China's Got Talent (Chinese: 中国达人秀; literally "China's Talent Show") is a British-owned Chinese reality televisionseries on Dragon TV and a part of the Got Talent franchise, hosted by Cheng … see full wiki
When I left China for good last month, I hadn't realised how much of it I took with me. Being a foreigner but a Chinese descendent nonetheless, we overseas Chinese often feel at odd with the locals in China. We grew up under different circumstances and mentality. Having been educated under the western system and living the western way, foreign Chinese like us are often finding it a little strange living in different countries and under different environments. For me to call myself an international citizen is not to distinguish myself from the rest of the people. Rather, it's a blend of different nationalities and culture that uphold my beliefs. The Muslim way, the Buddhist way and the Christian way are more of a whole to me rather than separate and conflicting identities.
I was born in one of the most populated countries in the world. Like President Obama, I live my first 10 years of life and education the Indonesian way. Having born to a Chinese family means that I also acquired knowledge about Buddhism from my grandparents and relatives. Having lived in China for the last 4 years or so of my life means I'm well acquainted with how the Chinese live and to some extent think and feel. On top of that, I was educated in Singapore and Canada under the British education system. Essentially, that means I do know what it's like to be living under the law and regulations of the English court. For majority of my education, I was also saying prayer every morning in my high school years. I was taught by Catholic nuns! Much to my surprise, I wasn't converted but was totally pragmatic in my thinking process. I still am that way although I have had my calling. I was baptised about 20 years ago regardless. You could say I was blessed and if you'd like to hear more about it, read my review on Christianity (click here).
Now, I recently wrote my 500th review under the belief I have writer's block. It happens in life. Not too often for me but when it does, it could be draught for the longest period. It is a stage we all go through, be it a writer or not. We have road blocks sometimes and we find it hard to cross the hurdle. They say in Chinese that when you can't jump through the wall, go around it! I was prepared to take my long overdue break from Lunch. It's not imperative that I have to write since I don't really enjoy the writing process that much and neither am I paid to do so. In other words, I don't have to write for all I care. Neither would anyone truly care if I don't do so, I reckon. I did write more than majority of the people I know though. Why? Because I think writing down what's on my mind and having published it may make a difference to someone's life. And we all know that we have the desire to make a difference in the world, albeit a few of those who don't care much about themselves or anyone they know. So... I wrote.
What's all these ramblings coming to, you may ask. What's this got to do with the China's Got Talent show? Well, before I begin to tell you what I think about the show, as in the show, there's a story behind each person. And, since it's my review, I like to tell my story. I enjoyed the stories I've heard on this show so much so it had made me cry and laugh on every single (weekly) episode. But since I left China, the only access I've to it is on YouTube. Long Live YouTube!!!
Back to my story...
When one stumbles and could not find inspiration or direction inside, despite the saying to look within, we may want to look out there. Just in case I don't make sense to you, all I'm trying to say, we can and do find inspiration in others. The media may have its flaws and hype and "manipulated ways" (as those critiques love to say), what we take out of each experience is our own interpretation of it. What touches you deep in is a choice within. It is not a choice without. A rest is due when we feel tired, drained and directionless. For many of us living in the cities, resting may translates to being couch potato. That's not bad per se, as long as one doesn't constantly rest!
I was so touched by that first weekly episode of China's Got Talent when I first caught a glimpse of it in end May. That was the 5th week of the current series. It is still ongoing and after going through and catching up on all those lost time, I am ready to find my voice again. The beauty of letting others touched one's life can be found, if one looks hard enough. One doesn't even need to leave the confines of one's home! I was totally touched and inspired by the stories of the many participants in this show. Regardless of which part of China they come from and what kind of background they bring with them, these particiipants are carving out a niche in the world. By sharing their stories, voices, dreams and hopes, they inspire hundreds of millions out there in the world. Yes, hundreds of millions if not billions in the world. The YouTube videos may not have gone viral yet but eventually I believe they would. If they don't, it's because YouTube is not the Chinese audience platform of sharing videos or partly because Chinese watches this show on their TVs instead. It's not because they lack audiences or are not good.
Ok, my writing may be excessive up to this stage. Now let's get to the shows!
I'll write more on each different episode when I can call upon my creative juices. For now though, before I lose the inspiration to write again, I am just going to write on the sum of all the shows. Up to this stage, I have no idea when the entire 2011 show will end. But from what I can see, the Semi Final is around the corner if not Final! 16 participants have been narrowed down. I've seen up to 6 being selected. For the last 2 days or so, the 8 weeks shows have made me laugh and cry so hard I don't know what I'm truly feeling inside other than that the Chinese have touched me so deeply that I know I'll miss them and see them in a different way. They are just people like you and me. If one allows others to touch one's heart, one will find a whole new way of relating to oneself. One will transform those cynical and critical way of looking at a world that's more similar to ours than we had allowed ourselves to think otherwise. This show brought out so much in myself than a mere entertainment show. Yes, it is entertaining nonetheless. I'd like you the readers on Lunch.com to give it a chance. Yes, you might not had enjoyed it as much as I did because you don't understand the Chinese language and the verbal banter between the judges and participants. I'll try my best to give you the story behind the participants and their performances. However, I still believe it is worth your time to check them out as sometime the best thing in life is not said with words but with body language & music!
