Episode 8 of The Voice of China 4 is a much anticipated one for fans of Jay Chou, as his team will be battling it out on stage. We’re expecting a few of the contestants in Team Jay Chou to sing the Mandopop king’s songs, and perhaps even turn the whole episode into a rap and tongue-twisting fest! To top it all off, Chou invited superstar Ah Mei to be his guest judge. We know how you can’t get enough of Voice of China 4 so we’ve tweaked our coverage this time to feature all contestants instead of just the highlight matches. Let’s start the PK rolling!
Chen Zi Tong vs Lui Chang Yuan
This might as well be a rap PK — and a pretty good one too. Both Zi Tong and Chang Yuan were such smooth rappers, delivering their performance in rapid successions without stopping to catch their breath. The duo also threw in some hip hop dance moves. Chang Yuan came across as slightly more natural in his rapping, but Zi Tong outshone him in the singing portions. Jay Chou concurred with most of the judges in this round and picked Zi Tong.
Guan Shi Min vs Li An An
The song choice clearly worked for both Shi Min and An An. Singing 自己, they delivered a very touching rendition of the Coco Li song. We thought Shi Min did better with the Chinese portions, whereas, An An expressed herself beautifully in English. To put it bluntly, Chou would not go wrong picking either of them. Torn between the two, Chou sought the judges’ opinion one more time before he made up his mind. In the end, he went with Shi Min, sending a tearful An An away. Bye An An, we will miss your strong vocals.
Li Xin Ni vs Zhang Yang
Like a breath of fresh air, Xin Ni and Zhang Yang belted out a traditional Chinese song ‘红尘客栈’. Pitting against Zhang Yang’s unique voice, the odds were stacked against Xin Ni. We felt that Zhang Yang’s unique vocals worked very well for the song so it came as a big surprise that Chou picked Xin Ni instead. Perhaps he was after a more mainstream voice this time.
Li An (Leon Li) vs Jiang Yuan Dong
Li An is one of our absolute favourites! We were wowed by his rendition of ‘Love is Over’ in an earlier episode. It was a little unusual to hear two guys sing Ah Mei’s ‘剪爱’ but the performance turned out quite well and had Ah Mei in rapt attention. Just when we thought the song was going into the chorus, the singers delivered a little surprise by interjecting it with the chorus of Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’, before reverting back to ‘剪爱’. A little disconcerting but at least it was original.
After the performance, Chou’s first reaction was to give both contestants a hug. After much deliberation, Chou picked Li An. We nearly jumped for joy! But the excitement didn’t stop there as Chou got Li An to do a split on stage, which he happily performed, seemingly without much effort.
Huang Sheng Wen vs Zhan Xiao Li
The song choice ‘比较大的大提琴’ was a challenging one for both contestants, and would have sounded more appropriate for an entertaining circus performance rather than a singing competition. But as professional singers, they were expected to put up a good show even when a curved ball was being thrown at them. Beyond the loud music, trumpeting and crazy, crazy beat of the song, Sheng Wen outperformed Xiao Li by sounding less ‘chaotic’.
Xu Lin vs Will Jay (Liu Wei Nan)
We don’t mean to take sides again, but Will Jay is another one of our favourites! Earlier, he impressed us with his performance of Lemon Tree. The singers upped the ante this time by not just delivering a medley of ‘Just the Way You Are’ and ‘稻香’, they also played the piano. With his geeky charms, Xu Lin was surprisingly sentiment in his singing. That earned extra brownie points from us! On the other hand, a very confident Jay was immaculate in his singing and rapping, and connected very well with the audience. You could see how much the audience enjoyed the performace from the loud cheering and participation. Will Jay was picked in the end to advance on to the next stage, thanks to his multiple talents.
PK Round 2
Chen Zi Tong vs Li An (Leon Li)
Singing in a high register, there was nothing bad about Zi Tong’s performance this round. However, we couldn’t help but feel that she failed to connect with the audience with her rendition of ‘Bang Bang’. Li An delivered a pleasant version of the song ‘Yesterday’. But the judges commented that he tripped up a few times in his singing. While they were more forgiving of those mistakes, being his coach, Chou said he would come down harder on him. Luckily for Li, Chou gave his nod for both contestants.
Guan Shi Min vs Huang Sheng Wen
This was an obvious choice. with good fundamentals, Shi Min delivered a flawless, winning performance of the song ‘听见下雨的声音’. We agreed with Na Ying’s comment that Shi Min gets better with each performance. Perhaps, it was Sheng Wen’s choice of song, he failed to make an impression in this round. Bye Sheng Wen.
Li Xin Ni vs Will Jay (Liu Wei Nan)
Again, Xin Ni, who’s from Malaysia, was up against a strong opponent, Will Jay. She sang Jacky Cheung’s 爱是永恒 in Cantonese. With her good diction, it was an enjoyable performance on the whole. Up next was Will. We were less impressed with his performance this time round, he was really pitchy towards the end of the song, a mistake that cost him the competition. While we were sad to see him go, we agreed that Xin Ni deserved Chou’s vote.
The four contestants from Team Jay Chou to advance to the next stage were Chen Zi Tong, Li An, Guan Shi Min and Li Xin Ni. Watch the full episode here.