable, it is a wrong song choice to pick because it doesn't explicitly tug at the heartstrings of the audience as compared to songs related to family, love, and life in general.

Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner

#5: Li An (Prediction #4, After watching, #4)
Li An exceeded my expectations by truly flaunting his R&B talent through his low and layered voice. He breathed life into 发如雪, a Jay Chou's song from the yesteryear and turned it into something less Oriental and more marketable on the international arena. His personality only shone through during the finale, but it wasn't distinctive enough to earn votes which was quite a shame. Potentially, the fact that he wasn't born in China might have affected his popularity too.

Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winnerVoice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner

#3: Tan Xuan Yuan (Prediction #1; After watching, #1)
After watching the finale, I maintain my stance that Tan Xuan Yuan is my choice for championship. He was at prime condition, balancing the essence of being cute, cool and a rocker all at once with the first song with Harlem in 我最摇摆 (I know, how?!). Later, he was totally in his element by doing a mash-up of We Are The Champions and We Will Rock You, perfecting all the higher notes and I love how pleasant it sounds even when he does it - most people end up sounding quite irritable. What's more, he does this effort-less-ly. I couldn't be more sad to see him go... I cannot help but feel if he picked a more tear-jerker sort of Chinese song, he would have had a better chance.

Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner
Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner
Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner

#2: Chen Zi Tong (Prediction #5, After watching, #5)
I didn't particularly liked her performances that night - it seems like Chen Zi Tong should have done better... lingering memories of her 刀剑如梦 reminded me that her 刀马旦 didn't really surpass it. Her androgynous get-up for her funky duet with Jay Chou didn't suit her as well. Nevertheless, the core of her talent - rapping - was still amazingly stable for a live performance, not a single trip-up! She did went off-key during her final performance against Zhang Lei as her vocals were already strained by that point in the night. Not like all these technical errors will be of any issue when most of the votes are dependent on their existing fanbase! 
Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner
Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner
Voice of China Season 4 Episode 13 Finale - Zhang Lei crowned winner

#1: Zhang Lei (Prediction #2, After watching, #3)
Ultimately, Zhang Lei managed to win the hearts of most of the audience with his minyao. This is understandably so. Much criticism is aimed at how boring his performance is, and how he didn't do fanciful high notes like Bei Bei or Tan Xuan Yuan... he was only singing while remaining rooted to the stage. In fact, he hardly had any background dancers or additional stage decoration. How could he be the winner?
The reason? Na Ying is the queen of choosing songs and she has her eye on the prize all along. She has already exhibited that ability in the past seasons, and she knows exactly what makes the audience tick and what she should do to get votes. All of Zhang Lei's songs hit the bullseye again and again. From the first opening duet, she reminded everyone how the entire country went crazy over his 南山南 (none of the other contestants repeated their 'signature' songs) while capitalizing on her Voice of China classic song 梦一场 sung in previous seasons. Later, Zhang Lei sings 旅行 and  异乡人, both of which focuses on themes of family, longing for love and loneliness. All of which are highly relatable to the audience, regardless if they were the one who wandered away from home or the ones being left behind. All I can say is good strategy, and also thank goodness for her less competitive counterparts who did not pick songs according to how they can win the competition.

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