Voice of China Season 4 Episode 11: Cross Battles Between Wang Feng & Harlem Yu

This image below is a spoiler itself.

Voice of China Season 4 Episode 11: Cross Battles Between Wang Feng & Harlem Yu

All you eager eyes and keen ears out there must have heard about the little clash between Wang Feng and the media, and here we are, watching the episode itself this week! We can finally be the judges to see for ourselves if the media had indeed been biased against Wang Feng or it's all in his mind. Here's my summary and take on it:

>>> Spoilers present in this article <<<

Wang Feng picked the song that is always associated with Harlem as the opening song - 让我一次爱个够, which was appropriately tuned to become Wang-Feng-ized! Pretty satisfying to watch for sure, and Harlem, too chose a popular Wang Feng's song 春天里 (shameless plug for my favourite rendition of this song - Geng Si Han & Chen Zhi's performance) which was very adorably changed to Harlem's style. It's a soul swapping experience that is worth replaying again and again. But the night is long and so, let's begin the games! As a quick refresher, here are the contestants that will be fighting it out in this episode:
Wang Feng's team
Huang Xiao Yun
Bei Bei
Zhang Xinxin
Huang Yong

Harlem Yu's team
Zhao Da Ge
Tan Xuan Yuan
Zhang Shu
Ma Yin Yin

Voice of China Season 4 Episode 11: Cross Battles Between Wang Feng & Harlem Yu

Cross Battle I: Huang Xiao Yun vs. Zhao Da Ge
This is the 'youngest' cross battle in the history of Voice of China, with 16-year old Huang Xiao Yun performs All by Myself and 19-year old Zhao Da Ge singing Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Zhao Da Ge does her signature snazzy singing, giving this classic song a new modern feel. I like how she has her own personality when she sings, which is quite rare in this season. That's a characteristic of the members in Harlem's team. However, Huang Xiao Yun totally nailed it with her stunning All by Myself, which is an extremely difficult song to sing, let alone re-organizing and having so much emotions in it at such a young age.

Zhao Da Ge (28 votes) emerges as the winner, while the younger Huang Xiao Yun (23 votes) fail to proceed in the competition. This is a blasphemy. I have nothing against Zhao Da Ge and find that she is really good too, but in this cross battle, Huang Xiao Yun should have won for sure. Wang Feng apologizes repeatedly to Xiao Yun as she leaves. As he goes to the backstage, he has a very strange, cryptic conversation with the remaining three - 'Don't be so solemn. I know it clearly.' Then, Huang Yong added, 'Xiao Yun was really good there.' To which, Wang Feng agrees, 'Yes, she was really good. It's very obvious, but let's not talk about that.' (They had a time limit of 3 minutes to decide the next contestant) On the other end, Harlem recognizes it too - Zhao Da Ge, his very own disciple, didn't display a lot of 'fancy tricks' and attribute her win to her 'charm'. He doesn't sound very convinced himself because as of this point, he knew what Wang Feng was thinking too.

