Spoiler alert! Oops . . .
But what is a Spanish song doing in a Chinese music competition, anyway? 😕
With the upcoming Lantern Festival (when we all get to eat tangyuan), everyone is in a festive mood for this week’s episode of “I Am A Singer”. The singers all receive lanterns, revealing banners with four-character sayings hinting at each person’s order of performance.
Faced with the pressure of ranking sixth last time, Hwang Chi Yeol receives a banner proclaiming “一帆风顺”, with 一 meaning, of course, “one”. He chooses to sing 《苦海》 (“Bitter Seas”?), a Korean song that propelled him to fame within the K-pop industry. It’s revealed that he actually debuted back in 2006, meaning that he’s actually not as young as I thought.
From what I gather, 《苦海》 is a traditional Korean song released back in the 1980s; using his emotional 哭腔 (“crying voice”), or what I like to call the “kimchi voice”, Hwang Chi Yeol incorporates a lot suffering into the performance, despite the language barrier. Which really means that as an artist — either you’re a fan of his “kimchi voice” and really like his music, or you’re not a fan of that voice and probably won’t bother.
For a more festive spirit, Coco Lee dons some bright colors and sings a medley of three old but well-known songs: the Cantonese 《喜气洋洋》 (maybe this was filmed during Chinese New Year?), 《宝贝对不起》, and “Sha La La”. While I am hyped to hear her sing in Cantonese, this was at best a mediocre performance. The songs aren’t exactly suited for Coco. Her singing was too much.
Even Coco herself acknowledged this, expressing that she had just switched songs and didn’t put much consideration into the performance.
Lala Hsu sings 《喜欢你》 — not Beyond‘s really popular one (although I want to hear her sing in Cantonese!), but Kit Chan‘s really unknown/underrated one. You might recall that Kit Chan was on last season’s “I Am A Singer”, but was ultimately voted off due to her unconventional singing style.
Similarly, her own songs likely have the same effect — you kind of have to listen to them multiple times to really get a feeling out of it. Yet for audiences who vote at the live show, that is impossible. While Lala Hsu usually doesn’t have this effect, her rather mellow performance of the song itself requires additional listens for enjoyment. I really liked the joyful, almost riding-on-a-carousel feeling though.
On the other hand, what is that dress.
Hacken Lee hops on the piano to sing the popular 《友情岁月》. OK, I admit — I haven’t heard the original before, but my mom was singing along the entire time. (How do you determine a song’s popularity? Ask your mom if she’s ever heard it before.)
Considering that it’s a song about bromance, Hacken Lee gave a rather serious performance. This time, however, his was actually memorable and proved his prowess as a renown veteran singer.
Eliminated or not, Chief Chao just never changes.
Jeff Chang sings Lo Ta-yu‘s (the senior of all the seniors . . . lol) 《爱的箴言》, which is actually even more classical because the original is by none other than Teresa Teng. I mean, Teresa Teng, people. His performance is a rather mellow one, incomparable to the original. I think he might need to start choosing some more modern songs, so to speak. 😬
Despite suffering from a fever akin to Jeff Chang’s from two episodes back, Shin manages to sing Ricky Hsiao‘s 《末班车》. I thought it was a huge KTV hit but apparently not? You can listen to the super emotional original here.
Singing aside though, I was thoroughly impressed by how Shin was able to express his emotion throughout the song. Though I expected and even anticipated Shin’s elimination, it really is a pity.
Ah, the performance of the night — “Besame Mucho”. This week’s “challenger singer” is this Mainland Chinese singer named 王晰, or according to Wikipedia Elvis Wang. So Elvis Wang it is.
Prior to his appearance on “I Am A Singer”, Elvis Wang was virtually unknown. It seems that the Chinese audience really digged his performance. Personally, however, my reaction basically mirrored Hwang Chi Yeol’s:
Since Elvis Wang has this really deep voice when he speaks, it comes as little surprise that he has a very distinct/beautiful lower register. “Besame Mucho” is clearly suited for voices like his — despite making little changes to the original, the audiences just totally digged it.
Considering that the Mandopop industry is chock-full with tenor and even countertenor male singers, Elvis Wang’s voice is a very unique one indeed. Add to it his “flower boy” face and you basically have China’s next rising star.
. . . or not. Admittedly, upon first listen I was quite impressed:
The truth is, however, China wants change and versatility. Perhaps his first performance is really something, but as the weeks pass by the audience will honestly just get bored. Some might say that that is just unfair for the singers — but that’s exactly why only a selected calibre of singers can make it to the end.
Despite Elvis Wang’s great ranking at first place, netizens’ reviews were mixed. Some felt that he put but little emotion into the performance, taking advantage of merely his voice to captivate the audiences. Personally, I felt that the few high notes that Elvis Wang sang were a bit weak, proving that his voice might be disadvantageous in the future episodes to come.
THIS WEEK’S RANKING:
- Elvis Wang (王晰)
- Hacken Lee
- Hwang Chi Yeol
- Coco Lee
- Jeff Chang
- Lala Hsu
- Shin (eliminated)
P.S. Is Joey Yung (for next week) a rumor or has it been confirmed? Interesting, considering her tour collaboration with Hacken Lee.