I bet this episode is going to be exciting, there’s only so little slots left for each of the judges, it’s gonna be tense. They will probably fill all the slots today! This episode, we start off with a s soothing song performance by the first contestant right at the start, without any gimmicks or whatsoever. The first 5 contestants’ performance are cut and compressed into 5 minutes.
Contestant 1: Zhang Bo Lin, 17
Background: Year 2 student in High School Song: Home
First Impression: His voice is really deep and completely different from what I expected. It reminds me of Zheng Jun Shu from last season, who also sang an english song for the blind audition but Bo Lin’s voice is definitely smoother and sound better.
Comments: Wang Feng, Na Ying and Jay turned. Jay went, “This student, I love so much”, an exclamation he rarely makes. He usually uses the agitation method which goes, “Do you want to win? Do you want to be better? Yes? Join my team.” Bo Lin then shared that before he came, he already had a mentor in mind. And that mentor had turned. Surprisingly, the mentor he wanted was… Wang Feng! Not Jay, like other 17 years old would probably have chose or Na Ying, whose music style seems to fit more with him. Well, we’ll see how it goes.
Contestant 2: Zhang Xin Xin, 25
First Impression: Another rock song. Nothing particularly appealing that calls out to me. And only a short part of the song was showed.
Comments: Wang Feng turned for him. Wang Feng was torn between turning or not but at the end, he decided to turn because he felt the rock spirit coming through at the end.
Contestant 3: Xu Zhe, 33
First Impression: Another rock act which was cut and aired for 20 seconds.
Comments: Wang Feng turned for him. He has singing capabilities, and a lot of flaws too. Wang Feng hopes to change him.
Contestant 4: Cao Jing Hao, 24
First Impression: Sunshine Taiwan boy. Who turned into cool boy with an attitude with his rock part towards the end. Another of those compilation which we only get a glimpse of him.
Comments: He chose Harlem!
Contestant 5: Zhou Xiao Xiao, 27
Comments: Na Ying thinks that there are a lot of possibilities for her voice, and hence turned for her. Into Na Ying’s team she goes!
And that’s marks the end of all the blind auditions for 150 contestants. All 4 mentors still have slots in their team. As of now, Na Ying and Jay have 2 more slots each, while Wang Feng and Harlem each have 1. It’s now time for the revival rounds! Time to get into the episode proper.
Contestant 6: Du Xing Ying, 20
Background: This seemingly rebellious youth caught the eye of the judges even though they didn’t turn for her the first time round. Today, she did a new rendition of an old song.
First Impression: She’s going for the deeper, lower female voice feel, the one I describe as ‘sexy cabaret singer’. Good choice, I would say. The other contestants who sang this sort of songs had good endings and Harlem did mention he liked this sort of voice. She’s not as sexy as the rest, but there’s youth reflected in her voice.
Comments: Shucks, I guess it’s not the best choice after all since no judges turned. The judges did comment that she improved though. I guess the judges raised their standards because they want the very best to fill up their team, especially with so little slots left. The judges are very nice to her though, comforting and assuring her. Jay also added that she could write a song about her feelings, like what he did when he didn’t win the Golden Melody Award the first time round. He apparently even scolded the GMA in his new song 外婆 (Grandmother). Well, that’s interesting, I haven’t heard of that song before though. Harlem then suggested she write a song to scold the four of them (judges) and Jay immediately went, “No no no!” Haha, Jay. That’s double standards! We know you are king, but you can’t be the only one that get to compose songs to scold others xP
Contestant 7: Zhang Yang, 37
Background: New Zealand dude. He’s really good at recomposing songs, but that worried the judges. They were afraid he might only be good in one sort of style, so they didn’t turned. But they decided to give him another chance.
First Impression: Woah, he changed Jay’s song completely. I don’t really like it though. I liked Jay’s original rendition more and the way he pronounces the lyrics throws me off. Not sure if it’s his accent or if it’s done purposely. Talented maybe, but not my cup of tea.
Comments: Jay turned. (Ps: Stare hard for his dimple haha!) The moment Jay turned, Zhang Yang was excited and agitated and lost his bearings for a bit and I actually thought he sounded better then. Well. Jay said there are two types of good voices – the first is one that touches others, which is definitely not Zhang Yang’s type. (Ouch! Hahaha) and the second type is one that is memorable. And Zhang Yang’s voice is very memorable to him. Jay then ended off with, “Believe in me! Anyway, that’s all you can do since you get no choice.” Hahaha. One more slot left in Jay’s team!
