This new reality competition format brings together amateur singers from all over the world to celebrate their love of a foreign country – through song.
Contestants are given the chance to sing a local hit from their chosen country and must do their best to sound like a native, even if they don’t necessarily even know how to speak the language.
The participant must rely on their love for the local music and culture shining through as they perform in front of a panel of four celebrity judges who will score them based on their singing ability, expression and technique.
“The contestants already know how to sing the local song beautifully with great accents, but the challenges are to show the judges how much they love and understand the song, the local culture, and perform their best on competition day so that the audience will come to love the song, too,” explains Yuki Akehi, director of international business development at Nippon TV.
Those contestants that manage to impress will advance to the next round, where they will be in with a chance to meet the original singer of their chosen favourite foreign song.
The number of contestants can be scaled, depending on how long a producer decides their version of the format will be, with Akehi explaining that: “In the Japanese version, there are only two chances to sing, to win. Our original format usually runs for about three hours, and we have 10 to 12 contestants. The contestants need to prepare two songs to perfection in case they proceed to the second and final round.”
Akehi adds that the show has international appeal from the exhilaration of hearing “a non-native speak your language in perfect accent. When you hear that person sing a song, let alone a song that you love, and in perfect pitch, too, it can even make you cry. We think that music has an extraordinary power.”
Producer: Nippon TV
Distributor: Nippon TV
Broadcaster: Nippon TV (Japan)
Logline: Contestants show their passion for foreign cultures by performing songs from other countries in front of a celebrity panel