中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

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中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Hailing themselves as the singing variety show beholden to the mission of raising the next generation of Mandopop, Sing!China has finally come to its final chapter. If you're reading it now, you would probably have heard about many disagreements and controversies that occurred during the finale. Maybe that's what the entertainment industry is about. If it doesn't generate talk, it's a bad show. And Sing!China has certainly generated a lot of talk, a lot of people screaming hath and fury claiming they won't watch the next season... guess what, every season of The Voice has got people saying that. But be it Sing!China or The Voice, these shows have topped viewership charts across all the regions with Chinese communities. So there. We will leave the commentary to perhaps a later post, this post celebrates the accomplishments of the final six and the fallen ones (who are equally, if not even better) that has reached thus far. It is a sign that Mandopop is in fact very much popular and strikes us at a sweet spot that nothing else can:


中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Venue: The Bird Nest, Beijing

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Host: The amazing No.1 China Talk Host (aka. the host of VOC): Hua Shao

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

To encourage the top 6 finalists, Xue Zhi Qian and Vinida hold up the fort with a duo PK-style performance in which Xue Zhi Qian sings his most famous EP 丑八怪 while Vinida sings the song that she last performed during the Na Ying's team internal PK rounds - 给我一个 吻. The familiar songs are a great comfort for the audience, as they go wild with the beginning. At some parts their voices don't seem to gel, but the acoustics in the huge auditorium prove to be challenging for singers in a LIVE show like this.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

The stage is all snazzy in Beijing's Bird Nest, especially with the backup dancers, lighting, and the gigantic posterized image of Vinida. I would say Vinida is now replacing Momo Wu as the most celebrated singer of the show, since they have lost the copyright for The Voice franchise. Well, the introduction make digs at The Voice - including one evident line - "rather than turning around for good voices, isn't it better to take one step forward".

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Next, all the Sing!China Top 40 contestants come together for a sing-along to 光明, a song by Wang Feng. There is a lot of echo in the Bird Nest which is probably very awesome LIVE but the effect from watching it from video is a little lacklustre. The top 6 finalists enter on the wings of a plane. Some of they key noteworthy things spotted: Oh my god Harlem's spunky blue hair! And Xu Ge Yang's upgraded olive green jacket 💕 They will all be making two performances, one with their teacher and one solo. Meanwhile, all the LIVE audience will vote during each contestants' individual voting window (equivalent to contestants' performance slot). The contestants with the lowest four votes will be eliminated. The remaining two will go into the Finale PK to vie for championship.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.
Evidence - 81 professional music judges
中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

The first round of teacher-student pairing is: Jay Chou & Nathan Hartono (Xiang Yang)
They perform 双截棍, slaughtering the original swag of the song with a couple of trips over the rap, cultural misappropriation of European styles but OK, Nathan is still cute. He rapped in Chinese, beatboxed, danced, and basically leaping out of his comfort zone once again, and so kudos to that, but I seriously questioned why the choice to convert 双截棍 like this!

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.
 中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.
 中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Next up: the trio ladies - Na Ying, Wang Chen Rui, Li Pei Ling with 爱上你等于爱上寂寞. Na Ying is obviously still queen, overshadowing her students unfortunately. But between the two, Wang Chen Rui manages to control her nervousness better and project her voice further than Li Pei Ling who seemed a little overwhelmed. The latter steadied herself as the performance wears on. Towards the end, they all seemed sufficiently warmed up.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Harlem & "Eastern Rihanna" Yang Mei Na try to "shine bright like a diamond" on stage with carnival-like extravaganza, singing a pop-style 命中注定. It feels like Harlem is trying to create another Momo Wu, which is kinda sad for Yang Mei Na because the MMW style doesn't suit her. Both of them don't seem to hold up the atmosphere in the concert hall which is overwhelming, and they disappear in the sea of too much dance, fire, and explosion commotion.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.
中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.
中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Finally, it's my favourite team - Wang Feng, Xu Ge Yang and Jiang Dun Hao with a heart-pumping energetic, rock song, 满! I really liked this song. If you're an avid fan of Sing!China and wondering how come this song seemed like it was sung before... it was featured in the first episode when Jay Chou sang it. Xu Ge Yang has outdone herself yet yet yet yet again. Her voice is just amazing, hitting the highest notes easily even if it's the first line she is singing, and her get-up is just full-on swag. This is totally not Jiang Dun Hao's style, but surprisingly he holds up well. Wang Feng looks elated to be in his performance mode again. The whole stage is smoked up for nearly the whole performance and you can hardly see the three of them.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Xiang Yang and Xu Ge Yang lead at this point of the competition.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Li Pei Ling takes the first mike for the solo performances and transforms into Elsa. She sings Let It Go, the theme song of Disney movie Frozen. It was actually very brilliant, thankfully much better than her performance with Na Ying and Wang Chen Rui. Her voice fills up the whole space beautifully, and she exudes grace, confidence and joy throughout. Such a wonderful performance. The random character strokes around her eventually lifted to form her name behind her. Not sure why Na Ying still looks obviously nervous and frazzled after her performance.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

