Chapter 648 Open calls for The Voice begin!
Later that afternoon.
At the venue of the audition.
It was almost time and the first wave of contestants for the day were already gathered. However, since Executive Director Zhang Ye was not back yet, Ha Qiqi and the program team staff did not dare to kick off the audition as they preferred to wait for the person in charge to come back first.
"Why isn't it starting yet?"
"It should be starting soon."
"Aiyah, I'm so nervous."
"Actually, I just took a shot and submitted my application. I never expected that I would get notified."
"Who are the judges? What kind of music genres do they like?"
"I heard that Executive Director Zhang Ye will be here today, so getting through will completely depend on Zhang Ye's decision. I think that if we sing either of Zhang Ye's two songs for the audition, the chances of going through will be higher, but I'm only just guessing so."
"That's right, that's right!"
"Then I will sing 'Woman Flower.'"
"It will not be as simple as you all think. Whether it is 'Wishing We Last Forever' or 'Woman Flower,' these two songs were all sung by the Heavenly Queen before. Be it your singing ability or voice, do you all think you can sing better than the Heavenly Queen? Can you all carry the song and make it your own so that it feels different from the Heavenly Queen's version? This type of song that everyone is familiar with will not be of help when exhibiting your own unique characteristics. If not carefully dealt with, it may even backfire, making the song feel neither like your own nor like the original."
In the contestants' waiting room, everyone was busily chatting away. There were all kinds of people were here, such as some anxious contestants who made many trips to the toilet, some sitting by themselves in a corner and practicing their songs, and even some experienced talent show veterans relating their experiences to the first-timers.
Among them were two people in the group who were relatively more conspicuous. One of them was Chang Si and the other one was Hu Liangyi. They were the two highly recommended contestants by Ha Qiqi and the music consultants, both considered professional musicians. One was a music teacher, the other a backup singer. They'd already had some years of experience in the industry, could sing very well, and had good looks, so naturally they stood out with more confidence than the rest in such a setting. It could also have been due to the fact that Ha Qiqi and the program team had already communicated with them earlier, so they knew of their importance compared to the others. As a result, they unconsciously drew a boundary and stayed away from the rest of the contestants. They were both seated in the last row and when other contestants came up to talk to them they did not respond much. One of them played with their phone while the other was listening to music.
Suddenly, Little Wang of the program team came and announced, "Everyone get ready, the auditions are about to begin."
Everyone looked to her.
Little Wang was holding a roster. She explained, "I will start calling names one at a time in a while. When you get called, please proceed into the room where you will sing a cappella for the song you have chosen to perform. If the executive director and the judges feel that there is a need for further screening, you will be asked to sing a designated song."
At the other side.
At the audition venue.
Zhang Ye had returned. He told Little Wang to notify the contestants to get ready. After that, he handed Luo Yu over to another staff member of the program team and said to him, "Bring Teacher Luo to the contestants' waiting room and add her name on the list of contestants." Then he told Luo Yu, "Teacher Luo, please get ready."
When Luo Yu saw the large setup, she felt a bit nervous since she had only ever sung a few lines of a song in the school. She had never, ever before seen and performed in front of such a large setup, but she said, "OK, OK."
Ha Qiqi asked dumbfounded, "Teacher Zhang, who is this?"
The music consultants also did not understand what was going on. Why did Zhang Ye go out and bring back a person? She even looks fat? And not the least bit good-looking? Her voice was even worse. In Beijing slang, it would be described as: A lousy voice that really sucked.
Zhang Ye smiled and replied, "This is a contestant whom I brought back, but let's not bother about her for now. Let's begin the auditions, shall we?"
"OK." Ha Qiqi raised her voice and called for the staff to get into their positions.
Zhang Ye, Ha Qiqi, Teacher Sun, and Teacher Yan sat at the judges' table which was in fact just a long table. As the preliminary auditions were not the television broadcast auditions, they did not get too particular about how it looked. They just brought over a long table as a temporary measure and put some mineral water bottles or their own teacups on it. There weren't even any name tags displayed.
Zhang Ye said, "Let's begin."
Hearing that, Little Wang standing at the door started to call out names, "Number one, Li Lili."
Soon after, a very fair-skinned girl walked in from outside. When the door closed, she smiled and pretended to be calm as she stood in the center of the room, the microphone in front of her. Then she said, "Good afternoon, judges and teachers, I'm Li Lili, currently a university student. Ever since childhood, I've always liked singing and won my district's annual singing competition and..."
Ha Qiqi interrupted, "Let's first hear your singing."
Li Lili acknowledged, "OK, the song I'm going to sing is call 'Blue Coast.'"
Since this was not a television broadcast, there was no musical accompaniment or a live band playing. Although the effects of a cappella were certainly not better than with music accompaniment, it was precisely because a cappella would reveal a person's voice characteristics and basic singing abilities that the auditions were held this way. Of course, the contestants were allowed to bring their own instruments and sing while playing. Those capable of playing instruments would get additional points as well in any traditional talent show.
The first contestant started to sing.
As she was probably nervous or not used to singing without musical accompaniment, her singing went slightly off-key at the beginning of the second verse, though she was able to gradually return to the melody by the fourth verse.
