The Voice of China: YouTube stars, Kpop stars, and too many Chyi Chin songs

I know, I know. I was supposed to have this recap posted days ago.

Robynn & Kendy audition for The Voice of China. I know, I know. I was supposed to have this recap up days ago.

Just in case we haven’t been paying attention, the beginning of the episode introduces all the judges (again), listing some of their professional accomplishments with short sound bites from them about what they want to achieve. It’s all pretty standard, and none of it is especially remarkable, except for the fact that Chyi Chin doesn’t seem to have aged in 25 years. That’s not to say he doesn’t look his age of 54. Just that he looked 54 back in 1988.
Other than that, this episode jumps straight into the first audition.

This post is the second in a series of weekly recaps for The Voice of China. Review the first episode here.

Qin Xiaolin 秦晓林
19, Anyang, Henan
Fire 火 by A-mei

We jump straight into the first audition. No cute back-story here. What’s up with that? Maybe this contestant is really unlikable and nothing about her is endearing to the audience. The band plays a harder, rockier version of A-mei’s Fire. Oh, our auditionee has a really husky voice. She looks and sounds like chain-smoking lumberjack. I guess this is why they didn’t give her a proper introduction; her speaking voice would have given away the surprise. Her top notes actually resonate really well.

All the male judges turn for her. Wang Feng smiles. “You’re on fire.”
“From now on, you have a new nickname,” Yang Kun says. “Do you know what it is?”
“What is it?” she asks.
“Volcano girl!” Yang Kun replies enthusiastically. “Volcano” in Chinese is literally fire mountain, so Yang Kun just made a pun. It’s not a very good pun. “Her voice sounds like a volcano eruption,” Yang Kun explains to Na Ying.
“Her throat is full of fire.” Na Ying says.
“Ngraahahaaah,” adds Yang Kun. I don’t know what that’s meant to be.
Yang Kun asks if she was born with her voice or if it developed later on.
“I was born with this way,” she says. “I inherited it from my mother and grandmother. My mom is a Chinese opera singer. My grandfather has a really loud voice. I grew up in the east side of town. And every day I’d go to the west side to play at my classmate’s house. My grandmother would call out from one side to call me back for dinner.”
“Ryahaahaaaah!” Yang Kun responds. I don’t know. I think he’s trying to emulate the sound of an erupting volcano.

Chyi Chin reminds Qin that he was the second judge to press his buzzer. He says she is fun, completely free with no inhibitions.
“Actually, I can already tell who she’s going to choose,” says Na Ying. The other judges disagree.

“I know you like rock and roll. But I also believe you can sing something more heartfelt.” Chyi Chin asks her to sing a few lines to test the tone of her voice.
“What song should I sing?” she asks.
“Sing Maybe in Winter 大约在冬季,” Chyi Chin suggests, referencing his own song.

Wang Feng likes her non-gruff voice. “I believe you can sing other things as well.” He promises to help develop her normal singing voice if she joins his team.
Chyi Chin says Wang Feng won’t be able to do that because he has no time; he has to prepare for his concert at the Bird’s Nest stadium. Wang Feng retorts that having a mentor who can play the Bird’s Nest is not a bad thing.

Qin says, when she’s in a bad mood, she sings Wang Feng’s Rock with me 一起摇摆.
“See,” Chyi Chin says, “she only sings your song when she’s in a bad mood.”
“Yang Kun. I really like your voice, too. I really like No matter 无所谓
“Sing it for us,” Na Ying says.
“I don’t know how!”
“You see,” says Chyi Chin. “She knows how to sing Maybe in Winter but she doesn’t know No Matter.”

Qin chooses Yang Kun. Yang Kun is super excited about it.

Zhou Shen 周深
21, Guiyang, Guizhou
Smile 欢颜 by Chyi Yu

“None of my family members are very tall,” our next contestant says, “so I’m really short as well.” He stands next to a deliberately placed crew member who’s about a foot taller than him. “161cm,” he laughs. “Sometimes I look at children’s clothing and their sizes are too big for me. It breaks my heart,” he says, chuckling to himself. He laughs a lot, but you kind of get the feeling that it’s all he can do to stop himself from breaking into tears.

