Best and most of Super Girls 300

Super Girls

This year's Super Girls are definitely pretty, but can they sing?

A brief overview of the top 300 of this year’s Super Girls. Note that I haven’t watched every competitions, or even half of it. I watched most of Chengdu, Changsha and online. The rest are viewed only if someone on baidu tieba recommended them. And though there are a lot more good singers, I’ve only picked some that really stood out to me. All opinions are mine.

Best English singers: Yu Kewei and Pan Hongyue

I really love what judge Wu Qixian said about the two of them:

Right now, among those who can sing Western songs so beautifully, but still maintains the identity of Chinese, one is Qi Yu, and the other one is Yu Kewei. Pan Hongyue, you have even more techniques and things to show off than Yu Kewei. Unfortunately, when you sing Western songs, you become no longer Chinese but a foreigner. We can only see an imitation, not a Chinese who can understand the essence of Western music and culture. That’s the difference between Yu Kewei and you. Many may be wowed by your glamour today, but what we really seek is the uniquely Chinese way of expressing our values,spirit and culture, and you need more careful thought on that. I hope you can grow, and understand how much we expect of you.

Yu Kewei singing “Gloomy Sunday:”


Pan Hongyue singing “Prelude to a Kiss” and the judge’s comments

Celebrity Lookalikes: Yao Yao and Gong Mi.

Alan?Gong Mi

Yao Yao became famous at the age of 10 after winning a singing competition. Since then, she’s been on and off the radar. Unfortunately, she seems to sing better when she was 12 than she does now. She’ll be nice for the Super Girl group since she also has a dancing background. Gong Mi is the Cecilia Cheung look-a-like that everyone’s been talking about. She probably has the worst voice of the top 300.

Most Zhong Guo Feng: Dong Zhen and Wang Mengran

Dong Zhen has gained popularity for composing and singing many songs for popular video games. She’s quite talented, though she seems to be too nervous on stage. Wang Mengran from Inner Mongolia also composes zhong guo feng and Mongolian styled songs.
Dong Zhen’s self-composition, theme of Zhu Xian

Prettiest: Luo Zhenhuan and Liu Xijun

pretty
The good thing is, neither sings terrible. Luo Zhenhuan‘s okay, but she probably won’t go solo anytime soon. Liu Xijun, sings better, but not amazing.

Dancers of the group: Yue Liang and Zeng Sixuan

Yue Liang was the dance teacher for the Super Boys competition, but now she’s a competitor in Super Girls. Yue Liang breezed through the competition, much to the dismay of many who complained about her singing. Zeng Sixuan majors in modern dance and sings a lot better. Definitely an eyecatcher.

Other recommendations: Jane Zhang girls and Huang Ying

Other than English songs, Jane Zhang seems to be a favorite among the girls this year. Though they both sound way too much like Jane Zhang for my liking, my two favorite performances of Jane’s songs are Wang Lulu’s “We’ve agreed” and Li Ling’s “Only for love.” Huang Ying’s voice seemed like screaming at parts, but for some reason, her voice touched me. Most renditions I’ve heard of this song were sad, but hers was agonizing:

Ending note: Pan Yuehong and Zeng Zixuan are two of the eleven current Sichuan Conservatory of Music students in the top 30. There are also more alumna, but no one made a list, and I wasn’t going to baidu all 300 of them. Over the next two weeks, the top 300 will be split into 6 groups of 50, and those 50 will compete for 10 spots each, forming the top 60.

Words of Wisdom by Judge Ding Wei

Ding Wei, the singer-songwriter who mainly now composes for others  has stated in the past that she is afraid competition singers results in an excess of young aspiring hopefuls that the market may not be able to accommodate. I wasn’t really sure what to think of those words when she first said them, but after reading more about her she seems like someone who really cares about the growth of these young artists, rather than someone who wants to discourage them, or is afraid of them ruining Chinese music.

She was a judge for Kunming’s 30 to 10 round (which we haven’t found videos off) and praised the girls for being very sincere in her blog.

I loved how in her blog entry she chose to praise in particular someone who didn’t make it rather someone who did:

A girl ran up to me and said:

“Ding Teacher, I was one of the contestants that was eliminated today. After seeing today’s contest and hearing your critiques, I know why I was eliminated. Thank you, I will continue to work hard. ”

I was very happy to hear these words, not because she thanked me, but because she learned from the experience, and thus her entry into the competition was not wasted.”

