Beijing - Singapore's Kit Chan taped the first episode of I Am A Singer 3 in Changsha last Saturday, with pop stars such as Hong Kong's Leo Ku, Taiwan's A-lin and China's Anson Hu, said NetEase website.
The line-up of contestants on the Hunan TV hit show, which starts a new season on Jan 2, had been the subject of much speculation. The other contestants at the taping were Chinese singers Sun Nan, Han Hong and Jane Zhang, an alumnus of Hunan TV's talent show Super Girl.
In a surprise, Ku, who is not a native Mandarin speaker, was confirmed as the host this season, said NetEase. He follows Chinese pop duo Yu Quan, who hosted and won the first season, and Taiwanese singer Phil Chang, who hosted and scraped through the second season.
Hunan TV said Ku, like the hosts in previous seasons, would not be exempted from elimination. It said it would look for a new emcee if he leaves or is voted out by a studio audience.
Known for songs such as The Clock That Forgets Time and Street Vendor, he was a hit with the audience last Saturday although he made mistakes such as mispronouncing xiaci (flaw) as xiachi, said NetEase.
I Am A Singer is a major event on the Chinese television calendar. In a departure from the standard singing contest, the show pits professional recording artists against each other. At the end of every episode, the singers are ranked by the audience's choices.
The show, like Hunan TV's other successful franchise, Where Are We Going? Dad, is based on a South Korean MBC format. Since the first season, I Am A Singer has featured stars such as Taiwanese balladeers Terry Lin, Aska Yang and Chyi Chin, Hong Kong singers Paul Wong and G.E.M., as well as Malaysians Gary Chaw and Victor Wong.
Chan is the first Singaporean on the show. For her first song, she chose Tempting Heart, the theme from the 1999 movie of the same name starring Takeshi Kaneshiro, said NetEase.
Ku sang one of his hits, Love And Honesty and A-lin chose Give Me A Reason To Forget.