Competition Craziness

The Tianjin TV Station is taking these finals more seriously than I thought. I have only been to class once this week because of the crazy “celebrity” schedule we have been out on. Honestly I understand how my beloved K-Pop stars must feel. We have each been assigned personal teachers to groom us for the stage in different areas, for example I have one for Storytelling and for my speech. My week went as follows: On Tuesday, we went to the station to record a Chinese song, 中国话 (English translation: Chinese), to sing at the beginning of the show. The song is very popular among Chinese people because it was sung by one of the most famous girl groups, S.H.E, and also it’s a song about how Chinese is becoming more and more popular, a language that foreigners want to learn. Of course, that makes the song perfect for a competition about foreigners speaking Chinese, right? The special thing about the song though is that it is all one big tongue twister, well actually several famous Chinese tongue twisters put together. While karaoke-ing I have seen many Chinese people even trip up while singing this song, so I was grateful that the song will be pre-recorded, so we wouldn’t have to memorize that monster of a song, haha. Less chance of major embarrassment occurring on stage. The actual recording process, though, was tough. We arrived at the studio around 9am, and they first made us chose envelopes to pick the performance order for the 20th. I’m going to go 5th out of 13, not too bad, because I actually would hate to go at the end where I’m stressing for the entire show. Afterwards, we put on those huge headphones and began the rap, the first two lines are done solo by me, so I was first up to record. I felt the pressure and it was strange at first, so my first two times were crap, but I relaxed and remembered that I wasn’t trying to get a Grammy. About seven of us got solo parts, and the others went by smoothly, the only mishap occurred when the Mongolian girl tried her line; it took about half an hour before the producers switched her out for Ruth. Then the real trouble started when we started singing the hooks and choruses, once more people got added into the mix it took forever. Some people couldn’t find the beat and stay on it to save their lives. Some people would start early, say the lines too fast or too slow…everything. It got to the point where we started only recording line by line and the producer would come over and make us go sing one at a time to find out where the problem was coming from, haha. Despite the difficulties we all had fun joking around with them and with each other. It was finally over around 12:40.


They gave us lunch, and then we met our manager teacher to take the Department car to a costume store. It is always rough finding clothes for a larger frame in China, especially if you (God forbid) have a chest or behind. Luckily, it’s not completely impossible; I just have to look a bit harder. In the end, we settled on a pink dress to where during my speech and a Chinese top to where during my talent performance. At six, I met my speech teacher and we practiced for two hours….I am so tired at this point!

On Wednesday morning, we went over to the station to have a practice run through. They wanted to see our costumes and talents so they could decide on extras and stage placements. There is a Vietnamese guy who plays a Chinese flute-like instrument who I find ADORABLE, I have already started operation “beast on him”. I don’t want him in a boy/girl way, but just in an I-want-to-own-him way…it’s hard to explain, but I do it a lot and it always works~ Anyways, they had a really cool stage director lady watch us all and give us directional advice, at some points she made changes to some choreography. Apparently, the Vietnamese guy will have a Chinese girl dancing beside him as he plays to “spice” the performance up. We got out realitively early at 12, so (being a great student) I ran over to the last 15 minutes of class. Lucky for me (sarcasm) I arrived just in time for the pop quiz. Seeing as how, I was unable to attend any classes this week, I flunked with style. The stupid Chinese department better be prepared to inflate my grades for this thing, I’m essentially being pushed into it anyways.  Then I went to meet a new Storytelling teacher that they organized for me. At first, I didn’t want to go, but I’m glad I did. He had a lot of helpful advice and actually changed the words to make the meaning more clear in some parts. Of course, I have to practice from scratch again, but I think that it will be even better now.

The best part, and the worst, was Thursday when we went to film the music video for our song. We arrived at the Tianjin Culture Street at 8 am, they gave us bright orange sweatshirts the day before, but I had no idea why. I was finally told we were doing a video as I was shoved into the make-up van to be prepped since my scene was first. It was miserably cold, the highest of the day was -1…and when filming we were not allowed gloves, hats, or jackets. It was fun going through it all together though; the other contests are really interesting and have great senses of humor. We had to act very happy and cheesy in many parts, like wannabe rappers in others. After lunch, we went to film in an area but after a few shots, the security came over to ask for our permit, which we didn’t have. The director was hilarious because he did not care, we went to the entrance of the place and he stopped, looked at the nice lawn and said, “I want to film you guys on there, when I say go you all jump on and film for as long as we can (before we get kicked out for good)”. It was rebellious, but we were all ready to do it, so jumped on, filmed the chorus two times and the security came hustling over again. We jumped up and screamed in victory before running back off the grass, haha. Throughout the day, many Chinese people stopped and took pictures or video of us, but at this point we are all used to it. I can’t wait for the episode to air, then they can give us copies of the video for me to show you guys. Until then, click this link to see the commercial for this competition, I look so bored at the end standing on stage, I am going to work on not letting my boredom show next time!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wil-na
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 13:25:22

    i need one of those shirts in my life! you looked cute in your video but u need to smile more. okay?

    *snaps, with hand on hip*.


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