One of the nicest things about running Cfensi is discovering people like Ding Wei. For some reason I had never heard of her before, but she’s someone I definitely admire now. I hope she gets to judge in later rounds and I hope all the girls listen to advice from this woman, who’s already gone through the route that they hope to travel.

61 thoughts on “Best and most of Super Girls 300

  1. right, communist trap.

    that’s like going to Israel and releasing a movie about a bunch of stupid Jews being freed by their awesome Nazi friend and praising it for not following the “Zionist trap.”

    or going into Armenia and then releasing a movie about how kind and sweet the Turks were during WWI.

    Some movies do a great job of picking out the different, but sometimes, you just shouldn’t do it. Movies should avoid cliches, but not for the sake of avoiding them.

  2. @dbskholic

    This reply is a little late in coming because I simply didn’t have the time to write out a response, but I agree that Chinese people need to understand their entertainment and culture.

    I see it with everyone else, with places that have even less established entertainment spheres than China. Koreans are fully supportive of kpop, and Thai people know their artists, as do Filipinos. Vietnamese people know Paris by Night, and the Viet singers.

    But with Chinese people, they have no clue who the most popular artists are in China, and it’s just odd.

    I suppose partially it’s CCTV’s fault for promoting certain artists and not others. And partially I blame the media outside China for creating a Pavlovian response to “China” and “communism”. In searching for Chinese news, through web portals like yahoo, you find that for the bad news regarding China, it sells to many, many newspapers. It spreads like wildfire. Whereas when I come across a positive article, it is limited to one newspaper usually. It simply doesn’t sell. In such an environment, I suppose Chinese Americans would find little motivation for wanting to find out more.

    I find it so odd that every single English review of Nanking Nanking! is a positive one, praising Lu Chuan for not falling into the “Communist trap” of showing the Chinese as victims and Japanese as aggressors. Except that it’s supposed to be showing a Holocaust.

  3. Hmm… I think I’ve found my place for Chinese entertainment =D

    Though I agreed with the judging that Pan Hongyue sounds not-Chinese, damn~ she’s got some singing skills, man!! That was a crazy clip…

  4. yeah..Shandong fails in the pop music department. Jinan got killed in the round. All 10 competitors got kicked out, almost all of them in the first try. And in 2007, the best Jinan competitor was Yao Zheng, which is..ehh.

  5. Well, for most people outside of China, their exposure to Chinese things (language/people/culture), come from Southern China. And it’s hard for them to recognise the differences between different types of Chinese people. I guess you can’t really blame them for that, though.

    Soompi isn’t really a great place, however. It kinda runs like a high school, with different cliques and social groups; and just about every second person there seems to be Filipino.
    And I don’t like to say this, but Koreans, in general, are actually pretty racist. Same with Chinese or Japanese, to be honest (what are your parents’ thoughts on black people? ><
    Super Girls is pretty much 'the' thing for me, so I'm glad it's being covered here. *hoping for lots of future updates*
    Though I'm not too sure about any of these contestants in the videos. Some of them sound good, and some of them could be better, really. I guess Super Girls is about finding the 'unique' talents, and the producers don't seem too keen on "recycling" contestant types, so how long will it be before another Jane Zhang shows up?
    I'm excited to see what this season comes up with, but I kinda get the feeling that the production and format of the show stifles exposure of actual talent. : (

  6. @Nepheliad
    It’s not just the dbsk forum. It’s pretty prevalent everywhere. Most mainland singers(not actors, though) are looked down upon, especially the competition singers.

  7. @Nepheliad
    yeh, i understand what you are trying to say, yes it is only a minor sector, but it is just as important. tt doesn’t mean just because it’s a minor sector it’s not important. we need everyone of the china to support mainland music, not just the people who already are into mainland music. the real success of mainland music, is to get the people who are obsessed with foreign music to go back to chinese music, that is the REAL success. what is the whole point of forcing people who already listen to mainland music, to listen to mainland music? everything will stay the same, not like anythin is going to change.

  8. @ dbskholic – Well, what did you expect from the DBSK part of Baidu Tieba? It’s not unlike a sector of the rabid US “Otaku” that swear Japanese entertainment is godly… But it’s only a sector, and it’ll probably be a shrinking one at that. Browse by the mainland section and it’s obviously a huge difference. There’s plenty of enthusiasm for mainland music – it’s just that the DBSK forum is probably the worst place for it right now, especially after China launched its own boy bands, which incited flame wars between their new fans and the Chinese Cassies.

