China’s Got Talent is back, with the same three judges and in the same city! It’s premier show aired Sunday night on Dragon TV and the entire episode has now been put up on Youku. Since we covered last season’s premier, I figured – what the heck – I’ll watch it again and pick three performers you really ought to check out.
This season is noticeably more centered on actually cool acts rather than heart. This isn’t to say Zhou Libo, Jolin Tsai, and Gao Xiaosong aren’t letting people with sob stories through – one crazy girl dancer was given an okay simply because her dad was dying of cancer – but there’s generally more discretion (a singer who’s girlfriend went missing in the New Zealand earthquake was thanked for his really off-key singing, but got three “No”s) and more genuinely neat stuff.
Case in point, the first pick for the night:
1. Minority-style throat warbler Tang Kangmin (汤康敏)
23-year-old acupuncturist student Tang Kangmin’s special talent is a type of mingzu throat warbling that requires you to place a little piece of metal at the back of your tongue. She first impressed the judges by actually singing on key in that high-pitched Chinese opera style before erupting into an even more high-pitched throat whistle.
Yeah, I’m not the biggest fan of the sound either, but it certainly is a special talent that requires some measure of training and skill… and Tang Kangmin has to have been the hottest person on stage all night.
2. Asian-American crystal ball manipulator Hu Qizhi
Hu Qizhi is an Asian-American street performer from the States who moves around a crystal ball. Good to know guys: having an American passport doesn’t stop you from being qualified to enter China’s Got Talent. Heck, you don’t even need to speak Chinese that well… apparently, you just need to look it.
That aside, Hu does manage to do a pretty good job making that ball seem weightless, and he really impresses the judges, who say it’s the most awesome thing they’ve seen the last two seasons.
3. “Science Genius” Lu Yulong
I’m not sure how this kid would have fit into a talent show back in the West, but his act and story are seriously cool. I especially like the entrance, where he enters the room breathing ominously like a shanzhai Darth Vader.
Lu Yulong basically built his own Tesla coil and uses it to transmit lightning places during his set… and he’s only 16 years old! Not only that, this isn’t his first semi-dangerous science experiment.
A couple years ago, he was really into organic chemistry and explosives, and one explosion ended up ripping through his hand and caused him to have to get 400 stitches and be hospitalized for a good year. That didn’t stop him from continuing to pursue Science. In fact, he says he loves Science so much he’d rather die than not experiment with things.
I love it – he’s like Dexter from Dexter’s Lab. He even kind of looks like him, with the red hair, glasses and look of calculated ambivalence.
BONUS: Michael Jackson Dancing Granny
I don’t actually know what else I can say about this act that isn’t apparent from its title. Somebody needs to make some animated gifs of it stat though!