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Welcome to The Sing-Off China competition episode 4!

The opening group number is 陶喆 David Tao’s 《找自己》 (Zhao Zi Ji / Find Myself).  The song is somewhat about wanting to escape from the harshness of reality into a dream world. It sounds okay, but I could have used a little bit more attitude from a few of the soloists. The random scatting near the end was also very odd…

As usual, our host is Mr. 赵屹鸥 (Zhao Yi Ou), and our judges are:

  • 韦唯 (Wei Wei) – The female judge. Well-known Chinese diva
  • 谷峰 (Gu Feng) – Judge in the blue shirt on the very right. Known for his jazz and vocal imitations of instruments.
  • 谭伊哲 (Tan Yi Zhe) – Judge in white on the very left. Music producer.
  • 黄伟文 (Huang Wei Wen, English name: Wyman Wong) – The bald judge with the hat. Well-known Cantonese pop lyricist.

This episode’s format is similar to that of episode 2’s. Among the 6 groups, only 4 will advance. This episode consists of 2 rounds. In the 1st round, the groups will be divided into 3 pairs. After both groups in a pair have performed, judges will either advance one group or ask both groups to wait. At the end of the first round when all three pairs have performed, one group will be eliminated. In the second round, the remaining groups will perform another song, and the judges will then advance groups until two are left. The bottom two will each perform another song, and then the judges and 21 choir directors will vote for the group they want to save.

The pairings will be the following:

  • Pair 1梦想家 (Meng Xiang Jia / Dreamers) vs. 自由人 (Zi You Ren / Freeman) – Wyman: One group has been together for a really long time, and the other has just formed. We want to see which can do better. [He compares the situation to dating for 10 years before marriage vs. love at first sight.]
  • Pair 2蓝色警报 (Lan Se Jing Bao / Sirens Vocal Band) vs. 木塞子 (Mu Sai Zi / MUSE.S) – the battle between youthful mixed groups.
  • Pair 3Honey vs. 人声失控 (Ren Sheng Shi Kong / Voices Out of Control) – boys against girls.

Here we go. Round 1:

1) 自由人 (Zi You Ren / Freeman)

  • Intro package – The group leader has been dedicating his life to a cappella, and he’s spent a lot of time recording a cappella. He often stays up late arranging music for the group.
  • Performance – 才旦卓玛 Cai Dan Zhuo Ma’s 《北京的金山上》 (Bei Jing De Jin Shan Shang / Atop Beijing’s Gold Mountain). It’s a Tibetan song that praises Beijing and Chairman Mao.
  • My thoughts – Fantastic arrangement. I love how they modernized the song, and some of the chords are just delicious. I laughed (in a good way) at the sample of the Chinese national anthem. Sure, the intonation was a bit off at times, but nothing’s perfect.
  • Judges’ comments – Wei Wei: Very brave arrangement. The Tibetan singing at the beginning was especially wonderful. That kind of singing is usually done by a female voice, and yet the male voice on this was great. I was pleasantly surprised.  Since you guys can arrange and perform something like “Bei Jing Jin Shan Shang,” could you be a bit braver and do one of my songs? Gu Feng: On The Sing-Off, each group is like a family inviting us to their home and acting like the gracious host. Your home was comfortable and welcoming. Your rooms (analogous to voice parts) were clearly separated/delineated and had a great atmosphere. I still have goosebumps from your performance. Wyman: The others are probably very familiar with and love this song, and so they probably gave you bonus sentimental points. I’ve never heard the song before, but I still thought it was amazing. I think you could record this, and it’d be a hit.

