Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Paris By Night Talent Show 2007

Oh the controversies! Yup, you know what I’m talking about. Recently Paris By Night (PBN) AKA Thuy Nga created a talent show in search some great singers I guess… Like American Idol, they had voting by phone and text and even online. It is definitely a step up in the Vietnamese entertainment industry.

Surrounding everything in life are controversies and criticisms. And Paris By Night Talent Show 2007 could not be without it! The show began on, a website recently made by Thuy Nga (allowing legal downloads of music, videos, and more). People around the world gathered in to audition and the show played on live online. Viewers around the globe could watch the live show online at and vote until the show ended. Of course you could also purchase a ticket to see the show in person. The talent show consisted of two parts, semifinals and the finals. The semifinals were made up of 13 contestants: Van Phi Thong, David Meng, Huy Tam, Ngoc Loan, Huong Giang, Trieu Bao Vi, Quynh Vi, Sunny Luong, Mai Tien Dung, Tran Thai Hoa, Hoai Phuong, Trinh Lam, and Ngo Quang Minh. These contestants were good and some were great, but my favorites were Mai Tien Dung (because he is charming), Huong Giang (great voice and personality), and Trinh Lam (he wrote his own songs!).

As always, some contestants stood out from the rest, many in this case. Contestant # 5 Ngoc Loan decided to sing really old traditional songs, when everyone stuck with popish songs. I give her props for doing that because either she was too naïve to think that she would have a fair chance at winning or she didn’t think about who her voting audiences were, and they were clearly young people who went online everyday and had access to text messaging and or willing to vote at all. I mean if you understand Vietnamese adults (mainly over 25) they will not be doing any of these things. They will watch the show, sure, buy the DVD, of course, but not going to sit around and vote for nobody simply because of they have less access to the instruments to do so and because they just don’t. So yea after I heard contestant # 5 Ngoc Loan sang, I knew she wouldn’t make it to the finals unless… (To be continued). Contestant # 13 Ngo Quang Minh, well one of the judges commented that he pays too much attention on looks, movement, ahh forget it (basically saying he was a bit too girly when he sings). Somewhat like how Nhu Quynh carries out her notes, but even worse. He was too mannered, to the point where it seems fake and over the top. Check out his video on You Tube and you will know what I mean. If you watched American Idol this season, this next contestant is another Haley Scarnato but worse. Contestant # 12 Hoai Phuong is young (forgot how old) but her face looks madly old and she really wore fewer clothes possible. Her singing wasn’t great, and she tried to take on those hard rock songs that require a high and strong voice. She looked like an expired Barbie Doll dancing on stage (was that too mean?). I’m sorry you have to watch her to know what I mean. And then contestant # 3 David Meng who is not even Vietnamese, but has Cambodian descent sang so fluently in Vietnamese. I’m partly amazed but not very because it is not a rare thing if you know Dalena (who is also not Vietnamese but American and sings beautifully in Vietnamese and even those traditional songs). David Meng didn’t impress me much mainly because I couldn’t get pass his face. Whoever on Miratunes forum said that he is cute… But nevertheless props to him for coming on to the show. Also he got the lowest points from the judges out of everyone. On a rather upbeat note, contestant #10 Mai Tien Dung is actually really charming. My sister asked if there was something wrong with him because he didn’t stand still on stage, he kind of showed too much excitement or so. I noticed that too, he smiled a lot and often time moved his head to one side repeatedly. BUT many others and I noticed his interesting sense of fashion that looked like the Korean kind of style on Korean actors. From his hair to the black glasses, and the whole outfit, he was a fan’s favorite for sure, mainly young girls. Mai Tien Dung sang this fun song, “Chuyen Chang Co Don” and showcased what one of the judges said to be the kind of style that many young Vietnamese are into. Maybe so. PBN GET HIM ON YOUR SHOW! Along side is another refreshing and adorable contestant, Huong Giang, contestant # 6. It was cute and I’m sure many of the men in the audience loved it when she said that she was very naïve and innocent when she was younger that she often get tricked by people and so her father was afraid to let her out the house. When asked by MC Ky Duyen if she is still like that, she replied, “ Still a little.” Haha! I think she is in her early 20s, probably around my age or so (oops I gave my age away). Lastly contestant #13 Trinh Lam was the judges’ favorite and producers alike simply because he equals $$$, lots of it. The Vietnamese entertainment industry is in need of songwriters who can write those popish type song and so forth (really good ones, not just rhyming the words or filling in words to get a song, Vy, Trish!). More over, Trinh Lam is young in his style and he has a good voice. As a result it wasn’t surprising that in the finals, he won the award for judges’ favorite and got a contract with Thuy Nga. (I wonder if the winner of the talent show got the same deal).

In the finals, they cut down the contestants to 7 (David Meng, Ngoc Loan, Huong Giang, Quynh Vi, Mai Tien Dung, Tran Thai Hoa, and Trinh Lam). MC Ky Duyen divided the contestants up just like how Seascrest did it at American Idol, which I didn’t like. It was so noticeable which group made it through. One group was the losers, one group was the winner and one group had 3 people standing that included David Meng and Ngoc Loan. MC Ky Duyen said that one person made it by people’s choice and one was saved by the judges. WOW! Why can’t they do that for American Idol and save someone, just imagined how many good singers could’ve been saved. I told you earlier nothing could save contestant #5 Ngoc Loan unless… the judges and producers know she is a good singer, but audiences simply won’t for her because reasons stated above. No doubt Ngoc Loan will become a regular on Thuy Nga because she can sing those traditional type songs that speaks to a part of Thuy Nga’s audiences and if you know PBN they really try to speak to every type of people and that’s how their show is successful. I think? Lol.

