Not sure how many of you have been following the 3rd season of TVB's singing contest "The Voice". I've actually been following since the first season and of course this most current season was no exception -- I've been keeping up with watching each episode of season 3, but have not been blogging about the show as heavily as I did last year, primarily due to lack of time.
However, since I did a post about the season opener a few months ago, I figured it would be appropriate for me to do an updated post now that Season 3 is officially over (the finale aired yesterday and the winner of the contest was already crowned).
Note that this will only be a summary primarily targeted towards the finale, as I really wasn't keeping notes during the entire 14 week competition, so can't really go into detail on the previous episodes.
Here are the winners this year:
First Place (Champion): Jerry Liu (廖仲謙)
Second Place: Jay Fung (馮允謙)
Third Place: Carrie Tam (譚嘉儀)
** It was a close competition between Jerry and Jay: Jerry won with an overall score of 173.6 versus Jay’s 171.6**
As I stated in my earlier post from the season opener (read it here), the 'quality' of the contestants this year really wasn't too great -- there were only a few standouts among the contestants (namely Jerry and Jay) and the rest were only mediocre singers. Therefore, I have to say that the results this year (in terms of who won the competition) was pretty predictable (to me, it was pretty much a 'no-brainer' that Jerry would be the champion and Jay would come in 2nd). I'm actually fine with the results this year (surprising, huh, since I wasn't happy with the results the past 2 seasons...LOL), as the first and second place winners (Jerry and Jay, respectively) were basically the only contestants who truly did stand out the most in terms of singing skill (and they obviously were the same 2 people I had been rooting for all season). In fact, if the 2 of them DIDN'T win as I (and pretty much everyone else who kept up with the show) thought they would, then that would be proof that the show truly was rigged! Luckily, there was no need to go there....(yes, TVB did their job properly for once...hahaha).
In my opinion, after watching all 3 seasons of the show, this season was definitely the 'fairest' in terms of the judging and the winners -- I pretty much agreed with almost all of the scores and comments that were given throughout the season (except for a few that are not worth mentioning now given the results). I'm thinking that perhaps the judges learned a lesson from the 'backlash' and complaints from last year and so really cleaned things up this time around? Or it could be that since the quality of the other contestants was so poor this year, it was easier for them to give high scores to those who truly deserved it and low scores to those who didn't? Whatever the case may be, kudos to the judges this year for being fair -- in my book, they pretty much redeemed themselves after the horrible job they did last year with the judging!
Anyway, here's my take on this year's winners:
.-- Jerry Liu: Jerry is a kindergarten teacher (hence everyone called him Teacher Liu throughout the competition) and I believe he's also the oldest among the contestants (he’s actually not THAT old – he’s in his twenties, but he’s very mature and looks like he’s in his thirties). From a physical appearance standpoint (we are talking about the entertainment industry after all, so of course 'looks' will matter to some extent), Jerry definitely would not meet the expectations of what most of today's younger generation would look for in a singer (he's short and wears glasses) -- but for us older folks who treasure talent over looks, he fit the bill perfectly. From the moment I heard Jerry sing in the first episode, I was blown away by his amazing voice and as his steady singing skills continued to emerge throughout the season, I pretty much already knew that he would definitely make it into the top 3 (and perhaps even win the competition, since basically no one else could match him in terms of singing skill). His singing actually reminded me of Taiwanese artist Terry Lin Zhi Xuan (林志炫), as his voice sounded almost exactly like his (the way he carried the ending notes to the songs was very similar as well)....perhaps that's why I connected with Jerry from the start, since Terry Lin is one of the few Taiwan singers that I actually liked and listened to back in the day -- with a voice so powerful, it's hard not to grab people's attention with it. Oh, and I should probably mention that he sort of looks like Terry Lin as well – albeit a shorter version of him – though by the last few episodes, I felt that he looked more like Anthony Lun than Terry Lin (even host Sammy Leung thought so, since he joked about Jerry looking like Mr Lun Lun during the finale).