Without waiting for her to finish singing, Ha Qiqi acted by observing Zhang Ye's expression and said to the first contestant, "Alright, that's enough, you can go back and wait for the news."
Li Lili voiced her understanding with slight disappointment.
However, Zhang Ye directly told her, "I'm sorry, but there's no need to wait for any news. You sang quite well, but the time being, you did not meet our requirements. Sorry about that."
Li Lili bowed with regret. "Thank you, judges and teachers." Then she left.
Zhang Ye told Ha Qiqi, "We don't have to lead the contestants on. It's meaningless to tell them to wait for the news. Just tell them upfront whether they passed or failed the auditions so that they won't hold out hope while waiting at home aimlessly. If they had kept their friends and relatives informed but ended up getting a call telling them they had failed, it would only be more troublesome." He would naturally act in accordance with his own style for his program. He did not care how the other program teams handled their processes and how the audition should carried out. All he knew was that he would do it based on what he felt was right.
Ha Qiqi nodded. "Understood."
Teacher Sun said with some regret, "We heard this child's demo and thought that it wasn't too bad. But her live performance was clearly different from her demo."
Teacher Yan said, "She's probably just too nervous."
Another judge remarked, "Nervousness was just one thing. Her singing also seemed to have some problems."
Ha Qiqi said, "Let's move on to the next person."
The second person.
The fifth person.
The tenth person.
Very quickly, ten contestants had finished their auditions, but apart from just one person who performed at an acceptable level, all the others were less than satisfactory. At least, the expectations were different after listening to their demos. Under the a cappella singing conditions, these contestants' potentials were greatly discounted.
Finally, it was Chang Si's turn to perform.
Ha Qiqi had high expectations of her as she was a seeded contestant.
The other music consultants also focused their attention on her. Their eyes were no longer distracted by other things as they had very high expectations for a good sapling like this person, who could easily compete for first place on any other talent show. Even if she couldn't place first, she would surely be considered in the standard of the top five contestants. Having been in this industry for so many years, the consultants definitely had the ability to spot such talent. Now, it only depended on how she could showcase her potential at the audition performance.
Chang Si was a tall and beautiful lady. Although her figure was not perfect, it was still quite good. She greeted, "Good afternoon, teachers. My name is Chang Si and the song that I'll be singing is 'Woman Flower.'"
As expected, she pulled it off like the professional she was!
When Chang Si started singing, Ha Qiqi and a few of the music consultants immediately nodded several times. This was what you'd call a professional, the true ability of a musician who even when singing a cappella could still sing it very well!
"Woman Flower, swaying in the red dust!"
"Woman Flower, wavering softly in the wind!"
Her singing style was unlike Zhang Yuanqi's and Zhang Xia's as she performed the song in a higher octave. Especially when singing the words "woman flower." If it were Zhang Yuanqi's version, this part here would carry an alto feeling. This song was not supposed to have any parts where the octave should increase, but because Chang Si managed to grasp the octave change nicely, this part of the song came to a penetrating soprano. Although at the end the last trail of her voice became somewhat shaky and did not stabilize, the overall feeling was still very uplifting.
After she finished singing.
Chang Si looked confidently at the judges.
Ha Qiqi nodded, "Teacher Zhang?"
Several of the music consultants were also very satisfied with her performance.
One of them said, "Although the higher octave singing strayed at some point and you did not managed to sustain the vibrato, the overall performance was still very good. I propose that she can pass through the audition."
Teacher Sun seconded, "Me too."
Teacher Yan concurred, "I agree as well."
Ha Qiqi also had no doubts about it and felt that she really sang quite well. "I approve too."
Chang Si had already revealed a smile. "Thank you, judges."
However at this moment, Zhang Ye looked at her and said, "I'm sorry, you sang very well but it still does not meet my requirements. Please return."
Chang Si was shocked.
Ha Qiqi was stunned!
Wu Yi was stunned!
Teacher Sun and Teacher Yan were also stunned!
Teacher Sun could not sit still anymore and asked, "Why? Little Chang's singing was a bit flawed but her flaws did not detract from her potential. This kind of standard is already quite good. In such an amateur talent contest, she already qualifies as a contestant with very high potential. Surely you cannot try to compare her with the Heavenly Queen's singing ability, right? Those flaws can be tolerated."
Zhang Ye said, "First, her voice didn't have any special characteristics to it. Second, her singing is only at a rather good standard, not an excellent standard yet. Third, 'Woman Flower' is not supposed to be sung in this way. The way she expressed herself did not match the lyrics. Neither is this song supposed to raise octaves. I did not feel too comfortable hearing it forcibly sung that way. The most important factor is that this higher octave singing isn't that good either. There was no feeling. If it's not sung by a woman around thirty or forty years old who has experienced more in life, it becomes very difficult to express 'Woman Flower' in a good manner-those are the reasons why."
Teacher Yan said, "But..."
Chang Si also said, "My soprano is..."
Zhang Ye waved his hand. "Don't say anymore, please go back."
"Please go back then." Although Ha Qiqi could not understand Zhang Ye's decision but she still respected his views. But she was crying inside thinking, what a waste!
Such an outstanding contestant yet she could not even pass the auditions?
Just what kind of a person are you looking for!