David Meng won the talent show, the people’s choice (claimed by PBN). And this was where most of the controversy arose. It started before that too but who cares, we need a good solid reason why and he is just perfect for it. I was on when I saw the big picture announcement that David Meng won, and I rushed to tell my sister (who told me to go find out for her the winner). My sister immediately and I mean like right away started bashing David Meng (poor guy) and my other sister joined in the fun. They stated two so call facts in their argument. (1) He cannot sing, well they corrected themselves by saying he just not the best compared to other contestants. (2) He’s not good looking. I read many comments on various forums about the result of the show and many people had issues about his singing and his looks. Sure it was a singing competition just like American Idol but will we do without the bad, the hideous and the outrageous. It is reality in any entertainment industry that besides having real talents you need a good presentation and by that it is your looks and ya sex appeal helps too. In the case of David Meng many people have their own theories and I have my minds. (Too bad you will have to read my side only ;) One obvious possibility is that the show was rigged as claimed by many onliners. I read that many of the contestants in semifinals did not even auditioned and were simple placed in by producers of the show. I cannot confirm this because I didn’t follow the audition round. Also stated in the rules and regulations of the show, contestants cannot of have any professional singing prior, etc meaning those singers who failed as singers to gain fame cannot use this to buy TV time and or create publicity stunts or try to win the money prize (I forgot the exact amount, $50K?). Oh and David Meng donated this money to his selected charity. Wow, great move David. Uh huh. Back to what I was saying apparently some of the 13 contestants did have a sort of “professional” singing. Like contestant #11 Tran Thai Hoa, (no not the singer TTH in PBN, they just have the same name) he was singing with a famous singer Tran Thu Ha way back in Vietnam or so on stage and there is a video of this on You Tube. Everything is on You Tube, gosh and how did this video surfaced so fast? Probably Tran Thai Hoa posted it up himself or the person who made the claim really dug deep (which is Tran Thai Hoa and I’m sure this is not his real name, he just want to gain attention like when Antonella Barba’s friend released her naked pics, something like that. Anyhow people online also claimed there were no way people voted for David Meng unless it is the whole population of Cambodia (I’m sure they meant like his friends and family power voting for days and nights). This is mean, so what if they did, they are supporting him, other contestants’ friends and family probably did too but not good as David Meng’s groupies. Another person online said that is there no more good Vietnamese singers out there that a Cambodian person has to win. I don’t know? I asked somewhat the same question when Taylor Hicks won American Idol last season. I also thought that the reason David Meng won was because he was easy to market, because he struggled and so forth to learn Vietnamese and sang well and actually won the talent show. I mean just imagine what a great story it would, a big inspiration to many people. Something like when Jaslene won America’s Next Top Model, she showed that second chances are amazing better. Haha. But then when I found out that David Meng, the winner of people’s choice won't be on the next PBN show but Trinh Lam and other contestants will, I’m partly doubting myself on this theory. Sighs, in the end we can only look forward to the next show if anyone still watches. I’m sure there are still thousands of wannabe famous singers out there who will try out. Why do you think American Idol still continues to run after many seasons, not because they want to vote for the worse I hope?


Anna said...

thanks for your in-depth review on the whole pbn talent show. my mom and i just finished watching it. whee!!

babygirlannie said...

isn't there another talent search similar to this one hosted again soon by PBN?

Viet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karly said...

Oh, I have no idea. If there is one, I'll be looking foward to watching it.

Anonymous said...

Poor you audience....The Talent show was trying to put some humour on it but in no way had the same effect...poor joke and behaviour...So silly when Thai Thanh tried to start a fight(joke of course) with Duc Huy and openly said she credited David Meng, giving him the maximum score just because he was originally Cambodian. This is not about race ! This is about the music talent i think.

Anonymous said...

It's been somewhat a year since this talent show was out. All I have to say is, ThuyNga has no taste in music. Their winners are David Meng and Trinh Lam, but if you notice, those two (their forums) were trashed and mock by other people in ThuyNga's own forum. If you compare that to Asia, their winners receive the audiences attention and admiration within one or two video and no one of the four (Quoc Khanh, Doan Phi, Le Nguyen, & Dan Nguyen) has a CD yet. Trinh Lam got his 1st solo album within a month, and he's still criticize by other people (most people in ThuyNga's forum even dare to say they hate his song Tai Sao). As for David Meng, you'll hear something about him every half a year. The only two good contestant were Quynh Vi and Mai Tien Dung, but yet none of them won anything.
That's why when you compare ThuyNga's contestant to other productions contestants, you can see how off ThuyNga is, and I would dare to say that ThuyNga have a bad taste in music.

Note: What the hell is with Huynh Thi, does he like Huong Giang of her look or her voice because I thought he would have some wise decision when it comes to choosing new singers for his own production. However, I only see about ten or less people in ThuyNga's forum that actually like Huong Giang or think she's okay.