Contestants keep singing English, show remains controversial
Updated : 08/06/2012 10:18 GMT + 7
The blind auditions of the ongoing Vietnamese version of the famed singing contest “The Voice” finished recently and have earned a lot compliments, but still the twist that 2/3 of contestants preferred English songs for their performances has remained debatable.
“What kind of English are they singing?”
While a large number of viewers, even those who don’t know English, have overcome the language barrier and praised contestants for their talent, native English speakers seem to stand on the other side.
At the final night of the blind audition round, contestant Tieu Chau Nhu Quynh shined with her performance of the famous hit “I Will Survive.” All the coaches were impressed and turned their chairs to choose her for their teams. There was a battle between the coaches to win the girl with a strong voice and the confident performing style.
However, after watching Quynh’s singing on TV, singer Giang Son’s husband, an American, admitted that her English singing was hard to understand. “What kind of English is she singing?” he asked.
Tieu Chau Nhu Quynh's "I Will Survive" at the blind audition round of The Voice of Vietnam 2012
After another English performance, the American man said he didn’t understand a single word the contestant sang.
On her Facebook page, well-known singer Ha Tran also joined in speaking about one of the current hottest events in the local music industry by posting a status on her page saying, “Almost every contestant of Giong Hat Viet (the show name in Vietnamese, which means ‘The Voice of Vietnam’) sing English. Does that prove that Vietnamese music is getting boring, or are the youths trying to integrate into the world?”
Responding to the issue, many netizens expressed their opinions. “How funny, just like contestants in ‘The Voice of UK’ sing in French.”
Several opinions claim that singing English at the contest is just a temporary wish of contestants, but it will be hard for them to follow the path of not singing Vietnamese in Vietnam.
What do supporters say?
“Contestants of ‘The Voice of Vietnam’ have given us great surprise. We want to choose those who can go beyond the contest and reach the world,” Ho Ngoc Ha, one of the contest’s four coaches, stated.
The winner will get a contract with US record label Universal, which makes things simple since everyone knows singing English is the best way to go to reach audiences worldwide.
“To me, music has a lofty mission of linking people around the world. So music itself a language in common, no matter which languages the lyrics are,” Dinh Huong, the contestant who wowed people with her cover of Duffy’s “Warwick Avenue” on the first night, expressed.
“However, I want to pursue soul, blues and R&B, but unfortunately very few Vietnamese songs reflect those kinds of music,” she explained.
Many audiences agree with the fact that Vietnamese music is getting more and more boring.
“They sing English since they find it a better way to express their voices,” a netizen nicknamed chieuluonglehuyen said.
“I rarely listen to Vietnamese music,” Hoang Phuc added. “Vietnam’s everlasting songs are pretty, but their lyrics seem to be so old for us, while songs written and sung by young artists are trite and hollow. So we, the youths, have to choose English songs.”
Some said that singing English songs on Vietnam stages is like blowing fresh air into the local entertainment world, while others also expressed their lighter look on the twist by saying singing English is a way to approach the world.
“Let them enjoy singing the English now, they’ll finally return to their mother language.”
Famed musician Duc Tri also shared his thoughts on the issue. The man agreed with Huong that music itself is a language in common, and there’s nothing wrong with contestants singing English.
Still, he expressed his worry that Vietnamese youths often do thing in trends, and many contestants at singing contest choose English to show off to others.
Bui Anh Tuan, one of contestants impressing The Voice of Vietnam 2012 with performances in Vietnamese, singing "NoiTinh Yeu Bat Dau" at the blind audition round