Sunday, 19 July 2015

Jay Chou: The Voice Of China 4, Episode 1

First off, here is the promotional vid for The Voice Of China Season 4, directed by none other than His Royal Diaoness...very very funny!

Not available for now.

Trial recording session:

For more vids, check out my playlist:

So after all the anticipation, the first episode of The Voice Of China Season 4 was aired on 17 July 2015, with many fans finding all ways and means to catch it online.
No matter if they could not, though, because the official youtube channel was quick to upload the videos, first in parts and eventually the whole show, which was far better to watch as there were no commercial!

Here is the link for the full HD vid:

And photos from TVOC4 on my Facebook Page, with links to vids in the Comments section:

As this was my first time watching this reality show, I was excited to catch it live and also to update the Page with whatever links became available from other fans, a preoccupation which kept me glued to the computer and my phone the whole of Friday night, much to the chagrin of my dear hubby.
However, having seen how fast the vids became available, I shall probably be a lot cooler about the situation for subsequent episodes. ;)

I think giving a minute-by-minute account of the show is beyond the scope of this post, but there are certainly many impressions I have formed after watching Episode One and I shall share them here.

1. The opening sequence

This was very enjoyable as each mentor entered individually, singing another's song, with the fans roaring their support for all. For me, as a first time viewer and being not too familiar with many other Chinese singers apart from Jay, it was a wonderful eye-opener and allowed me to see and feel just how charismatic each of them was, and also to understand why they had been chosen as the mentors.


Na Ying sang Jay's Qing Hua Ci:

Jay played piano and sang Na Ying's Mo...heavenly!

2. The mentors

Harlem Yu, Wang Feng and Na Ying have all had prior experience on the show and their comfort level and easy-going camaraderie was obvious. Jay Chou, being the youngest and newest kid on the block was however, not too overawed by them as he joined in the banter and even added to the kidding around in many cute ways.

Telling contestants not to choose him, which Harlem accused him of using reverse psychology!

Telling a story about Harlem Yu going into his cafe many years ago before his debut, when he (Jay) was entertaining the patrons on the piano. When Jay saw him, he immediately played one of Harlem's songs but was left disappointed when Harlem did not seem to acknowledge him and did not even give him NTD100 for his efforts.
Using this as an example, he warned the contestant that this showed Harlem did not have that much!
NB: Jay had been cheekily saving this story to tell at a suitable juncture.

Giving his team a name viz Team Aiyo Not Bad. Had also mentioned Team Hip Hop for the first contestant.

Attempting to do a Fei YuQing (and failing!) when he sang with the 16-year-old contestant.

3. The contestants

There were seven in all for this episode, mostly in their twenties with one young girl from Thailand who was sixteen and had been learning Mandarin for only a year and who was a total soundalike for the late Teresa Teng. (She, however, did not get to continue in the competition as none of the mentors turned around for her. But she did get to sing A Thousand Miles Away with Jay as a consolation!)

Watch her here:

The first contestant who rearranged Jay's Nunchucks was very impressive!

The contestants had interesting stories to tell about their inspiration for singing and music and had their parents and friends backstage supporting them.

One particularly touching story was that of Bei Bei, whose father had lost his voice due to illness but loved hearing her sing and carry on the dream he had once had.

The last contestant, Leon (from Sydney, Australia) was also inspiring as he recounted how he had always been rejected outright at other auditions just based on his appearance. But he persevered and came to The Voice Of China as he felt that it is the best platform for him, being totally about the VOICE.
NB: He sounded very good!

4. The contestants' choices of mentor

The final result of the first episode was Jay Chou: 3, Na Ying: 1; Harlem Yu: 1 and Wang Feng: 1.

There are still many contestants to go and as I understand it, each mentor can only have a certain quota of students. But judging from that outcome (and what the first lot of contestants have mentioned), Jay's music (and the fact that he is also a songwriter) has wielded a lot of influence on many young singers, so it is no wonder that he is more in demand.
But it is still early days and it will be interesting to see how subsequent episodes transpire.

5. Jay. Just, Jay.

As mentioned in Point 2 above, Mr Chou, with his pedigree (King of Mandopop, no less!) has unsurprisingly been a big draw for this show. Ratings for Friday night's broadcast went through the roof, apparently.

According to some trivia that I read, his good relations with Zhejiang TV go way back to 2009, when he produced Pandaman (his television series, starring Devon and Yuhao which unfortunately bombed) and this station was one of the two in China who supported it. (The other was Jiangsu TV, which produced The Brain, in which Jay also made guest appearances.)
Jay is always grateful to those who have helped him and as such, he has given his support back to Zhejiang TV.

Apart from his musical abilities, it has come as a pleasant surprise to many non-fans watching The Voice that he is so warm, personable and funny on the show, as the impression about him has always been that he is not a man of many words and is just 'cool' and 'sulky-looking' on his posters and too emo, especially in the earlier part of his career.

At this juncture, I must state categorically that Jay has indeed improved on his speaking and presentation skills by leaps and bounds over the years and for that, we have to thank Mr J Channel, the talkshow which he started to give himself practice in these areas.
His innate sense of humour has also gotten more obvious and all his adorable antics and smiles (complete with dimples!) have only endeared him to more and more of his fans and, increasingly, non-fans.
The fact that he has generally been well-behaved, is now married and a father only adds to his respectability and good reputation.
He is maturing well as a person and an artiste, which augers well for his longevity in this industry.
Not to mention he is just getting more and more handsome! *swoon*

Here's to next week's episode and meanwhile, do keep up with the Facebook Page for more up-to-date news about Jay!


Saturday, 11 July 2015

Updates: Jayannah, TFCF event; Meters/bonwe

This will be a quick summary post for tonight. I've been busy and there has been too much goings on in the life of Mr Chou.
Current updates are on the Facebook Page all the time so do check in there whenever possible. 

Let's start off with an insanely droolicious pic of His Royal Diaoness, looking all sexy in...what else?


As if shades were not enough, he has to give us that Jay Chou smirk, complete with dimple! 

I swear, I could not stop hyperventilating when I set eyes on this latest pic from Meters/bonwe's Fall collection.

More here:

Okay, enough of drooling.
Back to serious and heartwarming stuff which shows the compassionate side of Jay who definitely has a soft spot for children, especially the underprivileged.

The TFCF event was held on 7 July 2015 in Yilan.

Album and explanations here:

I'm too tired to write much tonight. Everything is in the album, including the vids of the event.
Alternatively, the vids are also here:

And prior to the above event, Jay, ever the sweetheart, finally released another pic with Hannah for us fans who have been starved of photos of them together for so long! 

Said Jay:

I finally have some time to relax here in Yilan. Consider this an anniversary celebration as you cannot fly anywhere too far away for now. 

Beautiful photo! 
These two lovebirds are just too cool for words! 
More! I say...more, please, Mr Chou! 

Latest update on Baby Chou:

Seems rumours are flying around on weibo that Baby Chou is a girl, according to various 'clues' which the fans appear to think are valid.

Anyway, I have no idea but will just wait for the proud parents to announce when the time is right. ;)

Happy speculating, peeps!