We first heard of Zhang Liyin’s appearance on Anhui TV’s Mad for Music around mid-April 2014, when the TV show’s official Weibo account first confirmed Liyin’s guest appearance. Because most of Chocolyn’s articles on this websites were written to document events that occurred years ago, this recap article will summarize Liyin’s appearance on the show only. If you’re looking for a more detailed summary, please watch the episodes instead! We have embedded them throughout this post.
Mad for Music is a reality TV music competition show, similar to The Voice or I Am Singer, but instead of pitting solo singers against each other, they are put into teams where they have to compete as a team to avoid individual elimination.
The show is split into three different phases, with four different groups:
- Goddess Team: Zhang Liyin, Laure Shang, Tracy Wang
- Hurricane Team: Xiaoshenyang, Jess Lee, Duo Liang
- Divine Comedy Team: Tengger, Ivy, Eric Moo
- Rock & Roll Team: Black Panther, Liu Minghui, Wu Yao
In the first phase, for each episode, two teams compete against each other for live audience votes (also called 501, as there are 501 members in the studio audience). The losing team of every episode then goes into a room and votes a member out of the team. In the second phase, the teams continue to battle against each other, with the goal of becoming the show’s top semifinalists in order to reach the final third phase.
For Liyin’s first Mad for Music episode – the show’s second episode overall – Liyin sang “Father” by the Chopstick Brothers and “Melody” by David Tao. Her performance of “Father” was very touching, earning the first win for the Goddess Team, and even inducing fellow opponent members to think sentimentally about their other fathers. Liyin, notably, cried after the performance, when the host spoke to her on-stage.
When the episode aired, there were several Chinese Chocolates who commented about the poor audio quality in Liyin’s recording. Liyin’s Baidu fansite recorded her performance live from the audience and uploaded it onto YouTube. Listen here to compare to the TV version.
Her performance of “Father” got good reviews from critics. Notably, an artistic director of an entertainment company wrote that there aren’t many Chinese singers who can reach Liyin’s vocal range, which he says is between A4 to F5. A Chinese blogger also compliments on Liyin’s performance, saying she was the best singer in that episode – but she needs work on her facial expressions.
The full first episode of Mad for Music can be viewed below. Liyin’s solo performance begins at 22:32; she finds out her results at 37:16; group performance begins at 48:35.
We’ve also added a behind-the-scenes video of Liyin backstage at the show.
Zhang Liyin was the first artist to perform in this episode. She started off the show with a cover of “Those Years” by Hu Xia – Liyin later released her official version as “Back Then” – to which critics weren’t too impressed. Liyin then performed “That Part of the Ocean” by Han Hong in the group performance.
Alas, her second appearance on Mad for Music was not a successful one. Liyin was eventually eliminated by her teammates at the end of the episode. We find out at the end that she underwent a stomach surgery procedure the week prior to filming, which needed an internal cut in her stomach. Due to this, she found it difficult to find the right feeling for the songs.
It wasn’t all bad news. Liyin’s name trended on Weibo after the episode aired. On June 1st, the day after the episode aired live, Liyin ranked #1 on Weibo’s list of most discussed celebrities, and #5 overall on all topics.
You can watch the second episode in the video below. Liyin’s solo performance begins at 2:40; her solo results are at 16:10; group performance at 30:47; and finally, the judges and group members start voting at 1:09:57.
That’s right, after Liyin was eliminated in Mad for Music season 2 episode 2, the show producers reinstated her after Laure Shang stepped down from the show. She appeared alongside Vincy Chan and Joi Chua as a resurrected member of the Goddess Team.
Liyin was once again the first Goddess Team member to sing in that week’s episode. She chose to sing Wang Leehom’s “Forever Love”, which is, as most know, a classic in the Chinese pop industry world. For the group performance, she sang a clip of “My Destiny” by Lyn – yes, in its original Korean version, from the My Love from the Stars soundtrack! Her performance of the theme song was the first time she sang live in Korean in a while, so you can imagine how excited fans were at that time.
Unfortunately, Liyin didn’t win her solo battle in this episode either. However, because of how this phase of competition works, she did not get eliminated. The Goddess Team did win in their group stage battle though, winning over the Hurricane Team by 84 audience votes.
From the embedded video below, you can watch Liyin’s solo at 13:49, and the group performance at 53:01.
Liyin was the first solo performance in this episode, performing first with a cover of Coco Lee’s “Missing You 365 Days”. The show host reminded viewers that this is the song that got her scouted into SM Entertainment when she was 13-years-old. Later in the episode, she also performed a lovely duet of A-Mei’s “Remember” with fellow team member Vincy Chan. The Goddess Team then ends with them singing All-4-One’s “I Swear”, and Liyin’s own solo bit of “Fairytale” by Michael Wong.
Liyin’s duet with Vincy’s won over the audience during this episode, beating Hurricane Team’s own duet performance (between Jess Lee and Duo Liang) by 97 votes. However, this was not enough to beat Hurricane Team overall. They were close – losing only by 20 votes for this episode, but it was not enough to win.
This was particularly unfortunate because music producer (and guest judge) Lee Shih-shiong was at the Goddess Team’s rehearsals, giving them advice on how to give better performances. In fact, he gave special attention to Liyin’s performance – his brother was the original song producer for Coco Lee’s single.
You can watch Liyin’s appearance in Mad for Music season 2 episode 10 in the video below. Liyin’s solo starts at 25:04; her solo results at 43:55; duet performance starts at 52:58; and finally, the group performance is at 1:03:04.
Zhang Liyin made one final appearance on Mad for Music, appearing on the final episode to accept the award for the Most Popular Female Artist Award this season.
It was rumoured that Liyin would sing twice during the final episode – a solo performance of “Agape” and collaborate on a Goddess Team group performance – but after teasing fans on Weibo, Anhui TV actually edited both performances out from the final broadcast. As you can imagine, Chocolates were furious, and voiced their displeasure online. Both performances eventually did end up online, so we have embedded it below.
Hope everyone enjoyed our incredibly long recap on Liyin’s guest appearance on season 2 of Anhui TV’s Mad for Music! According to the show’s Baike, its TV ratings were moderate for that time slot. Liyin’s first two episodes ranked 4th, while her two later episodes ranked 3rd and 2nd overall.
We are only hoping that this won’t be Liyin’s last appearance on a major reality music show in China. They tend to get big ratings over there!