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Aqua live in Singapore 2017
They never age

“Come on, Barbie. Let’s go party!”

Get ready to party with Danish Eurodance group, Aqua, as they head over to Singapore for a once-in-a-lifetime 20th anniversary concert!

The Danish band, known for their earworm-inducing dance anthem “Barbie Girl” (in fact the tune has been looping in our heads for the last hour), will be coming to Singapore for the first time on 25 November 2017 at The Star Theatre.

The song topped the charts worldwide, particularly in European countries such as the U.K. and also in U.S. It remains Aqua’s biggest hit single in the U.S. to date.

Apart from “Barbie Girl”, Aqua also has other huge party hits like “Doctor Jones”, “My Oh My”, “Around the World”, “Cartoon Heroes”, and let’s not forget their number one ballad “Turn Back Time” from the soundtrack of the romantic drama “Sliding Doors” starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

Aqua currently consists of lead female vocalist Lene NystrØm, male vocalist-rapper René Dif and keyboard-guitarist SØren Rasted. Their former fourth member Claus Norreen left the group in September 2016 to take on other musical ventures.

Tickets for the concert are from S$98 to S$168, and are available on sistic.com.sg. Limited VIP Experience tickets include exclusive post-show meet-and-greet with Aqua which comprises of a group photo opportunity and front row reserved seats.

Singer 2017 Grand Finals

After 12 gruelling episodes, Season 5 of Singer 2017 has finally arrived at the last episode, the Grand Finals. In this round, singers can invite anyone they want to sing a duet on the popular reality show. Some of the guests for the most important episode include Mandopop diva A-Mei from Taiwan, classical singer Hayley Westenra from New Zealand and even popular comedian Yue Yunpeng from China. The score from the duet will be combined with the singer’s solo round performance in episode 12 before the grand champion for Singer 2017 is crowned.

Here’s the song list of the contestants in Singer 2017 Grand Finals (in order of appearance):

1. Zhang Jie 张杰 and Liu Runtong 刘润潼 – You Raise Me Up

2. Zhang Bicheng 张碧晨 and Aska Yang 杨宗纬 – 凉凉

3. Lion 狮子合唱团, Lala Hsu 徐佳莹 and Vanness Wu 吴建豪 – 平凡之路 + Faded

4. Ray Tia 袁娅维 and Liu Huan 刘欢 – 奋不顾身 + 凤凰于飞

5. Li Jian 李健 and Yue Yunpeng 岳云鹏 – 唐僧抒怀

6. Terry Lin 林志炫 and Hayley Westenra – The Prayer

7. Dimash 迪玛希 and Shang Wenjie 尚雯婕 – A Tribute to Michael Jackson

8. Sandy Lam 林忆莲 and A-mei 张惠妹 – 也许明天

Singer 2017 Grand Finals - Zhang Bicheng
Zhang Bicheng an Aska Yang
Singer 2017 Grand Finals - Dimash
Dimash and Shang Wenjie

Zhang Jie opened for the fourth consecutive time on Singer 2017 and this time it is with a talented 9-year-old girl Liu Runtong (刘润潼). Singing “You Raise Me Up”, their calm and composed rendition were a stark contrast to Zhang Jie’s high-octane hip hop solo opener on the last episode. For us, it seems like an apt final song for Zhang Jie and sending a message that he is not just a singer with techniques and vocal ranges. Lion, on the other hand, compressed an entire show and crammed them into a single song for their final show. They invited Vanness Wu to be the modern dance dancer and Lala Hsu to be their backup and duet vocals for “Faded”. For us, there was simply too much going on and Jam Hsiao seems to struggle on some parts of the song. Although we didn’t feel much for their performance, it was certainly rousing and fun to watch.

We were a bit worried with Terry Lin for selecting Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion duet “The Prayer”. Firstly, it’s a very difficult song and secondly, it’s in two languages–English and Italian–that are not native to Terry. But thanks to his partner, New Zealand singer Hayley Westenra with an angelic voice, Terry pulled the song off and quite successfully too.

Dimash certainly surprised us once again by choosing Shang Wenjie as her partner in the final round. What was even more unexpected was their medley of songs dedicated to the late Michael Jackson, a common idol they shared. In the short 5 minutes, Dimash danced, sang and even played the drums before ending the medley on his knees one last time with “Earth Song”.

Singer 2017 Grand Finals - Sandy Lam
Sandy Lam and A-Mei

To wrap it all up were two vocal powerhouses, Sandy Lam and A-Mei who sang a vocally demanding “也许明天”. Sandy has impressed us throughout the entire competition, showing us her versatility in music styles, her vocal capabilities and her consistency. Her final duet with A-Mei further highlighted her humility and her grace and made us huge fans. In the end, it was Sandy who took the bacon home, winning the Grand Champion title for Season 5 of Singer 2017.