Zhou Chen is singing a song by Chyi Chin’s older sister, Chyi Yu. He has a high voice. The judges all nod approvingly to one another. Na Ying flashes a thumbs up. If you think he’s good, Na Ying, then just press the buzzer. That’s what it’s there for. Chyi Chin finally does. Yang Kun does too, quickly followed by Na Ying.
“That’s a guy?!” exclaims Yang Kun.
“A guy?!” Na Ying follows. I don’t know why they’re so shocked.
“You sing more beautifully than a woman,” Na Ying bellows. That’s a strange compliment to give.
“Let me tell you, up until now, as the four of us have participated on this show, this is the contestant that surprised me the most,” Yang Kun says, obviously forgetting his reaction to blind, season-one contestant, Chang Yuhsia. “I didn’t think he was a guy.”

Zhou Shen says he’s studying in Auckland Ukraine. The judges are surprised. (On a related an unrelated note, if you’ve ever wondered whether or not kiwi fruit tastes good with pasta, the answer is no.) Zhou Shen says he’s studying medicine, but in the back of his mind, music has always been his passion, so he decided to give The Voice of China a shot. Ah, yes, every patient wants to be treated by a doctor who doesn’t really want to be a doctor.
“Why did you sing this song?” asks Chyi Chin.
“I like old songs. Old songs have a sentimental quality to them.”
“You didn’t know I was going to be here today?” asks Chyi Chin.
“No, no, I did.”
“This is my sister’s song!”

Zhou Shen says his voice was normal until junior high school. When everybody’s voice was getting deeper, his actually went higher. “Puberty kind of ran away from me.”
“It didn’t run away. It never came,” jokes Yang Kun.

Na Ying says that if Chyi Chin turned, then they all would have to, since it’s his sister’s song. Chyi Chin contests that notion, saying that there are other people who listen to his sister’s music and he can’t be the sole judge of her voice. He still finds it surprising that a man can sing women’s songs.
Yang Kun asks him why he chose to audition. People have always said his voice was unusual, the contestant notes, so he wanted to come and see if he had something special.
“If you become a singer,” Chyi Chin says, “Don’t doubt yourself. Your voice is something heaven-sent.”
Na Ying says he has something unique. I don’t know. It seems to me that talent shows are full of guys who sing like girls. “You sound ever better than a female voice,” she continues. “You are the male Chyi Yu.”
“If you’re going to sing female songs, you should choose me.”

Yang Kun says that in all his years in the music industry, Zhou Shen’s voice is a rarity, inclusive of all ages and gender. If he’s chosen, he’ll pull out all the stops to develop him.
Chyi Chin says if he chooses him, he’ll personally invite his sister to come and listen to him. “You can’t compete with that,” suggests Wang Feng to Na Ying and Yang Kun. Without much explanation as to why, Zhou Shen chooses Na Ying.

Cheng Shinci 郑心慈
16, New Taipei, Taiwan
Matchstick Heaven 火柴天堂 by Chyi Chin

Next up is Cheng Shinci (Zheng Xinci) from Taiwan. She’s performed in Taiwanese singing contests before. At 16, she’s the youngest contestant to appear on The Voice of China. It’s probably not a coincidence; up until now, Chinese reality talent shows have generally avoided showcasing high school-aged children for one reason or another. Cheng is wearing half of her school uniform just so we don’t forget her age. She mentions that both she and her mother are big fans of Chyi Chin. They’ll be super happy if he turns for her, she says.

Cheng begins singing and Chyi Chin looks up. This song sounds familiar, he seems to think. Her voice is haunting, but soft—almost too soft—until she hits the chorus. She’s a bit like Melody from last week’s episode. The host teaches her mother how to cheer her on in Mandarin. I don’t think she speaks it very well.
Chyi Chin, probably feeling obligated, turns for her. The other judges are indecisive. Yang Kun presses his buzzer.

“Do you know why I turned?” Yang Kun asks.
“Why?” responds Chyi Chin.
“Because I thought-” Yang Kun looks up, “you’re a little kid, right?” I’m not sure if that was one complete train of thought. Yang Kun continues with complimentary adjectives: bright, pure, innocent. Even “ethereal” and “transcendent” make an appearance.

