Category Archives: performance recaps

Recap of Hwang Chiyeul’s Performance on “I am a Singer” Ep. 8 (Honey)

By Phae in the Yellow Sun

Hwang Chiyeul performed JYP’s Honey on Episode 8 of I am a singer Season 4.

I’m sure everyone has felt this way before. You find yourself in a situation where you want something to stop because you are embarrassed by the fact that you like it however, you don’t actually want it to stop. Its complicated, I know! This performance reminds me of such. I watched this particular performance with my Korean roommate who has officially been turned into a Hwang Chiyeul fan by me. It’s close to 1pm in the afternoon when the full episode is uploaded but we decide to skip straight to Hwang Chiyeul’s performance before watching the entire show. Lets just say we never went back to watching the rest of the show. Imagine 2 girls on a Friday afternoon, just woke up, no make up, hungry, wearing PJ’s, T shirt and shorts and huddled together to watch a TV show we barely understand. We definitely got more than we bargained for.

There’s not doubt that this performance was exciting. Hwang Chiyeul walks on to the stage wearing a white jacket, black leather pants, two male dancer behind…Oh Hooooney!!! The intro zaps you right in but the interesting thing is that at this point he has  only sang about 2 to 3 lines of the song  but I was already sold. We were already sold!  That intro was beyond perfection, his voice was raspy and rich, he  blew a kiss, winked and started enticing us with his dancing. This song was really great for his voice, I really enjoyed the  low husky notes  and raspy tone of his voice.

But we all know what the highlight of this song is. His solo dance performance right in the middle of the song. When he stopped singing my roommate and I knew something was up and we weren’t wrong. We were given the shock of our lives!! I wish I could describe how hard we screamed when he put that fedora on his head, slid that jacket down his shoulders and his hands down his chest. Maybe, we should have each watched it alone instead of together. The embarrassment was twice as much. It was a mixture of “did he just do that in front of all those people” to “did i just see that”, to “scream, yes I did”, and finally to “wait lets rewind”. For about a week or so I could watch this performance without screaming. It was definitely sexy, fun, captivating, bold and also quite chessy but he sure does make cheesy look good, or maybe I’m just growing old and my sense of good judgement is failing me. Help!

There’s something about Hwang Chiyeul I cant quite describe  He has a way of making you like the very thing you would normally say no to. He exudes  sadness, fun, sexiness and style in his performances and he knows how well to captivate his audience. To him, being on stage is an opportunity to wow his audience and he uses whatever means  he can. I really do appreciate his showmanship and the attention he has received as a result . Hard work surely does pay off and Hwang Chiyeul is a perfect example of that. The  same way a writer/author would worry about how his/her writing is received, I believe  a performer also worries about exciting his audience. But if we are true to ourselves we will know that pleasing everyone is hard and in the end the hard work, value and substance put in by people like Hwang Chiyeul is what makes all the difference. This was a well deserved number 1 spot.

Recap of Hwang Chiyuel’s performance on I am a singer Ep.4

By Phae in the Yellow Sun

I’m not sure were to start from with this particular recap. Episode 4 in my opinion was a turning point for Hwang Chiyeul. He performed “bang bang bang” by acclaimed group Big Bang. His performances in the first 3 episodes of the competition were strong ballads, his vocals were flawless but he was still  stuck in that new guy phase. You know, the guy who had caught everyone’s attention but not quite. What his rendition of bang bang bang did, was to solidify his position in the competition and it was a massive statement. That performance got everyone raving about him. It earned him respect and more fans than he had ever been able to garner.

I cant review this performance without first talking about his outfit. Whoever his stylist is seriously needs to get a raise. That white Tuxedo was a perfect pick for the number he performed. It made the performance classy, suavy and fresh. And again, the arrangements of his songs are always on point. Who would have ever imagined that Bang bang bang could sound so jazzy, smooth and sophisticated yet with a touch of swag. Now, I wouldn’t mind having an Asian James Bond, grooving to bang bang bang (chiyeul style) glass of wine in hand, cigar on his lips, stepping out somewhere to deal with the bad guys. It is probable, you just have to imagine it. Oh, and if I haven’t made  it clear, I will now- I loved his performance!!

The James bond theme song was a great addition, it definitely helped to redefine the song. It made it sound like a jazzy, relaxed song and that was quite unexpected. The dancing was also  excellent. I liked that they let him dance with the male dancers separately and also with the female dancers. I only wish they’d let the male dancers wear dress shoes instead of those sneakers. I mean come on, even the two female dancers were in heels. If you want it to be classy everyone has to look the part. It has to be a full package.

Bang bang bang is a well produced song but it can be too loud if played at the wrong moment. Chiyeul’s version of the song is suitable for getting people to groove at a party while still enjoying the conversation around. The original version on the other hand, is better suited for turning up the vibe and getting everyone to dance. In my opinion, its not meant to be a party starter.

Now with the rap, although it was great, we all know Big Bang has five members. Imagine GD OR TOP having to sing the entire song and dance at the same time. Its almost impossible (although GD could probably put it off). You could tell Chiyeul was almost out of breath at the end of the rap. But whats impressive is that he pulled it off. It sounded as good as the original. It was audible , strong and he made it seem like it was a walk in the park. The song  makes little room for an interlude before the rap so he was literally singing and dancing for about two minutes without actually stopping,  now thats what I call a class act.

