Huang Xiaoming’s “Cruel Romance” to Air March 3

Is it really that romantic to lay your head on your significant other’s shoulder? At least Huang Xiaoming isn’t playing piano like Hawick Lau was whenever Tang Yan did that to him in Lady & Liar.

The Republican-era romantic drama Cruel Romance (锦绣缘华丽冒险), starring Huang Xiaoming and Chen Qiao’en, has finally gotten an air date. The series will be broadcast on Hunan TV starting March 3, after The Legend of Fragrance finishes its run.

Based on the novel The Fate of Jinxiu (锦绣缘), Cruel Romance has been highly anticipated by fans of Huang Xiaoming and Chen Qiao’en, who had a brief collaboration in the movie Breaking the Waves (激浪青春). The drama is helmed by Taiwanese director Lin Helong, who is mostly known for Taiwanese idol dramas like Devil Beside You, Wish to See You Again, and Love or Bread.

Cruel Romance recently released its opening theme song, simply titled “Fate” (缘), which is sung by Huang Xiaoming. I usually like his songs because he tends to get good songwriters, but he’s definitely straining his voice in this one. *sigh* The lyrics were penned by the drama’s producers, Huan Yue and Huang Bin (who is also Xiaoming’s manager).

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Six faces of Fan Bingbing for Grazia

fanbingbing2

If Fan Bingbing on the left and Fan Bingbing on the right acted opposite each other, it would be a pretty awesome show.

From childish to sexy to classy to  androgynous, Fan Bingbing shows  six faces of herself for  Grazia China’s 6th anniversary.    My only complaint is that the androgynous Fan Bingbing this time is not as hot as when she fought droids in the Unfollow ad, but it’ll do. Photos by Chen Man, who also did the Elle cover shoot with Fan Bingbing.

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I Am A Singer Ep. 8: Li Tarzan, Shoo Jane

A peculiarly dressed Jane Zhang is eliminated from the competition.

A peculiarly dressed Jane Zhang is eliminated from the competition. Who comes up with these headlines?

It was the Lunar New Year holiday last week, so our seven favourite singers have wandered off for a bit (happy new year to all of Cfensi’s wonderful readers, by the way).

Jane Zhang is in Beijing, not wearing make-up but still looking pretty, and preparing dinner. She says she hasn’t cooked in a long time. That’s probably why she holds her knife like she’s ironing a shirt. But I imagine she hasn’t ironed for herself in a long time either.

Sun Nan is in Sanya on Hainan Island, the “Hawaii of China,” where he demonstrates everything wrong with the Chinese entertainment industry today.
1) That’s a very wrong way of doing push-ups (Chinese celebrities don’t work out enough)
2) Vertical filming (there aren’t enough good cameramen working in Chinese television)

Awkwardly humping the sand is not a push-up.

Awkwardly humping the sand is not a push-up.

Tan Weiwei, like Jane, is in Beijing, drinking vegetable soup and munching on a carrot from a cardboard bowl. Her manager complains that she needs to eat more than just vegetables so she can put on weight.

The One is back in Korea, bringing Xiao Wu with him. They’ve ordered a whole stack of bento-like, dosirak takeout boxes, and The One is doing an awful lot of talking with his mouth full. You’d think all these celebrities would get nice fancy meals, but not so much.

A-Lin is in Taiwan, where she bumps into unsuccessful I Am A Singer challenger Li Ronghao. “Hey, you’re back?” he asks, reasoning that A-Lin must have been eliminated.
“I’m back!” she replies, perhaps not really getting that. She then bumps into Karen Mok, who says nice things to her, but is very clearly aware of who is the real A-lister between the two (it’s not A-Lin).

We don’t get to see Li Jian or Han Hong’s Spring Festival outings. Mysterious.

The I Am A Singer green room has a Chinese New Year tree with presents underneath it. I hope this doesn’t become a thing. I’m probably getting to that age where people feel comfortable about not getting you presents, so there’s no way I will benefit from this.
Oh, and Sun Nan takes over as host from Leo Ku, thus answering the question I’ve been asking for the past two weeks. But now who will host when Sun Nan leaves?


Han Hong
Olive Tree 橄榄树 by Chyi Yu

This episode is spending a lot of time on the introduction to this performance. Firstly, Tan Weiwei discovers that Han Hong is singing Olive Tree by Chyi Yu. “People always recommend that I sing this song, but I don’t dare to,” she says, citing the rhythm and timing of the song. “It’s really difficult.”
Meanwhile, Anson is helping out Han Hong with the arrangement. It’s probably part of his secret plan to get as much screentime as he can now so that the audience will vote him back in in the comeback round. Isn’t that the plot of the Chicago?

Han Hong tells the story of how her father died when she was young and her mother remarried. After that, she ran away to Beijing to find her grandmother, and hasn’t been with her mother since then. When her grandmother passed away, Han Hong was by herself, with no direction and no roots. Despite all this, there is still an olive tree in her heart, she says. That raises some horticultural questions.

Fellow Tibetan-ish singer Yangjima sang this song on Chinese Idol, where Han Hong is a judge. The performances are completely different so it’s hard to compare, but Han Hong’s is vocally more impressive. I can’t tell if her shoes are gold, or if they’re silver and it’s just the lighting that makes them look gold. The timing of the pause at the end is slightly off when the band starts playing before Han Hong starts singing. Tan Weiwei totally saw that coming. Continue reading

Celebrating in Red with The Princess of Orchid Hills

The cover for Northern Zhou’s Vogue magazine for next week.

