Talents and viewers in Malaysia and Singapore have been looking forward to the arrival of popular American reality singing competition, The Voice
Since Malaysian Idol
and Asia’s Got Talent
came to our side of the world, we knew that it was just a matter of time before we had our own version of The Voice
The singing competition will be produced by mm2 Entertainment, Astro in Malaysia and StarHub in Singapore.
Now, the wait is finally over as they have recently opened up online auditions
for Malaysia and Singapore.
Participants can submit a clip of them performing one song of their choice, no longer than 90 seconds, from now until 31 May 2017.
However, the reception hasn’t exactly been positive since the call-for-entry.
Because of one rule: Contestants must be fluent in Mandarin.
This requirement has drawn a lot of criticism on social media with many saying that it is borderline discriminatory.
According to the producers, the candidates may be of any nationality or race, as long as they’re able to sing in Mandarin in order to qualify.
They are also allowed to perform songs in other languages, except songs in dialects, like Cantonese or Hokkien, due to broadcasting restrictions towards the use of dialects on TV in Singapore.
mm2 Entertainment explained in a press statement
that each market is required to determine one specific language that will be used and they had acquired the licence to produce the show in Mandarin.
The producers felt that this Mandarin format is most practical in a commercial sense in order to connect to mass audiences in Singapore and Malaysia.
The judges for the show have not been confirmed, but they will most likely be predominantly Mandarin-speaking as well.
Looks like The Voice Singapore-Malaysia
may be mimicking the success of Sing! China
, which captured millions of audiences around Southeast Asia and within China itself.
This could also be a move to break into the mainland Chinese market, as award-winning musician from Singapore Bani Haykal shared in a series of tweets
So what do you think about this major twist? Would you watch the show? Or better yet, would you participate?
We’ll probably be hearing quite a few karaoke joints blasting Mandarin songs for a while now.