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Finding a Way Out of the Unpredictable TV Reality Talent Shows in China

BEIJING, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A rush for TV reality talent shows has swept across the world since 2011 with the polarity of Voice of Holland, Britain's Got Talent, American Idol and Duets. Be it in Europe, the U.S. or China, these shows are all without exception put on primetime and have achieved ratings hits, among which Voice of UK gained 8.42 million viewers on its premiere, which is over 13.3% percent of the UK's population. This figure has been refreshed by Voice of China (first season) on its final by an audience share of 29.74%. These diverse talent shows provide youth with potential and dreams a stage to become known to the world. However, different from the U.S. or Europe -- where these talent shows originate -- mainland China, under the current entertainment environment where art troupes and Hong Kong- and Taiwan-born artists occupy the main position, along with the "Chinese way of doing things," talent show programs are covered with Chinese touches and are full of "unpredictability." Many contestants with hopes and dreams have to leave the stage for these "unexpected" reasons.

This year talent shows saw a surge and fierce competition on many satellite channels. Some topped their peers that were broadcast across mainland China during the same period, among them Voice of China and Chinese Idol achieved ratings hits nationwide. The first season of Voice of China broadcast in 2012 can be considered the first successful reality show with a ratings hit of 3.62 on its premiere broadcast, while Chinese Idol premiered in May 2013 and became the surprise summer hit show of 2013, with audience ratings of 6.08. China has a population of 1.4 billion, and the rising cultural needs were never truly satisfied. To win more viewers, these programs are mostly based on UK or U.S. formats. "Chinese Idol" is based on "American Idol," "Voice of China" is the Chinese version of "The Voice," and "Chinese Duets" originates from "The Duets."

However, in China, these programs cannot lead all contestants into the pool of potential stars. Though introduced from the U.S. or Europe and mostly based on their original formats, given the credo of "no-manipulation-no-success in mainland China," as a China expert commented, "the programs' fairness is also in question." Liu Sihan, a 24-year-old contestant in Chinese Idol is an example. Liu Sihan was crowned the "Chinese Adele" for the unique, angelic as well as powerful nature of her voice, thus winning praises from all the judges and audience. Unlike the art troupes who sing "red songs" and the Hong Kong- and Taiwan-born singers who are obedient followers of European and American stars, she presented herself as a fresh breeze.

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In the first few episodes of Chinese Idol, Liu Sihan impressed the panel of judges and audience, and was considered one of the top six singers on the stage. To our surprise, however, she did not make it to the finale because she lagged behind in the audience-voting session, which was, as commented by the judges, "incredible" and many viewers expressed their unacceptability of the results. Unlike the voting session in American Idol where winners are determined by viewers via a 100% transparent process, in mainland China, the voting seldom "risked" exposing voting to the public. Still, this girl caught the attention of Seed Music, a music company in Taiwan, which has signed her. Her works obtained wonderful results in mainland China; one of her songs recently released ranked fourth among new songs on (the most acknowledged and largest music platform in mainland China). In this way, as a failed competitor in Chinese Idol, Liu Sihan kick started her career in music.

In the U.S. or Europe where these talent shows originate, people are hooked to these programs for their artistic presentations and unpredictability. In mainland China, the talent show programs are truly full of unpredictability. The contestants need to figure out program producers' unsaid regulations and accept unpredictable "audience voting" results that are not open to the public. Under this environment, "Chinese Adele" Liu Sihan's pilgrimage is nothing short of a legend, for few can brave a way out. With remaining attention from the programs, now Liu Sihan has released new songs that can be found in the iTunes music store. Setting out on the path to superstardom, Liu Sihan has a long way to go. Like her, in a country with over 1.4 billion people, of which nearly 40% are youths, there is a crowd of youths with great potential, holding their breath, bearing dreams and waiting for opportunities.

As a French major, Liu Sihan first was known by singing La Vie en Rose in French and astounding all with her chanson voice. Recently she released her own single Keep Dreaming

SOURCE Beijing Star Technology

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