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The art of finding real talents in talent shows

Updated: 2013-10-10 07:23
By Han Bingbin (China Daily)

The art of finding real talents in talent shows

Li Qi (left) from Taiwan pop diva A-Mei's team (right) crowned this year's Voice of China. Hei Ke / for China Daily

The Voice of China concluded its second season by creating another grassroots idol, 23-year-old Li Qi. He may not have the look of a star but has obviously touched the hearts of many with his unpretentious and affectionate singing style.

Once a self-effaced boy, Li faced rounds of criticism bravely. Some commented that he won because of his crowd-pleasing voice.

Controversy aside, as arguably the first successful foreign TV program format in China, Voice of China will continue to strengthen local TV stations' obsession with foreign formats, especially those related to talent shows. In fact, there's a growing trend of importing formats among second-tier satellite channels, the prospect only expected to be dimmed by government restrictions.

None of the other imported formats, however, are expected to come close to the Voice's success. While many talent shows shifted their focus to entertainment, Voice is highly valued for its attention to singing itself, though it was equally criticized at some point for using dramatized portrayals of contestants' lives.

The quality is guaranteed by a cast of four A-list singer judges. They are mainland pop diva Na Ying, Taiwan's veteran pop artist Harlem Yu, mainland rock star Wang Feng and Taiwan pop queen A-Mei. The show also boasts a top-notch sound system, reportedly supported by Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony sound director Jin Shaogang to ensure high-quality sound.

As many as 40 directors travel to all the provincial capitals where local market insiders are ready to offer their lists of recommended talents. They also visit music schools and pubs to scout for qualified singers.

Their voices are recorded and these potential contestants, some of whom are already known singers, are then put through auditions and finally, shortlisted to appear on television.

The arduous selection process results in a high level of professionalism that helped Voice stand out from a list of tough competitors including Hunan Satellite TV's Super Boy which has been criticized a lot this year for the pretty boys' inability to sing.


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