Singer 2017 Grand Finals results:

1. Sandy Lam – Grand Champion
2. Dimash – 1st runner-up
3. Lion – 2nd runner-up

Check out our coverage of the entire season here:

Singer 2017 – Episode 12 (Semi-Finals)
Singer 2017 – Episode 11 (Breakout Round)
Singer 2017 – Episode 10
Singer 2017 – Episode 9
Singer 2017 – Episode 8
Singer 2017 – Episode 7
Singer 2017 – Episode 6
Singer 2017 – Episode 5
Singer 2017 – Episode 4
Singer 2017 – Episode 3
Singer 2017 – Episode 2
Singer 2017 – Episode 1

Watch the full episode of Singer 2017 – Grand Finals here on GrateNews:

singer 2017 semi finals - Dimash

After battling for 11 episodes, singers on the popular reality show, Singer 2017, enter the semi-finals round. To win the final Champion title on season 5 of Singer 2017, singers have to perform 2 rounds – a solo round and a duet round in the Grand Finals. In the Grand Finals, singers get to invite a guest singer to join them on their performance. The aggregate scores from both rounds will be used to determine the grand champion of Singer 2017.

Here’s the song list of the contestants in Singer 2017 semi-finals (in order of appearance):

1. Zhang Jie 张杰 – 我的王国 + We Will Rock You

2. Li Jian 李健 – 一往情深的恋人

3. Julia Peng 彭佳慧 – I Wanna Dance With Somebody

4. Ray Tia 袁娅维 – 爱是怀疑

5. Zhang Bicheng 张碧晨 – 不散,不见

6. Sandy Lam 林忆莲 – Leslie Fever

7. Teresa Carpio 杜丽莎 – 假如

8. Lion 狮子合唱团 – Forever Love

9. Dimash 迪玛希 – Confessa

10. Terry Lin 林志炫 – Somebody To Love

singer 2017 semi finals - Sandy Lam
Sandy Lam
singer 2017 semi finals - Zhang bicheng
Zhang Bicheng
singer 2017 semi finals - Lion

Zhang Jie gave an impressive opening with an edgy version of 我的王国 by pop idol 李宇春. Showcasing his versatility in style, vocal range and showmanship, he brought house down by fusing Queen’s We Will Rock You into the track as well. Then there’s the Whitney Houston possessed Julia Peng with a big afro and 90s disco outfit. Although she covered the song well, she just didn’t connect and those awkward dance moves certainly aren’t helping. In stark contrast to Julia was her idol Sandy Lam. Dancing throughout her Leslie Cheung medley, she looked so confident and exude a sense of sophistication with her suit.

Lion’s cover of the ballad by Wang Leehom “Forever Love” in our opinion didn’t do the song justice. The fusing of the rock band with piano, brass band and Jam’s vocals simply didn’t click, unlike the solid band that performed with Ray Tia. Just when you thought the band got their act together, they fell apart once again.

Check out our coverage of the entire season here:

Singer 2017 – Episode 11 (Breakout Round)
Singer 2017 – Episode 10
Singer 2017 – Episode 9
Singer 2017 – Episode 8
Singer 2017 – Episode 7
Singer 2017 – Episode 6
Singer 2017 – Episode 5
Singer 2017 – Episode 4
Singer 2017 – Episode 3
Singer 2017 – Episode 2
Singer 2017 – Episode 1

Watch the full episode of Singer 2017 – Semi-Finals here on GrateNews:

Singer 2017 Episode 11 - Liang Bo
Liang Bo

Singer 2017 Episode 11 is the ‘breakout round’ of every season. This is the last round of the competition before the Grand Finals that previously eliminated singers fight for a chance to get back into the game. Whether it’s the veteran singers like Teresa Carpio and Michael Wang or newcomers like Zhang Bicheng and Liang Bo, they are all bringing some of their best woks onto the stage of Singer 2017 to vie for the last 7 spots of the Grand Finals.

The two most consistent singers on the show had to be Li Jian and Terry Lin. Both appeared in previous seasons of I Am A Singer and both are favourites of many in the audience. In the Brakout Round, Li Jian chose a golden classic hit from the 70s “Love is over”. Dressed in a black suit, the suave Li Jian even penned some parts of the lyrics himself to cruise through to the finals. On the other hand, Terry who is known to “not play it safe” when it comes to song selections, chose “Temps de Catedrali (你在最近的天边)” a song from the famous musical Notre-Dame de Paris. Even though the lyrics are completely changed to Mandarin, Terry did a good job in the delivery.

Singer 2017 Episode 11 - Li Jian
Li Jian

Teresa Carpio who is 61 this year, gave it her all with Adele’s “Rumour has it” and “Someone like you”. Dressed in a golden top, Teresa showed her tenacity and her never say die attitude as she danced her way into the finals. In a larger than life performance that was very entertaining to watch, Teresa really showed her mettle tonight and came in 2nd position overall.

