A round-up of my top ten stages for Youth With You 2. The show had it’s ups and downs and really dropped the ball on the collaboration stage, but it still has some of my favorite Chinese boy/girl group stages in years. It pains me to know that there isn’t yet a sufficient system for performers in China for so many talents in front and behind the camera to create stages this beautiful more often.
10. Mama Group A is the most well-rounded group of the whole competition that might be better than whatever team that debuts. It has the best vocalist of the show (Xu Xinwen), the most performative rapper of the show (Xie Keying), a great dancer (Lu Keran), a slightly weaker all-arounder in Jin Zihan, and an all-ace all-arounder in Wei Chen. All five members are versatile. They all have unique looks and personalities that nevertheless are harmonized together. My only complaint is their hair and make-up makes it hard for them to give good face.
9. Composed of mostly vocals, Light Orange Island is a beautiful original song that exudes sensuality. I love how even though Zhang Yu didn’t seem like she would fit in with the group, she fit in perfectly. It’s really a hallmark of the show’s ability to challenge and push what a girlgroup could be.
8. The choreo, editing, and camerawork for this is exquisite and should be used in every stage. In many ways it’s the opposite of Play. It’s a perfectly put-together performance, but no one really stood out as much.
7. Play is still the best dance showcase of the show. I love how earlier on in the show, they created this dance that showcased each dancer one by one so everyone could be remembered. Everyone did shine, but An Qi really owned this stage.
6. I love the sexy, slow feel of the song and again how each member brought their own unique vibe to it while keeping the performance one. Also, I love the way Zhang Chuhan’s original flow.
5. Hunt has its weak parts, but the strong parts are so strong, and almost everyone looked amazing. There were some weak vocals but I think a lot of people shined in this performance. This stage definitely has my favorite costumes in the whole show.
4. Single Eyelid Girls is such a unique and fun rap group. It really balances attitude, cute, and sass. Huge props for this show getting everyone to write their own raps. It adds variety and character (shade to Chuang 2020).
3. The is easily the most interesting song of the show, and a rare one where the practice room version is better than the stage ones. Liu Yuxin, An Qi, Kong Xue’er, Fu Yaning, and Li Yichen perfectly fill the whole spectrum between the modern and traditional, between the masculinity of Xiang Yu and the femininity of Yu Ji, between millennia-old poetry and modern attitudes, and between Peking Opera verses and rap.
2. This stage is imo the most well-put-together group vocal stage in probably the last fifteen years of music competitions (credit to Yu Yan for single-handedly picking the team and assigning the parts). I love how everyone’s voices and styling are unique, yet they all matched so well with both the song and each other. Every shot is perfect and I can’t imagine changing a thing.
- While this performance is not as perfect, it’s such a unique stage that I immediately fell in love with it. I would love a girl group with this type of vibe.