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Local jazz singer Joanna Dong pulls through to represent S’pore in Sing! China finals

SINGAPORE — Local jazz singer Joanna Dong is the second Singaporean after Nathan Hartono to make it to the Sing! China finals.

Screencap: Jia Le Channel via Singtel TV

Screencap: Jia Le Channel via Singtel TV

SINGAPORE — Local jazz singer Joanna Dong is the second Singaporean after Nathan Hartono to make it to the Sing! China finals.

In Friday’s (Sept 29) episode, Dong, 35, was handpicked by mentor and Mandopop superstar Jay Chou to represent his team in the finals on Oct 8.

Dong was pit against fellow Singaporean contestant and team member Olinda Cho, 37.

Other members on Team Chou included Malaysian student Janice Tan and Darren from Xinjiang.

Both singers performed a duet with guest Taiwanese singer Harlem Yu. Dong performed a song by Yu, True Love Song, with her husband and mother watching from the sidelines, while Cho sang Chou’s hit song Silence.

Yu, who was a mentor in the first season of the reality singing competition, described both performances as contrasting. “One is robust, while the other is soft. One is like a raging storm, the other like a soft gust of wind,” he said.

For Dong’s duet against Cho’s, she won 51 votes to six from the mentors and panel members.

Dong also belted an arrangement of Open Arms and Lover’s Tears for her solo performance against Darren, who performed Dear Friend.

For her solo, Dong beat Darren by 36-15 from a 51-man panel made up of industry professionals.

Chou then scored Dong 26-24 against Darren, bringing the Singaporean’s total score to 62, making her his choice to represent his team.

Speaking with TODAY after the episode, Cho gave Dong some words of encouragement, advising her to "have fun, enjoy the stage and just be herself".

The two singers, who "started out as strangers", have grown close during the competition.

"We are on the same team, but we fight as a team. We fight against each other as friends. When I met her (on) Singapore Idol, we started out as strangers. And today, we are friends. But I guess after this journey, we will end up as family," said Cho.

Dong will go up against four finalists from the other mentors’ teams — Doris Guo from Team Na Ying, Xiao Kaiye and Ye Xiaoyue from Team Eason Chan, and Zhaxipingcuo from Team Liu Huan.

Apart from Dong, Zhaxipngcuo was the other finalist selected on Friday's episode.

In a performance that aired on Sept 8, Dong sang a bilingual rendition of I Want You to Be My Baby accompanied with her trademark “vocal trumpeting” to the chorus of Chou’s hit song Tornado, which was released in 2000 on his debut album titled Jay.

Last year, Singaporean singer Nathan Hartono took second place in the finals of Sing! China Season 1. Hartono also chose Chou as a mentor.

Hartono competed against five other finalists and performed the song Nunchucks with Jay Chou and a cover of the latter’s The Longest Movie in the grand finals.

Singtel TV subscribers can catch a free preview of the Sing! China finals on Jia Le Channel at 8.30pm on Oct 8.

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