Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Voice Of China 中国好声音

To my Surprise (actually I shouldn't be that surprised) China has produced 'The: Voice". Another singing/ talent contest show franchise that has clearly taken over the world.

This is really a great study tool. Really. I'm serious!

Its pretty much why I love the Chinese re-make of an American film What Women Want, called '我知女人心'Knowing the basic story and premise, it means you don't get as lost in the story, leaving you to concentrate on your listening skills. Especially since the story of many Rom-Coms can be a little confusing.

PPLive iPhone app
It's simple really, even if you aren't a fan of the show in English you at least know the format. The series consists of three phases: a blind audition, a battle phase, and live performance shows. Team of singers are mentored and developed by their respective coaches, until they are knocked off and eventually compete against each other in live broadcasts.

The first few episodes are pretty easy, it's a bit of banter, introductions, and back stories. 

I think the best way to watch The Voice: China is probably to use PPLive. It's a great way to stream Chinese TV and there is a pretty good app available that will let you download the episodes to your device.

What you can expect is some simple language,very little music jargon, and lots of cross-chatter. It's easy enough to follow with some fun banter, and you can generally guess what they are talking about for the most part- since it's all about music, and image/ style. However the narration is a bit much for me, but you're not missing out on much without it. There's no real story arch which means if you don't understand what's happening in one conversation or segment you can easily start again in the next segment, as the subject matter is rather unrelated.
I don't imagine it would be worth watching it through to the end, but maybe that's just a personal preference since I much prefer the audition segment. As some of the contestants are knocked off they may try to develop stories but it shouldn't make it harder to understand. Really, I don't imagine that it gets any more complicated as time roles on if you did watch the whole thing, I'm just not that invested in the result - English or Chinese it's still a 'talent' show.

IN SUM, really, it's just an easy to zone-in and zone-out casual engagement with the Chinese language. Fun and low stress, you can test your level, gain a little confidence when you discover what you can actually understand, and maybe even pick up a new word or two! 

Meet The Judges

Yang Kun (杨坤)

Mando-pop singer and songwriter Yang Kun is famous for his melancholy ballads and his signature husky voice. His debut, 'Whatever', was a smash in 2002 with sales of 400,000 copies.

Natasha Na Ying (那英)

A Chinese vocalist. She is considered as one of the best present-day female singers in Mainland China, having sold more than 10 million albums. She is also noted for her buoyant and forthright personality.

Liu Huan (刘欢)

A Chinese Mando-pop singer and songwriter, is also a professor at the University of International Business and Economics, teaching the history of Western music .

Harlem Yu Chengqing (庾澄庆)

A Taiwanese Golden Melody Award-winning singer-songwriter. He was the first artist to experiment with the style of RnB and rap in Chinese music. He has released 14 studio albums.

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