Yang Kun asks why she chose that song. “Because my mom is Chinese Indonesian, and when she came to Taiwan, she heard Chyi Chin’s songs, so she really likes Chyi Chin.” Chyi Chin throws his hands up in the air triumphantly. “I wanted to sing this song to make her happy.”
“I didn’t just turn around because you sang my song,” admits Chyi Chin. “But I heard a certain innocence in your voice.” He suggest that maybe she couldn’t quite convey the emotions in the song because she is too young to have experienced heartbreak. But her voice is gentle and soothing, and that’s what drew him to her.

“You seem like an intelligent girl. When your mother is raising a family, do you ever sense that it’s difficult for her?”
Cheng tells her story. “Yes, because my mom works by herself. And at the end of the month, there’s no money left. And at the end of the month, she’ll be hiding away in the corner, crying. But now that I’m older, I don’t really have any options. I can only be by her side and try to be good.”
“Because you’re still a student,” says Na Ying. “Your mother has to provide for your schooling.”
“I have an older sister as well as an older brother. I’m really happy to be on stage because she can see me here.”
“You’re a very smart girl,” says Na Ying. “Your mother is also a great woman. She really is. To assume the burden of raising a family.”

“What is your dream?” asks Yang Kun.
She says she wants to grow up so that her mother won’t be so burdened. After that, she hopes for a new guitar.
“I have a lot of guitars,” says Chyi Chin. “Take your pick.” The audience laughs. I can’t quite tell if that was a genuine offer or not.

“The are three points,” remarks Yang Kun. “Firstly, your mother is a fan of Chyi Chin. Secondly, you sang a Chyi Chin song. Thirdly, Chyi Chin turned for you first. I don’t have any of those points. But I want to tell you this: never feel like you can’t sing. Your singing took me to another world. Even you won’t be able to understand it. I will help you develop this ability.” Yang Kun knows that Cheng will most likely choose Chyi Chin. “Another thing I want to add: Chyi Chin will buy you a guitar. I’ll throw in a piano as well.”
“I don’t need to buy a guitar,” refutes Chyi Chin. “Just pick one. Whatever colour you want, just pick it. If you want an electric guitar, have an electric guitar. If you want a double neck guitar, there’s a double neck too.”
Unsurprisingly, Cheng chooses Chyi Chin.

Zhao Ke 赵钶
22, Xi’an, Shaanxi
I’ll Wait Until the Flower Wilts 我等到花儿也谢了 by Jacky Cheung

Zhao Ke is from Xi’an, the aeroplane city, he calls it. Because apparently that’s what Xi’an is famous for, not an army made of terracotta or anything. He’s singing this Jacky Cheung number better than the original. Chyi Chin, Na Ying and Yang Kun all hit their buzzers in the last second of his performance. The contestant looks confused. “Did you or didn’t you turn for me?” he asks nervously.
“We turned!” Yang Kun replies. Zhao Ke is relieved but happy.
“You thought it was the automatic chair-swivelling at the end of the performance, and that nobody turned for you, is that right?” asks Wang Feng.
“Well, because, when I watch it on TV, there’s that “beep” sound,” our contestant replies.
The judges laugh. Yang Kun thinks it’s hilarious. He stifles his laughter just long enough to mock him. “You fool!” he laughs. “Silly boy 傻小子.”
“Unbelievable” says Na Ying.
“That’s so cute,” adds Chyi Chin.
“When you go home and watch this on TV, there’ll be a beeping sound too.”
Na Ying asks the director to turn her chair back around so they can show him the swivelling mechanism. “Watch. Watch this, okay?” Na Ying instructs him to sing once more. She presses the buzzer and spins back around. Okay, hands up, how many of you thought the sound effect was built into the chair?

Na Ying says he sounds like Jeff Chang. Yang Kun says he sounds like Aska Yang as well. Na Ying says that the ability to tell the story is what really impresses people. He chooses Yang Kun as his mentor and Na Ying gives a Gong Li-esque sneer. She does not seem impressed.

