Singer-songwriter Jay Wang is the latest young Malaysian entertainer to make waves in a star search reality show from mainland China.
The 21-year-old, also known in Mandarin as Wang Zihui, is currently competing in Tencent’s The Coming One Season Three (also known as The Coming One: Girls).
The bubbly lass composes her own music and pens her own lyrics to the songs that she has performed on the show.
For the past few weeks, she has been working hard to impress the judges with her vocal prowess as well as her original compositions.
The six judges for the current season comprise Singaporean singer-songwriter Stefanie Sun, Hua Chenyu (2013 Super Boy winner), sitcom actress Song Dandan, Long Danni (Super Girl Talent Contest founder), Mao Buyi (2017 The Coming One winner) and Meng Meiqi (2018 Produce 101 China winner).
The show started airing on June 22 with the first batch of 22 contestants.
Wang was part of the second batch of 18 contestants who performed on June 29.
For her first song on the show, she performed a groovy reggae number titled Wo Bu Dong Ni Dong Bu Dong (I Don’t Know If You Know), and scored a total of five stars out of a maximum of six.
When the Chinese judges were confused by Wang’s pronunciation, Singaporean artiste Sun came to her rescue by explaining that it was a Malaysian accent, adding that she was familiar because she was a South-East Asian herself.
Interestingly, Wang received votes from all the five judges from China, but not from Sun.
For her second performance, Wang sang Yu Jian (Encounter, originally sung by Sun herself) and scored only four stars out of a maximum of six.
Her stars came from Sun, Hua, Song, and Long.
When judges Mao and Meng withheld their votes, Wang could hardly hide her tears due to the “demotion”.
The reason for her distress was due to competition rules, where six-star and five-star category contestants get to dazzle the judges with their solo performances, while three-star and four-star category contestants have to share the stage.
Those who are in the one-star category are not even allowed to perform on stage.
Wang expressed her wish to remain in the five-star slot, and wrote in her Weibo, “As a singer-songwriter, I have a great desire for a stage where I can fully express myself. I hope you all understand my Encounter!”
One year to make it work
Quitting her job to pursue a career in music, Wang revealed that she struck a deal with her father to financially support her for one year, so she could focus all her efforts on her chosen vocation.
Last year, she took part in the Sing! China audition in Malaysia, where she was among the 22 finalists but did not manage to secure her ticket to represent Malaysia in China as she did not end up in the top three.
Hence, she admitted that making it into The Coming One is a valuable opportunity for her, failing which she would have to go job-hunting and earn her own money once the year is up.
“I really want to make music. If you take music out of my life, then I would no longer be Jay Wang. Yet, I know that one day I would have to face reality, and go look for a job, so that I will have my own source of income.”
Wang also posted on Weibo her introductory video for The Coming One, where she showcased her powerful vocals and her winning personality with an amusing meal preparation video where she demonstrates how to make a salad and how eating apples boosts her vocal range.
In that post, she described herself as a participant whose specialty is original composition, someone who likes singing and cooking (Wang has taken a culinary course), and someone who wants to be a role model for the music industry.
Wang also wrote that she wished to “let my dream grow, and use my songs and vocals to show everybody that my passion (for music) is unstoppable”.