A singer mentored by Taiwanese singer Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹), also known as A-mei (阿妹), on the Chinese talent show The Voice of China outperformed three other finalists on Monday to win the second season of the popular competition.
Li Qi (李琦), a 23-year-old music major, defeated 27-year-old farmboy Zhang Hengyuan (張恒遠) in the deciding round of the three-round finals with a moving interpretation of the love song Truth (真實).
Twenty-four-year-old Xuan Xuan (萱萱) finished third.
A spinoff of the Dutch program The Voice of Holland, the Chinese show attracts tens of millions of viewers a week, making it the most-viewed talent show in China.
It has also gained high ratings in Taiwan, mainly because two of the mentors — A-mei and singer-songwriter Harlem Yu (庾澄慶) — as well as several of the contestants are Taiwanese.
During the grand finale on Monday, Li and A-mei performed After Knowing, After Realizing, a song written by A-mei’s mentor — late Taiwanese singer Chang Yu-sheng (張雨生).
A-mei’s manager Edward Chan (陳鎮川) said the pop diva picked the song to pass on the mentoring spirit because she also met her own mentor at the age of 23, the same age at which Li met her.
The grand finale on Monday night began with 16 contestants singing Descendants of the Dragon (龍的傳人) together.
The four finalists then paired up with their respective coaches to perform a song, before engaging in a three-round battle to determine the winner.
The competition consists of three phases, beginning with a blind audition phase, where the four mentors select contestants to be on their teams by listening to their voices, but not seeing them.
The next phase sees contestants compete within each team until one from each team is selected to enter the grand finale.
Local media reported that the two-hour finale was expected to have earned NT$2.3 billion (US$78.22 million) in revenue for the Zhejiang Television network.