My favorite TV Variety Talent Show in China.
This show is called “Starlight Boulevard” – it airs Saturday evenings and is two hours long. Here is the format of the show, five or six groups of amateur performers (each group could be numbered from one, to two, to whatever.)
The talent each group try to present to the audiences can be songs, dances, funny dialogues, martial arts, or anything that is eye catching, outstanding, or unique, the themes could be regional, contemporary, or ancient.
There could be up to five rounds of competitions during each show. So each group of contestant or contestants has to be prepared to do five acts.
At the end of each round, one contestant would be eliminated, there are four or five judges, all are well known and accomplished in the entertainment, educational, or musical arena. When they critic the performances of each round, each gives the reason of their individual opinion, live audiences are encouraged to sound off their preferences over each and every of the contestants by activating a polling button by their chair.
You will be surprised sometimes how close the opinions of the judges and general audiences are.
I was happy to see that given a country with such a vast geographical size, many weekends there was at least one of two minority groups performed on stage. There was belly dancing from the western region, folk singers and dancers from Inner Mongolia, folk singers from the south China regions, occasionally there would be Caucasians who resides for years in China, speak fluent Mandarin, occasionally they too, want to try their hands on public performances in popular songs. The public reception is generally pretty favorable.
One of the way some performers sing duet songs are quite unique and talented. This person, generally a male singer, would put on a costume that is distinctively divided into two halves, the left side would be the male side, and the right hand side would be the female side.
During the performance of the song, he/she would stand on stage with his/her side profile facing the stage camera, so in a glace you – the TV audiences would see and hear what the lyrics depicts, if the male voice performs, we see a handsome guy’s profile, if it is supposed to be a girl part, we see the profile of a girl.
Imagine if Celine Deon and her singing partner perform on stage, except it is perform by Celine alone, the other side of her costume and make up would be a male singer counterpart. Singing it totally in a male voice.
I think I have actually seen a segment of Celine Deon’s China singing tour. She sang the theme song of Titanic.
Every Saturday night, millions of Chinese audiences glue on their seats in their home and watch Starlight Boulevard, enjoying and relaxing the songs and dances offer by a variety of contestants.
Even dream a little dream of only I wish it was me on stage kind of dream!
All the hardship at work, all the struggling, all the traffic chaos, all the mundane aspects in life, for a moment, it would be forgotten.