So, here it goes... 6 videos of the best talents (so far):
Yauming was among the audience & acted as one of the judges so if you're a fan you'll catch him in one of these shows where he lives, ie. Shanghai. I do believe the judges contributed a great deal to the success of the show as they helped brings out the best in these participants by asking the right questions. Zhou Libo (周立波) [a famous comedian from Shanghai]，Huang Shujun aka Hwan Shu-Jun (黄舒骏) & Yi Nenjing (伊能静) [both are famous singers and producer from Taiwan] are doing an excellent job of making it one of the most popular shows in China!
The first video of each contestants were from Shanghai while the 2nd video of the contestants were shot in Beijing at the Great Hall of the People (人民大会堂) where the Communist Party held its meetings and ceremonies. Happy viewing!
1) Huqizhi (胡启志) - An American Chinese who came back to China some years ago. Hu is a street performer and he didn't learn Chinese until few years ago. When watching Hu, I feel that I've been transported back to the Vegas theaters and watching a Cirque du Soreil performance or something to that effect. It's not difficult to see why he gets an almost perfect marks from the judges. I've enclosed both his performances for your viewing pleasure! The judges think that he's truly professional and in a league of his own. He also brought life to his artistry! What do you think? Do you like it and think he's going to win in the final?
2) Tianma (甜妈) - The Chinese version of Susan Boyle. She sells vegie in the wet market and love to sing along where she works. If you wish to hear her sing in person, just buy some potatoes or carrots from her!
What Tian did here is to write her own lyrics for some of the famed operatic songs. She's such a talented singer. Imagine someone who can't understand Italian but sing an opera? Well, what's her trick? Her songs are full of vegie's name (carrots, tomato, onions, celery, cauliflower, long beans, etc...) and the audience are totally fascinated and in awe after listening to her! She ends her songs with 送你葱, meaning "Spring Onions for you" (as freebies for buying vegie from her). She sings while selling her vegie to the locals in the wet market. She simply loves to sing and epitomizes a miracle to me. People around her simply didn't treasure and support her talent. What a waste of talent to have someone so good simply working in the wet market!!!
Listen to her entertaining performance you must! You may even learn to say Mandarin in the process! Just repeat after Tianma... Xong Ni Chong! Hehe...
Tianma is in her 50s and will likely meet up with Susan Boyle on stage in the coming weeks!
3) Wudamu (乌达木) - A 12 year old Mongolian boy. He's been dubbed The Little Prince ever since his first performance. His dream is to invent an ink which could turn the world into green grassland. His mom and dad passed away a few years ago on separate incidents. He misses his mom and one can clearly hear it in his rendition of the song "Missing & dreaming of Mom". This is such a handsome kid and yet facing such unfortunate life without both parents. He lives with his grandma in the prairie in Inner Mongolia. The Little Prince is a nomad.
Listening to Wudamu brings out the maternal instinct in many of the audiences. His first performance is such a big hit and I certainly hope his life will be changed for the better after this competition! I bet he must have gotten a lot of request to be his foster parents!!!
4) Zhuojun (卓君) - The only 19 year old undergraduate from a small town in Guangxi Province. Wow, amazing! The way he dances, you wouldn't have guessed he learnt his street dances on his own by simply viewing videos on the internet! He also choreographs the dances & programs the songs himself. Awesome! Must watch! The guy who gets the same marks as Huqizhi. It'd be exciting to see who ultimately win in the final, wouldn't it?!
5) Andong (安东) - Andong is almost 40 and it's his control of his body prowess that everyone is impressed with. An even drove some 14 hours (1300 km from Wuhan to Beijing) before arriving at the Great Hall of the People (人民大会堂) for the performance. He had wanted to be in the Olympics and this is his way of fulfiling that dream of his! At 40, Andong is as fit as a 20 year old if not more so! Andong is originally from Dalian.
6) Gongfupai Yanxi (功夫派阎玺) - They were born in the 90s and are from different sects of the Chinese Kungfu. If you like martial arts, this is a must for you! If not, you might just fall in love with Kungfu after this! :) Definitely a must for Shaolin lovers!
That's it for now. There are a lot more but that will have to wait. This is one show that makes me cry and laugh in the same show, weeks after weeks! It's kinda emotional overload at the moment! Tune in for future updates. You won't regret it!