2) 梦想家 (Meng Xiang Jia / Dreamers)

  • Intro package – They’re “experts” at their own parts and are thus opinionated, so arguments inevitably occur.
  • Performance – 高胜美 Gao Sheng Mei’s 《千年等一回》 (Qian Nian Deng Yi Hui / Waiting 1000 Years for One Opportunity). This is the theme song from a classic TV adaptation of 《白蛇传》 (Bai She Zhuan / Legend of the White Snake), and it’s about the love story between the white snake maiden and a mortal man.
  • My thoughts – The arrangement itself was pretty decent. I feel ambivalent with regards to the beatboxer. He’s awesome, but there are moments where I wish he were more of a vocal percussionist rather than a beatboxer. Sometimes, his beats distract rather than complement the performance. I didn’t like the soloist. She tried to incorporate elements of Peking opera into her singing, and that just made her sound affected. This is such a classic love song, and she really didn’t convey the message of this epic love story.
  • Judges’ comments – Wyman: I have to say… you’re my favorite type. I used to love American and Japanese cartoons, the ones where people with special abilities team up to fight against some evil or problem. You remind me of that, and it makes me really curious what you’re going to do week to week. And to copy what Wei Wei said, I hope one day you do one of my songs.

The host then mentions how he heard that someone in the group got angry and slapped a table. It was the beatboxer Cheng Cheng. He was angry because he had to use a different type of mic than what he’s accustomed to. He says it turned out for the best; the feel and blend was better with the mic he had to use. He also says that his beatboxing has more feeling now that he’s performing with a group. [He demonstrates the difference.]

The host then asks the two groups about the areas in which they’re each stronger than the other. Freeman says they have more experience and have been together longer. Beatboxer Cheng Cheng says Freeman doesn’t have much pressure.

Judges’ Decision: Freeman advances. Dreamers have to wait and see.

3) 蓝色警报 (Lan Se Jing Bao / Sirens Vocal Band)

  • Intro package – One of the guys is a super busy graduate student, so he can’t be in Shenzhen for all the rehearsals.
  • Performance – Connie Francis’ “Stupid Cupid”, apb. Mandy Moore
  • My thoughts – This is sounding great. This style fits the group well, and I really like the tempo changes in the arrangement. I would have preferred a little bit more drama from the soloist in the slow section, but otherwise, it was a very solid performance.
  • Judges’ comments – Tan Yi Zhe: I’m a bit afraid to look at your mezzo’s smile. Her smile and teeth are really nice. I loved their performance too much. It could be in both a musical or teen drama. I also really liked the “come hither” gesture that the mezzo made. It turned me from a smart producer to a dumb producer. Wei Wei: No more vocal erhu. This time we got vocal trumpet with a mute, and it sounded very real.

4) 木塞子 (Mu Sai Zi / MUSE.S)

  • Intro package – They’re under a lot of pressure and stress because they have to deal with school on top of the show.
  • Performance – Voco Novo’s 《我要去巴黎》 (Wo Yao Qu Ba Li / I Want to Go to Paris)
  • My thoughts – If you haven’t heard Voco Novo’s original version, go listen to it now. I’ll wait. Now as for MUSE.S’s performance… the biggest problem was their soloist. She just sang the notes without any emotion behind them, and she had pitch issues on top of that. It just didn’t work. The rest of the group needed more phrasing (like in the dah after a bunch of doo’s) and dynamics to make this performance more interesting.
  • Judges’ comments – Wyman: I was brought to Paris by their music, but I only made it to the hotel. There’s a type of music called elevator music. It sounds pleasant, but it’s not memorable.

The host says that after The Sing-Off, MUSE.S is splitting up because they’re all going their separate ways. Some of them are going abroad. However, they hope to reunite in the future.

Judges’ decision: Sirens, your cuteness and joyfulness have left a deep impression on the judges. Your love for music clearly shows in your performances. MUSE.S, you unconsciously expressed a kind of sad joyfulness. Both will wait and see.