Zhang Bichen 张碧晨
25, Tianjin
She Says 她说 by JJ Lin

Zhang Bichen had a musical career in the Korean girl group Sunny Days. Where do all these Voice auditionees get their beanies from? I’d like to imagine that there’s a whole closet full of them back stage in as many colours as the rainbow. Zhang says she’s on The Voice for a new start. She has luscious hair. Maybe she could be in a shampoo commercial.

Na Ying, Chyi Chin and Yang Kun all turn in quick succession. Wang Feng joins them a bit later, making it a unanimous chair swivel. She sings well, but I was waiting for that big climax that never came.

“I’m Zhang Bichen. I’m 25, from Tianjian. I just got back from Korea.”
“Korea?” asks Yang Kun. “What were you doing there?”
“I trained in singing and dancing,” she replies.
“Why did you go all the way to Korea for that?” Yang Kun responds, raising a very valid question.
“To live the life of a trainee. To eat bitterness and better myself. That’s why I went.”
Wang Feng thinks it’s great that Zhang is willing to put in the hard work to succeed.

Zhang talks about the excitement of leaving home and later feeling homesick. Na Ying says she can relate after moving to Beijing from Shenyang. Chyi Chin references one of his own songs, The Road Home 离家的路. “Look it up online,” he tells her. “Who can appreciate being away from home more than me?”

Yang Kun asks her why she auditioned for The Voice, though he doesn’t actually seem all that interested. “I was in Korea for a year, and I learnt a lot of things. I wanted to come back and use the things I’ve learnt to test whether or not I’ve made any progress, to see whether or not people would validate my singing.” She adds that she also wants to be closer to home and sing in a language that her parents will understand.
Yang Kun reminds her that her biggest fans will always be the ones at home. “You have to realise this,” he emphasises. “In the future, don’t go to Korea. We have so many of these types of schools in China for you to choose from.” This is true, of course, but it doesn’t really take into account the quality of the training, or the connections they can provide. After all, idol groups have been waning in popularity in China for years now. Even so, you’d be hard pressed to find a successful Chinese idol group that hasn’t trained in Korea.

After verifying Zhang’s age, Chyi Chin enquires about her parents. “My dad is an ox, and my mom is a tiger,” she replies. So, uh… 1961 and 1962? I like that you can give that answer in animal notation, but having to do the calculations in your head is tough work.
“Just a couple years younger than me,” Chyi Chin notes. “Your parents must have mentioned me a lot.” He says if she chooses him, he’ll invite her to perform at his concerts as a special guest. Yang Kun offers to do the same.

Na Ying says Zhang reminds her of season two contestant Xuan Xuan 萱萱. She claims to have helped Xuan Xuan by giving her a more enriching and more fulfilling experience. I didn’t think Xuan Xuan was very good, so at least that’s something. Na Ying wonders why Wang Feng hasn’t said anything yet. Chyi Chin accuses him of oggling the contestant. “If she comes to my team, that’d be pretty good,” is all Wang Feng offers.

“So who do you choose?” asks Yang Kun.
“I actually decided a long time ago,” Zhang says, unremorseful for having wasted everybody’s time. She says it’s the first judge to have turned. The judges discuss between them who was the first. Na Ying thinks she was first. Chyi Chin thinks it’s him. Wang Feng, who turned last, says it doesn’t matter who was really first, because obviously she must have someone in mind regardless of the chair-turning. “Actually, I’m not sure who turned first because I was too nervous,” our contestant admits.
Semnida 습니다,” an exasperated Na Ying says. That doesn’t really mean anything by itself. She repeats it again, and now I’m confused. Zhang chooses Na Ying and they come together for a celebratory hug. “IS IT REALLY ME?” Na Ying shouts from two feet in front of Zhang’s face. “IS IT REALLY?”
“YES!” Zhang shouts back. They hug and kiss.

Shen Yulin 申钰林
32, Zibo, Shandong
This Time I’ll Never Let Go 这一次我决不放手 by Chyi Chin

The next contestant sort of looks like a more handsome version of the host, who I actually find kind of annoying—this show is not a competition to see who can talk the fastest. Shen recently quit a stable job to start a video production studio with his three friends who have come to support him today. They seem close. His father doesn’t approve, however. They don’t really talk. The aforementioned host pulls out a phone and hands it to his better looking twin. It doesn’t look like a Huawei phone this time. Hey, it’s his parents. Only his mother speaks, but I can’t understand her dialect at all. Luckily, there are subtitles.
“I don’t know what you’re busy with all day out there. I heard you got onto The Voice of China. Perform well there. But I won’t ask too much of you anyway. Have a safe trip.”
His dad doesn’t say a word.

