After a few months being in the spotlight, Jeryl Lee Pei Ling is now looking forward to something more normal – going back to school.
The 16-year-old Penangite recently made waves on the China reality show Sing! China (previously known as The Voice Of China), where her performances captured the hearts of Malaysians and the millions of viewers throughout Asia.
“I would like to say thanks to my school principal, who has always been so supportive, and allowed me to take time off from school to take part in the singing competition,” said Lee, who studies at Penang’s Chung Ling High School.
Mentored by veteran Chinese singer Na Ying, Lee made it all the way to the finals of Sing! China, which was held at the Beijing National Stadium on Oct 7. In the final, she sang Disney hit Let It Go, in both Mandarin and English, and polled 14227 votes to place sixth overall.
Lee’s performance in the final was aired on 8TV and achieved a new ratings record of 854,000 viewers. Sing! China was eventually won by Team Wang Feng’s Jiang Dunhao, a guitar-toting 25-year-old from Xinjiang, China. Singapore’s Nathan Hartono finished in second place.
Lee, whose forte lies in easy-listening love ballads, kicked off a recent press conference by singing a song called Ci Pang (Wings), which turned out to be the second song Lee had prepared for the final round of the competition. However, since only the top two finalists get to present their second song, Lee did not get the opportunity to sing it there.
Although she is going back to school for now, she is not giving up on her singing dream, and is looking forward to participating in more singing competitions in the future. “There is this other competition I really want to take part in. But I will have to wait for another two years, because it is only open to those 18 years and above!” she said.
1. Sing! China is one of the most-watched reality singing competition in China. What did you gain most from going on the show?
I’ve gained so much, lots of new brothers and sisters, and valuable mentors. We used to jam together all the time. I’ve got so many people to thank for that experience. I could never say thank you enough.
2. Na Ying was your mentor in Sing! China. What was her most impactful piece of advice to you?
There was something I never thought she would say to me. She told me, “No matter what you do, don’t be too anxious. Take things one step at a time. Then you will achieve what you set out to do.”
She has a very direct character, which some people may not like; but she is very nice to us, her mentees.
3. Is there anyone in particular who helped you the most throughout the competition?
I want to thank my mother. She has always been very supportive. Without her, I definitely would never be where I am today. She has been nurturing my singing talents since I was a child. And she has been accompanying me to the singing competitions every time. No matter how far away it is, she would still take me there. She is the number one person I have to thank.
Next, I’m very thankful that my father was able to watch me perform at the Bird’s Nest. That was the very first time he had ever heard me sing live. He’s never done that, not even in Malaysia.
I also want to thank my fans, my friends and my family for their endless support.
4. What do you plan to study once you complete your secondary school education?
I initially wanted to be a fashion designer. While pursuing a singing career, I would open a shop and have my own label. I’d design lots of different clothes, and also wear my own pieces when I am performing. But now, I think I’ll study music first.
5. If a record company offers you a singing contract right now, what would your decision be?
I would probably consider it. After all, I’m still very young, and I’ve still got a lot to learn. But if there is a really good opportunity with very good conditions, I would definitely consider it.