Considering the dull monotony of Season 2 and 3’s predictable breakthrough rounds, I entered watching the episode with some trepidation. But this year’s breakthrough round completely blew me out of the water. Nearly every singer was seriously good, and this episode might have even been one of the best of the season. No joke.
Yet the results themselves? Perhaps due to the high quality of nearly every performance, those results were inevitable. Still, despite the many could-have-beens of more fair results, this is one “I Am A Singer” episode to watch.
One of the main reasons I had an amazing impression of this year’s breakthrough round was Kim Ji-mun‘s modernized rock rendition of Teresa Teng‘s age-old classic 《美酒加咖啡》(“Wine and Coffee”). While Teresa Teng’s is one of those slow ballads from the 20th century that most young audiences (including me 😂) can’t really appreciate, Kim Ji-mun completely alters, save the melody and the lyrics, it. In a good way.
From a clean, acoustic guitar rendition, Kim Ji-mun gradually builds up to a grungier rock sound, an interesting take on the softly sung original. Again, his voice just lacks some special quality, but this performance clearly showcased his musical talent and the effort he put into this.
Sue Su 苏运莹 is super adorable performing Mayday‘s popular hit “Contentment”, even going up to give a warm hug to the pianist prior to her performance. You can listen to the original here.
It’s a very happy-happy performance relating how she’s very content with how life has gone for her. Taking advantage of her unique voice, Sue Su does a fair job but gets a bit too “Wild Child”-y with her falsettos near the end.
Though I never particularly enjoyed Chief Chao‘s performances from the previous episodes, he definitely amazed me with a rendition of 《曾经的你》as classical as the original. Backed by the vocalist group 太阳部落, his voice, especially the “dililili dilidili dada”s shines through th traditional folk music instruments.
In contrast to Wakin Chau‘s soft and dream-like original, Shin‘s impressive rock rendition addresses the harsh realities of being a playboy (as referenced in the title). He even wrote and incorporated his own rap!
In short, this was different, but seriously really good; his vocals actually shown through this time, and if it were up to me I would definitely let him advance to the finals.
I love how he was clearly enjoying himself, too! 🙂
Ah, HAYA Band . . . I haven’t seen them in quite a while. For this week’s performance, the lead singer specially dons a traditional headpiece — an actual relic of pure silver.
No offense to HAYA or anything, but that whispered English was just plain awkward; in fact, had there not been subtitles I might’ve mistakened it for one of their traditional languages. Thank goodness the entire song wasn’t in English, but the lead singer was clearly straining to reach those high notes. If they just did a quieter, soothing song they actually would have a chance to fare well with the audiences.
(Grady Guan looks so weird without his trademark hat. o.O)
Grady Guan experiments with Beijing opera with the song 《悟空》, referring to, of course, the Monkey King Sun Wukong of “The Journey of the West”. A bit overdone, really, but a commendable effort.
Elvis Wang sings the second Teresa Teng song of the day — the jazzy “Goodbye, My Love”. He incorporates three separate types of jazz instruments and three different types of singing styles; however, I only really liked the first style of singing.
(Definitely the 颜值担当 of “I Am A Singer”, that’s for sure.)
Lao Lang finally decided to sing his own song — the popular yet melancholy 《虎口脱险》, bringing an onslaught of tears and nostalgia. Congrats, Lao Lang!
On one hand, Joey Yung was seriously sexy, oh my goodness. On the other hand, this wasn’t exactly the best cover/mashup of Anita Mui‘s 《放开你的头脑》and Eason Chan‘s 《爱是怀疑》.
And then there’s this huge debate, triggered by Coco Lee‘s “Bad Romance” last week, over what “I Am A Singer” is supposed to be about. Ideally, it should be about the singer, the voice, the singing capability, the quality of the cover, etc. But audiences have made it clear that a singer encompasses far more than just “one who sings [well]” — at least by their standards. And, admittedly, if people truly did hold true to the definition and judge based on singing ability only, I’m sorry to say that none of these singers would be on the show; most of them would be opera singers.
Still, it seems a bit unfair that Joey Yung gets to snatch second place just because she was incredibly sexy with her trope of backup dancers while her two rappers rapped nearly half the performance. And I feel really bad saying that, because I personally know that Joey Yung is an amazing vocalist and that she really could do much better.
Jeff Chang performs what he calls 《致光阴》– a medley of nine of today’s most popular Mandopop hits, from popular movie OSTs such as Hebe Tien’s still chart-topping hit “A Little Happiness” (with 50+ million views on YouTube!) for “Our Times” and Hu Xia’s “Those Years” (the most viewed Mandarin MV on YouTube) for “You Are The Apple To My Eye” to that really popular song by TFBOYS that everyone has heard before. The point is, all the songs in the medley are really really popular.
While Jeff does a nice job interconnecting all those songs, even skillfully finishing the thing off with his own 《信仰》, it just felt really unfair because all those songs were so popular what even. It actually felt sort of like the background music to say, a YouTube Rewind. And sorry, but I don’t think any of us heard the water drums in the background.
THIS WEEK’S RANKING:
- Jeff Chang (Directed to final)
- Joey Yung (Directed to final)
- 老狼 Lao Lang (Directed to final)
- 王晰 Elvis Wang
- Chief Chao
- 金志文 Kim Ji-mun
- 苏运莹 Sue Su
- HAYA Band
- Grady Guan
It seems rather unfair that first, second, and third place — the singers who advanced to the finals — happened to perform last, second-to-last, and third-to-last. In addition, I felt as if Jeff Chang and Joey Yung especially weren’t really the best out of this episode’s performances. However, if they didn’t advance to the final, that would be, aside from a huge drop in TV ratings, really uncanny to watch
(besides, what if Joey really does invite JJ as her helper singer? #conflicted). Just wish I enjoyed their performances more, though.
P.S. Miss our other singers? Don’t worry, they were all there, too. (I also happened to spend like half the episode wondering if Lala really did cut her hair. 😂)
P.P.S. Note that the finals of “I Am A Singer” are quite different:
- The length of broadcast is much longer. The finals actually consist of two rounds; in the first round, each singer invites another singer(s) to collaborate with in a duet (and ocassionally a trio), and what singer one collaborates with is actually quite some serious business. (For example, when last year’s victor Han Hong invited mega-star Eason Chan to perform with her, they kind of just warbled the really popular song “10 Years” and still managed to get first place with by a huge margin.) In the second round, the top five from Round 1 compete again and the final rankings are averaged from those two rounds.
- The finals are live broadcast. Because there is no post-production for the final, the sound quality isn’t as great, and anything (such as last year) could happen. But that also means that there are no definite spoilers prior to broadcast.