“Hey, it’s Chyi Chin’s song,” Yang Kun remarks as the Shen begins to sing. Shen is a good singer, but it’s hard to say that his performance was better than Zhao Ke’s. Ultimately, only Chyi Chin turns, but our contestant is excited nonetheless, which he demonstrates by leaping into the air and twirling.
Chyi Chin tells Shen he turned because of his reinterpretation of the song. “Actually, I was afraid you were going to scold me,” Shen admits.
“Why? You should be more confident,” Chyi Chin tells him.
Shen tells the judges the story of quitting his job and launching his studio.
The studio’s name is He Qi Liao 何弃疗, short for 为何放弃治疗 meaning “Why give up on (medical) treatment?”. It’s Chinese Internet slang, often self-deprecatory, suggesting that the person shouldn’t forgo therapy.
Shen says they’re still struggling, and that the only followers the studio has on Weibo are themselves. He doesn’t mention his previous stints on Avenue of Stars 星光大道 in 2009, or Super Boys 快乐男声 in 2010. At least now he’s collected more than 20,000 followers on his personal Weibo account.

“I just have one thing more I want to say,” Shen announces as the judges stand to complete the ritual celebratory hugging. “I want to say to my three brothers: People said we were crazy. From this moment on, we must be crazy to the end,” he declares. “For us to fulfill our dreams, we must be crazy to the end.”
Why does he always look like he’s about to cry?

Zhang Dandan 张丹丹
30, Yangzhou, Jiangsu
Love is a Happy Bullet 爱是一颗幸福的子弹 by Wang Feng

Zhang Dandan is a music teacher at university. She’s singing a Wang Feng song. Curiously, this song was also covered by Na Ying for the 2013 Huang Xiaoming, Angelababy movie, Crimes of Passion 一場風花雪月的事.
Na Ying looks at Wang Feng who flashes her a smile. It’s not a very “oh, I like this performance” smile, though. More of a subtle acknowledgement.
“I’ve sung this song before,” Na Ying tells Yang Kun.
“His song?” Yang Kun half-asks, half-states.
“Wang Feng’s song,” Na Ying replies.
Zhang’s performance begins unremarkably, but a big note has Chyi Chin and Wang Feng turn for her as the audience roars in applause. She’s a bit like second-season contestant, Yao Beina 姚贝娜. Yao sang the Chinese version of Let It Go from Frozen. Na Ying also turns. Zhang unleashes a illustrious barrage of notes from her upper register. The audience is audibly impressed. Yang Kun, however, looks uncertain. The song finishes and Yang Kun’s chair remains unswivelled. Zhang is the best singer in the competition so far. You crazy, Yang Kun.

Zhang is giddy with excitment. “Yay, you guys turned!” she squeals.
“Intoxicating.” Na Ying says they’re still caught up in the emotion of her performance.
“Excellent song choice,” Wang Feng laughs.
Yang Kun asks if she chose this song on purpose, noting that both Wang Feng and Na Ying had recorded it. She says she chose the song because when a student sang the song it in front of her, it made her cry, and she wanted to pick a song that would be able to impress the judges.

Wang Feng pulls rank as the songwriter and speaks. “I’ve had a lot of friends and students tell me that singing a judge’s song on this show is like a double-edged sword,” he begins. “If you make a small mistake, the judge won’t turn for you. If you’re good, he’ll turn immediately.”
“I turned the moment I realised that you were using your entire understanding of music, your own life experiences, and putting your whole soul into the song. This is the best version.” He quickly adds: “Because Na Ying sang this song as well. And that was a different version, and I really liked that too.”
“I finally got recognised by Wang Feng,” Na Ying interjects. “It’s not easy! I sang this song and he never praised me for it.”
“I did too,” Wang Feng claims.

