SINGAPORE: Jazz crooner Joanna Dong has a chance to make history as the first Singaporean singer to win the Sing! China talent show.
After three grueling elimination rounds, she has made it to the final of the popular singing competition by Zhejiang Television.
Last October, Nathan Hartono was a trailblazer for Singapore singers when he came in second in the show. Will Dong likewise make it into the final two – or do even better?
She is up against four other contenders in the finals, to be broadcast live from the Beijing ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium on Sunday (Oct 8) night. They are the last five standing from four teams of performers, led by celebrity coaches Jay Chou, Liu Huan, Na Ying and Eason Chan.
Dong is from Taiwanese Mandopop superstar Chou’s team. Hong Kong star Eason Chan’s team won an earlier battle between the teams and is fielding two singers – Xiao Kaiye, 26, and Ye Xiaoyue, 26, both from Guangdong.
Tibetan Zhaxipingcuo, 30, is the winning singer from Chinese pop pioneer Liu Huan’s team, while Doris Guo Qin from Hunan represents Na Ying’s team. Guo is the youngest contestant at 17.
Each of them will sing a duet with their coaches and perform a solo. The two singers who get the most votes from the audience will then duke it out in a final round.
While preparing for the final, coach Chou invited her to his concert in Taiwan and even called her up on stage for a spontaneous duet.
Dong, who is a musical theatre veteran, has impressed with jazzy show tunes in the run up to the final. For the show’s blind audition, she pepped up Luo Da You’s Love Song 1990 with a touch of jazz and a mouth trumpet performance.
She went retro in the round-robin battles between the teams with Grace Chang’s I Want You to Be My Baby.
In the next round against her own team members, Dong sang True Love Song in a duet with Taiwanese star Harlem Yu and for her solo, a mash-up of Journey’s Open Arms and Chinese classic Lover’s Tears.