If only the episodes could be as impressive as their promotional posters . . .
(Finally some impressive official-looking thumbnails!)
After the viewers’ various comments on Hacken Lee‘s tendency to sing Cantopop ballads, he’s finally decided to try something else for a change — Jacky Xue‘s (薛之谦）《丑八怪》. In other words, he’s finally covering a song that I (and a lot of audiences) actually listen to. You can listen to the original here.
Don’t know who Jacky Xue is? Well, Li Ronghao composed the song — like pretty much all the other songs he’s composed for other singers, they have this strong bass-influenced Li Ronghao and sort-of R&B vibe. In fact, before the liveshow, he even had one of the most awkward broadcasted video chats, like, ever. It went something like this:
Wei Jia & Hacken Lee: Hi Ronghao, Jacky. The reason why we’re video chatting with you guys is because today he chose a song written by Li Ronghao for Jacky Xue: 《丑八怪》!
LRH (Li Ronghao): Thank you, thank you. Thank you for liking this song.
XZQ (薛之谦）: Teacher [term of respect towards elders] Hacken, fighting, fighting! (Think: the Korean context). I’m really very thankful that you’re singing this song! Really — I’m so excited — I don’t know how to say! I just think — just sing the song. I’ll definitely support your performance onstage — no, no, I meant offstage!
Hacken Lee: I want to ask — when I’m really singing this song — are there any parts that I might want to look out for?
XZQ: Teacher you’re joking!! I would never dare to teach you! You want me to die? I’m the junior of all the juniors! Don’t say it like this — you can sing it any way you want! If you’re happy it’s good!
(SIDE NOTE: It’s actually been 10 years since his debut, but, whatever . . . >_<)
Hacken Lee: Because when I was singing 《丑八怪》I immediately thought of (Chief Chao’s) 《我很丑可是我很温柔》, I put those two lines into this song.
XZQ: Very cool, very cool!
LRH: Then when it’s time next week we’ll definitely take a good look (and listen). So, first, I feel especially honored that Teacher Hacken likes this song. I feel like both Jacky Xue and I are especially honored that you like this song. Teacher is the best, teacher is the best! Fighting, fighting!
XZQ: Li Ronghao you just made the situation very awkward.
Uh, no, actually you did, 薛之谦. But let’s just say that the Hacken Lee’s actual performance was, erm, as awkward.
I don’t know if it’s Hacken’s voice, his singing style, or a combination of the factors, but it is honestly impressive how he can basically turn any song into a 90s Cantopop classic — and in the context of this competition, that’s not exactly a good thing. As promised, he really does segue into Chief Chao’s 《我很丑可是我很温柔》, but the transition clearly sounded forced.
Basically, Coco Lee got really sick this week. 😦
After coming down with a severe fever, she lost her voice. Though she initially planned to sing “Someone Like You” (even Adele probably can’t sing that when she’s lost her voice . . .), she switched to 《我真的受伤了》, which she sang entirely in a falsetto.
Despite losing her voice, Coco has an excellent control over her falsetto. Incredibly flat, yes, but impressive nonetheless. My problem is: Coco is clearly pained to be on stage, yet her voice is that sickly sweet and sexy type.
Singing and dancing to Stefanie Sun‘s 《咕叽咕叽》, Lala Hsu does an interesting attempt at a new style — dance music. Unfortunately, this makes me sound about 20 years older than I actually am, but how do listeners these days deal with cacophonous instrumentals so prevalent in Western and Korean pop? Or, you know, in general?
For the most part, my problem with the performance is that the instrumentals were too loud — and that Lala’s unique voice/ singing style seemed to be covered up by the cacophony of those instrumentals. In fact, I really liked the bridge of the performance (also a big part of the original song) primarily because the instrumentals finally quieted down.
I’m really not going to judge her dancing, but hey, it wasn’t as awkward as the English chant.
Following the amazing reception to his cover of BIGBANG‘s “Bang Bang Bang”, Hwang Chi Yeol once again ventures into the world of mainstream K-pop with Park Jin-young‘s “Honey” (Jacky Cheung has a Chinese version called 《头发乱了》). He once more steals all the fangirls hearts with professional K-pop idol dancing, good vocals, and even the taking off of his jacket.
Interestingly, the song sounds incredibly Michael Jackson influenced. He even does an impressive take on MJ’s dancing. But why so cheesy?
Joey Yung sings an impressive cover of the Mandarin song 《想着你的感觉》, which she once covered in a duet alongside Jeff Chang. The performance is really good, is incredibly touching, and definitely worth a listen. Sure, I haven’t listened to Joey all that much in the past, but this is the sort of performance that makes me wish I was her fan. #omghervoice Why, China, why?
Jeff Chang reveals his plan — his motive behind joining “I Am A Singer”: to bring a school of aboriginal Taiwanese children onto the stage to sing Su Rui‘s 《亲爱的小孩》with him.
From the short clip Hunan TV provided, Jeff Chang is shown as a mentor and provider to the relatively poorer aboriginal children who lack a proper musical education. He even hangs out with these two girls who insist on calling themselves S.H.E. (the third member was down with a fever).
《亲爱的小孩》is covered quite often on Chinese singing competitions — especially those that feature seniors of the music industry. It’s also one of those “sob-by” songs from which the programs can broadcast the oh-so-very touched audiences with tears streaming down their cheeks.
However, unlike most covers of the song, Jeff Chang actually wanted to exude a more hopeful tone — hence incorporating the children. But of course the audience still sobbed and the TV still broadcasted them crying. I must say, though, that his performance has earned my approval.
Faced with the immense pressure of ranking last last week, Elvis Wang reverts back to his more sexy performances with Cantopop goddess Anita Mui‘s 《亲密爱人》. Taking advantage of his unique lower register, 王晰 does a decent job. Despite his high ranking of third place this week, he was still eliminated (apparently he only got 5% of the vote last week).
THIS WEEK’S RANKING:
- Hwang Chi Yeol
- Jeff Chang
- Elvis Wang (eliminated)
- Lala Hsu
- Joey Yung
- Hacken Lee
- Coco Lee