Na Ying laughs it off. “Listening to your performance, I wondered who could be that brave, because this is a really hard song to sing. I did a movie once, Crimes of Passion. The director wanted me to sing the whole song like Wang Feng. I said no. I didn’t have the courage. I didn’t think I could sing this song as well as him.”
“She was afraid I would scold her,” Wang Feng adds. The audience laughs.
“It’s true,” Na Ying continues. “This song seems simple, but it’s a terrifying song to sing.” Na Ying says Zhang told a story with her singing, and that storytelling is her strongest attribute. “You sang this song better than me, more perfectly than what I had done.” Listen to Na Ying’s version and compare.

Zhang holds up her wrist to show off a pink band. “This is my victory bracelet. He gave it to me just before I got on stage. He supported my coming here, and then he gave me this bracelet for good luck. I’m so, so grateful to my husband.” Aw, that’s so cute.

Chyi Chin knows Zhang won’t choose him because he’s up against two people who wrote and recorded the song, but he reminds her that he was the first judge to turn.
Wang Feng mentions what Zhang said earlier about shedding tears to the song. “I’m the one who wrote the words that made you cry,” he offers. It sounds less menacing in Chinese.
It’s Na Ying’s turn to convince the contestant to choose her side. “Time for a turf war,” Yang Kun remarks.
“I’d completely forgotten that he had written or sung this song,” Na Ying begins. “It’s not at all important.” Na Ying gestures at the contestant on stage. “Because both of us girls sang it.”
“I’m not writing you any more songs,” Wang Feng jokes.

Yang Kun, who didn’t press his buzzer and is not up for selection, throws his support behind Chyi Chin. They throw high-fives at each other in the air.

Yang Kun asks Zhang to make her decision. “I choose…” she begins.
“Wait a minute,” Yang Kun says. He likes to build suspense and have the audience countdown before the reveal.
“Wang Feng,” she says.
“I said wait!” Yang Kun laughs, killing the crescendo of the moment.
“Is that your decision?” Wang Feng asks.
Na Ying looks almost angry. She points at Wang Feng. “No, this is not her choice!”
Wang Feng tells her to repeat herself.
“I choose Wang Feng!”

None of the judges mentioned Yao Beina. Usually when I make a note of someone reminding me of someone else, the judges will bring it up too. That’s weird.

Robynn & Kendy
28, Hong Kong
Yearning is a Disease 思念是一种病 by Chyi Chin

There has been a lot of discussion floating around the Internet about this duo. Partly because Robynn & Kendy, who started their careers as YouTube singers, are an already established musical group, signed to Universal Music. It’s like that time when Alan auditioned for The X-Factor. The other, bigger issue is Robynn’s family tree. Her father is Yip Tou Tou, a wealthy Hong Kong businessman. In turn, his father was Ye Jianying, a prominent official in Mainland China in the 70s and 80s.

In any case, Robynn & Kendy are singing yet another Chyi Chin song. What is this, Sing the Judges’ Songs Day? They don’t have the best voices individually, but they harmonise incredibly well together. They’re also the first contestants to audition with instruments, strumming along with a guitar and ukulele.

All judges but Wang Feng turn for them. There’s even more speculation as to why Wang Feng didn’t turn, which partly involves Zhang Ziyi, but we’re not trying to put Hong Kong tabloids out of business here. Robynn and Kendy don’t seem super confident with speaking Mandarin, and Kendy lets Robynn do most of the talking.
Yang Kun asks Robynn and Kendy to share some sincere words between them on stage. It’s almost as if he wants them to confess their love for one-another or something like that. Robynn goes first. “I know we’re not the most confident girls, but with Kendy singing by my side, my heart becomes at ease. The confidence that I have on stage now comes from Kendy.” They start tearing up.
“We don’t have the most profound musical knowledge, but we rely on each other and the love of the people around us.”

Robynn, who has a degree in psychology, worked as a therapist with autistic children. Confusingly, in an effort to woo the contestants, Chyi Chin says he used to have autism. I don’t think that’s how autism works. He has been criticised for spreading misinformation about the disorder.
Yang Kun says he suffered from depression for seven years. The audience half-applauds in surprise. Robynn is wide-eyed. It’s not common to openly discuss mental illness in Chinese culture. “I was the 2009 national ambassador against depression. So that means our blood is intertwined.”