And here, the champion, in my opinion, should be Xu Ge Yang, the diva, the queen of the night. She sings , and she channels her own Ge Yang style and also Liu Wen Tian's Good Night Beijing Her performance with extraterrestrial-superhuman high tones is endlessly satisfying to listen to. It's as if all my blocked arteries and acupoints have been instantly restored to full health with a listen to her singing. She is strong and feminine at the same time, and commands the whole stage even with simple stage set-up.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Wang Feng explains that the white 'glove' on her hand is actually a cast for her injured finger on her right hand, but it doesn't seem to affect her performance at all as she pulls it off flawlessly. You go girl! 💕 The cape that Xu Ge Yang is wearing is also a gift from the internationally renowned actress, Zhang Ziyi, also Wang Feng's wife.

Li Pei Ling is invited onstage to see their votes.

Xu Ge Yang: 20,722 votes
Li Pei Ling: 14,227 votes

It seems that announcing votes at this point is extremely unfair, because it means a few things: the first contestant (aka Li Pei Ling) is at a disadvantage as audience tend to be more cautious with voting at the beginning, or in general just less attentive, and the audience will feel the threat of elimination more intensely for the next few contestants.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Nathan Hartono (Xiang Yang) goes for one of Jay Chou's best love songs - 最长的电影. Good choice of song (but not so much good choice of apparel, why Milo peng's colour). 😄 All I can say... Nathan should totally go into (emo) love songs! It suits him so much. His pronunciation still disturbs me, but I will close two eyes to that just for the chorus that he just sang for this song again and again. He rushed a little for the chorus, not sure if on purpose or intended, but the effect really jolted my tear ducts into action. Can I also say... it's better than the original..? OK don't hit my face. Jay Chou says: 地表最强 永远向洋 (The world's best, forever Xiang Yang - cos it rhymes).

Li Pei Ling and Xu Ge Yang are invited onstage to see their votes.

Xiang Yang: 35,577 votes
Xu Ge Yang: 20,722 votes
Li Pei Ling: 14,227 votes

This also means that Li Pei Ling is eliminated.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Yang Mei Na sings 倔强, but it can be described as a trainwreck. Like, what just happened? Wrong choice of song, wrong choice of outfit, wrong stage set-up (what has chains got to do with this song?). Not only is her voice swallowed into the black hole of the Bird Nest, she completely could not hold the stage up by herself. Mostly because the song and the style do not suit her at all. I am so disappointed with Harlem, he usually has a very good sense of song choice. He explains it is supposed to be inspirational, different from her usual steady song choices in the past. It is also to represent Mei Na's personality of persistence to be different from others. Too risky to do this at this point in the competition!!

Xu Ge Yang is invited onstage to see their votes.

Xiang Yang: 35,577 votes
Xu Ge Yang: 20,722 votes
Yang Mei Na: 19,066 votes
Li Pei Ling: 14,227 votes

This means Yang Mei Na is eliminated.

At this point, Xu Ge Yang wanders aimlessly on the stage (LOL) - 1:36:40.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Wang Chen Rui, nobly sang a Cantopop song by Leslie Cheung - 当年情. I believe everyone would have heard this song before if they like Cantopop music. As per her usual stable performances, Wang Chen Rui delivers this song, tribute to Leslie Cheung, and wins the roaring applause of the audience. Beautiful and touching rendition, a rare female version of this song. It is actually a very controversial move because Cantopop songs are often not well-received in China in today's era. Rocky from Hong Kong of Voice of China Season 2 was also ousted because he could only sing Cantopop songs.

Xu Ge Yang is invited onstage to see their votes once again.

Xiang Yang: 35,577 votes
Wang Chen Rui: 28,009 votes
Xu Ge Yang: 20,722 votes
Yang Mei Na: 19,066 votes
Li Pei Ling: 14,227 votes

This means Xu Ge Yang is eliminated. Goddamn it, you guys, I want to hear her sing 勇敢的心!

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Jiang Dun Hao performs a mind-numbingly boring minyao 河流, but it represents him enough, a clear stream of water, just doing what he likes and without a care for what others think of him. Just like the previous champion, Zhang Lei, he also carries a guitar and sings minyao. Just to remind you, Jiang was officially the most popular contestant on the previous episode according to audience members. He is not detestable, but he is not likeable (like Xu Ge Yang) either. He stands in a middle-ground for me. 

