Singer (TV series)

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Singer (I Am a Singer)
I Am a Singer.jpg
I Am a Singer logo (Chinese)
Also known as
  • I Am a Singer (我是歌手; Wǒ Shì Gēshǒu) (Season 1-4)
  • Singer (歌手; Gēshǒu) (Season 5-7)
  • Singer: Year of the Hits (歌手:当打之年; Gēshǒu: Dāngdǎ zhī Nián) (Season 8)
Presented byCommon
He Jiong (Seasons 1-2 Finals, Season 4-8 Finals)
Wang Han (Seasons 1-3 Finals)
Shen Mengchen (Biennial Concert)
Lidia Liu (Season 6-8; backstage)
Season 1
Yu Quan (Main competition)
Sha Baoliang (Finals)
Season 2
Phil Chang Yu (Main competition)
Liao Fan (Breakouts)
Season 3
Leo Ku (Main competition; Episodes 1-7)
Sun Nan (Main competition; Episodes 8–11 and Breakout)
Season 4
Hacken Lee (Main competition)
Kim Ji-mun, Su Yunying, Chao Chuan, Shin, Daichin Tana, Guan Zhe, Elvis Wang, Wang Yang, Joey Yung, Jeff Chang (Breakouts)
Season 6
Angela Chang (Main competition)
Season 7
Wu Tsing-fong (Main competition)
Hong Tao (Pre-challenge Face-off)
Season 8
Jam Hsiao (Episodes 1-2)
Eliza Liang (Episodes 3-10 and Breakout)
Judges500-member studio audience
Theme music composerKubert Leung
Country of originChina
Original languageStandard Chinese
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes109
Executive producerHong Tao
Production locationChang Sha
Running time2 hour 10–20 minutes
Original networkHBS: Hunan Television
Picture format576i (16:9 and 4:3) (SDTV),
1080p (HDTV)
Audio format5.1 surround sound
Original releaseJanuary 18, 2013 (2013-01-18) –
April 24, 2020 (2020-04-24)
Related showsKorea: I Am a Singer
External links

Singer (Chinese: 歌手; pinyin: Gēshǒu), previously known as I Am a Singer (Chinese: 我是歌手; pinyin: Wǒ Shì Gēshǒu), is a Chinese singing competition show broadcast on Hunan Television. It is based on the Korean show I Am a Singer. The competition was opened to well-known professional singers from the music industry across worldwide, and featured a rotating cast of singers performing each week, usually with seven singers, who performed in front of a 500-member audience. The votes cast from the audience were the sole determinant for the results and one singer who received the fewest votes is eliminated while a new singer substituted in place of that singer, featuring a constantly changinng lineup of artist throughout the series. The first season featured 12 contestants, but later increased to as many as 22 due to twists and competition rules added in later seasons.[1] The inaugural series was first taped on 10 January 2013 and premiered on 18 January 2013.

After four seasons under the name of I Am a Singer, in 2017, the competition show went on a re-branding with a simplified title of Singer (Chinese: 歌手; pinyin: Gēshǒu), but retaining similar competition format.[2] The eighth and final season, entitled Singer 2020, or Singer: Year of the Hits (Chinese: 歌手:当打之年; pinyin: Gēshǒu: Dāngdǎ zhī Nián),[3] began taping on 3 January 2020; the season was initially slated for a premiere on 10 January 2020, but was postponed twice; the season was first announced to premiere on 31 January 2020,[4][5][6] but was again postponed to 7 February 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that occurred prior to the intended premiere date.[7] The series finale aired on 24 April 2020.

On 22 September 2020, Hong Tao announced during the Hunan TV's Merchants Association meeting that Singer will cease production after eight seasons of air, citing a gradually lower viewership ratings and its competition against other rivalry programs in the current Chinese reality television landscape.[8][9]

Competition rules[edit]

Each round of I Am a Singer had seven singers (or eight in some weeks) who performed for a 500-member studio audience each week, whom play a role on deciding the results for the singers. The order that they performed was determined through ballot or based on prior performances, depending on each week. Each audience member then cast votes for the top three singers of their preference, and these votes were tabulated to determine each singer's placement for the night. Since season 7, with the implementation of Electronic voting (which was conducted thrice throughout the show), each scores accounted a 50% weightage towards final results.

