Ok, here’s my weekly review of the latest episode of the “The Voice 2”. Since last week’s episode was pre-empted due to the MHK pageant, it has pretty much been 2 weeks since I last watched the show – which perhaps was a good thing because the previous episode really left a bad taste in my mouth….so having the longer lag time between that episode and this one helped wash away a little bit of the bad stuff from last episode.
In this week (and next week’s) episode, the theme is “classic TV theme songs” – so each of the contestants choose a theme or subtheme song from one of TVB’s series to sing. This definitely works for me because FOR ONCE, I actually know the songs that the contestants are singing (a lot of the songs that they picked previously were so obscure or from artists I don’t listen to) – since I’ve watched so many series and know almost all of the classic theme songs from the previous few decades.
Anyway, in terms of the contestants’ performances this time around, I must say that so far, with only the first 6 performing, I haven’t found anything particularly horrifying yet -- not sure if it’s because they chose the right songs this time around or some of them actually started taking the judges’ feedback to heart and are working hard to improve. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this particular episode of the show – not to mention it’s the first episode this year where I have not walked away criticizing everyone like crazy.
I think the other reason why I enjoyed this episode was because 2 of my least favorite contestants – Vivian and Shadow – didn’t perform (they’re slated for next week’s episode)…so I didn’t have to sit through the torture of having to hear them sing (thank goodness!!!).
In terms of this week’s episode….I must say that this time around, Ng Yip Kwun really did a good job – I was actually surprised because in the past few episodes, he has been very unsteady and his performances were horrible (to the point where I was yelling at the judges for not eliminating him already)….this time though, it’s obvious he put some effort into his performance – or perhaps the song that he chose was perfect for him. Either way, I have to give him credit for this particular performance, though it doesn’t erase the negative impression I already have from his previous performances . Of course, if he wants to “make it” to the end, he has to continue like he did this episode and not be so “hit and miss” and unsteady with his singing.
I also wanted to comment on Mag’s performance….contrary to popular opinion, I actually don’t like her singing much – even since the beginning, when everyone kept saying that she sings well, I’ve always felt that her singing is actually not that great. The problem is that her singing is way too “nasally” – it always sounds like she has a stuffy nose or something…plus add to that the fact that her Chinese pronunciation is not that great (which the judges have been pointing out for a long time now) – half the time, when she sings, I can’t understand her. I really did NOT like her performance this week at all and felt that she was the worst of the 6 (though the judges once again thought differently, which I totally can’t understand – maybe they are giving her sympathy points because she has an issue with her nose that affects her singing??). Anyway, the song she chose to sing is one of my favorites from the “after 2000s” decade (Joyce Cheng’s “No One Is Perfect” -- the theme song from "Off Pedder"). I honestly felt that Mag ruined the song because she added all that stuff to it (the humming in between sections, the ‘yeas’ and ‘hmms’ at the end of certain phrases, etc.) – Joyce’s version is WAAAAYYYY better (of course, she doesn’t have the beautiful voice that Joyce has either). She actually got one of the higher scores of the night, which I thought was a bit surprising because her performance was not that great (hence my assumption that the judges are giving her sympathy points).
Lastly, I wanted to also comment on Hubert’s rendition of the theme song from "Point of No Return" (originally sung by Julian Cheung Chi-Lam) – he also did a pretty good job with the song in terms of technique and handling some of the difficult parts (the end notes) pretty well, which is good. However, I must disagree with the judge Hanjin’s comment that he sang it better than the original singer – no one can sing that song better than Chi-Lam, and Hubert definitely was not even close. Chi-Lam has a very unique way of singing and these types of love ballads are his specialty (I always get teary-eyed when I hear him sing these ballads because he sings with so much emotion) – I definitely did not get that feeling with Hubert’s rendition. Hubert did a good job in terms of the technical aspect, but still has a ways to go with the emotional piece – he has improved a lot, but not exactly where he needs to be yet.
Overall, definitely the most enjoyable episode for me so far this year (I think if said this several times already). However, I don’t think the “enjoyable” piece is going to last because based on the preview of next week’s episode, looks like a few people’s performances are going to be REALLY bad (plus it’s Vivian’s and Shadow’s turns to sing)….