Jessie J is one of the United Kingdom's biggest pop stars. Her songs and albums have charted internationally. She has sold over 20 million singles and 3 million albums worldwide, and even performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. She is also a bondafide television star in two countries since she has served as a Judge on the The Voice UK and The Voice Australia. So it is not really a stretch for her to appear in another music contest. I mean a star of her caliber could be a judge or a guest performer in any music show in the world, right?
For her recent appearance in a Chinese television show, Jessie J decided to step to the other side and actually be a contestant for a change! Now I know what you are thinking, why would she need to do that? She hasn't vanished from the limelight, she is not like Billy Gilman who stepped out for some time and then reemerged at The Voice US.
Well as it turns out, having big pop stars compete against each other is the whole point of this particular television show in China. The program is called Singer and is a re-branded version of I'm A Singer, a Chinese version of a popular music competition in South Korea.
For one episode Jessie J competed with pop star Sam Lee and singer-actress Angela Chang who both hail from Taiwan, and Chinese rockstar Wan Feng who is also a judge in The Voice of China. The participants are not allowed to use their own songs, so Jessie J chose to perform Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing".
Before taking the stage, she explained why she chose the tune from soundtrack of the 90's movie The Bodyguard. "Unfortunately I was in the same hotel when she passed, and I want the Chinese audience and everyone else who is going to see it around the world to know, one how much I love Whitney Houston and two, to see how hard I push myself vocally." she said "I want to celebrate her."
And as for the results? Well Jessie J was ranked first place, setting a record as the first person from outside of Asia to do so. Her win also grants her new-found fame in a Non-English speaking country with a more than a billion people. She was a hot topic in Weibo, China's version of Twitter since the former is banned within the country.
Now it makes one wonder, can someone franchise Singer in US or the UK? Having established pop stars competing against each other would be fun to watch, like let us say Katy Perry and Taylor Swift?