Olinda 'taped hand' to mic for China Super Vocal final
Singapore Idol alumnus Olinda Cho got an early birthday present last Saturday when she won the China Super Vocal Singapore audition finals at The Coliseum in Sentosa.
She will be representing Singapore in reality TV singing show China Super Vocal 2016 — previously known as The Voice Of China — in July alongside first runner-up Ng Chee Yang and second runner-up Elizabeth Low.
Cho, who turns 36 tomorrow, told The New Paper: “I think this is the best birthday present ever. The feeling is so surreal.”
For Round 1 of the finals, she performed Taiwanese rocker Wu Bai’s rock ballad Wanderer’s Love Song.
One of the judges, local music veteran Billy Koh, commented on the way she held the mic, how her hand was too close to the top and it made her voice sound muffled.
The other judges were Taiwan-born radio DJ Eeva Chang and local singer-songwriters Lee Wei Song and Dick Lee.
Cho said: “After that feedback, I went backstage to tape my hand on the mic to keep it in position. I told myself, ‘Okay, cannot move! Cannot move!’”
She moved on to the top five and had to perform a song picked by the judges on the spot. The quintet were given only 10 to 15 minutes of preparation time for Round 2.
Cho was given the same ballad song — I Waited Till The Flowers Wilted Away by Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung — as fellow contestant Zhang Zhi Ling.
Cho said: “I was very worried because she’s really good. I was backstage trying to work out a strategy.
“I knew she was going to sing one key higher than me and her vocal range is more suited for that song.”
Nevertheless, Cho managed to move the judges and the 2,000-strong audience with her emotional delivery. She knelt on stage and sang as if her life depended on it.
When asked about her preparation for China Super Vocal, she said: “I am worried about the music arrangements. Every song I take there will be my weapon. So I must select them properly.
“Most importantly, I must connect with the lyrics. If I don’t, it won’t work.”
Ng Chee Yang sang Remember by A-mei.
First runner-up Ng, best known for winning Channel U reality TV singing competition Campus SuperStar in 2006, is just as excited as “China is such a huge platform and a different market”.
The 26-year-old, US-based actor-singer, auditioned for the local leg of China Super Vocal as he happened to be in town.
He belted Remember by A-mei and JJ Lin’s If Only, blowing the crowd away both times with his powerful high notes.
When asked about his preparation, Ng said: “Sleep. But mainly practise hard, choose the right songs and stay true to myself.”
Low (above), a 22-year-old freelance graphic designer, was exposed to singing during her polytechnic days when she joined her school’s glee club as a co-curricular activity.
She also participated in the reality TV singing series Taiwan Super Idol as a PK challenger in 2014 but was eliminated after the second round.
Low, who sang Exaggerated by Terry Lin and Last Train by Ricky Hsiao during the finals, said: “I will be working on building my repertoire and my technique for the upcoming battles.”