Robynn asks if she can discuss their mentor selection with Kendy. They whisper between each other on stage. This is probably just be for show. Surely they would have discussed it beforehand. They choose Yang Kun. Yang Kun is really excited. He does a little dance.

Mark Chang 张心杰
27, Taoyuan, Taiwan
Much Ado About Nothing 大惊小怪 by Shin

Mark Chang is a Taiwanese Aboriginal singer (Atayal, specifically). He’s been in the industry for over a decade and signed with EMI. He’s singing a Shin song, and it sounds very much like everyone else singing a Shin song. And as with most things Shin, it’s hard to appreciate unless you’re really into his music. But he’s not a bad singer. He has good technique.
If Chyi Chin buzzes for Chang, that will mean he has buzzed every singer in this episode. And, of course, he does. You’re an easy one to please, Mr. Chyi. Wang Feng also turns. Yang Kun does so at the very last second.

Mark introduces himself, saying he’s from Lalashan, Taoyuan, Taipei. The subtitles add “China” onto it, even though he never says China. Taoyuan is famous for its peaches.
Mark says he’s liked singing since he was little but never found a good opportunity to sing, which I’m not sure is entirely accurate, depending on the time frame. He used to sing at a restaurant and annoy the customers. Chyi Chin says his situation is exactly the same as his own, and then defers to Wang Feng. “Is that the same for you?”
“My experience was with playing the violin at a restaurant with people eating around me,” he replies, gesturing with his hands. “Weaving between the tables.” The audience applauds, impressed.
“Look at Yang Kun’s facial expression,” Chyi Chin remarks.
“I sang at a steak house for 12 years,” Yang Kun says.

Na Ying asks Mark what songs he used to sing at the restaurant. “There was one song that I used to sing a lot. It was a Chyi Chin song: Night After Night After Night After Night 夜夜夜夜.”
Na Ying remarks on the contrast between that song and his audition song.
“Can I sing it with you?” Chyi Chin asks to the cheers of the audience. “After this song,” he suggests, “would you be willing to join my team?”
Wang Feng grins like he’s been chewing on an invincible pencil. Chyi Chin and Mark duet with the fifth Chyi Chin song of the night.

Mark says he wants a mentor who can help improve his weaknesses. “So you’re not going to choose me?” Chyi Chin laughs. The traitorous Mark chooses Wang Feng.

Watch the full Voice of China episode here.

12 thoughts on “The Voice of China: YouTube stars, Kpop stars, and too many Chyi Chin songs

  1. That guy does look like Huashao!

    Haha, I think your recaps are more interesting than the show itself. I changed the YouTube links for you as appreciation.

    • Thanks for that! (I know how difficult it is to sift through the links)
      I’ve been away for a bit, but recaps of the latest two episodes should hopefully be coming tomorrow~!

  2. Ok, you totally crack me up!!! Your commentary is usually funny, but the comment about the host absolutely had me gasping for air! Like for the past two episodes I’ve been wondering why the heck he was talking with so much speed. Glad to know I’m not the only one.Oh and thanks for these posts, it’s always nice to know what the judges’ comments are.

  3. These clips really surprised me! Usually I avoid The Voice of China because they seem to always pick contestants that push too hard and produce that weird growl/screech noise when crescendo-ing, but this episode was a nice break from that.
    I was confused as to why Zhang Bichen wasn’t still in the K-pop group?

  4. HAHAHA Benji I love your commentary! (My favorite lines: “Oh, our auditionee has a really husky voice. She looks and sounds like chain-smoking lumberjack.” “Ah, yes, every patient wants to be treated by a doctor who doesn’t really want to be a doctor.” “Zhang says, unremorseful for having wasted everybody’s time. ” “his show is not a competition to see who can talk the fastest.”)
    Except omg Zhou Shen…I would have thought that he was a girl too, just based on the voice…he looks younger than the high school student…

  5. Been waiting for this! Love your commentary as always. And like Karen said, Wukelan is Ukraine, not Auckland, so yeah, I think we know why they’re surprised lol.

    Zhou Shen has a really soothing voice, and Zhang Dandan is wonderful.

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