5) 人声失控 (Ren Sheng Shi Kong / Voices Out of Control)

  • Intro package – They went from a group with zero dance skills to a group that can sing and dance simultaneously.
  • Performance – 《拍手》 (Pai Shou / Clap Hands). This is an original song! The lyrics are about music and their dreams.
  • My thoughts – I definitely like this better than anything else they’ve sung. The song is actually quite catchy, and I like the little “la la la” section.
  • Judges’ comments – Wyman: There’s a designer called Helmut Lang. Why did he want to become a fashion designer? It’s because one day when he went shopping and couldn’t find any clothes that he would want to wear/buy, so he decided to make his own. I want to know why you chose to go with an original song. Voices: There are a lot of strong groups here. We wanted to sing one of our own songs, so that if we’re eliminated, we can leave without any regrets. Wei Wei: Pop songs really place emphasis on accents. I rarely hear you use any accented notes.

6) Honey

  • Intro package – They argue over not singing well. They want to work together and just do their best on stage.
  • Performance – 赵薇 Vicki Zhao’s 《小冤家》 (Xiao Yuan Jia / Little Rival). It’s a Chinese cover of the Carpenters’ “Jambalaya” and is about the love/hate relationship between two people.
  • My thoughts – I don’t think this was the best song choice for Honey. It’s hard to pull off cutesy and memorable at the same time. They sounded pretty decent in the intro, which makes me think they should go the Delilah route and do more “emotional” kind of songs.
  • Judges’ comments – Gu Feng: Your home is bigger than Freeman’s (more members = more rooms). Problem is most of your extra members are bedrooms. Why not have a study and an entertainment room? Basically, you should be more complete. Wyman: All I have to say is… someone should bring them some pants to wear and have them sing again. You look really pretty, but it’s distracting. You’re good enough without using your legs as a distraction.

Judges’ Decision: The all-male group is too mature. The all-female group is too green. Too mature means less creative space; too green means too much space. It’s hard to go with either, so both will wait and see.

Only one group (Freeman) has advanced. One group will be eliminated before the remaining 4 move onto round 2. Those 4 are Sirens, DreamersHoney, and Voices Out of Control.

MUSE.S is going home. The host says that they better keep their word about reuniting in the future. Their swan song is “Sing to the World.” [ETA: This song is composed and arranged by Voco Novo’s Christine Liu. It is also the theme song for Vocal Asia. (Thanks to Edison Hung for the info!)]

Now for round 2:

1) 梦想家 (Meng Xiang Jia / Dreamers)

  • Performance – 张惠妹 Amei Chang’s “Bad Boy” It’s about realizing that the other person is not good for you.
  • My thoughts – It started out well, but then the flow was interrupted by the beatbox solo. The first verse sounded really good. The bass in the chorus made the performance feel as though it was dragging a bit. The interlude needed more attitude from the various solos. It was still a very good performance though, and the beatboxing really fit the song this time around.
  • Judges’ comments – Gu Feng: I used to be a drummer. The drums and bass are the foundation of the group, and they need to be the same intensity. Compared to how showy your beatboxer is, the bass seems a bit meek. Each time someone has a solo, he/she needs to own the stage like the beatboxer does.

2) 蓝色警报 (Lan Se Jing Bao / Sirens Vocal Band)

  • Performance – 李宇春 Chris Lee’s 《我的心里只有你没有他》 (Wo De Xin Li Zhi You Ni Mei You Ta / You Are the Only One in My Heart). It’s a Chinese cover of Laura Fygi’s “Historia De Un Amor.”
  • My thoughts – I really liked the vibe on this, and the soloist sounds great. The bass is a little soft in the mix at times, which makes the performance sound a little thin at times. The breakdown is awesome – definitely the best part. It adds the needed contrast and provides a nice change in the groove.
  • Judges’ comments – Wyman: You’re already on your fourth song. The vibe you’ve given off for each song has been youthfulness. I think you should be crazier. It’s like you already have the cake base. Now it’s time to add more interesting toppings.

3) 人声失控 (Ren Sheng Shi Kong / Voices Out of Control)

  • Performance – Aerosmith’s “Dream On”
  • My thoughts – Horrible song choice. Why would you pick an Aerosmith song when you can’t really do justice to a Steven Tyler solo? And if you absolutely had to pick an Aerosmith song, why would you pick “Dream On” when it’s one of the hardest songs to pull off? I could say more, but I’ll just leave it there.
  • Judges’ comments – Wei Wei: There’s still a rhythm issue. If you spend time learning the proper English pronunciation for each line, the right accents would come out.

