KZ Tandingan bests idol Jessie J in her debut in China singing contest

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KZ Tandingan performs her version of Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep' in the Chinese reality singing competition 'The Singer 2018.'

As the only global sensation and most recognizable contestant in “Singer 2018,” it came as no surprise that British hitmaking diva Jessie J dominated the first three weeks of the China-based reality singing competition series that began last month.

But after losing the top spot to Chinese contender Hua Chenyu last week, Jessie J now has to contend with the Philippines’ own KZ Tandingan.

Unlike other singing competition, “Singer 2018” follows a unique format that starts with seven contestants composed of professional singers from China and other parts of the world. The singer who gets eliminated every week is replaced by a new contestant.

KZ joined the competition this week and immediately won this week’s round, with Jessie J placing second and Hua Chenyu placing third.

The competition still has a long way to go and will not conclude its final round until this April but the diminutive 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Davao del Sur has quickly established herself as a formidable contender.

KZ’s riveting version of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” was a hit with the studio audience, with Jessie J visibly showing moral support.

KZ’s video of the song as uploaded to the show’s Facebook page had, as of this posting, generated over 5 million views.

Prior to the competition proper, KZ also posted a video of her first encounter with Jessie J, whom she admitted to be a big fan of.

In near tears, KZ became emotional upon seeing Jessie J, best known for her 2011 monster hit “Price Tag.”

“I can’t believe I’m talking to you!” KZ exclaimed to which Jessie was quick to reply, “I’m not a competitor, I’m just your friend.”

“Who would compete with you?,” KZ shot back.

KZ later told her idol that there was a time she almost stopped singing because she had a polyp in her vocal cords.

“And then, I heard you, and then I realized, ‘Oh, I didn’t have to hit those high notes to make a difference and sing, so I started singing again… Who I am as an artist now, a big chunk of that is because of you,” KZ further shared to Jessie.

In response, Jessie gave this piece of advice. “The perception of what you are to other people can never ever be what you are to yourself,” she told KZ.

The video of KZ’s meeting with Jessie J now has over 1.1 million views on Facebook.

Another round of competition awaits KZ and Jessie J next week at “Singer 2018” together with Hua Chenyu, James Li, Juno So and Wang Feng of China; Angela Chang of Taiwan; and a new challenger.