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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

“Super M” Trials at Feng Chia University

Anson Wang

Nowadays, singing contests are very popular all around the world.  It’s not surprising that Taiwan is no exception.  On March 3, a well-known musical TV show, Super M, held a trials contest here at Feng Chia University.  It was a great chance for the students to show their singing talent and to become famous!
All photos by the author

Super M is a TV program that often goes to local universities to find talented singers by holding contests on campus.  The unit on the FCU campus that was in charge of the contest was the FCU Students Association, and students could join the contest merely by filling out an application and emailing it in. This was the second time that the Feng Chia Student Association and the Feng Chia Guitar Club cooperated with Super M and Taiwan Television Enterprise (TTV) to hold trials on campus, and students all over campus were excited about the contest!

There were three steps for selecting competitors.  First of all, there was a selective trial held in a classroom.  The competitors who passed this first trial then went on to participate in the second trial, the trial which would be recorded and shown on TV.  Finally, the students who “survived” the last round of competition will be able to participate in the final contest in Taipei.  This final contest will be recorded and then broadcast at a later date.

The Super M judges are all professional musicians and record producers.  At the Feng Chia contest, there were three judges.  They listened to the competitors sing for 30 seconds and then decided whether the students had “passed.” If all judges’ lights remained dark, the student had passed; if two of the three judges had switched on the light, the competitor would still have an additional chance to pass this part of the contest. During the extra performance, if the judges whose lights were on switched their lights off, then the competitor could pass this trial.

The second stage of the trials was held in the Recreation Bldg (育樂館).  For this contest, there was an audience of Feng Chia students, who were admitted free of charge. As you can imagine, there was a long line of students waiting to get in and see the show! During the on-stage trial, the competitors could have cheerleaders to cheer them up on to the stage before they sang.  Although the trials were pretty stressful for competitors, this special rule allowing cheerleaders helped reduce the tense atmosphere and increased the interest to the audience.   This special rule is quite special for this kind of singing performance TV program.  Some of the cheerleaders were comical and creative, and some of the others were touching and warm.  For example, some students performed a short drama to introduce their friend to the judges. Also, some competitors’ parents and grandparents came up to the stage for them. 

This live trial was great to watch.  It was a totally different feeling from watching the show on TV.  The cheering and screaming were inspiring.  I felt excited that I could watch the live singing show and see the process of recording a TV program.  You could see the camera hanging on the boom, moving over the stage and the audience.  It was a rare treat for the audience to see such a high quality, wonderful live show for free!  If you missed the trials this time, remember to join this amazing event next year!

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