James Chinese Idol

James in Chinese Idol.

There was no big secret: the top prizes for competitions such as the Idol series include a recording contract. I already had one so I was eligible for the competition but couldn't win. In China, results were determined by judges, not a popular vote so we knew in advance when I would leave the show but when the time came it still hurt!

But there are no regrets. I was a fantastic opportunity and a helluva ride. Very few new artists get to develop in the pressure-cooker environment where we learn so much and get to play in front of the kinds of audiences that most of the world's musicians can only dream of standing up before. Win or "lose," there can be no better grounding for a singer-songwriter who started with one guitar in his bedroom, playing with only his dog as an audience.

Thanks to SMG Shanghai TV, the judges ( Han Hong, Huang Xiaoming, Coco Lee and Wang Wei-Chung who were amazingly kind to someone who was so far from home) and to all the fans who, it seems from the comments on YouTube, are still watching! I had a blast.

James Yang Yong Cong aka James Yang Chinese Idol:

Chinese Idol: Beijing Beijing

Chinese Idol SMG Shanghai TV interview. So difficult: I'd only been learning Mandarin for a year!

Chinese Idol battle: the amazing Yang Ji Ma 央吉玛 and me. We really didn't want to be set against each other! Here I sing "Long Time No See", an Eason Chan song, for the first time. It's still very popular wherever I go.

Chinese Idol Chinese Dream Voice Ultimate Six: James Road to Chinese Dream Voice

Chinese Idol中国梦之声终极六强:James中国梦之声之路

I got an award!

Final: Full Show:Li Xiangxiang sings his heart out to win "Chinese Idol" finale中国梦之声总决选完整版

I was one of several competitors called back to take part in the Final - and was completely surprised to receive an award because so many people had contacted the show to say they were sad I had been knocked out in fifth place. It was a kind of People's Popular Consolation Prize and I am still very proud of it.

During Chinese Idol the final 8 went on a road trip for a break and to make a promo in which the producers made up a fake romance for me - a fake romance that lots of people believed in! I was dressed up as such a geek and got to ride a vintage style bike. But then we were back to the serious stuff...

And in the beginning: my Chinese Idol audition - singing Adele's Someone Like You

楊永聰 James - Someone Like You & 我願意【中國夢之聲 Chinese Idol】

Then they asked me to sing in Mandarin. So I did, the judges joined in, I walked around and suddenly I was on my way!

【高清】Chinese Idol中国梦之声总决选20130825:James《Apologise》
Me again, on that big stage with a rapidly growing band of supporters in an audience that seemed ever-more brilliant. I had a string quartet backing me: that was really cool. Even cooler is that this is extracted from the Final so by then I wasn't even in the competition!

Right! That's enough for now: there are more on YouTube.

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