The evolution of Chinese singing competitions – economic observer online



July 30, 2013
Translated by Siutan Wong

Since the launch of ZJTV (浙江 卫视) Voice of China (中国 好 声音) Last year, TV talent shows sprouted up like weed.

Singing, dancing and talent shows have become by far the most popular reality TV shows in China, with singing competitions being the highest rated. Experts say it’s because the hearing process is easier for the public to understand. “The success of popular stars can easily inspire normal people,” said Lu Wei (陆伟), publicity director of Voice of China.

In the past two years, many TV stations have bought the copyrights to hit reality shows from other countries and then localized them for Chinese audiences. Lu said reality shows have been developing in other countries for many years and have already matured there. So it is usually easier for Chinese TV channels to copy these programs than to start new shows from scratch.

Lu says that when reality TV shows were originally located in China, most used celebrities to attract viewers, which lacked the show’s point of origin. “The heart of a reality show is to ‘show off’ not ‘select’,” said Lu. as long as they invited stars, the show would be a success. It was a big misunderstanding. “

Reality TV shows no longer focus only on participants showing off their talents, but also on presenting their personal stories.

Zuo Li (左 立) was a contestant in a Hunan TV (湖南 卫视) singing competition. Since he had no experience, he chose an ordinary pop song and was eliminated in the first round. However, after hearing his romantic story, the director decided to keep him and make him sing a love song from an obscure musician. Zuo ended up being an audience favorite.

Now, contestants are also showing more interest in classical songs and independent music than in the sparkling pop hits that dominated the airwaves a few years ago. And more and more people are choosing to remix their songs according to their singing style and personality.

As the competition became fiercer between the TV channels, more and more gadgets were added to these shows as well. For example, some now offer a “raise game”, which allows candidates who were eliminated in previous rounds to return to the competition if they are rejected by viewers.

However, many complained that the changes made the shows too complicated and dampened the suspense. And producers complain that it is increasingly difficult to find qualified participants. “The candidates were coming to see us,” said the director of a major reality show. “However, everything has changed this year. I’ve heard that some TV stations even paid candidates to appear on their shows. “

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