AMERICAN Idol," one of the most successful reality competitions, finally has its authorized Chinese version, "Chinese Idol."
After recruiting contestants in 42 big cities in China and overseas, the program starts airing elimination rounds on Sunday (May 19) on Dragon TV. It will air every Sunday for around four months.
The four-member judge panel includes Chinese-American pop singer Coco Lee, mainland singer Han Hong, actor Huang Xiaoming and Taiwanese TV producer Wang Wei-chung.
The first videotaped episode to be aired will feature a performance by Adam Lambert, runner-up in the eighth season (2009) of "American Idol," singing "Mad World."
Singer Lee, the first Chinese artist to sing at the Academy Awards in 2001, promises she will give contestants useful and sincere advice.
Program director Wang Leiqing says buying the format of "American Idol" from Fremantle Media was under consideration for a long time.
"Unlike other reality TV shows, 'Chinese Idol' will focus on the making of an idol," Wang says. "It will be more than a TV show since we will develop a mature franchise and production chain."
The show will coach and promote singers in a long-term strategy. Finalists will have a chance to release albums, give a concert, and star in films, TV dramas and musicals.
More information is available at idol.dragontv.cn.
Every Sunday from May 19, 9:15pm