We “Kicked Ass” at Tsinghua’s Got Talent [Videos]
Why not? It’ll be fun!
Last weekend, Jenfay and I performed at Tsinghua’s Got Talent Show Finals, which was definitely one of the highlights of my exchange here in Beijing. We became close friends within the first week of exchange after spending at least 12 hours together—planning out course worklists, sifting through Tsinghua’s course database over and over again, and adding and dropping courses to get a four-day long weekend every week.
Jenfay is also Canadian but goes to Queens University. She’s one of my best friends on exchange and one of the sweetest people I’ve met. Just for fun, we decided to enter Tsinghua’s Got Talent Show, organized by the Association of International Culture Exchange (AICE). There were initially 100 auditions; 20 made it to the semi-finals; 12 made it to the finals.
The semi-finals: the search for a damper pedal begins
On the day of the semi-finals, I found out that the keyboard AICE borrowed didn’t have a damper pedal, so I spent the whole morning trying to find one to borrow. No luck, so I just played without a pedal. We performed only in front of a couple of judges, not an entire audience, so having no pedal was not too bad. We weren’t sure if we would make it to the finals because we eavesdropped on two great performances—the two before and after us—but when we were notified a few hours later that we made it, we were ecstatic! Can you guess how long we practiced? The answer is at the end of this blog post, if you’re curious.
The finals: the wild goose chase for a damper pedal continues
Jenfay and I woke up early to get ready for the finals. We curled our hair and decided on what to wear. We didn’t put on makeup yet because it was scorching outside and we knew that our makeup would melt if we did. In fact, we both got sunburnt in the afternoon because the sun was so strong!
At the dress rehearsal, the pedal that AICE found didn’t work with the keyboard, so a friend and I ended up motorbiking around Wudaokou in search for a damper pedal. In the end, we rented a pedal and a keyboard stand, which took two hours on the day of the performance. It was quite stressful, but well worth it in the end because Jenfay and I apparently “kicked ass” (a quote from one of our friends after our performance)! You can see for yourself below and decide, haha.
Can you guess how long we practiced? Here’s a hint: Jenfay went on a 10-day trip to Southeast Asia and came back two days before the final show. We both thought we did well with the short time we had to practice.
The first act is a solo performance, so it was just me and Jenfay. The second act is a PK performance with another contestant. Our PK partner was冷清屿 Leng Qingyu, a yoga instructor and belly dancer!
No more damper pedal madness next time. Next time, I’m requesting a grand piano.
We didn’t win first place, but something even better
Jenfay and I didn’t win first, second, or third place, but the experience of a lifetime. The winners of Tsinghua’s Got Talent were incredibly talented and professional. Many of the other groups who performed at the finals practiced for weeks. Both of us agreed that we felt honoured to perform in front of a crowd of hundreds at one of the craziest shows of the year.
Before the finals, we had to come up with a name for our performance. In the end, we just decided to use our names: Jenfay & Dina. But we always joke around that we should actually be named JnD, which stands for Jenfay and Dina, and 加拿大 Jia Na Da (Chinese for Canada).
So exactly how long did we practice for?
We practiced for one hour on the day of the semi-final, and for one day before the day of the final performance. Shhhhh! : )