8 Facts About SPOP Sing, The S’pore Version of Sing China


If you thought that Singapore’s coming up with its own version of K-pop, don’t worry; you’re not alone.

I, alongside my bubbly colleague beside me, honestly thought that we were going to spawn our own G-Dragons and Taeyangs. And based on previous experiences, that’s not a very good idea.

Thankfully, instead of seasoned veterans dancing around in fashion styles that aren’t really the best fit for them, we have…

A Singapore singing competition that could actually be compared to the viral Sing!C hina.

Image: Create Meme – Chuckles Network

So… are you interested to know what SPOP Sing! is all about? Because I do. So without further ado, let’s go.

Image: Toggle

1. It’s not new

Contrary to popular belief (or maybe just the younger generation), the singing competition isn’t exactly a novel concept. Having aired in the past (the 2008 version was screened under the name S-Pop Hurray!), the show has featured familiar faces such as Stefanie Sun, JJ Lin and more.

Image: xonne Youtube

I don’t know about you, but JJ Lin and Stefanie Sun (although admittedly not as famous as our own Steven Lim) are pretty reputable in their own rights.

So if there’s anything, it would be that the show has spawned worthy ancestors, and you could just be the successful heir to their thrones.

2. Mentors… or ambassadors

As popular as Sing! China is, the value definitely stems from its attractive panel of mentors. To exemplify, the competition featured the likes of Jay Chou and Na Ying. Talk about star power.

So who did Singapore get for its own version? Well, you’ll be disappointed to know that Steven Lim has missed out on a coveted spot, but on the bright side of life…

Nathan Hartono, Joanna Dong and Boon Hui Lu are there to offer mentorship for lost mentees.

Nathan Hartono and Joanna Dong, if you recall, finished runner-up and second runner-up respectively in Sing! China, in consecutive seasons.

Image: Toggle

Meanwhile, Boon Hui Lu is a Singaporean actress and singer-songwriter who’s signed with HIM International Music. She has also participated in Taiwan Hopestar.

Image: Workplace Safety and Health Council

So suffice it to say that the mentees are in pretty safe hands.


Joanna Dong at the Star Awards on S-POP – Sing!

Joanna Dong 董姿彦 believes in local talent. She tells CNA Lifestyle how excited she is to be part of SPOP – Sing! with Nathan Hartono to find a new generation of singers on Singapore TV.

Posted by CNA Lifestyle on Sunday, 22 April 2018

3. Hosts

A show can have a high budget. Good props. Great lighting. Pretty decoration dolls called Dodo and Bobo. But if the hosts are shit it’s all going to be shit. – Tyrannosaurus Rex

Indeed, the T-Rex has never been spoken truer words. While the mentors are no doubt an important aspect of the show, nobody will tune in in the first place if the host starts going gaga like this guy.

Image: Giphy

So is it a yay or nay? Well, from the looks of it, it seems to be the former.

Actress Bonnie Loo, local host Lee Teng and YES 933 deejay Gao Meigui have all signed up to host the programme, and if there’s anything, it would be that they share really strong vocal skills between them.

We all know how quick-witted Lee Teng is, and how Gao Meigui often managed to tease Henry in YES 933 effortlessly.


Candidates, it would be a tough sell to even out-perform the hosts at this rate!

4. Criteria

Like every other competition, SPOP Sing! will have its own set of rules and guidelines. And it seems that this time, it will be more student-oriented.

Audition contestants would have to first pass through three pre-test selection criteria:

  • A passion for singing
  • Between the ages of 13 and 25
  • Currently a student at a local institution

Hmm, too bad for the older generation, I guess.

5. Audition Process

So how does the whole audition thing work?

Well for starters, eight campus auditions will kick off starting 21 May (that’s today!), alongside two public auditions in June.


Applicants will step into egg-shaped karaoke capsules and sing a song of their choice, with the capsule’s shape representing incubation and anticipation of a new beginning.

6. Reinterpretation

What else must singers do, apart from belting out a number with aplomb?

Well, apparently you’ve got to be able to reinterpret local numbers (like Xinyao songs or hit songs performed by Mandopop artistes that are composed by Singaporean talents) and be able to give it a ‘refreshing’ spin.

For more information, just look up Nathan Hartono’s auditions at Sing! China. If that wasn’t reinterpretation at its finest, I don’t know what is.

Also, throughout their journey, finalists would be able to ask for advice from the dear mentors/ambassadors on hand.


The trio will be giving suggestions on song choices, singing techniques and delivery. They will even join contestants in performing the SPOP Sing! theme song and its music video!

Performing with the big guns? Sounds good to me.

7. Padang

Thereafter, contestants who survive the trial rounds will find themselves facing off against the rest of the top 20 quarter-finalists, and the number will be reduced in the quarter and semi-finals before the last four survivors battle it out in a final showdown.

And what grander than the Padang to hold such a ground-breaking finale? In the form of a music festival no less.

So… what does the winner get? Well, apart from a cool S$30,000 in cash, he or she will also get to perform their debut song (composed by a renowned local composer), thereby bringing the finales to a close. Talk about ending off on a good note.

Incidentally, the victor will be decided by public voting, so it’s best to start saving up so that you can, well, jio everyone to vote for you.

8. Judges

So, who are the terrifying people who are gonna decide your fate? As it turns out, it’s none other than local Chinese music veterans Lee Si Song, who has collaborated with international stars such as Jacky Cheung, Sandy Lam and Jam Hsiao; Billy Koh, the music company head honcho who discovered the golden duo Kit Chan and JJ Lin.

Last but definitely not least, they have singer and composer Jimmy Ye rounding up the judging panel.

Image: Esplanade

So what are you waiting for? 

If you’re between 13-25, love singing in the shower and are studying in a local institution right now, this is your chance. After all…

It’s not every day you can perform at the Padang, in front of the whole Singapore.

You can follow Toggle for more updates, as more details such as the audition locations and show formats will be displayed in the days to come.

Meanwhile, you can step up your efforts in the shower in the hopes that in the near future, you will be showcasing those shower-enhanced chords to the likes of Nathan, Joanna, Boon Hui and generally the whole of Singapore.

Here are the showtimes for those watching the small screen:

  • Audition Highlights: June onwards on Toggle
  • Prelude: Aug 9 at 8.30pm on Channel 8 and Toggle
  • Quarterfinals: Starting Sep 24, Mondays at 8 pm on Channel 8 and Toggle
  • Semifinals: Oct 28 at 8 pm on Channel 8 and Toggle
  • Grand final: Nov 4 Nov at 7 pm, live from the Padang, on Channel 8 and Toggle

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