Meng Meiqi in the “Judging Panel” as Veteran Singer Steve Chou Sings Draws Controversy

The 51-year-old Taiwanese composer and singer Steve Chou Chuan-huing 周傳雄, also known as Xiao Gang recently participated in the second season of the Chinese singing television series “The Treasured Voice” 天赐的声音第二季 but was eliminated.

Chou did a duet with fellow Taiwanese singer Ele Yan to perform “I’m Sad,” a song the seasoned composer wrote for then boyband 5566 that was also the ending theme for the 2002 Taiwanese idol drama My MVP Valentine coincidentally starring Angela Zhang.

The panel lineup on the show included Tiger Hu, David Tao, Angela Zhang and Meng Meizi. While they were all younger than Steve Chou, most of them have already racked up years of experience in the industry, which was why only the presence of the 22-year-old Meng Meiqi drew flak with many viewers lamenting that times have changed so much that a senior is being “judged” by a singer less than half of his age. Meng Meiqi debuted in 2016 as part of the South Korean-Chinese girl group Cosmic Girls and also rose to fame after becoming Rocket Girl 101. Many Netizens gave comments such as: “What qualifications does Meng Meiqi have to be a mentor?”

Due to the public opinion, Meng Meiqi’s studio issued a statement to clarify that Meng was on the show as a “music partner” and not a judge. Furthermore, she did not actually critique Chou’s performance but merely sat on the panel. “The Treasured Voice” also released a statement clarifying that the program only has a “music partner” and doesn’t have the usual mentor and student concept seen on variety shows.

Chou also issued a response to this matter saying that he is thankful for everyone’s love and applause but cannot escape being used for hype. He said that going on the show to once again introduce the song he created years ago to different generations and ages is enough. However, he hopes that everyone can stop wasting time on the disputes and misunderstandings. He also says, “There is no one who should be another person’s mentor, it’s an exchange of different ideas and discussion about music. There is no seniority nor is anyone more inferior or superior standing on stage and sitting in the audience. There is only the passion for music. Every musician who has new ideas and musical breakthroughs should be respected, no matter where he or she sits, no matter what stage he or she stands on.”

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