Jay Chou picks Singaporean on Sing! China

Singaporean Joanna Dong performing during a blind audition for the second season of Sing! China.
Singaporean Joanna Dong performing during a blind audition for the second season of Sing! China.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM ZJSTV MUSIC CHANNEL/YOUTUBE

Another Singaporean singer has been picked for pop king Jay Chou's team on Sing! China.

Soon after Joanna Dong began crooning a jazz version of the Lo Ta-yu classic Love Song 1990 in a blind audition in the second season of the Zhejiang Television singing competition, Chou moved down the slope in his seat to choose her.

Coaches Eason Chan and Liu Huan followed, both singing the praises of Dong to woo her to their teams.

Dong - like Nathan Hartono, the Singaporean who shone in the first season of the show last year and came in second - eventually joined Team Jay Chou. She was the sole Singaporean among the six singers selected in the first episode of the second season, which aired last Friday.

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Speaking to Shin Min Daily News last Saturday, she said she was touched that Chou chose her before she sang the showy chorus and hit the high notes.

"When I was singing the A and B sections, it was the simplest and truest me," the 35-year-old said. "And Teacher Jay chose me in that moment, giving my performance recognition with his action, so I was particularly moved."

She is sure she has chosen the right coach because Chou "knows me musically", she told Shin Min.

She took part in Singapore Idol in 2004 but did not finish in the top 40 in that contest. She has sung and acted, including playing a-go-go queen Sakura Teng in the theatre production Great World Cabaret.

She said she had been disheartened after trying for years to make a music career in Singapore, but decided to join Sing! China after seeing the success of Hartono, a fellow Singaporean jazz singer, on the show.

"Two consecutive jazz singers have been on Sing! China," she told Shin Min. "I hope to encourage young Singaporean musicians to pay more attention to jazz."

She added: "Whether or not I can go to the final, it doesn't matter. Whatever happens next is a bonus. I've already done my part for Singapore's jazz."

Having said that, she is ready to venture outside jazz on the show if Chou wants her to sing something else.

"I'm looking forward to how Teacher Jay will handle my voice and choose songs for me," she said. "I've cleared the blind audition and in my own understanding, I've won. I'll remind myself to live in the present and enjoy the process."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2017, with the headline 'Jay Chou picks Singaporean on Sing! China'. Print Edition | Subscribe