Singer 2017 Episode 11 - Teresa Carpio
Teresa Carpio
Singer 2017 Episode 11 - Zhang Bicheng
Zhang Bicheng

Other noteworthy performances include Zhang Jie’s hip hop and rap number “别来纠缠我” and “Bleed It Out” medley as well as Ray Tia’s powerful “开往春天的地铁” with her whistle voice segment.

We would like to give a shoutout to Liang Bo. We really love his blend of music and his attitude towards it. Although we were disappointed that he didn’t make it into the finals with 日落大道, we look forward to the young singer’s works in the future.

The singers that are through to the grand finals are Li Jian, Teresa, Terry Lin, Zhang Jie, Zhang Bicheng, Ria Tia and Julia Peng.

Here’s the final ranking for Singer 2017 – Episode 11: Breakout round:
Rank 1: Li Jian 李健 – Love is over
Rank 2: Teresa 杜丽莎 – Rumour has it + Someone like you
Rank 3: Terry Lin 林志炫 – 你在最近的天边
Rank 4: Zhang Jie 张杰 – 别来纠缠我
Rank 5: Zhang Bicheng 张碧晨 – 你给我听好
Rank 6: Ray Tia 袁娅维 – 开往春天的地铁
Rank 7: Julia Peng 彭佳慧 – 大龄女子
Rank 8: Liang Bo 梁博 – 日落大道
Rank 9: Michael Wang – 光良 – 勇气
Rank 10: Justin Lo 侧田 – 停格

Singer 2017 – Episode 9: Liang Bo 梁博 (Eliminated)
Singer 2017 – Episode 8: Zhang Bicheng 张碧晨 (Eliminated)
Singer 2017 – Episode 7: No elimination
Singer 2017 – Episode 6: Justin Lo 侧田 (Eliminated)
Singer 2017 – Episode 5: Zhao Lei 赵雷 (Eliminated)
Singer 2017 – Episode 4: Teresa 杜丽莎 (Eliminated)
Singer 2017 – Episode 3: Ray Tia 袁娅维 (Eliminated)
Singer 2017 – Episode 2: Michael Wong 光良 (Eliminated)
Singer 2017 – Episode 1: Performance and results

Watch the full episode of Singer 2017 – Episode 11 here on GrateNews:

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    sony extra bass headphones with noise cancelling XB950B1

    Sony expands its EXTRA BASS headphones series, adding four new models to its popular lineup. The four models are the wireless MDR-XB950N1 with added noise cancelling technology, the wireless MDR-XB950B1, the colourful range MDR-XB550AP, and the in-ear sports headphones MDR-XB510AS. If you ignore the model names, the new range features the wireless headphones with and without noise cancelling, a wired range that comes with a variety of colours and a in-ear headphones that is water resistant.

    If you love bass, this lineup lets you boost and control the intensity of bass notes wherever you are.

    MDR-XB950N1 and MDR-XB950B1 EXTRA BASS Wireless Headphones

    As mentioned, the main difference between these two models is that the MDR-XB950N1 model (S$339) comes with noise cancelling options. With noise cancelling on, the built-in rechargeable battery can power up to 22 hours of wireless music playback. The XB950B1 (S$269) on the other hand provides a less stellar 18 hours playback on a full charge. As these are wireless models, Sony also supplies a cable to ‘extend’ your play time on a passive mode when your battery runs low.

    Sony Extra Bass Wireless headphones with noise cancelling XB950N1
    XB950N1 with noise cancelling function
    Sony Extra Bass Wireless headphones with noise cancelling XB950B1
    XB950B1 in red

    Tweaking of EQ or equalisation to your taste can be done through Sony’s Headphones Connect mobile app. Other than being able to create listening experiences that puts you in a club, a concert hall or outdoor stage environment, you can also adjust the bass level with the CLEAR BASS to further fine-tune your music preferences. Both models come with and integrated microphone that allows you to do hands-free calls while on the move.

    MDR-XB550AP EXTRA BASS Wired On-Ear Headphones

    The budget-friendly XB550AP (S$89) is a wired on-ear headphones is a pretty straight-forward model that can deliver deep and punchy bass response with its 30mm driver units. The range is available in red, blue, white and black and comes with an in-line remote with microphone that lets you control incoming calls and audio track control functionality. The durable serrated cable that connects your device to the headphones also helps in keeping it a tangle-free experience.

    The affordable XB550AP comes in 4 colours--red, blue, white and black
    The affordable XB550AP comes in 4 colours–red, blue, white and black

    MDR-XB510AS EXTRA BASS In-Ear Sports Headphones

    The thing about sports headphones is that the sweat always gets in the way after working out with it. From Sony’s Walkman Sports Player to its Sports Bluetooth headphones, our usage with these sports gear had been relatively short-lived. According to Sony, the latest MDR-XB510AS In-Ear Sports Headphones (S$69) is highly sweat resistant, allowing users to exercise without compromising comfort. While we haven’t had a chance to try this out yet, the in-ear arc supporters fit seems like a popular choice among other makes of sports headphones. The IPX5/IPX7 water-resistant in-ear headphones comes with four sizes of earbuds and arc supporters for you to mix and match a better fit. The washable in-ear headphones comes in red, blue, green and black.