The Princess of Lanling has released red-costumed stills just in time for Chinese New Year, starring  Zhang HanyunPeng Guanying, and Andy Chen Yi.  These stills give us a closer look at the embroidery and details that go into the grander costumes in this production as well as the backgrounds and filming locations.

Feast your eyes on more stills below. Continue reading

The Four finally set to air

… and it’s about time!! >:(

Looks like things are starting to get released.  The Four, starring Zhang Han, William Chan, Yang Yang, Mao Zijun, Janine Chang, GuiGui,  Han Dong, Huang Ming,  Mickey He, and even a guest star from Zheng Shuang, has started releasing character teasers for the series set to air on  Hunan TV following RoCH 2015.  Therefore, I thought I would make a post.

More stills below the cut.

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I Am A Singer Ep. 7: A pun about The One being number one

Tibetan Buddhist monks join Han Hong on stage in this week's I Am A Singer.

Tibetan Buddhist monks join Han Hong on stage in this week’s I Am A Singer.

I Am A Singer, this year, is sponsored by Honda and Oppo. So the singers drive up in their Honda cars which totally look like the Jeeps from Jurassic Park, and unbox their new Oppo smartphones. They watch the introductory video for the newest contestant, Korean singer The One, but none of them know who he is. Obviously they didn’t watch the first season. For shame.
The One’s “manager” on the show is Xiao Wu, the Korean member of Top Combine. He does most of the interpreting for him. Let’s hop straight into it.

Don't worry. The dinosaurs don't start eating people until after Newman shuts down the park's security system.

Don’t worry. The dinosaurs don’t start eating people until after Newman shuts down the park’s security system.


Jane Zhang
If 是否 by Julie Su

Earlier in the competition, Jane performed Legend of a Hungry Wolf 饿狼传说 by Jacky Cheung. Everything about it was eerily similar to G.E.M’s performance of Lady Marmalade on last year’s show (especially the part where it actually segued into Lady Marmalade). Jane came second, but people were a bit iffy about it.

This time, Jane is singing a song that G.E.M recorded back in 2013. The similarities stop there, however. While G.E.M’s version was a demure, piano-only track, Jane’s arrangement features the whole band. Her voice harks back to her time on Super Girl. It’s powerful and free. It’s everythi- oh… and now it’s been jazzed up with trumpets. So not only did she not watch the first season of I Am A Singer, but she didn’t read my comments from last week’s episode either.

Besides almost ruining the song by turning it into a breezy jazz number, Jane actually did sing it really well. Nobody else has performed yet, but we have a strong contender for best vocal performance of the night. Continue reading

Song in the Clouds releases another trailer

At least it would be amazing of Yu Zheng got sued on this one as well…

Song in the Clouds has released a new trailer.  Starring Angelababy, Lu YiChen Xiao, Yang Rong, Du Chun,  and Su Qing, those still following Tong Hua’s novel adaptations can probably rejoice since this one seems to feature more than just Chen Xiao and Angelababy.

I Am A Singer Ep. 6: When gospel music was #1 on Chinese primetime television

Former Super Girl, Tan Weiwei, is the latest veteran vocalist to join I Am A Singer.

Former Super Girl, Tan Weiwei, is the latest veteran vocalist to join I Am A Singer.

I Am A Singer recaps are back by popular demand (and because, when you put “blogging for Cfensi” on your CV, it’s probably a good idea to publish something recent—hello there, prospective employers!).

If you’ve been out of the I Am A Singer loop, here’s all the interesting stuff you may have missed since the first recap:

And now you’re all up to date! More or less.


Han Hong
This is Who You Are 你是这样的人

This faux-operatic number was written as an ode to former premier Zhou Enlai to commemorate the centenary of his birth. So, 1998. A lot of Chinese classics aren’t as old as you would think.
“Red songs,” as they’re known, haven’t been very popular on I Am A Singer. After all, this is Hunan TV, and rival CCTV is all the way in Beijing. In season two, “Madonna of China” Wei Wei was booted from the competition after singing Reddest Sun, Dearest Chairman Mao 太阳最红毛主席最亲.
Han Hong does better, slightly, in sixth place. She’s not classically trained in the Western tradition, and she sounds a bit poppy at parts, but you can’t deny that she is expressive. She should have been ranked higher.

Guess who just learnt how to make gifs? This must be what tumblr feels like.

Guess who just learnt how to make gifs? This must be what tumblr feels like.

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Ode to Gallantry releases stills

 So... SARFT... how exactly are we going to release SO many period dramas that have started to build up.  Are we going to bazooka the audience?

So… SARFT… how exactly are we going to release SO many period dramas that have started to build up.  Are we going to bazooka the audience?

Zhang Jizhong is back and at it again with another Louis Cha novel.  Seeking to bring actors as opposed to using ones with an already established name, Ode to Gallantry stars Cai Yida, Zhang Jiani, Li Zixiong, Xu Shaoqiang, Liu Ximing, and Ma Ling.  Show Yu Zheng how it’s done, Zhang Jizhong.  The classics are famous in their original form for a reason.

More stills below the cut.

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