DragonTV has launched the second season of “China’s Got Talent”

2 June 2011 17 h 48 min 15 comments

Almost one year after the start of the first Season, the second season of “China’s Got Talent” launched this month on Shanghai-based Dragon TV. After Liu Wei, the armless pianist, which was crowned as last year’s winner, China is waiting for its nation’s newest idol.

“China’s Got Talent” airs every Sunday from 9:05 p.m. on Dragon TV and reach Shanghai area as well as 160 cable households through its satellite distribution.

Audience target

“China’s Got Talent” is not the first talent show in China. Other China’s local television stations have been keen on producing talent shows since 2004, when “Super Girls”, the Chinese unofficial version of American Idol launched by Hunan TV, hit the small screen, pushing the audience rating to a record high (over 200 million viewers for the finale). ”Super Boy” and other same type programmes has followed.

But in the case of “China’s Got Talent”, Dragon TV purchased the rights for the show from FremantleMedia. And the programme has been approved by the State Administration of Film and Television. Chen Di, general director of the show told local media that Dragon TV has purchased the copyright from BGT and will basically copy the original show from the stage design to the competition rules, with some localized characteristics. “We hope the show will find China’s Susan Boyle,” he said.

The first season started on July 25 2010, during the Shanghai Expo, with the aim to compete with other local TV stations in the country. An initial survey by the Dragon TV revealed the show’s local audience rating in Shanghai had reached 13 percent after just three episodes. National ratings were somewhere around 2 to 3 percent, Dragon TV representative said. Local ratings of the final show (October 10) topped 34 percent and the national rating reached 5.7 percent. The TV station said the figures were “stunning” because China had more than 30 provincial-level local TV stations competing for audience share.

China’s Got Talent highlights winner from last year’s season, here.

Post national and international tour

At the end of the show, the popular contestants from China’s Got Talent TV show, including armless piano player Liu Wei who won the competition, performed in China, Austria, Italy and other coutries in a 2 months tour (January and February 2011). Dragon TV had signed contracts with the popular contestants to arrange performances for them, Jin said. “We are also considering invitations from some universities, inviting contestants like Liu to give lectures,” the director said.

3 months pre-competition

The website of the state-run Dragon TV, says: “Ordinary people dream of success. Great. Come and register! Not limited to age. You just need unique skills and enough courage to show up.”. On February, 19 the China’s Got Talent”‘s Season 2 auditions kicked off in Shanghai. According to Sina, ”around 9,000 registrants showed up, which is three to four times the number of participants last year.” China’s Got Talent confirmed the second season only in january, and decided to increase the number of audition centers from 8 to 20 this year. Dragon TV has broadcasted a China’s Got Talent special New Year’s episode, as a very efficient teaser

Dragon TV ” China’s Got Talent” – Season2 Promo (2011) on YouTube

Last minute judging change

After the start of the second season, Dragon TV had to do some last-minute substitutions for the “China’s Got Talent” judging panel due to now former member Gao Xiaosong drunk driving scandal.  China’s Got Talent judge Gao Xiaosong was sentenced to six months in prison and a 4,000 yuan ($615) fine by beijing Court, on Tuesday 11 May for dangerous driving and endangering public safety. His drunken handling of an Infiniti SUV had caused four collisions and three injuries, China Central Television reported. “All drunk driving incidents are criminal offenses under the much-publicized new amendment that Gao so publicly breached”.

Producers of the TV show had to contact many veterans and celebrities to fill in Gao’s slot on the three-person judging panel that also includes local stand-up comedian Zhou Libo and Taiwanese singer-actor Annie Yi. But most were not available for the long-term recording at Shanghai Concert Hall due to prior commitments and tight work schedule.

After having temporarily appointed Antonio Chen, a Taiwan music producer and composer, to fill Gao’s slot on the judges panel for one week recording, the production team decided that the Famous Taiwan singer-producer Jerry Huang will replace Gao Xiaosong as a judge for the remaining 10 or so episodes of the second season of “China’s Got Talent,”.

A friend of Gao, Huang, said he will adjust his work schedule to accommodate the program’s recording schedule. “The ‘Got Talent’ franchise has an irresistible appeal for me,” Huang added. “I will learn to make my words easy to understand for the audience when judging the musical performances. I am also ready for the emotional performances by the grass-roots contestants, which may well move me to tears.” Lu Wei, a spokesman for the show said “we believe that Huang can do a good job in terms of his widely acclaimed talent in music and sincerity when facing both the audiences and contestants.”

Lu added that they haven’t decided on the judges panel for the show’s third season, which is due to be launched in late October. However, they are not ruling out the possibility of Gao returning as a judge.

“China’s Got Talent” might have just started its new season, but it has already hosted a number of awe-inspiring contestants” according to CNNGo’s editorial team which selects his 5 favorites. We specially like “Michael Jackson is back” ! “You’re the best MJ impersonator I’ve seen so far in the two seasons of ‘China’s Got Talent.’” according to judge Annie Yi.

The video

The final episode of the series competition is slated for broadcast on July 10.

SOURCES: SMG, Xinhua (26/10/2010), Global Times (17/04/2011), Shanghai Daily (13/05/2011), Global Times (18/5/2011), CNNGO (26/5/2011)

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