Xiang Yang and Wang Chen Rui are invited onstage to see their votes once again.

Jiang Dun Hao: 39,962 votes
Xiang Yang: 35,577 votes
Wang Chen Rui: 28,009 votes
Xu Ge Yang: 20,722 votes
Yang Mei Na: 19,066 votes
Li Pei Ling: 14,227 votes

Total votes: 157,563 votes

Jiang Dun Hao and Xiang Yang promotes to the final PK, and with that, both of their voting channels are opened. Wang Feng and Jay Chou appear extremely anxious.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Nathan Hartono picked a song 城里的月光 written by Singaporean songwriter, Mavis Hee. It is a mash up with 女人花 as well. No Singaporean will be stranger to the first song, and it is heartening to hear him sing this. His pronunciation reminds me of Pierre Png when he first started on Channel 8. He skips over a few words occasionally.. a bit horrifying but OK, I still like the performance, mostly because of how he carries himself as very sincere and involved in his singing. 

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Jiang Dun Hao sings a song by Wang Feng, 窗台. Jiang might be boring, but you have to admit that when he sang this particular line - "留下是不变的思念" it is much more powerful than Liang Bo or Zhang Lei, two champions of VOC that are closest to his style. His performance is actually very touching if you listen closely.


中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Hua Shao states clearly that 50% of the final result will be contributed by the 81 professional music reps, and 50% by the audience voting. However, at the point of the music reps voting, the channel for audience voting closes. I have never seen Wang Feng and Jay Chou soo stressed up before, their green veins are already popping from their temples. Or maybe Jay Chou is just freezing in the Bird Nest from the strong air conditioning.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.
Stressed faces.
中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.


Finale results:
Jiang Dun Hao: Music reps - 47; audience - 59,852 votes (56.7%)
Xiang Yang: Music reps - 45; audience - 45,613 votes (43.3%)

Actually, since it is already a public spoiler that Jiang Dun Hao won, and a lot of people are unhappy, I will drop my opinion in the sea of complaints and just leave it here. 

1. Not against non-PRCs, but for minorities
The argument that Sing!China does not want non-PRCs to win is valid, but Jiang Dun Hao is actually regarded to be in another category that is also controversial as well - being a Xinjiang Minority. They could have let him won in order to appease the minority-mainland relations? Who knows. But Jiang is good, and regardless if he is champion or runner-up, he does not deserve all the nasty comments, even if the calculation of 45+47=81 (81 judges as announced by Hua Shao at the beginning) is completely anti-mathematical.

2. Jiang has always been popular among audience voters
What's more, as I said earlier, he was the most popular among audience votes last episode, and it is no surprise he is still as popular. Music enjoyment, especially relativity between two amazing performers, is subjective. And you might not see what others see in someone else, but it does not mean he is not good. Hence, even if the judges' votes don't count, just based on audience votes, he would have won anyway.

中國新歌聲‬ SING CHINA, FINALE, The Final Chapter.

Congratulations, Jiang Dun Hao!
We have come to the end of the commentary and summaries of Sing!China.

Final ranking:
#1 Jiang Dun Hao (Wang Feng)
#2 Xiang Yang (Jay Chou)
#3 Wang Chen Rui (Na Ying)
#4 Xu Ge Yang (Wang Feng)
#5 Yang Mei Na (Harlem)


#6 Li Pei Ling (Na Ying)

If you need a recap on all the previous episodes:
Episode 1 - Blind Auditions
Episode 2 - Blind Auditions
Episode 3 - Blind Auditions
Episode 4 - Blind Auditions
Episode 5 - Blind Auditions
Episode 6 -  Wang Feng Top 10 to Top 5
Episode 7  - Jay Chou Top 10 to Top 5
Episode 8 - Harlem Top 10 to Top 5
Episode 9 - Na Ying Top 10 to Top 5
Episode 10 - Jay & Wang Feng PK
Episode 11 - Na Ying & Harlem PK
Episode 12 - Top 12 to Top 6 contestants
Episode 13 - Finale (this post!)


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I share interesting episodes in life revolving around food, lifestyle, travel and inspirational ideas. If you would like to stay in touch, follow me on my Instagram on @amie.hu and Facebook page!

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3 comments

  1. fabulous. your writing has really been a great companion as i followed the progress of the show. thanks to nathan hartono, of course. i can at times barely catch the stream of mandarin. am amazed that you can and your wide understanding of the mandopop/ rock genres and the players. kudos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Amie, I enjoyed reading yet another excellent article of yours. Full of wits!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i also think xgy should've won! but happy with the results esp for xiang yang's 2nd place - sg represent!! thanks for your commentaries, have read every single one!

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