 For those who try to compare this to the original, please stop. It is not an easy task for a soloist to perform a fast paced song originally by five very diverse singers (Big Bang). There is a reason why the song was rearranged as a solo performance. Enjoy both songs as they  are- Well produced songs always get covered by different artiste, if this one has been, we should at least acknowledge it as a tribute.

I am not exactly sure what the Chinese lyrics translate to but all in all, this was excellently executed, gave the fans something to rave about and got Hwang Chiyeul a lot of attention. His classy James Bond style ending to that performance was the cherry on top of the cake.

Recap on Hwang Chiyeul’s Performance on I am a singer Ep.7

By Phae in the Yellow Sun

Hwang Chiyeul sings Phil Changs Eternity of a Person in Ep. 7 of I am a singer.

This is by far one of my favourite performances till date.  I only watch “I am a singer” because Hwang Chiyeul is currently competing on this show. Prior to this, I had never heard of the show and my knowledge of Chinese was very limited. In fact “hello” and “my name is” are probably the only words i knew. I am more interested in learning Korean because some of my very close friends are Korean and I really love the way the language sounds. Listening to this song made me really appreciate Mandarin and the fluidity of the language but i cannot deny that it sounded even better because it was sang by Chiyeul. Whoever wrote this song did an amazing job. The lyrics have such a depth to them (The original is really good too). Having listened to the original hereI realized how similar Hwang Chiyeul sounds to the original singer Phil Chang. 

I’ve had this song on repeat since i first time I heard it. At first i didn’t understand the lyrics but that didn’t matter at all. The lyrics are very sad but meaningful, but I believe that the ability to feel the depth of a song transcends any language. It is only those who cannot feel who do not listen. I can sing this entire song in Chinese without looking up the lyrics, that goes to show how much I love this rendition.

It was soulful and heartfelt and the melody was so beautiful. I must give a thumbs up to the  orchestra/band, they were quite impressive especially at the beginning of the song and also at that moment where the song transitions from Chinese  to Korean song, Arirang. Chiyeul begins the song really softly and slowly almost as if time is slowly beginning to stop. His expressions are calm and he begins to slowly tell a story that most people can identify with-heart break, false believe in happy ever after etc.  I wish he would sing more songs this way, calm and collected, without much force. He presented a song that was filled with heavy words in the most gentle way. The song does pick up tempo towards the middle and I really wish it had stayed the same till the end.

Arirang is a beautiful song when sung on its own because it has so much meaning to it, however I feel it was a great choice because it added to the emotion  and pain that the song presented and it also slowed the song down one more time before it picked up again. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this performance. It was bold without being too loud, It was emotional  without the need for tears. In my opinion, it was sung effortlessly.  The melody is sad but it felt like one of those sad ballads that soothe an aching heart.

Lyrics here

Recap of Hwang Chiyeuls Performance on I am a singer Ep. 10

By Phae in the Yellow Sun

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I’ve watched Hwang Chiyeul battle it out week after week on China’s TV show, I am a singer. Its been ten weeks of performances, sad ballads, dancing and sweating it out. This week I saw something different. I saw a performer genuinely enjoying his time on the stage. Jumping around, enjoying a song in another language that only took days to memorize. This probably wasn’t his best performance and I for one really loved his rendition of Phil Chang’s Eternity of a person in episode 7. It was soulful and beautifully sang, but I digress.

This episodes performance got me clapping and stomping my feet. Hwang Chiyeul performed Gai Bian Zi Zhi (Change Myself) which is originally  sung by Wang Lee Hom but with a twist. The song was interfused with Big Bang’s Fantastic Baby and Mark Ronson’s Uptown funk.  The arrangement was well done and the transition between the songs was smooth, almost as if those three songs had been written together.  The chorus was catchy and fun and this was also the first time he performed a Chinese dance number, and he didn’t disappoint-well he got first place for this song.

He looked comfortable, he was all over the stage, he got the audience engaged in the performance. They were singing along as though it had been planned from the very beginning. He looked genuinely happy, the audience was happy. His excitement seemed to have gotten the best of him and towards the end of the song, he sounded out of breath and a little pitchy. He did make up for this with his infectious energy and dancing which seemed to have affected the audience as well. No one cared about whether he was out of breath or not. If they had, he wouldn’t have won first place but also, the best performances aren’t always those that have the best technique. The best performances are those that speak to the audience and to whoever is listening or watching. He spoke through his performance, the loudest way he possibly could, by telling them to have fun with him on the stage. I had a blast watching him.

And the ending, don’t get me started on the ending. Whats up with him going shirtless in his performances these past few weeks? I honestly believe no one can pull off that type of dancing without me cringing from second hand embarrassment. But I have to admit, I loved it, bum shaking and all. The screams from the audience  said it all!! The look on Lala Hsu’s face said it all. Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!! The screaming heard from my kitchen says it all.

I am looking forward to next week’s round of performances but judging from the preview, it seems as though ballads have been thrown out the window, and that makes me a little sad.

Missed it? Watch it here: