Home-grown singer Kit Chan is taking part in the upcoming third season of the popular China reality singing competition I Am A Singer.
She is the first Singaporean artist to appear on the show which has boosted the careers of previous contestants such as Hong Kong's G.E.M. and Taiwan's Terry Lin. It is slated to start airing in China on Jan 2. There are no details on when it will air in Singapore.
Instead of unknowns battling for a share of the limelight, the show's concept, imported from South Korea, is to pit established singers against one another.
Speaking over the telephone from Changsha, Hunan, where the television show is recorded, Chan, 42, admitted that she was biased against the reality show genre in the past. She said: "I didn't like reality shows and I was against the idea of singers having to compete against each other."
It was an old friend, Sandy Chi, who convinced her otherwise. She had handled the public relations for Chan's first album Heartache (1994) in Taiwan and she advised Chan to look at the show as a platform to reach a wide audience by singing the songs she wanted to sing.
And that is how the singer is approaching it. She said: "I'm not here to try and win the competition. To me, it is really a performance platform."
Thus far, she has been impressed by the production values and the scale of the enterprise. "I think they have a staff strength of 300 people just to do one TV show. Up till now, we do not know who the other artists are. They have put us in different hotels and attached different teams to us. It's quite amazing."
The singers who tend to do well in such contests are usually the belters and the showstoppers, but that is not Chan's style.
She noted: "Maybe 10 years ago, but that's not my thing now. I want to showcase what I consider is the best of myself at this point to the audience and if they don't like it, too bad. I'm not going to deliberately engineer a different identity.
"I guess I'm like a guinea pig on this show for the production team."
And while the likes of G.E.M. and Malaysia's Shila Amzah have seen their popularity rocket after appearing on the show, Chan declared that she is not looking to boost her career. "I really am just taking it one episode at a time."
During the course of the show, the contestants have to perform covers of other singers' material. But for the first number, they can choose their own songs.
Asked which track of hers she has chosen, Chan said: "I'm not supposed to reveal, you must watch lah."