    Sony in-ear sports headphones - XB510AS
    XB510AS uses arc supporters for a better fit.
    Sony in-ear sports headphones - XB510AS
    We like it that we can rinse this pair of in-ear headphones.

    Of the new series, we love the MDR-XB950N1 wireless headphones with noise cancelling the best. The over-ear design is sleek, minimal and has a premium matte finish. However, if you are not used to wearing over-ears, the MDR-XB950N1 with its thick cushion can make you look like a F1 technician waiting to flag down a 350km/h car. The new series of headphones will be available at all Sony Stores, Sony Centres and selected Sony authorised dealers from April 2017 onwards.

    Singer 2017 Episode 10 - Sandy Lam
    Sandy Lam

    Following episode 9’s less than ideal results for Zhang Jie and Julia Peng, both singers will have to bring their best in the final stages of Singer 2017 in order to make the cut. Episode 10 is also the last round that a singer will be eliminated. The last 2 episodes of the season are “Revival Round” and “Grand Finals”.

    Here’s a break down of the contestants’ performances in Singer 2017 episode 10 of the competition (in order of appearance):

    1. Terry Lin 林志炫 – 裂心 + Heavens Knows

    Terry Lin has been very liberal with his song selection in this season. From the very classic 卷珠帘 to the jazzy “Feeling Good”, Terry has been unpredictable in his selection so far. In this round, he goes back to basics, choosing a ballad from Wang Leehom “裂心”. Without being over the top and without challenging arrangement, Terry sang a simple, straightforward and touching rendition of the song. He did however, add a verse from “Heaven Knows” to give the song a different variation.

    2. Sandy Lam 林忆莲 – 柿子

    柿子 is a song that was released 20 years ago by Sandy Lam. The song is a message about global warming and environmental destruction. A song that meant a lot to Sandy, she gave the song an entirely new arrangement, showing the audience her versatility and range. Her attempt to break out from her being labelled as a “ballad diva” is definitely a huge success on Singer 2017. It was a master class performance that even fellow contestant Li Jian gave her full points for nailing such a difficult song.

    3. Dimash 迪玛希 – 难忘的一天

    Even though Dimash took a lot of flame recently from netizens about his Mandarin diction, vocal range show-off and lack of emotions, the young and talented singer won’t let the feedback affect him. In the final elimination round, Dimash went with everything he’s got, vocal range, Mandarin lyrics and even whistle voice in an emotionally charged performance. Bravo Dimash!

    Singer 2017 Episode 10 - Dimash

    4. Li Jian 李健 – 红豆曲 + 一生所爱

    When Li Jian sings, he has a certain purpose and intent, making him seems very focus at his delivery. Even though his style is not flashy or outstanding, he makes a difficult song seems effortless, scaling from note to note with such poise and ease. The round he gave a very consistent performance once again and gave a very moving rendition of 红豆曲 even though he was down with a slight flu.

    5. Zhang Jie 张杰 – 自己

    Zhang Jie is in danger of being eliminated this round after coming in last the last episode. But not anymore after he delivered everything he’s got in Singer 2017 episode 10 with a jaw-dropping rendition of 自己. We felt that he has grown more confident in this competition and it has helped him become a better performer. In this round, he pushed his limits and showcased his amazing vocal range, one not known to many, and it was electrifying.

    Singer 2017 Episode 10 - Zhang Jie
    Zhang Jie

    6. Lion 狮子合唱团 – 最后的请求

    Lion as a band is definitely getting better. This round, the band shows that they can be a formidable force when they get their act together. Lion got off to a slow start before really nailing it midway into the song. Overall, they did everything well. From vocals and instruments to overall arrangement and showmanship, Lion is currently in good form.

    7. Julia Peng 彭佳慧 – 想你想疯了

    Julia Peng’s performance was what listeners would expect from a vocal powerhouse like her. Even though she did an ok job, but when placed against the rest of the performances today, she did not stand out. Similarly to first performance in the last round, we felt that she sounded old school and was a little pretentious emotionally.