Contestant 8: La Mu (Langgalamu), 16
Background: The thailand girl that sounds really like Teresa Teng! I blogged about her in my first impression post. She mentioned she’s very surprised and thankful she got so much attention from the Chinese all over the world after her performance. I can attest to that, I do see quite a bit of people who googled her and got into my blog. Haha! I’m guessing Na Ying planned to leave a seat for Langgalamu in her team because this girl sounds amazing and totally fit Na Ying’s style.
First Impression: Sounds lovely as usual. I exceptionally like the part where she recited the poem in between her song. In fact, she sounds so good, I’m not sure if this is good for her or not. She sounded so alike to Teresa the last time, which made no one turn for her.
Comments: Whew, worried for nothing! As expected, Na Ying turned. Na Ying claimed, her voice is too touching, she had to turn. Llangamu’s dream is to become a singer in China. Her father has passed on when her youngest sister was only 2 months old. She had a few younger siblings and her family had pinned all their hopes on her. I really like her because she sounds really sincere and she carries herself very well, elegant and graceful.
Ok, exciting. One slot left in every team. These judges are extremely stingy with their turns now. They might have used to turn to acknowledge good voices even though they did not want that particular participant in their team. But now, nope.
Contestant 9: Ren Bo Ru, 40
Background: The wanderer from episode 2 which I said strikes me as really sincere is back!
First Impression: He reminds me so much of Parhati from Season 3, the one who was really close to Wang Feng. Definitely not mainstream music material but they both specialise in folk(?) music that pulls the strings of one’s heart. I like how the rough edge in his voice adds layers to his voice. I probably wouldn’t pick him if I were one of the judges, because he’s not exactly what I would think is winner material for a show like that, but I do enjoy his music.
Comments: Nobody turned. I’m so sad because I really like him. One of the judges put it really well, his voice is not perfect, but it’s real. Wang Feng also mentions that his voice is good, but he finds it really hard to change and improve his voice because the way Bo Ru sings is from his experiences in life, and it’s not something that can be easily changed. Bo Ru says that he is very glad that he is able to be on this stage not once, but twice. And even if he doesn’t have any music accomplishments, he will not regret because he has enjoyed the process thoroughly. I hope this spirit never dies.
Contestant 10: Xiu’er, 25
Background: She’s here so she gets a chance to use a professional mic to sing. That’s the way! Now she gets TWO chances! Hahaha.
First Impression: A remix of an old song I like! Her voice sounds a little raw. It’s not a quality I particularly like but I think she sounded pretty good. I guess the guitar makes her performance more quirky and upbeat, which is a major plus and went surprisingly well with her break-ish voice. I actually like this performance a lot! Despite not liking this genre. All the judges seems like they want to consider turning, especially Jay and Na Ying. I think I can almost see them considering who Xiu’er can be paired with if they turned.
Comments: Only Wang Feng turned but that’s enough! Xiu’er’s band mates have recently just decided to leave to lead their own lives. And Wang Feng said something insightful, ‘Being stubborn in your dream would also mean being lonely. But this loneliness eventually makes you a better person.’ And with her, Wang Feng’s team, Team Feng Bao, 峰爆 (Direct translation: Peak Burst)(Feng Bao is a pun on Wang Feng’s name) is full! Wang Feng is also the first to complete his team! And he will be able to watch all performances directly from now on.
Contestant 11: Pu Yue, 18
Background: The ’14 year old girl’ from episode 2. She got the call to be invited back to the Voice of China on the actual day of her 18th birthday. Must have been the best present ever.
First Impression: Na Ying’s first reaction is “Is that a child?” Well. I really like Pu Yue’s voice. It’s very clear and bright. Her biggest hope would probably be Na Ying but I guess it’s hardly possible for Na Ying to turn since her first exclamation is, “A child??” and Na Ying doesn’t seem to think ‘a child’ would be suitable to be the winner she can nurture.
Comments: And nobody turns again. Sigh. Na Ying’s first comment as she turn was, “So young ah”. Ok, stop with that already. Wang Feng and Harlem gave Pu Yue some tips on how to improve her singing. Pu Yue then shared before she could celebrate her 18th birthday, she got a call from the production team of Voice of China telling her she was given a second chance. Her birthday was then spent at the rehearsals. Harlem pointed out that’s not a bad thing either, it was a special birthday at the very least and Pu Yue agreed, adding on, “Yes, it is very special. And being able to see Jay Chou again makes it even more special!” Hahahaha. To make it even more unforgettable, Jay sang a birthday song for her. Now that I think of it, Na Ying keeps on saying that Pu Yue is a child but really, Jay’s wife, Hannah Quinlivan is also only 4 years older than Pu Yue. Just some food for thought.
