Dreams come true - in different ways

While Singaporean Cherelle Tan makes it to Sky Wu's team on the local edition of The Voice, undergrad Lim Yan Xin is eliminated

Professional singer Cherelle Tan (left) was picked by Taiwanese singer Sky Wu, but business and communications undergraduate Lim Yan Xin was not selected by any of the judges.
Professional singer Cherelle Tan (left) was picked by Taiwanese singer Sky Wu, but business and communications undergraduate Lim Yan Xin was not selected by any of the judges.PHOTO: THE VOICE

Singaporean Lim Yan Xin, 20, had a dream about taking part in the popular reality singing show The Voice - and getting eliminated.

Unfortunately, it came true. She did not make it pass the blind auditions as seen on the first episode of the singing contest's inaugural Singapore/Malaysia edition, which aired last night.

"My dream was very accurate. I cried so badly when I saw my dad in the waiting room. I cried mainly because I was disappointed with myself. I felt that I could have done much better," says Lim, a business and communications undergraduate at a private university.

The Voice has been held in various countries since the original, The Voice Of Holland, debuted in Dutch in 2010.

Each series kicks off with the coaches each deciding whether to pick a contestant for his team based solely on the vocal performances as they do not see who is singing.

When they want a singer on their team, they hit a button to turn their chair around.

In the local version of the global franchise, the four mentor-judges are Malaysian singer Gary Chaw, Singaporean singer-songwriter Hanjin Tan, Chinese powerhouse singer Della Ding Dang and Taiwanese crooner Sky Wu.

The first episode featured nine contestants from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan. The contest is open to anyone who is "fluent in Mandarin and able to perform Mandarin songs".

Each mentor can pick 12 contestants. The 48 selected will battle it out for a chance to reach the finals, which will be broadcast live on Dec 17.

Lim was accompanied by her businessman father for the three-day recording at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios in Johor Baru in July. Viewers may find her father, Luis Lim, familiar as he is a freelance actor who has appeared on Channel 8 television shows.

"I felt bad for wasting my father's time. But he was very supportive and told me it was a good experience," says Lim.

Though she earned some praise for her rousing rendition of Taiwanese singer Wang Ling-jou's ballad When We're Together, the performance was not enough to move the mentor-judges to hit the buzzer.

Another Singaporean contestant, Cherelle Tan, 26, made it through as she was picked by veteran singer Wu.

With five years of experience singing at live houses and pubs, the professional singer owned the stage belting out Jamaican Betel Nut, an edgy electro-reggae number by Amit, Taiwanese singer A-mei's music alter-ego.

The fan of crooner Chaw was "slightly disappointed" that he did not pick her, but adds: "I'm just happy that a judge turned around for me."

She is looking to hone her skills further with help from Wu.

"He noticed that I did not make eye contact with anybody onstage. He asked me to be more confident," says Tan.

"I'm not thinking about winning or losing. What I am focused on is getting a breakthrough in my singing."

•The Voice airs on Sundays at 8pm on Hub E City (StarHub TV channels 111 and 825).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2017, with the headline 'Dreams come true - in different ways'. Subscribe