    Here’s the final ranking for Singer 2017 – Episode 10:

    Rank 1: Sandy Lam 林忆莲 – 柿子

    Rank 2: Zhang Jie 张杰 – 自己

    Rank 3: Dimash 迪玛希 – 难忘的一天

    Rank 4: Li Jian 李健 – 红豆曲 + 一生所爱

    Rank 5: 狮子合唱团 – 最后的请求

    Rank 6: Julia Peng 彭佳慧 – 想你想疯了 (Eliminated)

    Rank 7: Terry Lin 林志炫 – 裂心 + Heaven Knows

    Singer 2017 – Episode 9: Liang Bo 梁博 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 8: Zhang Bicheng 张碧晨 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 7: No elimination
    Singer 2017 – Episode 6: Justin Lo 侧田 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 5: Zhao Lei 赵雷 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 4: Teresa 杜丽莎 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 3: Ray Tia 袁娅维 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 2: Michael Wong 光良 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 1: Performance and results

    Watch the full episode of Singer 2017 – Episode 10 here on GrateNews:

    Singer 2017 Episode 9 - Terry Lin
    Terry Lin

    In this episode, Taiwan’s vocal powerhouse Julia Peng joins Singer 2017 to vie for a spot in the final few rounds of the competition. Rock singer and winner of “The Voice of China”, Liang Bo, also joins Julia in this episode as a challenger to compete for a spot. Liang Bo is the second winner from the talent show “The Voice of China”, the first being Zhang Bicheng who was eliminated in episode 8. Unfortunately for Liang Bo, he was cast the same fate and didn’t make the cut after ranking 6th in this round.

    Here’s a break down of the contestants’ performances in Singer 2017 episode 9 of the competition (in order of appearance):

    1. Li Jian 李健 – 十点半的地铁

    十点半的地铁 (The Train at 10.30am) reflects Li Jian’s life in the early years after graduating from school. Taking the morning train and being squeezed into a packed cabin, it is a simple song that tells a story about youth feeling lost and confused in a city and using the morning train to set the scene. Li Jian gave a very touching performance and we felt that the simplicity in the lyrics also resonated well with the audience. Li Jian’s calm and controlled rendition adds a sense of nostalgia to the mundane act of commuting on a train.

    2. Dimash 迪玛希 – All By Myself

    This round, Dimash takes on popular Celine Dion hit “All By Myself” with huge success. We loved that Dimash focuses on the emotional aspects of the song rather than going overboard with showcasing his vocal talents. Not that he didn’t flaunt it this round, but we felt that he treated it well. The young talent certainly gave us goose bumps and we were in awe at his vocal range at parts of the song. If only he had ended the song before doing a weird series of staccato notes near the end, that would have been perfect for us.

    3. Sandy Lam 林忆莲 – 多得他

    Our favourite female singer for this season, Sandy Lam, takes on Faye Wong’s “多得他” in Cantonese as gave it a more powerful rendition. Her performance was so tight that we were simply kicking back our legs and enjoying her performance. Her beautiful vocal tone was so mesmerising that we were hooked from the first note to the last. Sandy’s performance was so classy, sophisticated but yet looked effortless. We are giving her a standing ovation!

    Singer 2017 Episode 9 - Sandy Lam
    Sandy Lam

    4. Terry Lin 林志炫 – Feeling Good

    “Feeling Good” is a popular song covered by professional singers and amateurs, with Michael Buble’s version being the one most people are familiar with. Terry did a good job on the cover, giving it his twists and flavour. All we can say is that he did a better job singing the song than trying to work the stage with his showmanship. We felt that he was uncomfortable at times with the actions, and awkward when interacting with the musicians. His quirky get-up certainly wasn’t helping him. A nice stylish looking suit with pocket square would have been fine Terry.

    5. Zhang Jie 张杰 – 我要你

    Zhang Jie is like a mini Li Jian in this episode. He was a little more composed, a little more mature and a little more story-telling in his voice. Mid-way through the song, Zhang Jie surprised us with a radio effect mic and sang a small interlude of another song in falsetto. It was a refreshing performance from Zhang Jie even though the audience didn’t think so and voted him last this round.

    6. Lion 狮子合唱团 – 爱不爱我

    Although Lion’s performance wasn’t outstanding like many other singers in this episode, we felt that it was one of the better ones from them. Jam and gang seems to have found their style and beat, giving their pop-rock outfit a differentiated sound. This round, the band is tighter, with every member contributing and adding to the song. Even Jam Hsiao seems to have toned down his usual showy antics and let the entire band breathe throughout the song. If anything at all, the competition has allowed Lion to discover their signature sound and will do them a lot of good in the long-term.

    Singer 2017 Episode 9 - Lion
    Jam Hsiao and Lion

    7. Julia Peng 彭佳慧 – 爱上一个不回家的人

    Singing a song from her idol, Sandy Lam, who is also competing in the same competition, Julia Peng’s performance did not do justice to the song and we felt that her interpretation of the song wasn’t good. She was draggy and sounded old school in this rendition. Even though we know that she is an amazing vocalist, her performance of 爱上一个不回家的人 lacked emotions and flair.

    8. Liang Bo 梁博 – 灵魂歌手

    Liang Bo seems to be having a monologue on stage, singing a song from his album. Don’t get us wrong, it wasn’t a bad thing, it just shows that the young singer has progressed and grown more aware of his personal style and what he can bring to the Asia entertainment scene since “The Voice of China” days. He represents the more progressive musical styles that is currently evolving in Asia.

