Last season, <Sing! China 中国新歌声> – renamed after 4 seasons as <The Voice of China 中国好声音> – kicked off stunningly with Singapore’s Nathan Hartono 向洋. He swept all 4 judges off their feet and finished an eventual 2nd. Incredibly, this season’s first episode again featured a Singaporean: Joanna Dong 董姿彦! Watch her inventive take on 恋曲1990 here:
Joanna Dong 董姿彦 《恋曲1990》 <中国新歌声2>
I must say I was quite surprised! Her sultry swing rendition is reminiscent of two particular performers I liked last season. First, the playfulness – especially in the climax – reminds me of Guangdong contestant 姚希, whose transformation of over-played 小苹果 was nothing short of magical. Second, the showcase of her vocal trumpet is instantly reminiscent of Hartono, who had provided a spectacular mid-song mishmash.
Three judges turned, deservingly. All the best in the competition, Joanna!
Update 1: After the blind auditions, the contestants had to face off against other teams in the first PK round. Joanna Dong received a lot of airtime – as did fellow Singaporean Olinda Cho – as Jay Chou’s team was whittled down (by Eason Chan’s team in particular). When Joanna Dong finally took to the stage, she did not disappoint anyone.
Joanna Dong 董姿彦 《我要你的爱》 <中国新歌声2>
Decked in a luscious green dress, she delivered a remarkably luscious performance in less than 3 minutes. What an effective 3 minutes! Like 小苹果, this classic’s melody has a earworm quality, thanks to its sequence of 我…我要…我要你…我要你的…我要你的爱… Joanna followed 1-2-3-4, but went on a croon of 1, before taking the sequence to its fruition. In doing this, she satisfied tradition while making the classic her zesty own.
Of course, that was only half the song. The Mandarin classic is aptly complemented with I Want You to Be My Baby, a jump blues song originally recorded in 1953. Her vocal trumpet made its appearance again – sharp listeners noted it was a take on Jay Chou’s song 龙卷风 – as did the Idol-esque ending.
Up against Liu Huan’s fascinating duo 川虎, Joanna wins her PK round convincingly, 47-4! Well done!
While Joanna Dong may not have the most powerful or heartrending vocals, she radiates the best of jazz and her delivery is impeccable. Really 收放自如! Her years of unnoticed effort is paying off handsomely.
Rumours are rife that she has made the final like Nathan Hartono. Let’s wait and see!