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The Voice of China in Singapore!

SINGAPORE — The Voice Of China is going global.

Former Singapore Idol finalist Sylvester Sim says his passion for music has 
not waned. 
Photo: Ng You Qian

Former Singapore Idol finalist Sylvester Sim says his passion for music has
not waned.
Photo: Ng You Qian

SINGAPORE — The Voice Of China is going global.

A spin-off of hit reality show The Voice, the China edition, now in its third season, has spread its search for vocal talent to other parts of Asia, with auditions being held in Singapore last month. Auditions also took place in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

A collaboration between The Voice Of China and MediaCorp, Series 3 will premiere on July 19. The first round of auditions was held at MediaCorp on June 21, where contestants belted out their best musical renditions in front of a panel of judges — including Peter Tan, founder of music training school The Music Clinic; and Wu Qi, director of Jigsaw Artistes Entertainment — in the hopes of moving on to the next phase of auditions. One contestant will eventually be selected to represent Singapore in the new season and will travel to China to compete.

What were the judges looking for? “A contestant must possess a good singing voice and (have) his or her own style,” said Tan, who has trained the likes of Stefanie Sun and Kelly Poon.

Fellow judge Wu Qi agreed: “They have to have an above-average-to-excellent voice, one that can have an impact on you when you hear it.”

He added that the contestants’ standards were “above what we expected”. “They’re all so good! We have a hard time picking people to move on.”

Tan concurred, but was a bit more critical. “Some of them are good, but they are still raw — they need to have more experience and exposure so that they can command the stage whenever they perform.”

One of those hoping to make it all the way is 26-year-old Coco, who caught wind of auditions for The Voice Of China and jumped at the chance to show off her vocals. It was a hard decision for her, she said, as her uncle had died in Malaysia just a day before the auditions. “I was in Singapore when I received the call yesterday. I cried all night, but I’m sure my uncle will understand.”

A familiar face at the auditions was 31-year-old Sylvester Sim, who was the first runner-up in the first season of Singapore Idol in 2004. Despite his absence from the local music scene since then, Sim said his “fervour for music has not waned”. “I love composing songs, and in joining The Voice Of China, I wish to tap into the Chinese market with my music,” he said, adding that the competition offers “a bigger platform and a bigger stage”.

While most Voice Of China hopefuls were in their 20s and 30s, the auditions also appealed to several seniors, such as Li Qing Feng, 56, and Wong Ai Tai, 59. Li was the champion of the 2011 Golden Age Talentime show and Wong was one of the finalists of the NTUC U Fame Awards.

Perhaps the contestants ought to have sought help from the host of this special audition show: Actor Xu Bin, who was a TV competition show contestant himself, having reached the Top 20 of Campus Superstar Season 2 back in 2007. Last year, he picked up the Star Award for Favourite Male Character for his role in the drama series Don’t Stop Believing.

“(The contestants) are of higher calibre, since they know that the show requires a level of talent not seen on most reality TV singing shows,” he said. “It’s also a great chance to a better platform to showcase their talents.”

Who will have the winning voice at the end of this season? There’s only one way to find out. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY NG YOU QIAN

 

Catch the Singapore auditions today, 8pm and the season premiere of the third series on July 19, 7pm. Both on MediaCorp TV Channel 8.

 

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