KZ Tandingan continues her "Singer 2018" journey after she placed fourth out of eight in the top-rating show's episode aired this week.
For her third episode and the show's seventh week overall, the Kapamilya singer took the stage with a last-minute, dramatic rendition of "Say Something." The acoustic performance earned her fourth-place, as determined by audience voting , which came as a surprise to Tandingan as the studio response didn't seem as warm, compared to her previous performance. Last week, the 25-year-old singer had a number of the studio audience in tears with her dramatic Mandarin medley, but that ultimately only got her a sixth-place ranking.
"Medyo nagulat! (I quite shocked!)" She told ABS-CBN News' MJ Felipe. "'Yung reaction ng mga tao noong nag-Mandarin ako, parang mas maingay, compared doon sa 'Say something' na performance, so feeling ko, 'Oh my gosh, baka mas mababa sa rank six 'yung ranking ko.' Sobrang unpredictable talaga, e. (The reaction of the people when I sang in Mandarin is quite loud compared to when to Say Something performance, so I feel, Oh my gosh, maybe my ranking will be lower than rank six. It is really unpredictable.) "
She also recall that the last week performance as the "hardest performance of her career," because KZ Tandingan only had two weeks to learn the pronunciation and meaning of a mash up of Mandarin songs she chose for her qualifying performance in China's "Singer 2018." With an anguished interpretation of "The Pain Which You Don't Know," Tandingan had a number of the studio audience in tears which an apparent sign that she was successful in carrying the lyrics' message about moving on from a heartbreak.
To Tandingan's fans, her gesture of "showing respect to Chinese music" would be enough to ensure a back-to-back first-place finish in the competition. But instead, the Kapamilya singer ranked five notches lower in sixth. Fortunately for Tandingan, her average ranking after two episodes was enough to qualify her as a regular "Singer 2018" contender, meaning she can only be eliminated if she places last in a given episode.
The singer admitted that she felt a little of frustration with the results of her most recent episode, Tandingan nonetheless found fulfilment after having seen reactions to her performance, especially from Chinese viewers. "Kahit gano'n lang 'yung ranking, sobrang natuwa ako, kasi sa social media doon sa China, sa Weibo, lahat ng nakuha kong comments regarding my Mandarin, sobrang natuwa sila.
Ang tawag pa nila sa akin, napaka standard daw ng Mandarin ko. Iyon pa lang, na-hit ko na 'yung target ko, (Even if my ranking is just like that, I am very happy because in the social media in China, in Weibo, all of the comments I got they are all happy regarding my Mandarin. They call me for my standard Mandarin. In that case, I already hit my target,)" she told ABS-CBN News.
Tandingan added: "OK lang sa akin na naging rank six ako, na hindi ako nagpaka-safe, kaysa palagi akong nandoon tapos same at same lang ang nakikita ng mga tao. (It is just fine that I rank six, I did not play safe, because I don’t want to stay on top and what the people will see is just the same.)" The producers of "Singer 2018," it seems, also appreciated Tandingan's risk-taking, and in fact have requested the Star Music artist to once again perform in Mandarin in a future episode. "Dahil natuwa sila, kanta raw ulit ako ng Mandarin.
Patay tayo diyan. Tingnan natin. Nawili, (Because they are happy, they want me to sing in Mandarin again. We are dead there. We will just see.)" Tandingan quipped. Asked if her she would be open to making a Mandarin album, the "ASAP" mainstay said: "Ilan lang ba 'yung mga artist na merong album na totally ibang lenggwahe, 'di ba? If ever tumalon ako sa bangin at gumawa ako ng ganyang album, part na ng history 'yun. (How many artist already made an album using other language total, right? If ever I would jump to a cliff and make that album, it would be part of history.)"
When KZ Tandingan took the "Singer 2018" stage for her qualifying performance, she had a number of the audience members crying with her emotional rendition of a Mandarin medley. To "show respect to the Chinese audience and Chinese culture," the Kapamilya singer performed "The Pain Which You Don't Know" -- which she only had two weeks to learn. Filipino viewers online could say it was indeed a sad song, going by the title, Tandingan's anguished interpretation, and individuals in the "Singer 2018" studio being moved to tears. But the actual meaning of the lyrics was still lost on them. That is, until a viral YouTube video finally provided a dynamic translation of the medley, about finding difficulty moving on from a failed relationship.
An English translation of the medley was also provided to ABS-CBN News by Filipino-Chinese Katrina Chua, who was taught and is fluent in Mandarin. The translation follows:
"What else do you want me to do?
What to do?
Sudden messages from you are enough to make me feel sad
I simply cannot forget
You do not need to remind me
I’m afraid that this is the sad ending
What else can I do?
What can I do?
In the end, we still won’t be lovers
There are so many things that you don’t know
"How long should I be sad before I realize
How long should we be separated before I can let go?
Can I still let you feel pain in your heart?
I loved completely
I fully surrendered my heart
And let myself become insane
"What else do you want me to do?
What to do?
Please do not show up at my wedding
I rode in the car after I heard your favorite song
You loving me was so worth it
I don’t want anything to do with you
Please don’t forget the journeys that I’ve travelled with you
There are so many things that you don’t know"
"Kaya pala nag iyakan ang mga tao!" read one of the comments on the viral YouTube video, which already had nearly a hundred thousand views, as of writing. Other comments noted how, based on the translated lyrics, Tandingan had the appropriate emotions in delivering certain lines. "This is the first time I appreciate a song that I couldn't understand," one viewer wrote. "The lyrics are truly heart-breaking, the singer gave justice to the song. Beautiful."
Tandingan, who is now a regular contender on "Singer 2018," is up against superstars from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. She and her idol, UK pop star Jessie J, are the only foreign competitors so far.
This week, Tandingan's fellow contenders, including new challenger Tengri, performed the following: Juno, "Left Behind"; Hua Chenyu, "I Don't Dare"; Angela Chang, "Dream Chaser"; Jessie J, "Never Too Much"; James Li, "Yi Sheng Suo Ai"; Wang Feng, "My F*cking Young Age"; Tengri, "Heaven."