    Here’s the final ranking for Singer 2017 – Episode 9:

    Rank 1: Terry Lin 林志炫 – Feeling Good

    Rank 2: Dimash 迪玛希 – All By Myself

    Rank 3: 狮子合唱团 – 爱不爱我

    Rank 4: Li Jian 李健 – 十点半的地铁

    Rank 5: Sandy Lam 林忆莲 – 多得他

    Rank 6: Liang Bo 梁博 – 灵魂歌手

    Rank 7: Julia Peng 彭佳慧 – 爱上一个不回家的人

    Rank 8: Zhang Jie 张杰 – 我要你

    Singer 2017 – Episode 8: Zhang Bicheng 张碧晨 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 7: No elimination
    Singer 2017 – Episode 6: Justin Lo 侧田 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 5: Zhao Lei 赵雷 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 4: Teresa 杜丽莎 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 3: Ray Tia 袁娅维 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 2: Michael Wong 光良 (Eliminated)
    Singer 2017 – Episode 1: Performance and results

    Watch the full episode of Singer 2017 – Episode 9 here on GrateNews:

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      Monti at 1-Pavilion

      If I say jazz music is a form of art, few will disagree. And like many other art forms, it has to be appreciated by different senses to bring out the true beauty of it. A friend of mine recently had a conversation with me on this. He feels that a true jazz bar is one that is crowded, rowdy, and smoky, in other words, full of life and energy. Simply by conjuring up a place like this in my mind is sufficient for me to ‘feel’ the intensity of the kind of jazz bars he knows, squeezing past dozens of people to reach the bar, shouting out my order to the bartender and occasionally closing me eyes to soak into atmosphere of swing notes and improvisations by the vocalist and musicians. Although I have never been to one like that, it must have been quite an experience.

      Monti located at the iconic Fullerton Pavilion is another kind of jazz bar. A beautiful kind. Looking out into the waterfront view of the Marina Bay while sipping your jazz-inspired cocktails, Monti houses an exquisite jazz lounge that local jazz legend, Jeremy Monteiro, regards as “one of the best venues in the world I’ve had the pleasure of playing in”.

      View of stairs leading to rooftop terrace at Monti jazz lounge
      View of stairs leading to rooftop terrace
      Monti at 1-Pavilion - Interior
      Monti interior

      Monti has a contemporary design complete with full glass dome, open-air rooftop terrace looking out to the Marina Bay area and copper and gold hues, alluding a luxe appeal instead of a chaotic and busy one many jazz bars are. Monti compares itself with iconic jazz venues such as Birdland or Village Vanguard in New York City and Blue Note in Tokyo, inviting international, regional and new local acts to take the stage regularly.

      On regular nights, familiar faces in the local lounge circuit like Louis Soliano, Tama Goh, Rick Smith, Andrew Lim and Melissa Tham will play live jazz, mixing Classic Jazz with Blues, Soul and
      even more esoteric styles such as Skunk Jive. Jeremy Monteiro curates Monti’s music programme and performs occasionally as well. “I have played in many great jazz venues in my 41-year career including venues such as Ronnie Scotts in London and the oldest Jazz Club in Europe, the Jazzkeller in Frankfurt,” he says. “Monti is poised to not only be the most beautiful jazz lounge in the world, but a true beacon of great jazz. I’m very excited to be part of this endeavour.”

      Jeremy Monteiro and band performs on regular nights at Monti
      Jeremy Monteiro and band performs on regular nights
      Melissa Tham
      Melissa Tham

      Dining with Jazz at Monti

      If you are looking to ‘jazz-up’ your date, Monti offers a ‘Jazz Dinner Menu’ for two at $160++. It comes with a 3-course meal and a jazz-inspired cocktail. Is there such a thing as jazz-inspired cocktail? Resident mixologist Joseph T. Millar who studied Jazz history and music for three years and designs the drinks at Monti wants to encapsulate the spirit, history and various jazz styles by thoughtfully choosing the ingredients to reflect the jazz culture.

      So, if you like jazz with a view, Monti is a great place to start.

      Monti at 1 Pavilion

      Address: 82 Collyer Quay, The Fullerton Pavilion, Singapore 049327
      Phone: +65 65350724
      Email: [email protected] (for events), [email protected] (dining reservations)
      Operating Hours: Monday – Friday: 12.00pm to 1.00am, Saturday and Public Holidays: 6.00pm to 1.00am, Sunday: 6.00pm to 1.00am (Bar and Lounge Only)

      Singer 2017 Episode 8 - Terry Lin
      Terry Lin

      Singer 2017 eliminates one singer every episode since the start of the competition. Except episode 7 when the show filled up with new singers instead. Episode 8 gets the popular reality show back on track, picking one singer off with the lowest combined scores after 2 rounds. Unfortunately for new singer Zhang Bicheng, her Tango moves in this episode wasn’t enough to impress the audience to allow her a spot in the competition.

