SINGAPORE: Singer. Entertainer. Berklee student. Local heartthrob Nathan Hartono sought to add Sing! China champion to his already-impressive resume, but fell to Xinjiang's Jiang Dunhao at the last hurdle.
With the guidance of his coach, Mandopop king Jay Chou, Hartono on Friday evening (Oct 7) performed the song Nunchucks (Shuang Jie Gun) with Chou, and The Longest Movie (Zui Chang De Dian Ying) for his individual performance. Both songs were made popular by Chou.
Hartono dominated the stage during his first individual performance. In his signature style, he changed up Chou's original arrangement of the song and was consistent in hitting the high notes.
When up against Jiang for first place, Hartono performed Mavis Hee's Moonlight in the City (Cheng Li De Yue Guang) and Anita Mui's Woman Flower (Nu Ren Hua). He delivered a sincere rendition of both songs, but missed a few low notes during his second individual performance.
Ultimately, Hartono's efforts were not enough to win the audience over. Jiang, whose mentor was entertainment veteran Wang Feng, took 56.7 per cent of audience votes eventually.
Hartono singing his heart out with mentor Jay Chou. (Photo: Sing China/Sina Weibo)
The Singaporean singer had been a steady audience favourite throughout the evening, finishing his sets to thunderous applause.
Asked by the Sing! China host about how he felt as the first Singaporean artiste to sing in Beijing's National Stadium, Hartono said: "Hello Beijing! Thank you to the Chinese people for welcoming me ... I hope to be able to sing more Mandarin songs for everyone."
The final winner was decided by the audience, as well as a professional judging panel of 81 people.
Minutes after news of the result broke, Hartono received praise for his efforts from cyberpioneer - the news website of Singapore's Ministry of Defence and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
"He might not have won the competition, but SAF Music & Drama Company alumnus Nathan Hartono has definitely won our hearts and done us proud," its editors wrote on its Facebook page.
"Continue to sing, inspire and shine, Nathan. We will always be rooting for you!
"P.S.: Thanks for the milo peng treat!" it added, alluding to the Milo van rolled out by Nestle after Hartono declared he would treat all Singaporeans to iced Milo if he won.