Voice of China Season 4 Episode 11: Cross Battles Between Wang Feng & Harlem Yu

Cross Battle II: Bei Bei vs. Zhang Shu
Zhang Shu picked a cutesy song that is very unlike her previous styles. It must have been Harlem's idea, I mean, Zhang Shu singing 你的甜蜜?! Are you see-ree-ious? I would have preferred her to sing heavier, emo songs but anyway, it might be to show her versatility. She does pull it off nicely, though it's a visual and audio mismatch. Bei Bei performs an extremely soulful 大桥上, does not exceed her previous stellar performances, does not break out of her female Wang Feng character, but touches me deeply as usual. The crowd is undoubtedly wow-ed by Bei Bei and entertained by Zhang Shu. Both Jay Chou and Na Ying holds Bei Bei to high regard and compliment - Na Ying even comments she has the flair of a champion (I agree). 
Zhang Shu wins (26 votes) and Bei Bei (25 votes) surprisingly loses by a close shave. Honestly, I am more surprised by how Wang Feng hasn't lost his cool yet. As individuals, each of them are wonderful singers, but Bei Bei definitely deserved to win, and by a huge margin in this cross battle. There's no way she could have lost, and now I finally understand that the media representatives indeed must have been biased. Wang Feng looks like he is about to punch someone, Harlem does not look happy, tries to make a joke but fails miserably, and the situation is so highly strung, you can literally see it in everyone's faces. Post-results, Wang Feng practically runs up the stage, brimming with angst - but says simply, 'Bei Bei, you speak too much. If she leaves the competition now, I don't agree. Do you agree?' Wow. Voice of China has never been more romantic dramatic than that. Wang Feng grabs Bei Bei's hand, marches off the stage, the camera zooms into her bewildered, confused and saucer-wide eyes... and he arrives at his seat, saying, 'Sometimes, we can exercise our right, we don't have to hide,' Still holding her hand, he leads her to slam the 'SAVE' button. The stage explodes in golden and yellow, with Momo Wu singing 'I believe'. Bei Bei stays.

Before going into the next round, host Hua Shao asks Wang Feng to comment, and he says, 'The previous two contestants from my team have exceeded my expectations so much. Our team currently faces a treacherous situation, but I think I don't have to use the immunity privilege anymore, given the ability of the remaining two contestants.' Na Ying and Jay Chou both looked highly uncomfortable and solemn. I have never seen Harlem look so uneasy before either. Ho-hum. Okay, next round.
Loved this post? Read Episode 13 Finale Prelude - best of Season 4, finale song lists, and predictions!

Voice of China Season 4 Episode 11: Cross Battles Between Wang Feng & Harlem Yu

Cross Battle III: Tan Xuan Yuan vs. Zhang Xinxin
Tan Xuan Yuan is currently my favourite contestant and in my opinion, the best contestant in Harlem's team. He sings a really beautiful 欲水, the sort that I would replay in the darkest of nights for respite... he draws the audience in to his world as he sings. His voice is very suitable to sing theme songs for period dramas too. Zhang Xinxin is strangely flat when he sings a solo - I remembered him being really good in the previous PK battles. It remains comfortably relaxing to listen to, but at this point, it is a dangerous move. It could be a wrong song choice as it didn't reflect how good he is. It is also difficult to surpass Zhang Lei in the department of minyao, so... yeah.
Tan Xuan Yuan (26 votes) wins by a slim margin and Zhang Xinxin (25 votes) leaves since there is no more SAVE option. Harlem still doesn't look happy at all for a winning team, Wang Feng nods and beckons that he wants to say something. Host Hua Shao strangely and awkwardly advised everyone not to clap at this point.
'I've been thinking of something from the first song. I wanted to wait until the final song before saying it. I need to express some nagging feelings that I have. The next few lines might not be broadcast on the official show, but I will definitely be responsible for my words. First, I want to express that what I am about to say has nothing to do with my losses on this episode. As the opponent to Harlem, I have told my assistant and my family that my favourite part of this season's Voice of China is the attitude of Harlem's team and the songs he picked. My interactions with Harlem have also been pleasant. I have no issues with Harlem. What I am about to say has nothing to do with Harlem and his team.
To all my students that have failed to go through, I am extremely apologetic to all of you, please pardon me for my frankness. You did not lose in music, you did not lose in Harlem's point of view, you did not lose to your opponent's spectacular performances, you lost to the materialistic and crude world of gossip and bias, to which it is aimed at your mentor (himself). Please do not cry, I am grateful for The Voice's band, director, music producers, music critics and DJs. I've said this long ago - your journey in The Voice can end any time, it is unpredictable. But your performances will surely be broadcast, the memories of every one here will never be gone.' 
It is so awkward. But Na Ying and Jay Chou tries their hardest to lighten things up... to some degree of success...

