Jessie J makes history, wins one of China’s biggest singing talent shows
A billion people reportedly watched the English singer take home the trophy
On Friday, a Chinese singing competition series crowned a rather unusual champion in Jessie J.
The 30-year-old English singer, who has sold millions of albums over the course of her career, surprised everyone earlier this year by popping up as an actual contestant in Singer 2018 (歌手), a popular reality show broadcast by Hunan TV, which decided this season to spice things up a bit by pitting well-established performers against each other.
In each round, Jessie J blew the roof off the place and easily made her way to the finals, which she won with nearly 50% of the votes, besting Chinese rocker Wang Feng, ethnic Mongolian singer Tengger, and Taiwanese signer Angela Chang.
For the final round, she performed one of her best known songs, “Bang Bang,” with help from Hong Kong-born American singer-songwriter Coco Lee and KZ Tandingan, a Filipino singer who had earlier been eliminated in the competition.
She also sang “I Will Always Love You.”
Considering her talent and popularity, Jessie J winning the competition doesn’t come as much of surprise. However, her decision to compete in the contest in the first place is a bit more shocking.
After enjoying great popularity in her home country of the UK early this decade, the singer hasn’t achieved much commercial success since 2014, presumably prompting her to look to the Middle Kingdom, its hundreds of millions of music fans, and its scores of televised singing competitions.
Jessie J has since celebrated her win with a few Instagram posts:
In one, she describes what the song “I Will Always Love You” means to her and how much it meant for her to sing that song to “a billion people.”
“I cried like a baby after the last note. Thank you China for giving me this moment,” she writes.
In another post, she explains why she agreed to compete in Singer 2018.
I said yes because I LOVE to do the unexpected and I LOVE to represent the UK and singing everywhere I go. I LOVE to sing. But also it was an opportunity to bridge a gap between two cultures. For them to see a western performer and hear music some had never heard before and visa versa. For the performances to be seen by millions outside of China and visa versa. And those people to discover the show was the best part. The respect being shown for both cultures and the love was ❤️
China is an amazing place and so different to anywhere I have ever been. I have never been made to feel more welcomed and loved as I have done here.
My team and I have been in China for 3.5 months. It’s been an amazing learning experience for all of us! We worked hard! THANK YOU! I love you all!
Jessie J becomes the first foreigner to win a televised Chinese singing competition. Considering the success of this surprise career move, something tells us that she won’t be the last.
Like in the Chinese Basketball Association, talent shows may soon have to start instituting limits on the number of foreigners that can compete.