Contestant 12: Gu Zhen Bang, 24
Background: He’s from Malaysia and joined the competition with his girlfriend, but both failed the first time round. His initial rendition of Beijing Beijing was questioned by the judges so it’s a surprise he got invited back.
Song: Say Something
First Impression: He got a bit of a raspy voice and yet he’s singing a slow song. It’s an acquired taste but I guess it’s not too bad. I can imagine him singing rock though. Wang Feng is nodding in approval throughout but his team is full.
Comments: Harlem turned at literally the last moment! Must have been such a great surprise! His girlfriend is also here for the blind auditions today. Harlem then pulls a cap out from behind him and put it on. The cap has ‘I want you’ printed on it. Haha cute! And with this, Harlem’s team, 哈林夏令营 (Direct translation: Harlem’s Summer Camp) is complete! Yay! May all the participants in his team be happy and enjoy this competition as much as a Summer Camp!
Only Na Ying and Jay haven’t completed their team, each lacking one member. Harlem then takes a jab at them and says, “Sometimes, an alliance is good. But sometime it’s not.” Haha, playful!
Contestant 13: Su Hao, 23
Background: Haven’t seen him before but he apparently has got a manly voice.
First Impression: Decent but doesn’t particularly catch my attention. The outburst at the end is pretty good though.
Comments: Na Ying turned. And both participant and mentor are very happy. Na Ying shared that she was very afraid she turned wrongly, because she had wanted to leave her last slot for him. Su Hao also shared that his first choice of mentor was Na Ying, ever since the blind audition. Sweet. And Na Ying’s team, 黄金小二班 (Direct trans: Golden Waiter Team)(Anyone knows how this name came by?) is full!
We are now left with only Jay looking for his last participant.
Contestant 14: Lu Wei Lin, 28
Background: The girlfriend of Gu Zhen Bang, also from Malaysia.
First Impression: Sounded pretty nice but probably not good enough for the last seat.
Comments: Jay didn’t turn. Nice girl here didn’t sulk but instead, thanked Harlem for accepting Gu Zhen Bang into his team. She also shared that Zhen Bang really loves music and deserve this. He was sick and having a fever the day before and even until the day of the performance, he still haven’t recovered fully. Oh well, at least Wei Lin will get to go for practice with Zhen Bang at Harlem’s team so it isn’t too bad.
Contestant 15: Huang Sheng Wen, 36
Background: He sang one of Jay Chou’s song during the blind auditions but didn’t get picked. Could it be that our Jay here have been waiting for him all along? Anyway, he bravely chose to sing the same song again this time round.
Song: 印第安老斑鸠 / I Got You (I Feel Good)
First Impression: Upbeat yet gentle. I think this song doesn’t suit him. His voice lack the strength but it makes the song feel very breezy which is something different and might not be bad. I still imagine him singing those classic old love songs. It would probably for better with his voice.
Comments: Jay turned. One second after he finished singing. I think this is the latest turn ever. Jay then said that this song brings back a lot of memories, he almost had an asthma attack recording this song because he was so out of breath. Thinking back, it’s a feat for having such a musical song in his very first album. You might be wondering what Harlem is wondering.. “So Jay, are you praising him or yourself?” To which Jay replied, “Myself” without missing a beat. Hahaha. With that, Jay’s team is completed too! Unlike the other mentors, he didn’t declare his team name but he did play a pun, saying “你的加入让我的队圆满的满员了!” (Direct trans: Your addition has allowed my team to successfully be filled up) The term ‘successfully’ is pronounced as ‘yuan man’ and the term ‘man yuan’ refers to full strength of members. Seems like he put in quite a bit of effort to think of this!
Before we end off, here’s a summary of today’s episode:
And these are the different members in each mentor’s team:
From next week onwards, the blind auditions will be over and we’ll go into the PK Battle in each of the mentors’ team! Each mentor will pair off their students and eliminate one from each pair. I saw some of the pairs and I’m cringing already. I like both in the pair, how am I supposed to watch like this!
For now, watch The Voice of China Season 4 Episode 5 raw here and tell me what you think!