4) Honey

  • Performance – 李玟 Coco Lee’s 《美丽笨女人》 (Mei Li Ben Nü Ren / Beautiful Stupid Woman). The song is about female empowerment.
  • My thoughts – This song was a better fit for Honey than their first song. Generally, it sounded pretty good. The arrangement worked well for them. I think they just needed more time to clean up pitch and rhythm.
  • Judges’ comments – Wyman: Previously, you girls all felt the same to me.  Now we’ve discovered three can solo really well. Hopefully, you’ll continue to show us surprises like that.

Now the judges will advance two groups, leaving the other two groups to compete for the last spot.  The two groups to advance are Sirens and Dreamers, which means the bottom 2 are Honey and Voices Out of Control. The bottom 2 will each perform one more song. Then the 21 choir directors and the 4 judges will vote on whom to save.

1) 人声失控 (Ren Sheng Shi Kong / Voices Out of Control)

  • Performance – Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get It Started”
  • My thoughts – Ugh. Why why why would you choose this song when rap isn’t your forte and especially when’s in English?  The arrangement/performance had some really nice moments. I just can’t get past the horrible rapping.

2) Honey

  • Performance – 张惠妹 A-mei Chang’s 《姐妹》 (Jie Mei / Sisters).
  • My thoughts – This was not great. I will just attribute it to being too emotional and not having enough rehearsal time. Having to learn so many songs in a week is tough, especially on such a new group.

The 21 choir directors are voting. Most of the ones voting for Honey mention the cute factor. The voting result is: Voices Out of Control – 15, Honey – 6.

Judges’ Votes

  • Gu Feng: Yes, you are ladies, but you’re also adults. You cried again… I hope this is a good learning experience for you. But a competition is a competition, so I vote for Voices Out of Control.
  • Wyman: I think Honey did lose a bit of control, so I’m voting for Voices Out of Control.
  • Wei Wei: I’m going to give my vote to your sisters. I think you’ll understand. My vote is for Honey.
  • Tan Yi Zhe: Since the outcome is pretty clear, just smile, like me. My vote is for Honey. You need more practice, but I have faith in you.

So the final vote is: Voices Out of Control 17, Honey 8. Voices Out of Control is advancing while Honey is heading home.

Because members of Freeman actually taught the two groups, the host asks Freeman for a few comments. Liang Zi says the girls started from nothing and had to work very hard. They’ve done very well with what they’ve been given.

The representative for Honey says they’ve learned and improved so much from this competition. They will keep working hard. Their swan song is Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know.”

[Me: Honey, keep singing! Lead the way for all-female a cappella in China.]

The 4 groups from Bracket 8 entering the Top 8 are: FreemanDreamers, Sirens, and Voices Out of Control.

Next week, the two brackets finally meet!

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[I had iffy internet for the past few days, so sorry for the delay!]

Now that the top 4 from bracket A has been named, it is time to introduce bracket B! Welcome to The Sing-Off China, episode 3.

For the opening number, the 8 groups bring us 杨培安 Yang Pei An’s 《我相信》 (Wo Xiang Xin / I Believe). The song is about optimism and believing in oneself, and it’s probably my favorite opening number thus far. The arrangement does a good job of conveying the message of the song, and while some of the soloists sound better than the others, the performance is lovely. (I really didn’t care for the camera work during the VP fill near the end though…)

As a friendly reminder, our host is 赵屹鸥 (Zhao Yi Ou), and our judges are:

  • 韦唯 (Wei Wei) – The female judge. Well-known Chinese diva.
  • 黄伟文 (Huang Wei Wen, English name: Wyman Wong) – The bald judge in the black shirt. Well-known Cantonese pop lyricist.
  • 谷峰 (Gu Feng) – Judge on the very right. Known for his jazz and vocal imitations of instruments
  • 谭伊哲 (Tan Yi Zhe) – Judge in the black jacket on the very left. Music producer.