Each season of I Am a Singer was divided into four or five rounds (first 10 or 11 weeks), which consist of usually non-elimination "Qualifiers" and "Knockouts". Votes were accumulative on both rounds and the singer receiving a lower count of votes at the end of the Knockout round was eliminated. Eliminated singers were entitled to a Returning Performance on the next show and a chance to return to the competition via the Breakout Round, though eliminations could also be cancelled if another singer chose to withdraw from the competition, or if any contestant was given a bye due to health conditions. At the end of each round, a new singer would take the place of the eliminated/withdrawn singer and the competition cycle would repeat until the final Knockout round was completed. At the end of the episode a table was usually shown to indicate the rankings.

As part of the "2+1" format introduced in the third season, the "Challenge" round followed each Knockout round, where the number of rounds was usually one less than that of Knockout rounds. A new singer (dubbed as "Challenger") would substitute for an eliminated singer during the start of the round, and was given a challenge in which the singer was required to beat a majority of the singers (finishing within top four or better) or facing elimination; if the challenger succeeds, any incumbent singers were eligible for elimination which was decided on which singers received a lower count of votes for this round alone (votes cast for the Challenge round were factored independently of combined votes from the Qualifier/Knockouts). Season 5 replaced Qualifiers with Challenge rounds immediately after the first Knockout round to accommodate two substitute singers coming to the competition (one of which was a challenger). Season 6 temporarily revised the format, where the challenger enters the competition during the Knockouts and had to avoid last place on their first week in addition to finishing in the top four on the second week (in a combination of both Knockout and Challenge rounds); failing either challenge eliminated the singer immediately. However, in Season 7, due to the season-exclusive Pre-Challenge Face-off (see twists below), the challenge round format was reverted to the season 3 to 5 format, with the challenger winning the face-off immediately facing the Challenge round. The Challenge round was absent in Season 8, instead replacing with another variant round (see Twists below).

"Breakout" round follows after the last Knockout round, which featured previously eliminated singers (except withdrawn singers) performing for a chance to return to the game and take part in the finals. During the inaugural season, Breakout rounds was called "Revival" and all remaining singers were exempt from this round, leaving eliminated singers to compete for the only place in the Semi-Finals. Beginning in the second season, the rules were modified for the remaining singers based on the entry status: initial singers (singers who entered the competition on week 1) were exempt from the Breakout rounds while other singers were required to participate the Breakout round to vie for the number of places, which was determined by how many initial singers were exempt, to complete the sever-singer lineup (with the exception of season 5 as the number of finalists briefly increased to ten). The outcome was decided on which singers received a higher count of votes, and the singers who were successful on the "Breakouts" were qualified (along with exempted singers) in the Finals. Since Season 6, additional twists were also featured where singers receiving a lower count of votes in a prior voting immediately losing the Breakout regardless of the outcome. Since Season 7, only contestants that were given full contestant status were eligible to participate in the Breakouts, making the first season not all eliminated singers (outside withdrawn singers) were eligible.

The last stage of the competition, the Finals, was usually divided into Semi-Finals and the live-broadcast Grand Finals, held on two separate nights. The finalists had to sing from two to three songs (one duet and one or two solo performances), with audience voting for their performances in-between each round. For the first two seasons, the scores were weighted in favor of the final performance (30%–30%–40%), but subsequent seasons used the sum of the votes (or since Season 6, only the final round votes) cast to determine the winner of the season.


Pot Luck[edit]

The viewing audience voted online for "Pot Luck" songs featured during episode 8 of Season 1. Meanwhile, each singer chose three songs which he or she did not want to sing, and if the audience selected their song, the contestant may choose another. Pot Luck did not return after Season 2.

Returning performances[edit]

Returning performances are exhibition performances which showcased the singers who were eliminated the previous week. Since Season 2, singers who voluntarily withdrew from the competition without performing have not been eligible for Returning performances. Returning performances did not appear on season 8 due to health and safety matters relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Biennial concert[edit]

Between seasons 2 and 6, a live-telecast Biennial Concert was held a week after the final. Similar to Returning performance, the Biennial concert showcase the best singers of the season plus selected singers from former seasons.


If the lowest combined scores were tied after an elimination round, eliminations were postponed to the following show; the tie is resolved based on the singer's placement in the next show, regardless of overall placement. Eliminations (if applicable) went ahead as normal. The first (and only) tiebreaker happened in Season 4, when two singers were tied for seventh place during the first elimination round.

