Kimberley Chen covers Ariana Grande on Produce 101

The Chinese version of Produce 101 创造101, a competition aimed at forming a girl group, began airing last night and this cover of Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea’s Problem  was head and shoulders above every other group.

Kimberley Chen, Lucia Wu, and Mimi Lee  are all ethnically Chinese but born and raised in three different countries. Kimberley Chen is Australian, Mimi Lee is Thai, while Lucia Wu was born in Brazil. I don’t know the other two well, but  I’m a big fan of Kimberley Chen, and I’m psyched to see her getting more recognition on the mainland.

The other fun group performance last night was Plain Disco from what’s left of girl groups A’N’D and KOGirls.  Not sure how I feel about the show yet, but it’s always great to hear more from Kimberley!

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Jessie J, Coco Lee, and KZ win Singer 2018 with Bang Bang, Dragon Fist, and pipa

Jessie J, Coco Lee, and KZ Tangingan won Singer 2018 this weekend with the help of an awesome pipa arrangement of Bang Bang and Dragon Fist.  I thought this season was lackluster in general, with even Jessie J having boring song choices and arrangements, but this was easily one of the best performances of the show.

Wu Lei, Qin Hao, Yang Rong stars in The Lost Tomb spinoff

Glad to see more series taking advantage of China’s diverse geography for on-location shoots.

Visually the most expensive-looking The Lost Tomb series so far, Sea of Sand 沙海 released its first trailer.  The series stars Wu Lei as the protagonist, a high school’er who  becomes entangled in a suspenseful adventure after meeting Wu Xie  from The Lost Tomb series (Qin Hao). They’re joined by Yang Rong and Zhang Meng.

Luhan, Tao lead separate street dance reality shows

Yi Yangqianxi, Show Luo, Han Geng and Huang Zitao’s Street Dance of China 这就是街舞 will have a few weeks’ head start, as the first episode is scheduled to premiere on Youku tonight.

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Variety Show Recap: The Sound, Episode 3

The Sound 声临其境, as the name implies, is a variety show where viewers are treated to a feast for the ears as actors showcase their voices and prove just how important line reading is to acting. Dubbers’ contributions to Chinese dramas should not be overlooked, but it makes a huge difference when you have good actors who are able to use their own voices.

Each week, four actors are invited to dub a wide variety of characters behind the stage, and the two most popular guests make a brief appearance before all four of them prepare a short stage performance.

Disclaimer: This may look like a Zhu Yawen fangirling post, but it’s not, I swear.

Episode 3: A Gentleman’s Voice (one-off recap)

Guests: Li Jianyi, Gao Yalin, Zhu Yawen, Zhai Tianlin

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A Bite of China Season 3 to air during CNY

“Taste life through food, taste China through film.  A Bite of China returns.”   – Season 3 slogan

Season three of the documentary series that tells the story of China and its people through their food, A Bite of China 舌尖上的中国, has released a trailer. The series will air during the 2018 Chinese New Year to maximize the number of ugly cries they get from those of us who are away from our families.

After a four-year hiatus, the series was revived under a new producer. Like the previous seasons, it’ll feature eight themed episodes, each directed by a different director. Based on the trailer, the most interesting food so far is the fried chrysanthem. Hopefully the new season will live up to the previous two.

National Treasures come alive in new CCTV program starring Tony Leung, Wang Kai and more

National Treasure 国家宝藏  will showcase 27 historical artifacts from 29 different museums across the country with the help of “protectors” (listed below), who will then present the story behind each piece in a short stage performance.

Actors / hosts featured: Zhang Guoli, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Wang Kai, Liu Tao, Li Chen, Duan Yihong, Wang Gang, He Jiong, Ma Su, Qin Hailu, Chen Xiao, Jackson Yi Yangqianxi, Liu Yijun, Guo Tao, Lei Jiayin, Guan Xiaotong, Sa Beining, Cai Guoqing, Ren Zhong, Ning Jing

Theme song: A Thousand Years in One Glance 一眼千年 – Na Ying

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First teases at 2018 dramas

Hunan TV’s latest ad for 2018 revealed first footage of some major upcoming  dramas, including:

Which ones are you looking forward to the most?

Season 3 of Go Fighting! releases promos

Go Fighting! 极限挑战 is one of the two variety shows I follow religiously (the other being Who’s the Murderer? 明星大侦探), and Season 3 of the popular variety show is finally ready to premiere tomorrow night.

Sun Honglei, Huang Bo, Huang Lei, Show Luo, Wang Xun and Lay Zhang Yixing are all returning for the latest installment, and I’m looking forward to seeing them tackle more fish-out-of-water scenarios over the next twelve weeks.

 

The Advisors Alliance review: ep. 1 -4

Cao Pi: Here’s your sword back.
Guo Zhao: This isn’t mine.
Cao Pi: It was mine. Now it’s yours.   #HowToGift101

Episode 3,  scene X:   Yang Xiu ,   the ambitious antagonist in the first few episodes, had just kicked off a dying Sima Yi into the river.  He is relieved, proud of what he has accomplished.

When he is left alone , he  turns to see his hands in the dimming night.  There’s blood on his hands.  He realizes what he has done, betraying his father’s trust and hope for a Han alliance, murdering at least two men.  He screams into the night.

The scene is representative of how The Advisors Alliance 军师联盟 has so far treated its characters – as complex and contradicting human beings.

With a rich set of characters, a fast-paced plot, thoughtful but colloquial dialogue, and just the right amount of romance and humor mixed in,   The Advisors Alliance is probably the best scripted ancient drama in the past couple of years. Continue reading