This episode’s format is similar to that of episode 1’s. Among the 8 groups, only 6 will move onto the next episode. After each group’s first performance, the judges will critique and decide whether the group moves on or has to wait. The judges can only advance 3 groups based on their first performance. After all 8 groups have performed, one will be eliminated, and the remaining 4 will perform another song. The judges will then pick the 3 groups they liked best.

First round of performances:

1) 蓝色警报 (Lan Se Jing Bao / Sirens Vocal Band)

  • Intro package – None of the members are music majors, and they aren’t great at reading sheet music. They’re called the Sirens because when a siren goes off, everyone notices. They want people to notice and listen to them when they sing.
  • Performance – 张震岳 A-Yue Chang’s 《自由》 (Zi You / Freedom). It’s about two people breaking up.
  • My thoughts – The arrangement had some nice moments, but with only five people, the sound was a bit thin. The intro was cool in concept but sounded too exposed. I think a choral approach with the other members harmonizing with the solo line would have been more effective. The VP breakdown was great. The chords in the bridge were nice, but I think some of them could have benefited from different voicings.
  • Judges’ comments – Wyman: You helped me understand the importance of song choice. As a judge, I want groups to make me feel like they’re my friends through their singing. You succeeded today. Wei Wei: These five people seem very natural, and they have their own kind of feel.
  • Judges’ decision – Wait and see.

2)  AHA

  • Intro package – They came together because of a cappella, and they feel like a family.
  • Performance – “Chili Con Carne” [apb. The Real Group]
  • My thoughts – This isn’t a bad performance, but I don’t really feel anything from it. There were some pitch and balance issues, and some of the rhythms were not precise enough. The biggest problem with a song like this is really the lack of an emotional connection. I hope the group chooses a different type of song next time because they do have the talent.
  • Judges’ comments – Gu Feng: It’s nice to finally hear something with a Latin feel on this stage, but I feel that you don’t really understand Latin music. The bass shouldn’t always be just one kind of groove. The VP felt like a beatbox, but Latin drums have a lot of other little sounds. The performance was essentially missing some spice. Wyman: I actually thought it was too full and too busy. Wei Wei: I thought your technique was great.
  • Judges’ decision – Because their technique is rather good, the judges want to hear them again. Wait and see.

3) 木塞子 (Mu Sai Zi / MUSE.S)

  • Intro package – They are a collegiate a cappella group from Guangzhou. They are all different majors who were brought together by a cappella.
  • Performance – 刘欢 Liu Huan’s 《弯弯的月亮》 [apb. Club For Five] This song is about looking up at the moon and reminiscing about one’s hometown.
  • My thoughts – I absolutely love Club For Five’s arrangement and performance, so this one falls short for me. The soloist does a pretty smooth rendition but could have been more emotional. I’m hearing some pitch problems, and the girls aren’t quite blending with the rest of the group. I also thought the “deng” echoes were unnecessary.
  • Judges’ comments – Wei Wei: Your solo was very captivating at first, but I didn’t feel it enough. Your movements and your solo did not have the same level of conviction. You should sing as though you’re telling a story. Tan Yi Zhe: It sounded great. Then the vocal erhu started, and I started laughing. His posture didn’t look great.
  • Judges’ decision – Wait and see.

4) 人声失控 (Ren Sheng Shi Kong / Voices Out of Control)

  • Intro package – They believe that singing a cappella is about being modern and popular. They’re here to win.
  • Performance – Jay Sean’s “Down” [apb. NoTa]
  • My thoughts – I don’t care for this performance either. This group has a lot of potential, but singing a NoTa arrangement was just not a good idea. Trying to imitate without understanding the aspects of NoTa’s sound just made the VP and horns breakdown sound weak. The soloist also doesn’t have the “oomph” needed to sing this song.
  • Judges’ comments – Gu Feng: [Not fully understanding what he’s saying…] You don’t have to dance the entire time. You could start with mic stands at first and then start dancing halfway through. You’re a very mature group, but there’s a fine line between well-practiced and insincere. I can’t tell which you are. Wyman: How old is the soloist? [24] Your pants are too short. I’d add some socks if I were you.
  • Judges’ decision – The four groups they’ve seen thus far were all good, but none of them were especially good. Wait and see.

