Remember when a judge appeared on a talent show? We were happy. Their expertise and professional advice made the show seem credible.
TV talent shows have multiplied in recent years and the role of judges has changed. It’s not unusual for judges to use harsh words about the contestants; or to cry over a contestant’s performance; or even walk out. They are stealing the show.
This year, some new faces on the judges’ bench have added more drama to talent shows.
Chen Yufan: China’s Got Talent
In short, Chen Yufan is the new Annie Yi.
In the first season of China’s Got Talent, we’ve encountered Yi’s ability to emotionalize people – the tear-jerking moments and all.
Now it’s Chen’s turn to pass that baton – to emotionally bully the audience – and that’s exactly what he did during the first season of China X-Factor. Every time Chen made a comment, the background music went peaceful and lyrical.
His comments were often abstract, such as “You have a beautiful soul”, or “I can feel your strong energy inside of you”.
When the tattered Brother Lawn hit the stage and opened his mouth, Chen appeared in close up with tears in his eyes.
This confused the two women judges next to him. Their expressions looked as if they were saying: Why the drama?
Cai Guoqing: Happy Girl
If you are a fan of Happy Girl on Hunan TV, you can’t get the image of a roaring hysteric Cai Guoqing and his shocking words out of your head.
Once a mild-manner singer with a soft singing voice and a bright smile, Cai has got rid of his old image. He has come out with exaggerated, even irresponsible comments such as: “Your voice is the saving grace for today’s music industry in China.”
People wonder what he was thinking.
In a way, Cai has established a new category of judging style: just can’t be shocking enough.
Jin Xing: We Are the Music
Just when you thought the acid tongue style of judging was past, there goes Jin Xing, the transsexual dancer who’s one of the judges on We Are the Music on Zhejiang TV.
Jin’s words are harsh and sharp, unlike her seemingly tender and soft appearance.
Her sharp tongue criticizes other talent shows and competitions. For example, once she said: “If the CCTV Spring Festival Gala reached this high-level, I’d be glad.”
Maybe somebody should tell her two things: first, as a judge, comparing one show to another doesn’t make sense; and, We Are the Music is a singing competition, and she’s not even an expert on that.