  9. sorry to butt in guys, but i just really want to express my opinion here.

    as you can tell that im a HUGE fan of dbsk, and do definitely do enjoy listening to kpop. but recently what i’ve found with kpop is that everything is just so much based on looks, singer who have the best looks but can’t sing, actors or actresses who have looks but can’t act. there are just practically no decent singers, which can REALLY REALLY sing, even if they can sing, they will be underpromoted bcoz of there LOOKS. yes there are catchy songs, but there is just no one really out there who can sing. and everyone is like gosh they can sing so well, it’s only bcoz dey can sing well bcoz there is no one good for them to b compared to, especially girl groups. i mean people say that snsd are excellent at singing, well peronally i know they aren’t bad, but really they can’t be classified as singers, they can only be classified as entertainers.

    sometimes wot i hate about people is that they over-rate kpop and jpop. they juz think OH bcoz it’s kpop or jpop den it’s good.
    that’s exactly wot happened to my friend, i made her listen to a mainland song and she was like nah not as good, but clearly it was better dan kpop or jpop. wot people are doing now is not giving cpop a chance, yeh it was not that good once, but it doesn’t mean that it will continue to b like that. people need to give cpop a decent chance to grow and mature.

    and even sometimes with like chinese people, they just think korean and japanese things are good. i don’t mind them saying that, but sumtimes wen im on the dbsk baidu forum, chinese people are constantly criticising the chinese entertainment market, if chinese people don’t support it, then wot’s the chance of foreigners supporting it?! yes, there are lot of piracy, but i mean still it doesn’t mean it can’t succeed. jay chou still managed to sell 3 million+ albums with piracy, and with kpop even without piracy they still can’t reach the one million mark, people are under-rating the chinese market juz TOO MUCH.

    sorry guys, if u feel im really random and talked too much about kpop, but really i wanted to express my opnions and wot i realised with everyone here has got really similar opinion to me!

  10. It’s sad, but minor ethnicities are lost globally at ever increasing rates. All things considered, at least China is attempting to retain that heritage with some success, unlike some nations’ indigenous ethnicities. I don’t support the hanfu movement’s blanketing and sometimes discriminatory ways; the reason I want it to gain popularity is because its heritage is, IMO, more important as a show of how influential China had been, and because out of all the ethnic dress styles, it’s historically the most prominent one. The qipao represents a far smaller segment of people and a far shorter span of time. It ought have its place like any other ethnic style, but it shouldn’t be the most prominent international style.

    And Korea and Japan both have their ethnic minorities with distinct dress styles – the hanbok and kimono were derived from hanfu, after all. Those don’t cease to exist, even as the hanbok and kimono are respected as the main traditional clothing. That’s kind of the status I want the hanfu to have, proportionately less to account for the wider range of Chinese ethnicities.

    Hmm, I’m really starting to wish Gong Mi’s manager had chosen or was given a more talented contestant, because the guy’s obviously very good at generating buzz.

  11. Qipao is more casual, Hanfu’s more formal. Both can survive. The hanfu people annoyed me when half of them complained that Shu Chuang was manchu when she wore hanfu for duanwujie when I thought they should be happy that she’s taking up their cause.

    This is so random, but Li Shaohong’s from Shandong, too!

    Gong Mi looks really pretty in here. In some of the pictures, her face looked caked with makeup.

  12. Of course I’m not blaming the CR for everything. But it did change just the little things… like when chinese people meet thay shake hands… when korean/japanese meet they bow. The “comrade/equality” mentality is still around at times. (which I like because it really put women forward)

    And as for the whole Hanbok/kimono wearing in the dramas. In real life they take the same value to their costumes as they do on film. You’ll see Kimonos/Hanboks being worn more commonly during national holidays or speical occasions than you will the Qipao or Hanfu among the Han ethnic group. I’ve lived in Japan and a lot of my friends there owned their own custom made Kimono and wear a Yukata during Golden Week.

    Korea is patriotic (a little too much for my liking sometimes, the Koreans I’ve come across are never aware the Hanbok originated from the Hanfu, some even thought Chinese characters were invented by Korea *smacks head*)… Anyway, maybe as time goes on China people will take more to wearing and expressing their cultures. I’m not so much about having Qipao being replaced by Hanfu. But identifying more with all the ethnic groups.
    Hankyung SHOULD promote his ethnicity more, but I have a feeling it’s already been completely lost to him- language wise, apart from maybe the dances.

  13. @lenn
    welcome! hope you come back again.

    @nepheliad
    I was actually thinking of Joe Cheng when they were filming the wedding scene in They Kiss Again. He sincerely told Ariel she should wear something else because the cheongsam looks old-fashioned. And frankly, it wasn’t the most glamourous one, but it seemed a bit rude.