5) 梦想家 (Meng Xiang Jia / Dreamers)

  • Intro package – They’re a new group that was formed to compete in The Sing-Off China. They had to replace two members last minute. This is their first time performing on stage together.
  • Performance – Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You”
  • My thoughts – Wow. For a new group, this is a very mature arrangement and sound. I’m actually really digging the solo and bass. The only really questionable moments were the soprano’s “di da doo’s” and the fake-out ending.
  • Judges’ comments – Wei Wei: His solo really touched me. He fully immersed himself in the music. What’s also interesting is that these people are all really good at what they do [which is singing?], and yet you brought all of them together.
  • Judges’ decision – Advance.

6) 自由人 (Zi You Ren / Freeman)

  • Intro package – Many soccer teams have a player called a libero (aka sweeper). The libero is a very versatile player who can handle many different positions. They wish to be as strong and versatile as a libero when it comes to music.
  • Performance – 陈力 Chen Li’s 《枉凝眉》 (Wang Ning Mei / Eyebrows Frowning in Vain). The song is from the TV adaptation of the classic novel 《红楼梦》 (Hong Lou Meng / Dream of the Red Chamber) and is about the tragedy that befalls two star-crossed lovers.
  • My thoughts – Whoa. That was fantastic. Great song choice (really fits the group), very nice arrangement, and lovely vocal imitations (especially the xiao, the Chinese vertical flute).
  • Post-performance comments – This is a group of teachers. One of the guys is ET’s teacher, and another teaches Xin Sheng Jia Dao (New Sounds Have Arrived).
  • Judges’ comments – Wei Wei: This was a really brave song choice. I really admire your talent. You did a great job of taking this classic Chinese song and giving it a more international kind of feel. [Host interlude] Host: So this guy with glasses. His wife is home pregnant. Do you want to say anything or sing anything to her? [The guy sings 苏芮 Su Rui’s 《牵手》 (Qian Shou / Holding Hands).]
  • Judges’ decision – Advance.

7) Honey

  • Intro package – They claim to be China’s first all-female a cappella group. Men have an Adam’s apple and can make certain sounds that women can’t. There is a degree of difficulty to being a female beatboxer. This is their first time on TV and in a competition, so they’re super nervous.
  • Performance – Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me” [apb. Delilah]
  • My thoughts – Well, I’m glad they didn’t try to tackle “Grenade” instead. The tempo was rather inconsistent in the beginning, but I suppose that can be attributed to nerves. The group sounds okay, but there were some pitch issues here and there. The rhythm isn’t quite as clean as it could be, and I think the performance could have benefited from a greater range of dynamics. I’m curious to see what they’ll sing next.
  • Judges’ comments – Tan Yi Zhe: Your clothing is very bright. I’m a single producer. Your higher voices were great, but your middle and lower voices need more work. It’s okay; I can help you. Gu Feng: Well, you can ask me too.
  • Judges’ decision – Wait and see.

8) 平衡木(Ping Heng Mu / Balance Beam)

  • Intro package – They’re a group from Shanghai, and they’re all about balance – gender balance, sound balance, etc.
  • Performance – Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”
  • My thoughts – *sigh* Another “Rolling in the Deep” cover… It was a good idea to gender swap the solo, but I didn’t care for the main soloist. He sounded a bit too generic and didn’t really bring anything to the solo. The arrangement, however, was nice for such an over-covered song though the group does need to work on intonation. The bass sounded solid.
  • Judges’ comments – Gu Feng: It was too balanced. It lacked personality. Also, on the “ba ba ba’s” in the breakdown, I got bored when you sang it so many times without adding new elements to it. Tan Yi Zhe: The best part was your ending pose, but other than that, I was sort of sleeping through your performance.
  • Judges’ decision – Wait and see.

