By Tenzin Dharpo
Tashi celebrates his victory
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 11: In a first, a Tibetan math teacher from Shigatse city in Southern Tibet has won a famed reality television show ‘Sing! China’ on Sunday. He was crowned the winner of the show’s second season in the grand finale at the Bird’s nest stadium in Beijing on Oct. 8.
Tashi Phuntsok who teaches math at prefectural level said that his journey in the competition has been both surreal and testing and that he feels “gratitude” above all for the honor that he has received last week.
“I entered the contest on the insistence of my friends and thought being selected among the ten participants from Tibet would be a dream come true,” he said in an interview after his victory. He was the finalist among the 10 contestants that were featured in the show.
The 31 year old said that his affinity with music has changed over the years; initially it was about getting noticed in his circles and getting attention but it has organically evolved into what he called the “joy of singing” that he received from pursuing the craft wholeheartedly.
The singer’s forte in the competition was his versatility; singing folk Tibetans songs, Chinese songs as well as Indian songs that came across as a refreshing take in the show that was aired since July. His coach in the show, Liu Huan dubbed the “China’s king of pop” mentored Tashi throughout the three month ordeal and especially encouraged him to sing folk Tibetan songs, the singer later said.
Tashi also said, “The honor is especially prestigious as I was representing Tibet and Tibetan people in the competition. The love and encouragement motivated me while on occasions that also translated into fear of having so many hopes placed on me.”
The Tibetan came out as the last man standing out of the 1000 contestants that were initially chosen through audition tapes and then skimmed down to 100, later to 80 and then finally to 43 that were featured in the televised show. The TV show has broken television and online viewing records, topping the ratings seven weeks in a row and recording billions of online views, according to Chinese media.