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


Yao Beina, singer, dies at age 33


Singer Yao Beina passed away on Friday, January 16th, 2015 at the Peking University Shenzhen Hospital after a long battle with breast cancer. Last week, she signed to donate her cornea, the only part of her body still donate-able.

Although Yao Beina had gained reputation among the music circle before, and had sung popular theme songs such as those for The Legend of Zhen Huan,  she was not well-known to the public until her appearance on The Voice of China 2.    She is probably most well-known in the West as the singer of the mandarin pop version of Disney’s “Let it go.”

R.I.P. Yao Beina

Yao Beina’s last performance prior to being hospitalized in December 2015.


Photoshoot Friday: August 8, 2014

Yao Chen’s shoot for this week’s round up is in drastic contrast to the cheery pink of her last one; this time, she’s got a black dress that looks like it came from the Hunger Games. Qin Lan wears red and white summer dresses with silver earrings, while Li Yixuan goes for a colder white feather look. It’s probably summer in Arendelle; Yao Beina‘s (she sang Let it Go for the Chinese movie version of Frozen) cover for Marie Claire certainly agrees. Qi Wei pulls off high collars in what I hope wasn’t boiling hot weather, and Amber Kuo rounds off the photoshoot with a breezy looking skirt. Look below the cut for more stills.  Continue reading


Register for The Voice of China auditions (the real one, not the fake ones)

Bye bye, Harlem. We won't miss your sleeveless tees. Oh, those sleeveless tees...

Bye bye, Harlem. We won’t miss your sleeveless tees. Oh, those sleeveless tees…

There have been reports of fake Voice of China auditions taking place in parts of Northeast China, where hopeful singers were charged a fee to perform before a panel of equally fake “producers.” The scam was apparently incredibly realistic, with official Voice of China and sponsorship logos adorning the set and promotional materials, and even a replica of the iconic “V” hand statue. The real producers of the show issued a reminder that Voice of China auditions are always free to enter.

Already registered for The Voice of China 2014 auditions? No? Well, why not?
Online registrations for the upcoming Voice of China season opened earlier this month. If your excuse for not signing up is that you were too busy waiting for the I Am A Singer finale, but were so disappointed by its execution that you lost faith in reality singing contests altogether… then you’re excused. For everyone else, get your applications in. More details below.

The third season of the top-rated singing show is scouring for new mentors after the departure of Harlem Yu. Hong Kong megastar Andy Lau reportedly declined the RMB30 million (US$4.8 million) offer to fill the swivel chair, citing scheduling conflicts with filming Huayi Brothers’ next movie, Lost and Lonely 失孤. Wang Leehom, with concerts, film promotions and an album release later this year, also turned down the role. Rumours now suggest Taiwanese industry veteran Jonathan Lee is in talks to replace Harlem.

Need motivation to audition for The Voice? Yao Beina, second-season contestant and “Let It Go” singer, commands appearance fees in the seven-figures (RMB1,000,000 = US$160,000). And she didn’t even make it into the finals, so how about that. If you want to be the next her, here’s what you have to do: Continue reading


Have you heard the Chinese versions of “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen?

Disney's 'Frozen' has grossed over $750 million at the box office to date. Frozen opens in China, the world's second-largest movie market, early next month.

Disney’s ‘Frozen’ has grossed over $750 million at the box office to date. Frozen opens in China, the world’s second-largest movie market, early next month.

Frozen, one of this winter’s biggest box office hits, adds yet another memorable theme song to the iconic Disney musical repertoire. “Let It Go,” originally performed by Idina Menzel, tells of the snow Queen Elsa’s decision to let go of her obstacles and embrace her powerful, icy magic.

Frozen is known as 冰雪奇缘 Bing Xue Qi Yuan (Magical Tales of Ice and Snow) in Taiwan and on the Mainland, and 魔雪奇緣 Mo Syut Kei Yun (Enchanted Snow Tales) in Hong Kong. Following Disney animation tradition, the film has undergone separate dubbing for the three regions of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China.

Hu Weina provides the voice for Elsa in the film version. Listen to it here. The pop versions in the Taiwanese and Mainland productions are provided by two Voice of China alumni, Shennio Lin 林芯儀 and Yao Beina 姚贝娜 respectively, while the Cantonese version is performed by YouTube singer Jobelle Ubalde.  Mandarin-speaking fans of Frozen, the two Mandarin language productions are furthermore distinct, with different dialogue and lyrics, so you’ll be able to experience the film twice over!

Unfortunately, Disney is not in the habit of releasing official soundtracks for its Chinese language productons, so you’ll have to bear with the audio quality until a DVD release.

Yao Beina – 隨它吧 (Let It Be)
Mainland China, pop version

Continue reading