• Crazy over KZ!


    After sliding down to No. 3, PH’s newest pride is still first in Filipinos’ hearts

    Even as she placed sixth in the latest episode of China’s “Singer 2018” from her No. 1 debut as challenger, KZ Tandingan is still first in Filipinos’ hearts these days.

    With all eyes on the singing spitfire, however, opinions, critiques and suggestions over her performances are unavoidable with her Mandarin medley on February 16 gaining mixed reactions.

    There are those who believe that her choice to sing in Chinese, instead of acing another English ditty like Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep,” was too risky. It turned out too risky in fact that she dropped five notches in the competition pitting professional singers from around the world, including British superstar Jessie J this season.

    But of course, there are also those who deemed her move to be right, arguing it will be riskier for Tandingan to attempt a performance in Mandarin toward the end of the contest.

    Regardless, the Filipina singer still pulled many a heart strings among the Chinese audience for her emotional rendition, some even caught on camera wiping away tears as they watched our KZ.

    Here at home, fans took to the internet to express their own emotions.

    Netizen Sophie Villaruel Lepura perhaps summed it up best when she posted, “I didn’t understand a thing pero bakit naiyak ako? Music and love truly make us human ans KZ sang again with all her heart.”

    The look of a winner—KZ Tandingan’s official promotional photo on ‘Singer 2018’s’ Instagram account

    As of this writing, Tandingan’s latest performance has garnered 2.2 million views, with the video shared more than 50,000 times.

    As the artist said in her interview with China Hunan TV before she hit the stage on Friday, she chose to sing the Chinese medley titled, “The Pain Which You Never Knew”—learning it in just two weeks—was done “to show [her]respect [for]the Chinese audience, Chinese culture and Chinese music.”

    She further explained, “What’s good about taking risks especially at this point of the competition [is that it]shows how serious you are with your craft.”

    The seventh episode for airing tomorrow has already been taped. And since Tandingan is going back to China by the end of February, it means she is very much among the top contenders of the show. A challenger must have an average ranking in the Top 4 to stay in the competition.

    Doing the math, with Tandi­ngan’s No. 1 ranking on her debut and her No. 6 placement, she is at No. 3 overall as of February 16. She follows Chinese superstar Hua Chenyu and Jessie J who are in the first and second spot.

    ‘Pinoy’ power
    In a series of tweets, including replies to comments after the airing of last week’s episode, the newest pride of the Philippines conveyed amid all the excitement, “But more than just getting the votes, I want to make a real connection with the Chinese audience. I want them to see that music is not bound to one language, and that Filipinos are not afraid to take risks.”

    She further asserted with there being no judges in the show, “Music isn’t also just about entertainment, it is an expression, a language, a connection, an art.”

    Grateful for all the encouragement, she finally said, “So happy with all the positive feedback for my Mandarin and my Chinese supporters [too]! Haha thank you, thank you, all worth it. Thank you Lord!”

    Priceless possibilities
    With no monetary prize in sight just yet, the Davao-born singer stated she is more eager for the non-material returns of competing in Singer 2018.

    “For me to able to represent OPM [Original Pilipino Music] in a country that’s not always penetrated by international artists is already a prize that money cannot buy,” she related.

    “It makes me proud to be Pinoy. I’m just hoping that after this competition, many doors will open not just for me but also for Filipino performers now that foreigners recognize the artistry and excellence of Filipino performers. I’m just really thankful that we were given this opportunity.”

    Chinese fans
    Indeed, Tandingan is gaining a significant following outside the Philippines in just two performances. In fact, she has made fans out of the Chinese audience who mostly judge her Mandarin medley as “flawless.”

    “I’m Chinese [and]to be honest, you would not think there is a foreigner singing if you don’t look at her [performing]. [Besides her] very accurate pronunciation but also with very emotional expression. Her performance is better than many native singers. She is a [true]talent,” posted one YouTube user.

    Another notable comment comes from Paris Qian Sen, who said, “From a native Chinese perspective, KZ did a fantastic performance. Her voice is making the song even more touching than ever. Is she an ethnic Chinese? Her pronunciation is even better than [contestant]Tien Chong.”

    As Tandingan’s third round in Singer 2018 airs tomorrow, word has reached The Manila Times that her version of the Mandarin medley is now being played on the radio all across China.


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