Asian entertainment channel GEM concluded its search for singing talents in Asia with the crowning of Krissha Viaje from the Philippines as the winner in an audition held yesterday. Krissha beat 11 other finalists to win the top spot and the chance to take part in Nippon TV’s biannual singing competition programme I Can Sing in Japanese!.
Since the start of the online call for entries in December last year, the channel has seen overwhelming response from participants all over Asia, which indicates the widespread popularity of Japanese content in the region. From the entries, 12 finalists were handpicked and invited to attend an audition in Singapore. They are from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.
“Singing in Japanese is not easy so we were surprised by the high quality of entries across South East Asia. The overwhelming response from aspiring singers reflects the popularity of Japanese pop culture in this region. On behalf of GEM, I congratulate Krissha on being crowned the Asia finalist and wish her every success for the final round of I Can Sing in Japanese! in Tokyo. GEM, together with our partner and leading content producer, Nippon TV, will continue to deliver the latest entertainment from Japan and bring our viewers more on-ground, interactive experiences that will deepen their connection to Japan,” said Virginia Lim, Senior Vice President & Head of Content, Production & Marketing, Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia.
Yuji Gobuichi, the Japanese director and creator of the programme, also remarked: “We are very impressed by the immense talent we have seen in the entries from Asia. I believe that Krissha is the next big thing in the making and that the rest of the contestants are also ready to take on other global singing competitions.”
A long-time fan of Japanese shows, Krissha impressed judges at the audition with her soulful rendition of ‘Precious’ by Yuna Ito, the theme song from the movie ‘Limit of Love Umizaru’. Although the high calibre of the other finalists made it a tough competition, Krissha stood out with her precise diction and expressive singing, which judges said they were immensely moved by. Speaking after learning of her win, she said: “I am so excited for this chance and I cannot thank the judges enough for selecting me as the winner. I am looking forward to doing my country proud at the I Can Sing in Japanese! competition!”
Krissha will participate in the coming season of I Can Sing in Japanese!, which is slated for filming later this year. The singing competition show features non-native Japanese speakers from all over the world who have a passion for singing Japanese songs. The performers are assessed by a panel of industry experts based on their pronunciation, singing skill, and how they express their love for Japan through their songs.
Viewers can catch the broadcast of the coming season of I Can Sing in Japanese! later this year, first and exclusively on GEM. For more information on the show, please visit http://www.GEMtvasia-sg.com/programs/i-can-sing-japanese.
GEM is available on SKYCable Channel 116.