one of our fave 70s pop song
we have been watching some episodes of taiwan's 【超級星光大道】(taiwan's top reality singing contest) where some of the best challengers - from all over the world, including malaysia - came to challenge the contestants. the challengers are those who are not registered in the actual contest but they come as wildcards who stand a chance for a big prize (and fame) if they keep knocking out the contestants. the term is called "PK'" in taiwan, we are no sure if it is an abbreviation of english or chinese but we guess it means "knock out". olivia ong is such a case. immediately after her impressive appearance in the show, hua yan (HIM) signed her and launched a new album. and look at her now!
we are not here to discuss how great the challengers are (yes, they are so incredibly great compared to the contestants) but rather the mentality behind the "challenger" concept.
this concept is really exciting as it invites some really unknown singers from other countries to surface and show themselves to the rest of the world.
so naturally it has become the fast lane for many aspiring singers (or even veteran) from smaller countries like malaysia to go taiwan and hope for a breakthru. so far, more than half of dozen of malaysian singers of various fame and reputation have gone to the show as "challengers" and the results are mixed. the best of the lot was an astro champ who came back from the show (she was knocked out only in the 3rd round) and immediately become a spoke person for a consumer product.
just why do so many aspiring singers wanna pose as challengers? it is not hard to understand the thinking behind. even if you are a singing champion in malaysia, you are nobody if you don't establish yourself in taiwan, the mecca of mandarin pop. being in the show increases your chances of you being picked up by major labels in taiwan. let's face it, it is vey difficult for a malaysian label (even a major label) to launch a malaysian artiste in taiwan nowadays. it means money, plenty of money. if the label wants to launch the artiste in taiwan, the artistes needs to be stationed in taiwan (for a long duration) and the label needs to sponsor everything for the artiste, including lodging, allowances, transport etc etc, not the mention that huge amount of investment in A&P. in today's pop music market, that's bad financial decision! producing a chinese pop album is almost a sure-lose cause, it is impossible to recoup back the money thru physical cd sales. bear in mind there are many number-crunching accountants working in major label companies!
so the only way is for a taiwanese label to sign you up. but how great/slim the chance? not unless you are someone outstanding like olivia ong, the chances are very slim. having said that, karen kong also did well to secure a contract with TVB after her appearance in HK's version of the reality singing contest.
but dream we all should, right? after all, what's life without dreams?
we hope to see future subo (susan boyle) coming from malaysia!