      Here’s a break down of the contestants’ performances in Singer 2017 episode 8 of the competition (in order of appearance):

      1. Zhang Jie 张杰 – 你就不要想起我

      Zhang Jie picked another female song for Singer 2017 episode 8. This time round it was Hebe Tian’s 你就不要想起我 he seeks to interpret for the audience. He gave the song his usual ballad-style treatment, cranking up the emotional meter on the last few verses with a flurry of high notes. We felt that his rendition was good but it failed to connect emotionally. But he certainly moved himself, holding back tears towards the end of the song.

      2. Li Jian 李健 – 父亲的散文诗

      Singing a song is like telling a story. Some singers can do it so well that simply by listening to them, triggers memories and cause tears to well up. For Li Jian, this quiet force of emotion is quite formidable, especially when used in a song with equally good lyrics. The calm singer moved many in the audience and many was seen with tears streaming down their faces.

      3. Zhang Bicheng 张碧晨 – 红玫瑰

      As beautiful as she is, Zhang Bicheng come across as being aloof and distant. She has a solid voice and a captivating stage presence, but it’s a pity that she seems to be performing Eason Chan’s 红玫瑰 for herself only. Perhaps it’s her lack of eye contact or perhaps it’s her cold expressions, Zhang Bicheng lacks experience but she definitely has the potential to be in the top league of singers. In this round, don’t miss Bicheng and her nifty Tango moves.

      Singer 2017 Episode 8 - Zhang Bicheng
      Zhang Bicheng

      4. Sandy Lam 林忆莲 – 崇拜

      One of our favourite songs from Singapore singer-songwriter JJ Lin, Sandy Lam attempts to cover 崇拜 with a rock infused arrangement. Her angelic voice and good use of head voice and falsettos made the song grander than when sang by Fish Leong, the original singer of the song. Sandy seems to be getting very comfortable with the Singer 2017 stage and her performances is tighter than ever before. We think she will be the top 3 singers of this season.

      Singer 2017 Episode 8 - Sandy Lam
      Sandy Lam

      5. Lion 狮子合唱团 – 三天两夜

      Jacky Cheung’s 三天两夜 is touted as one of the top 10 most difficult songs to sing from the ‘God of Singers’. After many rounds of searching for their style and lacklustre performances, Lion didn’t impress us this round either. Jam Hsiao on vocals sound draggy and lacks the punch needed to lift the song. It wasn’t bad, it’s just that we had a lot of expectations for them.

      With a strings intro and flutes embedded into the arrangement, Lion is drifting further from their rock roots–even though there was an impressive electric guitar rift near the end of the song–and becoming more a mixed pop band. Perhaps for the better.

      6. Dimash 迪玛希 – 天亮了

      Dimash first heard Han Hong’s 天亮了 when he was only 10 years old. According to the show, it was the first Mandarin song the young talent heard. This is the second time he performed a Mandarin song–the first was 秋意浓. Although his diction was just as bad as the first, but most people have probably gotten used to it and just watch in marvel his epic vocal range. Our favourite part of the song was his ad lib section about three-quarter into the song. You guessed it, it was the part without any lyrics.

      7. Terry Lin 林志炫 – 卷珠帘

      Terry fused a classic Chinese song 卷珠帘 with Scarborough Fair for Singer 2017 episode 8. The challenge is to seamlessly blend both songs with different time signatures into a single complete song. We must say he did it very well, completely the feat without skipping a beat.

      Singer 2017 Episode 8 - Terry Lin
      Terry Lin

      Here’s the final ranking for Singer 2017 – Episode 8:

      Rank 1: Terry Lin 林志炫 – 卷珠帘

      Rank 2: Li Jian 李健 – 父亲的散文诗

      Rank 3: Sandy Lam 林忆莲 – 崇拜

      Rank 4: 狮子合唱团 – 三天两夜

      Rank 5: Dimash 迪玛希 – 天亮了

      Rank 6: Zhang Jie 张杰 – 你就不要想起我

      Rank 7: Zhang Bicheng 张碧晨 – 红玫瑰 ​​​(Eliminated)

      Singer 2017 – Episode 6: Justin Lo 侧田 (Eliminated)
      Singer 2017 – Episode 5: Zhao Lei 赵雷 (Eliminated)
      Singer 2017 – Episode 4: Teresa 杜丽莎 (Eliminated)
      Singer 2017 – Episode 3: Ray Tia 袁娅维 (Eliminated)
      Singer 2017 – Episode 2: Michael Wong 光良 (Eliminated)
      Singer 2017 – Episode 1: Performance and results

      Watch the full episode of Singer 2017 – Episode 8 here on GrateNews:

      Singer 2017 Episode 7 - Sandy Lam
      Sandy Lam

      After the ‘disappearance’ of Tan Jing from Season 5 of Singer 2017, we can imagine show producers scrambling to fill up the void left by her with new singers. We are not going to speculate what happened to Tan Jing (you can Google rumours surrounding her withdrawal) but rather focus on the on-going competition and singers who will be giving their best for the remaining of the season. The new singers added to Singer 2017 are Li Jian from Season 3 of I Am A Singer and Zhang Bicheng from The Voice of China fame.

