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Lim Ruey Yan
The Straits Times
Aug 23, 2023
Veteran Cantopop singer Jenny Tseng is not done with slamming Sing! China just yet, as she continues to seek justice for her late friend, Hong Kong-American singer Coco Lee.
Tseng, who does not post on social media regularly, has been criticising the Chinese singing reality show on Facebook almost daily since a controversial nine-minute audio clip of Lee – who was a celebrity coach on its 2022 season – complaining about being mistreated on the series went viral on Chinese social media last Thursday.
According to Lee, a contestant with 77 marks was given a second chance, while her mentee with 88.3 marks was not. She had voiced her general unhappiness over the show’s system, which she felt was unfair.
Coco Lee (right) and Jenny Tseng performed together at a concert in 2006. PHOTO: INVINCIBLEJT/YOUTUBE
Tseng, 70, delivered a eulogy during the July 31 memorial service for Lee, who died at age 48 on July 5, and was one of eight pallbearers at the funeral on Aug 1.
The Macau-born, Hong Kong-based diva kicked off her online tirade on Facebook on Saturday.
Even the show’s famous music mentors – whom she believes were complicit in the alleged shenanigans and have been silent on the saga so far – were not spared.
“Everyone who participates in Sing! China lacks a conscience and will do anything for fame and gain,” Tseng wrote in Chinese. “I look down on them for insulting the profession.”
She continued in the comment section, describing those involved in Sing! China as an embarrassment.
“It’s ridiculous if these mentors think they are superior to others,” she wrote. “Some of them are providing guidance even though they can’t sing well themselves and can’t pronounce the lyrics properly.”
She added that it was shameless to trick someone like Lee into joining the game without fully explaining the rules.
Tseng also lamented that it was ultimately not worth Lee’s sacrifice – she fell onstage during the finale due to an injured leg – as Tseng said she had advised Lee not to accept the “bad shows”.
Tseng returned to Facebook on Monday morning after Zhejiang Media Group, which is behind the TV channel broadcasting Sing! China, released a statement late on Sunday.
It acknowledged that the show may have fallen short of viewers’ expectations and said it would investigate further.
“It’s too late to apologise,” Tseng wrote, invoking the Chinese idiom, “One cries only when death is staring one in the face”.
On Tuesday, she added: “When did the world become so cold-blooded and unable to tell right from wrong?”
When netizens asked why she had been posting almost daily, she said: “If I don’t step up, people will forget about it and the chance to seek justice may be lost.”
She then took aim at the female deputy director of Sing! China believed to be behind Lee’s misery, saying: “The investors can touch you if we can’t touch you. Let us touch the investors then.”
She then posted again on Wednesday morning, saying that she cries whenever she listens to the audio clip.
Tseng added that even if it had not been Lee but Sing! China’s previous celebrity coaches – such as Hong Kong singer Nicholas Tse, Chinese singer Na Ying and Taiwanese singer A-mei – who were treated unfairly, she would have spoken up.