Since the judges only advanced 2 groups so far, they get to advance one more, and that’s Honey.

As for the group going home, it’s Balance Beam. The group representative says they have gotten so much stronger as a group after all the time and effort they put into rehearsing. They hope to keep singing together. Their swan song is an original song called “Ready to Fly,” and it’s about chasing one’s dreams. [Me: An original song?! Awesome. Please keep singing and songwriting!]

Second round of performances:

1) 蓝色警报 (Lan Se Jing Bao / Sirens Vocal Band)

  • Performance – Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”
  • My thoughts – Hm, interesting groove. The arrangement seems like it might have been inspired NoTa’s. It’s a nice and chill performance. One problem with that is it’s a bit too low key. It sounds good but doesn’t seem special – there’s no “wow” moment.
  • Judges’ thoughts – Gu Feng: I’m just going to talk about the groove. If a Jamaican were to hear your performance, they’d think that something sounded off. You need to study reggae some more. Reggae’s strong beat isn’t on the first beat.

2) AHA

  • Performance – 邓丽君 Teresa Teng’s 《南海姑娘》 (Nan Hai Gu Niang / South China Sea Girl) and 李香兰 Li Xiang Lan’s 《夜来香》 (Ye Lai Xiang / Evening Primrose). “Nan Hai Gu Niang” is a classic while “Ye Lai Xiang” is a Chinese standard.
  • My thoughts – I’m still not connecting with their performance. The bass sounds off for some reason, and I wasn’t a fan of the “Ye Lai Xiang” portion… The soloist and arrangement just didn’t work for me.
  • Judges’ thoughts – Wyman: Your performance transported me to a beach-themed night club, and then when you sang “Ye Lai Xiang”, I was transported to Shanghai in the 1930s. I think it’s great that you can transport the audience to another place with your music.

3) 木塞子 (Mu Sai Zi / MUSE.S)

  • Performance – Wonder Girls’ “Nobody”
  • My thoughts – Ooh, nice intro. I’m not a huge fan of the soloist, but I suspect it may be because of her having to sing in Korean. The tenors sound off at times, and the alto is still not quite blending at times. Overall, this is a lot of fun, and I like it better than their first performance.
  • Judges’ comments – Wyman: I feel like the true Wonder Girls spirit was only expressed by one of the guys – the one with glasses in the middle. Can I see it one more time? They’re not the best dancers, but their dancing is really cute. It felt very earnest and sincere.

4) 人声失控 (Ren Sheng Shi Kong / Voices Out of Control)

  • Performance – Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”
  • My thoughts – I liked this better than their first performance. The soloist sounded more convincing on this than on “Down.” The arrangement felt a bit stagnant in the middle. I was starting to get a bit bored before the breakdown, which sounded kind of random. The ending was nice though.
  • Judges’ comments – Wei Wei: You made it sound like Korean pop. This song has such a strong beat, and you made it sound a bit bland. You didn’t really try to understand the song, but I think you have the potential.

Voices Out of Control, Sirens, and MUSE.S advance to the next episode, which means AHA is going home. The group representative says they’re going to continue working hard and singing together. Their swan song is 苏芮 Su Rui’s 《奉献》 (Feng Xian / Dedicate) and is about dedicating oneself to loved ones.

The top 6 from bracket B are: Dreamers, Freeman, Honey, Voices Out of Control, Sirens, and MUSE.S.

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Generally, I do feel that the groups in bracket B are slightly stronger, but I do think they need to be more careful about song choice. Since it’s just the first episode for bracket B, I can understand about picking whatever songs are comfortable for the group. However, in the future, groups should play to their strengths. Pick songs that they can convincingly solo and that they can connect with.

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Next week, we’ll see the top 6 in bracket B compete for 4 spots!

How do you think these groups did? Which groups do you think will advance in the next episode? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

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