Is That Really Your Voice? takes the singing talent show contest and gives it a unique twist, the judges do not hear the contestants’ voices. Instead they have to evaluate the person’s singing abilities based solely on how they look and their performance (minus audio).
China’s on-demand platforms are increasingly becoming test beds for exciting new paper formats and iQiyi has started showing Is That Really Your Voice? to early success.
The format was devised by Global Agency founder and CEO Izzet Pinto and the Turkey-based content company is now taking it to market.
“I created the format a year ago and made a short trailer, but TV executives are so scared of trying new things that they passed on it,” he says. “I just needed one client to prove the potential, and China is very entrepreneurial. It was brought there, the executives there loved it and thought they should buy it.”
International formats are normally packaged in China before being placed with a broadcaster. However, with new restrictions on satellite channels reducing the amount of overseas programming allowed, the decision was made to hand the show to iQiyi, the leading Chinese on-demand service.
Launching on August 5, it has been a huge success, generating 234.9 million views across five episodes at the time of writing, a record for Chinese on-demand viewing.
Each episode of the primetime format has four rounds. There are three celebrity judges and they assess fifteen hopefuls. In the first round – the
look – the celebs pick one contestant each and decide whether they think they have what it takes, based on their appearance.
Round two – question and answer – sees the participants quizzed ahead of round three – the duet – in which the celebrities have to sing with their selected contestant. The fourth and final round – best voice – has three of the six contestants left at this point battle it out to be the victor.
The celeb who has accumulated the most points over the four rounds gets a cash prize that they distribute among the contestants who have helped them to win.
Pinto says Is That Really Your Voice? is “a new type of format: the comedy variety genre based on music”.
The show: Is That Really Your Voice?
The producers: Global Agency, China Online Video Research Center
The distributor: Global Agency
The broadcaster: iQiyi (China)
The concept: Variety show in which guest judges have to guess which soundless performer is the real thing