Hosting Roles[edit]

Hosting Roles were first introduced in Season 1, where singers may be elected to be the show's host in addition to contesting at the same time, with the role managed by his or her manager or music partner. The role would be vacated once the singer was eliminated, and would be replaced by another singer. Hosting roles were absent in Season 5, as well as in the finals.

Singer Voting[edit]

Singer voting was introduced in Season 3 and removed in Season 6. Following the performances the singers could make predictions on which three singers would get the most audience votes. Guessing correctly could entitle a singer to a small advantage in the next round. These predictions were not tabulated into the final results.

I Am a Singer – Who Will Challenge[edit]

An online spin-off, I Am a Singer – Who Will Challenge, was produced during Season 4. The online viewing audience would cast votes for potential contestants of the broadcast show.

Pre-audience Voting[edit]

Pre-audience Voting was introduced in Season 6 as a twist on Singer Voting. Midway through the program, when only four singers had performed, the audience members were asked to make early predictions (one vote for electronic voting) on which three singers would receive the most votes after the remaining performances of that episode. Like Singer Voting, Pre-audience Voting does not count towards the tally and has no impact onto the outcome of the competition (with one exception). Due to the implementation of electronic voting which allowed scores to be factored, the Pre-audience Voting was removed in Season 7.

National's Recommended Singer[edit]

An online spin-off, titled National's Recommended Singer was held during Season 7. On certain time periods throughout the season, potential singers can audition and must be able to turn up for the show's arrangements set by the producers.[10] Qualified singers will then face a public vote to select a singer who will face off against a Challenger during the Knockouts in a Pre-Challenge Face-off (not broadcast on television). Unlike regular Challengers, results were done separately from other contestants (this vote was separate from the final result); the singer who lost the face-off will be eliminated along with the ineligibility to participate in the Breakouts, similar to Withdrew singers.[11]

Surprise Challenge[edit]

Introduced as a variant of Challenge rounds in Season 8, at the start of each elimination round, three new singers (two on the final elimination round) were to compete along with the current lineup of singers, but not necessarily on the same episode. While during a performance, one Challenger may choose a current singer to compete in a face-off by simply pulling the lever, and will perform immediately after the contestant, but any current contestants who were informed on the upcoming performance was not known until the end of the previous performance. After both performances, an electronic vote will conduct which determine whether the challenger is successful in the Surprise challenge, which was announced at the end of the show. Unlike the regular Challenge round, challengers are not guaranteed as contestants regardless of outcome, but if there is at least one successful challenge, one current singer with the fewest accumulated votes will be eliminated after the current elimination round, while successful challengers are also given eligibility to participate in the Breakouts. Similar twists also apply during Breakout and Grand Finals as part of intermediate eliminations, with losing singers being eliminated from the competition.

Series overview[edit]

The Chinese version is produced by Hong Tao, and its music director is Hong Kong senior musician Kubert Leung. Each season feature changes and twists to competitions and last between 12 and 14 episodes, airing between January to April each year.

A total of 112 contestants have competed on I Am a Singer's eight seasons. As of 2021, eight seasons have been broadcast, as summarised below.