Voice of China Season 4 Episode 11: Cross Battles Between Wang Feng & Harlem Yu

Cross Battle IV: Huang Yong vs. Ma Yin Yin
Ma Yin Yin sings a quiet, romantic version of 三天三夜. If you haven't heard the original before, you will never imagine how it sounds like. I recommend this version from the super-awesome Season 1 contestants here. I really like how she plays with the song into this jazzy, bar-music, country, drunk sort of version, it is really so creative that has got me captivated all the way. But... Huang Yong has found a new fan in me. This is the best performance of the whole episode, and boy am I glad that Wang Feng saved the best at the last, it's really icing on the cake. In fact, I secretly wish that Huang Yong would win the entire competition. I never noticed him... and guess this is what we call a black horse, eh? I really liked how he smiles while singing such a crazily motivating song 流浪, he revved up the entire crowd. Haven't seen this Wang Feng spirit since Geng Si Han. Tears in my eyes as he finished up the last line, and longing for more.
Huang Yong (31 votes) wins, understandably. I like Ma Yin Yin (20 votes) too, and she is also a gorgeous lady so it's a waste to let her go. I think this episode has created this rare uncomfortably awkward situation made the last cross battle between Huang Yong and Ma Yin Yin unprecedentedly relaxed as it has dissolved the original stress from the competition. Ma Yin Yin simply says, 'Save me'! Harlem saves her, and then it is the cross battle between the saved ones:

Voice of China Season 4 Episode 11: Cross Battles Between Wang Feng & Harlem Yu

Cross Battle V: Ma Yin Yin vs. Bei Bei
It is true that Ma Yin Yin has already developed her own distinctive singing style, a lazy sophisticated way reminiscent of Shanghai in the 1930s. She sings 在水一方, reminding me of a scene with whiskey and soft bokeh lights. I would love for her to star in a coming-of-age movie, and/or sing the theme song of that movie. Bei Bei does a powerful, effortless 蓝莲花 by 许巍 (performed during PK battles of Season 2 by Zhao Han and Zhang Heng Yuan) as usual. 
Bei Bei (30 votes) wins after a harsh grueling night. Sadly, Ma Yin Yin (21 votes) has to leave. In the ideal world, I would prefer Ma Yin Yin to Zhao Da Ge, but everything's already officially locked in place. Unconfirmed sources mentioned that there was a re-recording done for the voting for this final cross-battle. Initially, Ma Yin Yin had won, but due to some reasons unexplained, they had to redo the voting such that Bei Bei wins. If you'd turned up the volume enough, you'll hear Bei Bei say to Harlem, "I'm sorry, this position is supposed to be Ma Yin Yin's", and Harlem replies, "Don't worry about it, it's just singing."

Final line-up: Zhao Da Ge, Zhang Shu, Bei Bei, Tan Xuan Yuan,  Huang Yong, Li Xin Ni, Zhang Lei, Chen Zi Tong, Sun Bo Lun, Li An

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  1. thanks for all your effort and all those interesting bits of news.

  2. I wish I could rage in as calm and restrained a manner as Wang Feng does.

    He's still in the game as long as he's got Bei Bei. That girl's crazy good.

  3. As celebrities, they must have met with all kinds of injustice... I am glad he handled it this way, it could have easily gotten much uglier than this.

  4. For Wang feng's speech, I think they cut out the first few lines about him saying it may not be broadcasted and also they cut out the most important and controversial line about the world of materialism and gossip aimed at him. Haix, all that subtle editing by the show :/

  5. Amazing controversy. Just when i thought this season didnt have the punch like previous seasons from the contestants. Guess what, the punch came from the judge this season. Cool. Thanks for sharing, i was still wondering what happen when i chance upon the actual recording version and the aired version. With your detailed analysis, i got to know why. Im still wondering why the media dont like wang feng. U know why? Whats it got to do with the documentary aired in april?

  6. This program is viewed internationally and it reflects China's media professionalism.

  7. I enjoy reading your blog! Please never stop writing! :)


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