Not surprisingly, Jerry pretty much got the highest scores throughout the season (rightfully so), since he was truly the most talented in the group. His main 'weakness' (according to the judges) was that he needed to work on the emotional aspect of his performances so that he could truly 'connect' with the audiences -- it's obvious that he took that feedback to heart, as his performances continued to get better and better as the competition went on, to the point that in the last few episodes, his singing almost moved me to tears (at certain points, I actually felt like I was watching an actual singer performing at a concert – goes to show how ‘good’ he was). And it wasn't just me who thought this way -- obviously the audiences did as well, since he was voted by the audiences overall as the second most popular contestant in the competition. In fact, he started off with basically 'zero' fans rooting for him in the stands (except his girlfriend) and by the finale, he had a whole section of fans who held up signs bearing his name and happily cheered him on. He also had a great attitude as well and it was obvious that the other contestants looked up to him as a ‘big brother’ (they unanimously voted for him to be the team leader throughout the competition).
I was defintely happy to see Jerry win because he was truly the best singer there – of course, he wasn’t perfect (no one is perfect), but he was definitely very high up there in terms of quality, in my opinion. Very deserving win for Jerry!
.—Jay Fung: Jay is actually from Canada and returned to HK (his family is in HK) to participate in the competition. Of course, being a CBC (Canadian born Chinese), English is his primary language, so his Cantonese (and Mandarin) were not that good. I think of Jay as the Sheldon Law (season 2’s third place winner) of season 3 because they both had very similar singing styles and also both had that cute ‘happy-go-lucky’ personality -- plus both of them were very ‘gwei lo’ who spoke heavily accented Chinese (no wonder they were paired up together in one of the episodes – they performed Jason Mraz’s “I’m Your’s” and pretty much brought the house down with that performance!).
Jay was definitely the most ‘endearing’ contestant -- he had a certain ‘bubbliness’ about him and also an infectious smile that made it very hard not to like him…the audiences (including myself) obviously loved him! (I enjoyed watching the interview segment they did with Jay and his family – which they did with all the contestants – it was hilarious how he wanted to cook a meal for his family to thank them for their support, but because he never set foot in a kitchen before, he didn’t even know how to turn on the stove and almost burned his brother’s house down…hahaha…it was funny and cute at the same time).
One of the things I liked about Jay is that even though his singing skill may not have been the greatest (he was ‘good’, but not always consistent), he had a great attitude, took the judges’ feedback to heart, and most importantly, was willing to step out of his comfort zone by taking on the challenge of singing Cantonese and Mandarin songs (even though his strength was with English songs)…not only that, but to sing mostly Chinese songs during the crucial final episode – which, if not done properly, could have severely jeopardized his chances – is even more admirable. Sure, other contestants have tried challenging themselves as well by singing songs that they weren’t used to, but very few of them actually did it well – Jay was definitely unique in this aspect. The way he performed, it was barely noticeable that his pronunciation wasn’t the greatest because his performances were all so captivating. I definitely agree with the feedback that the judges gave him: He may not be the best singer in the group, but he is definitely the best overall performer / entertainer.
.—Carrie Tam: Carrie was the only female contestant who made it to the finals, which wasn’t all too surprising given that the pool of female contestants thise year was severely lacking in quality. I actually don’t feel that Carrie’s singing skills were that great (she has a nice voice, but she gets off-tune quite often), but I will say that if you look at all the female contestants, she was definitely the best one in that group (which is kind of sad if you think about it, but oh well) – though if you compare her to the guys, there was definitely no doubt that they were better.
When I was watching the finale, I was actually surprised that she made it into the top 3 and to be honest, I definitely feel that her good looks played a part in it, but since she only got 3rd place and the 2 who were most deserving to be in the first and second spots (Jerry and Jay) did win as expected, I won’t complain about Carrie too much. The only thing that I would say was extremely annoying was how the hosts (Sammy Leung and Kristal Tin) kept referring to Carrie as “The Voice” version of Coco Lee, which actually was not a true statement, since she didn’t sing or look like Coco at all (she actually looks more like Florinda Ho if you ask me) – I kept scratching my head wondering where in the world the hosts got that ‘nickname’ from!
Overall, I definitely enjoyed season 3 way more than I did season 2 (obviously, since I was less frustrated this time around). Though some people may argue that season 2 was ‘more exciting’ due to all the controversies and such (those who watched last season or followed my posts about season 2 on my blog will know exactly what I’m talking about), I definitely don’t fit into that category, as I’m the type of person who doesn’t enjoy being frustrated. Plus, since this is a singing competition after all, my expectation of the program is for the focus to be on the singing, not on controversy.