Season Premiere Date Finale Date No. of contestants No. of episodes Winner Gold Medal.svg Runner-up Silver Medal.svg Third place Bronze Medal.svg Other Finalists [A] Comments
1 18 January 2013 12 April 2013 12 13 China Yu Quan Taiwan Terry Lin For the first two seasons, there were only two "Ultimate Winner Candidates". Taiwan Winnie Hsin
China Huang Qishan
Taiwan Julia Peng
Taiwan Aska Yang
China Zhou Xiao'ou
Only season to feature Pot Luck.
2 3 January 2014 11 April 2014 12 14 China Han Lei Hong Kong G.E.M. Taiwan Phil Chang
Malaysia Gary Chaw
Malaysia Shila Amzah
China Jason Zhang
China Bibi Zhou
Introduced new Breakout round format and Biennial Concert.
3 2 January 2015 3 April 2015 13 14 China Han Hong China Li Jian South Korea The One Taiwan A-Lin
China Tiger Hu
China Sitar Tan
China Sun Nan
Introduced Contestant Hosting roles, Challenge Rounds and Singer Voting, and replaced weighted finals percentage with combined votes.
4 15 January 2016 8 April 2016 14 14 Hong KongUnited States Coco Lee Taiwan Jeff Chang South Korea Hwang Chi Yeul Taiwan LaLa Hsu
China Lao Lang
Hong Kong Hacken Lee
Hong Kong Joey Yung
First season with eight initial singers, and an online spin-off I Am a Singer – Who Will Challenge.
5 21 January 2017 22 April 2017 16[B] 14 Hong KongCanada Sandy Lam Kazakhstan Dimash Kudaibergen Taiwan Lion China Li Jian
Taiwan Terry Lin
China Diamond Zhang
China Tia Ray
China Jason Zhang
Series renamed to Singer
First season to feature returning singers from previous seasons, and increased number of finalists.
6 12 January 2018 20 April 2018 14 14 United Kingdom Jessie J China Hua Chenyu China Wang Feng China Tengger
Taiwan Angela Chang
China Henry Huo
China James Li
Only season to feature modifications of Challenge round lasting two shows, Pre-audience Voting, and first season to feature midway eliminations in Breakout round.
7 11 January 2019 12 April 2019 17[C][D] 14 China Liu Huan Taiwan Wu Tsing-fong China Super-Vocal finalists China Yang Kun
Taiwan Chyi Yu
China Gong Linna
Russia Polina Gagarina
Introduced Electronic voting feature, online spin-off National's Recommended Singer, and online voting (semi-finals only).
8 7 February 2020 24 April 2020 21[E][F] 12 China Hua Chenyu China Tia Ray Taiwan Jam Hsiao China Jike Junyi
Taiwan Lala Hsu
Japan Misia
China Charlie Zhou
Subtitled Singer: Year of the Hits
Second season to feature returning contestants; first season to feature variant to Challenge round (Surprise Challenge)
First season without Return Performances
  1. ^ Singers are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically if they were not given any ranking (starting from second round finalists).
  2. ^ Including four returning singers from the first three seasons.
  3. ^ The total number of contestants include three National's Recommended Singers, and losers of Pre-Challenge Face-off (which singers were ineligible for Breakouts).
  4. ^ One more singer was added impromptu due to a contestant injury before the final elimination round of the competition.
  5. ^ Including four returning singers from seasons four to six.
  6. ^ The total number of contestants include 14 contestants taking part as "Surprise Challengers" status.

Music Partners[edit]

Singer introduces music partners or managers assigned with participating singers during the course of the competition, with a role to advise singers on the songs along with their contestant's roles such as hosting. When a singer is eliminated from the competition, their music advisor is consequently eliminated.

Unless otherwise stated, the table only reflects any music partners that were assigned for the singers and its placements (the table do not reflect any partners and managers that were temporarily assigned):


  Won the season
  Placed second in the season
  Placed third in the season
  Was a finalist
  Withdrew in the season
  1. ^ G served as a manager for participating Surprise Challengers.
  2. ^ Jin was absent on Week 5 and Cai Chenyu filed on his absence.
  3. ^ Eligible for Breakouts but did not participate
  4. ^ Eligible for Breakouts but did not participate
  5. ^ Served as host starting Week 3.
  6. ^ Huang Tingting served as the temporary manager on Week 1
  7. ^ Replaced by Man Wenjun on Week 7 after Luo's withdrawal



  1. ^ (in Korean)Description of Program, MBC, Retrieved on 15 November 2011
  2. ^ 賀雅佳 (15 December 2016). "Archived copy" 《我是歌手》更名《歌手》 競演卻比此前任何一季都激烈 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 16 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "《歌手2020》阵容曝光 萧敬腾惊喜回归". 8世界. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  4. ^ "《歌手》发声明辟谣不实阵容名单:以官宣为准". 新浪娱乐. 3 November 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  5. ^ "张惠妹将加盟《歌手2020》?主持人话藏玄机". 网易娱乐. 17 October 2019. Archived from the original on 30 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Former competitors return for "Singer 2020"". Yahoo! Lifestyle. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  7. ^ "湖南卫视《歌手》延迟至2月7日播出". Sina. 29 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  8. ^ 官博宣布《歌手》停办:以后的冬天不再有《歌手》. Sina Entertainment (in Chinese). 22 September 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  9. ^ Rui, Zheng (22 September 2020). Yang, Lu (ed.). 是什么让《歌手》在8年后“真的不做了”. Beijing Business Today (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 22 September 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  10. ^ "自荐踢馆,《歌手》2019还能这么玩?". 信息时报. 31 December 2018. Archived from the original on 8 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  11. ^ "刘宇宁以超过146万票胜出". 山西晚报. 7 January 2019. Archived from the original on 7 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.

External links[edit]