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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Hello, Asian Wave

The Chinese TV contest will see professional musicians in the region slug it out weekly.
The Straits Times - September 10, 2012
By: Yip Wai Yee
| More
Hello, Asian Wave Twins Miko (left) and Yumi of pop duo By2 are among the singers who will represent Singapore on Asian Wave. -- PHOTO: SMG

Move over, Eurovision. There is an Asian player in town.

Much like the popular song contest that pits participants from different European countries against one another, sparking fun "international rivalry", a new TV singing competition will see Asian contestants battling it out.

Titled Asian Wave, the 20-part show will begin airing here on E City (StarHub Channel 825) on Oct 8.

Featuring 24 acts from seven Asian nations including Singapore, the show raises the stakes higher than in Eurovision - it does not feature amateurs. All the contestants will be professionals who have recorded albums, garnered a fan following, put on a small concert or received an award or two.

Mr Wang Lei Qing, operation director of show creator and media company Shanghai Media Group, said: "This show is different from all the existing singing competitions in Asia because it is international and the quality of the contestants is high. It'll not be an easy competition."

Singapore will be represented by three acts: Rachel Chua, 18, the petite girl with the big voice who has done her rounds on regional singing contests including One Million Star; Kelvin Tan, 30, the blind singer with a soulful voice who has seen his music career fall on hard times; and By2, comprising twins Miko and Yumi, 20.

Some of the other participants include K-pop group Teen Top, powerhouse songbird Ten from Thailand and rock band Flow from Japan.

Contestants do not join the show by audition. Their names are submitted by broadcasters or music label companies in their home countries.

Chua and Tan's names were put forward by cable TV operator StarHub, while By2 joined via their recording label Ocean Butterflies Music.

Contestants are up against one another in PK (player kill) mode, which is another way of saying every round is a knock-out for one of two acts up against each other. There will be weeks where eliminated contestants have a "revival" opportunity to return and take another shot.

It cannot be revealed yet who the Singaporean acts will be up against in their first appearances.

Unlike Eurovision, the winner of Asian Wave will not walk away with only a trophy and bragging rights. The champion will get an unspecified amount of funding from Shanghai Media Group to promote themselves in the music industry in China.

Winners are determined solely by a professional judging panel, which comprises 12 judges from across Asia, though not all will be featured in the same episode every week. The panel, which will work on a rotation basis, includes Hong Kong veteran Alan Tam, Lee Min Woo from K-pop group Shinhwa and Taiwanese singer Phil Chang.

Mr Wang says: "It will not be easy for the judges to choose between the contestants because they are all so good. But hopefully, this show will discover the next international superstar or diva."

Asian Wave premieres on E City (StarHub Channel 825) on Oct 8 at 8pm.

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