The judges of 'The Voice' Singapore and Malaysia are 'like family'

Gabriel Choo
“The Voice” judges (from left) Sky Wu, Della Ding and Tan Hanjin at the screening premiere of the first episode. (Photo: Gabriel Choo / Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Filming for local Mandarin singing competition show “The Voice” is well underway with the first episode being aired on Sunday (17 September) night.

Judges Sky Wu, Della Ding and Tan Hanjin attended the premiere screening of the first episode at 2mm Talent Hub at School of the Arts on Sunday night, while the last judge, Mandopop singer Gary Chaw, 37, was not present at the event as he was having an overseas concert.

During a media interview, the three present judges shared about the camaraderie on set and how they were very much “like a family” despite having to “fight for contestants” to be on their respective teams. With over 100 contestants taking part in the blind auditions which were held over just a few days, the judges had some trouble adjusting.

“During the blind auditions, everyone (the judges) was just trying to get into the rhythm of things, and we also had to understand each other and respect each other’s decision,” shared Tan, 41, in Mandarin.

The judges sharing a laugh during the premiere screening of the first episode of “The Voice”. (Photo: Gabriel Choo / Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

In order to get the best contestants to join their team, the judges even had to resort to using “despicable means” at times. But they seem to be on good terms nevertheless, as the judges were seen cracking inside jokes and sharing many laughs together throughout the event.

Tan also said he and Chaw were always fighting for contestants and always chose the same one. In fact, there would even be times where they would cheekily try to help the other press the button (to choose the contestant) on their behalf but failed.

“That’s the beauty of the show. The friendship between us judges is like a friendly fight between brothers. If we don’t fight, we cannot get close,” said the Hong Kong-based Singaporean singer-songwriter. “We are already like family.”

Ding, 34, also shared that she feels a sense of security whenever she’s around the three guys. “They all have different fun qualities. Wu is my senior, Tan is like a ball of sunshine to be around with and Chaw is, well, very unpredictable, as you never know what he will do next,” said Ding.

Judges of “The Voice” (from left): Sky Wu, Della Ding, Tan Hanjin. (Photo: Gabriel Choo / Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

However, Wu felt that his fellow judges were a bit too impulsive and impatient as compared to him, when it comes to choosing the contestants. As such, he and Chaw were left fighting for the contestants towards the end.

“I think I went in with high expectations, thinking that there will be someone with a very good voice, but I soon realised that we are actually here to coach them,” said the 50-year-old singer-producer.

“I regret not joining in the impulsiveness, even though there were some good ones that I liked. Whenever someone performs, I’m always thinking about whether this voice is unique and analyse everything.”

On the other hand, Tan would be eager and immediately get excited whenever he hears a good voice. During a performance in the first episode, Tan was so excited that he even pressed the button with his leg. “When I hear a good voice, I will just react in the moment and not even care about the consequences or whether I look cool,” laughed Tan.

As for Ding, the only female judge, she aspires to be like Chinese artiste Na Ying, who was the only female judge of Sing! China, and who eventually coached the winner. “I think women have more luck and observation skills so I respect her a lot and she is my role model,” said Ding.

Contestants of “The Voice” that appeared in the first episode. (Photo: The Voice)

“I hope a lot of people will tune in to the end of the show because there will be more contestants with surprising qualities to come,” added Ding.

Contestants can be of any nationality as long as they can speak Mandarin fluently. Other than Singaporeans and Malaysians, the first episode also featured a Taiwanese and Indonesian. There are also non-Chinese contestants taking part in the show.

The winner of the competition will receive a recording contract by Universal Music Group, although other contestants on the show may also be awarded contracts.

New episodes of “The Voice” will be released every Sunday at 8pm on Hub E City StarHub TV Channel 111/825. Non-StarHub subscribers can watch the show for free on the StarHub Go app via their mobile devices.

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