Contrasting takes on Voice rejection

Tay Kewei was affected by nerves during her audition performance in The Voice Of China, but husband Alfred Sim says he is used to competition stress.
Tay Kewei was affected by nerves during her audition performance in The Voice Of China, but husband Alfred Sim says he is used to competition stress.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ALFRED SIM

Husband-and-wife singers Alfred Sim and Tay Kewei have contrasting opinions of their own performance in the latest season of popular reality TV singing contest The Voice Of China - he thought he did well, she was disappointed with herself.

Unfortunately, both of them are out of the competition.

He revealed the results on his social media accounts last Saturday, while her audition clip was uploaded earlier this month.

Sim, 33, who beat other local singers to earn the right to represent Singapore at a closed- door competition held here in May, says he would not change anything to his rendition of I'm Willing by Chinese diva Faye Wong.

"I've put in a lot of effort. It's one of my best performances and I would rate it an eight out of 10.

"I've been in competitive sport, I was an athlete. I know how to handle this type of competition stress," says Sim, the winner of last year's local reality TV singing contest Project Superstar. He is also an athletics coach.

While he relished his five minutes onstage during the recording earlier this month, nerves got the better of his wife.

Tay, 32, tells Life candidly that "there was nothing awesome" about her performance - a bossa nova interpretation of Stefanie Sun's Tears Become A Poem - during the China recording in June.

"It was not a good representation of how I usually perform. It was not a good song choice, I didn't sing well," says Tay, who was invited by organisers to take part and flew to Shanghai five times for closed-door auditions in June.

The song she performed was picked by organisers from the demos that she submitted.

Perhaps the added stress of playing the er hu, a traditional Chinese string instrument, distracted her from her singing - a point that was brought up by Taiwanese singer and judge Harlem Yu.

Getting eliminated may be a bummer, but the couple are still grateful for the opportunity to take part in a big production, which this season boasts a star-studded judging panel that includes Taiwanese megastar Jay Chou, Chinese rocker Wang Feng and Chinese songbird Na Ying.

Tay says: "I appreciate the chance to sing to the judges and they were listening intently to my performance."

Sim went home with hugs from three of the four judges. "Harlem wanted only a handshake," he says.

With rumours circulating that The Voice Of China producers are inviting Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau to join the judging panel next season, Sim is raring for another chance to take part in the show.

He says: "Of course, I'd join again if Andy Lau is a judge. He's my idol."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2015, with the headline 'Contrasting takes on Voice rejection'. Print Edition | Subscribe