After presumably blowing all of this season’s budget on last years’s A-list lineup, Hunan
TV’s I Am A Singer returns for a fourth year with a stable of more—ahem—”affordable” singers.
The I Am A Singer crown has always gone to a Mainland Chinese act. Yu Quan in 2013, and the Hans Lei and Hong in subsequent years. Of course, that’s not a risky bet to make when five-out-of-seven singers are Mainlanders. This year, things are a bit different. There are only two Mainland performers in the starting lineup, and both tied for last place in this episode. A non-Mainland singer could very well take it out for the very first time, and Taiwanese diva Lala Hsu and Cantopop legend Hacken Lee are both in with a good shot.
Wolf Earth 苍狼大地 by Tengger
Haya is something of a folksy, Inner Mongolian Nightwish. Lead singer, Daichintana,
plays a Native American flute in this performance. Oh, they’re a very worldly bunch.
Coco Lee waves as the band enters the green room. “Oh, Haya!” Coco remarks (though she might just have been saying ‘hiya’).
That Man 그 사람 by Lee Seung-chul
Again, Coco Lee is the first of the singers to say hello. This is probably because she’s
sitting closest to the door. “Hi, I’m Coco,” she says as Chiyeol rises from a deep bow.
“Hwwaaaaoh-ohhh! Yes, yes! Famous!” he says in English, flashing a thumbs up.
“So I’ll call you oppa,” Coco says, using the Korean word for older brother.
“I’ve got to be younger than you,” the 33-year-old interjects, “so call me dongsaeng.”
Coco nods her head and looks towards the interpreter off-screen, wondering if he just
called her old.
He seems like an excitable boy, always clapping his hands. He reminds me of a baby seal.
Miss You 想念你 by Harlem Yu
I loved Coco Lee growing up. The “Mariah Carey of Asia”, they called her. She was
really big. She even performed at the Oscars, singing the theme song to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Oh, and she was the voice of Mulan in the Chinese version of the Disney animation.
Love in the Mist 雾之恋 by Alan Tam
Hacken Lee is this year’s Leo Ku.
How to Say I Love You 爱要怎么说出口 by Chief Chao
My favourite performance of the night, serving a handy reminder that the original premise of I Am A Singer was for the older generation to show these young whippersnappers how it’s done.
If We Break Up, I Still Love You 如果分开我也爱你 by Guan Zhe
Guan Zhe was a semifinalist in the Voice of China. I heard he was going to wear a camouflage patterned suit for this performance, but I don’t see him on stage anywhere! Just a floating hat, bow tie and microphone. Eerie~
Lost Island 失落沙洲 by Lala Hsu
If you thought Haya was the only act in this competition with a song about riding horses, well, ho-oh, you’d be wrong. At 31, Lala is the youngest singer in this competition, but I won’t be surprised if she wins this entire season.
The Era of Farewell 告别的时代 by Shin
I don’t know which producer thought casting Shin would make for a good show. Shin did, after all, help Bibi Zhou deliver the worst performance in I Am A Singer history. And then did the same thing the following year with A-Lin. I guess he pulled a Tan Weiwei; once you’ve made enough guest appearances on the show, they end up owing you a full-time gig.
1. Lala Hsu
2. Hwang Chiyeol
3. Hacken Lee
5. Chief Chao
6. Coco Lee
7≈ Guan Zhe
Both Mainland acts tied for last place. Which is convenient for them, because one of them would have been eliminated otherwise. Awkwardly, the “replacement” singer will still join the competition, meaning we’ll have nine performances in the next episode’s two-hour time slot.
Watch the full episode here.