    I tend to use more common English translations when possible.

    Kimonos are still worn on special holidays in Japan, and they show up often in Japanese dramas (on the other hand, so do cheongsams for some reason). I live in the Midwest, and for school photos last year, there were random Americans wearing kimonos.

    I’m a bit worried about the hanfu movement’s homogenization of China and backlash from other ethnicities, who might feel they’re not as valued. Granted, I love hanfu’s and think they’re beautiful and should be reclaimed. But instead of a hanfu movement , I would prefer a cultural revival movement that involves all ethnicities. For one, I wish Hankyung and our Yi group would all learn their languages and more about their cultures. I think right now, only Ji Jie (and maybe 70?) knows his ethnic language. Hankyung’s one of 3000, he should be promoting his ethnicity a bit more before it goes extinct.

  14. The Cultural Revolution was devastating in many ways, no doubt about it, but a few decades cannot erase a diversity of culture built up over millennia. The traditions, too, are no more “gone” than they are in any other country – if anything, look at all the period television programming that sometimes represent China’s multi-ethnic background, the rush to reclaim Chinese artifacts (the strong message sent by the Chinese “buyer” to the Swiss auctioneer recently made me feel very prideful, haha), the historic sites where they’ve started putting in reenactments, etc… It’s not as though many people still walk around wearing kimonos in Japan, or corsets in Europe.

    Aside from the superficial, the cultural values have definitely remained intact – even the regional cultural biases. Everything from the emphasis on the ties of family, to the very Confucian ideal of being righteous for fear of losing honor rather than fear of repercussions, to even a liking of moralistic, often bittersweet stories have carried down.

    And there’s a second different reason for the bias against cheongsams (BTW, you don’t call them qipao?) – the ethnic Han are still unhappy about the Manchu takeover, and now, being the vast vocal majority, want to bring back the hanfu as the emblem of traditional Chinese clothing, as it had been for many centuries before the Qing. Frankly, I agree with them – the rest of the world ought know where the hanbok and the kimono originated, and I’m sick of them gushing over the two, especially the latter, without even knowing that hanfu existed; qipaos should hardly be seen as the main traditional dress of China. I’d love even better for the various ethnic dresses of China to all share some of the spotlight, though, of course.

    As for the K-drama thing… well, South Korea has gained a reputation internationally for, uh, claiming to have invented things from other cultures. Whether that reputation is deserved, I don’t know, but as China grows more important economically, its culture will spread far beyond the scope that South Korea’s has. Already, non-Chinese people (the general public, not just the fangirls), seem more interested in China than SK, which might also explain the recent SK commercial blitz on cable television. Consider that they had registered their version of the Dragon Boat Festival with UNESCO back in 2005, while China only did this year – but everyone abroad who knows about the festival knows about the Chinese one. That whole thing caused quite a hubbub, too, showing that China is starting to rise and claim its cultural heritage. Given China’s influence, others will take notice, so though those misattributions are a little annoying, they won’t be for long, I imagine.

  15. There is something about Korean Entertainment Industry I dont like, their excessive idol bands and their weird nationalism. When I went to Chinese thread in Soompi, I’ve met a lot of dumb people who think *good looking* Chinese doesn’t look Chinese which really irritates me off. Aside from that, some of the ancient Korean drama used Chinese clothing (hanfu) which really really pissed me off and I got some Korean who even say those are the clothing of old Koreans (lmao). I’m not saying all of them but some of them. Anyway I really hope Chinese Entertainment Industry would develop and make more Idol and Ancient Drama too =].

  16. @jemma
    I’m hesitate to blame everything on the cultural revolution because everyone else does, and it’s not true. It did have that negative effect, but even before that, was it really there? China under the Ch’ing dynasty wasn’t completely “cultural,” at least materialy. But although the traditions have gone long since, the values are still there.

    They’re not so much trying to emphasize this culture because it’s already embedded in them, it comes out naturally.

    Not really. Like earlier, I said that perhaps whereas Nepheliad looked at the values, I looked at surface emphasizes. Like dramas about how great Korea is and how Hanboks are prettier than other dresses, even at inappropriate times ( there’s no way you can think that Hanboks are more fit than other dresses to show a women’s figures).
    What bothers me is the Chinese who calls mianren “su/unfashionable” and cheongsams “xiang ba lao/from the country.” It’s like they’re so desperate to modernize that they must deem everything “not modern” as outdated, when that’s not true. I can’t say whether those are common, but they’re certainly annoy.

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