      Here’s a break down of the contestants’ performances in Singer 2017 episode 7 of the competition (in order of appearance):

      1. Dimash 迪玛希 – Daididau

      For the longest time, we were wondering why Dimash didn’t pick a Kazakhstan song with lyrics he is familiar with. Not that he wasn’t impressive with his French, Russian, Mandarin and English picks, it just wasn’t good diction. This round, he goes back to his roots and picked a Kazakhstan folk song to display the culture, music style and language. Dressed like a Kazakhstan prince and playing a traditional instrument, Dimash was finally able to connect emotionally with “Daididau” without simply displaying his vocal prowess. Beautifully done Dimash!

      Singer 2017 Episode 7 - Dimash
      Singer 2017 Episode 7 – Dimash

      2. Terry Lin 林志炫 – 御龙铭千古

      It was a fantastically arranged song that fuses different traditional instruments to give Terry’s song a grander aura. Singing one of his own songs, 御龙铭千古 very comfortable with it and managed to give a steady and captivating performance.

      3. Lion 狮子合唱团 – 听不到

      We continue to be disappointed with Jam and Lion this episode. Whether it is Jam on piano or the guitar, they don’t seem to have their act together. Singing MayDay’s 听不到, the arrangement was decent and will fit into any easy listening album or a road trip playlist on Spotify but it didn’t come across as particularly impressive. In Singer 2017 episode 7, the so-called rock band even added cajón to their repertoire of ‘talents’ to show off. It would be acceptable if they just call themselves a pop band instead of a rock band.

      4. Sandy Lam 林忆莲 – 蓝莲花

      After her surprising upbeat number 盛夏光年 in the last episode, Sandy really pushes the limit the round with 蓝莲花. Starting from a low emotional hum before stretching her vocals to a powerful climax, she showcases her jaw-dropping vocal range that is not known to even her most loyal fans. In this round, she not only gave a rousing performance, she also fuses pop, rock, R&B and many other musical styles to finally top the competition in this round.

      5. Zhang Jie 张杰 – 突然想爱你

      Zhang Jie’s interpretation of songs originally sang by female singers is certainly good and revives a lot of these once forgotten hits to become new karaoke favourites. This episode, he continues his march to the finals of Singer 2017 with Valen Hsu’s 1996 Mandopop hit 突然想爱你.

      6. Li Jian 李健 – 异乡人

      We were first introduced to the charismatic singer in Season 3 of I Am A Singer. Since then, he has moved many who were unfamiliar with the singer, including us, with his soothing voice and unhurried pace. His return to the competition surprises us as he is not a competitive belter-type contestant but it’s good to have a change of pace from all the insanely high and powerful vocal ranges.

      7. Zhang Bicheng 张碧晨 – 时间有泪

      Zhang Bicheng is certainly moving up the entertainment ladder fast. From contestant on The Voice of China to competing on stage now with veterans on Singer 2017, the sultry vocalist is a breakout star due to her rich and captivating vocal tone. Singing one of Jacky Cheung’s newer but lesser known songs, Zhang Bicheng is confident and composed, a far cry from her Voice of China days. We feel that she gave a professional rendition but she was draggy at parts of the song.

      Singer 2017 Episode 7 - Zhang Bicheng
      Zhang Bicheng

      Here’s the final ranking for Singer 2017 – Episode 7:

      Rank 1: Sandy Lam 林忆莲 – 蓝莲花

      Rank 2: Li Jian 李健 – 异乡人

      Rank 3: Dimash 迪玛希 – Daididau

      Rank 4: 狮子合唱团 – 听不到

      Rank 5: Terry Lin 林志炫 – 御龙铭千古

      Rank 6: Zhang Jie 张杰 – 突然想爱你

      Rank 7: Zhang Bicheng 张碧晨 – 时间有泪

      Singer 2017 – Episode 6: Justin Lo 侧田 (Eliminated)
      Singer 2017 – Episode 5: Zhao Lei 赵雷 (Eliminated)
      Singer 2017 – Episode 4: Teresa 杜丽莎 (Eliminated)
      Singer 2017 – Episode 3: Ray Tia 袁娅维 (Eliminated)
      Singer 2017 – Episode 2: Michael Wong 光良 (Eliminated)
      Singer 2017 – Episode 1: Performance and results

      Watch the full episode of Singer 2017 – Episode 7 here on GrateNews: