Chinese Idol 中国梦之声 debuted as one of the most promising reality singing contests of 2013, but suffered from poor formatting during its live performance rounds and everybody lost interest as abruptly as this opening sentence.
Sunday’s three-hour finale, which featured performances from the Idol judges (including a bearded Huang Xiaoming), Show Luo 罗志祥, and international guest star Lionel Richie, saw Li Xiangxiang 李祥祥 upset heavy favourite “Goddess” Yangjima 央吉玛 to become the first Chinese Idol.
Li Xiangxiang, who is kind of handsome but probably not handsome enough to justify his being called handsome so many times on the show, will sign a recording deal with Universal Music Group as part of his winnings. Runner-up Yangjima, an ethnic Monpa folk singer from Tibet who is not actually a real goddess, is also expected to score a record deal in the Idol aftermath.
And if you thought that this reality TV singing contest would only have two finalists in the grand finale, well, you’d be wrong. Entirely reasonable in your assumption, but wrong. At the beginning of the episode, six singers were still in contention for the Idol crown.
Kazakh singer A-lai 阿来 was the first to be eliminated, singing 在那遥远的地方 (In That Distant Place). Kazakh singer A-lai was also the most proficient musician of the group and the best male vocalist. Poor A-lai…
Next to fall was James 杨永聪, whose sort of good looks and endearingly poor Mandarin made him an early fan favourite. Apparently not too fussed about Han Hong’s warnings that a Chinese Idol should sing in Chinese, James performed One Republic’s Apologize as his mother and grandmother sat in the audience.
An old fashioned rocker of sorts, Hou Lei 侯磊 was eliminated on his performance of 山丘 (Hills). His two backup dancers’ routine seemed to consist mostly of walking up and sliding down a ramp with various arm movements.
Thus finalising the top three. Why is there even a top three? What is the significance of three people? Honestly, this show…
“Queen” Effie 艾菲, who I did not know was nicknamed “Queen” until a few minutes ago, was eliminated with a very respectable rendition of Beyoncé’s Listen. Once she gets into it in the second half of the song, this is probably the best live version of this song from a Chinese singer.
For the final showdown, Yangjima performed a song titled 央吉玛 Yangjima, presumably about herself.
Li Xiangxiang sang Wang Leehom’s 落叶归根 (Falling Leaves Return to Their Roots)
A short intermission brought the Malaysian winner of Asian Wave 声动亚洲, Shila Amzah, on stage with the Top 12 Idol contestants to sing the Mandarin version of Kelly Clarkson’s A Moment Like This, which doubled as the show’s theme song.
Oh, and then Li Xiangxiang won. And that’s it!