|Who run the world? Nguyen Thi Thu Hang performs Gap Nhau Giua Rung Mo (Encounter in Apricot Forest) with finalist Huu Tuan at the grand finale. She won first prize in the contest's folk category. — Photo courtesy of organiser
THANH HOA (VNS) — The grand finale of the 9th Sao Mai Television Singing Competition in Thanh Hoa on Saturday was a night for female singers as all they took home all three of the top awards.
Nguyen Bao Yen from Russia won the chamber music category with her solo performance of Khuc Hoa Mi (The Nightingale's Song) and a duet to Time to Say Goodbye with rival Nguyen Tien Hung, who won the Ha Noi Singing Contest 2014.
Despite earlier conjecture, which predicted that Hung's bass voice would win, Yen turned the tables with her technical skill in chamber music learned in Russia – a bastion of chamber music.
Yen's performance was compared to the unforgettable performance of Vo Hong Quan at the 2013 Sao Mai Competition .
Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, the youngest competitor, performed Vong Quoc (Nostalgia for Country), a tune from tuong (classical drama), and Gap Nhau Giua Rung Mo (Encounter in Apricot Forest) with finalist Huu Tuan. The young Ha Noi singer won the folk music award with the challenging songs.
The solo song was considered a risk for Hang as it requires considerable vocal control and technique. However, her three rivals presented easy-listening songs.
Hang's challenging choice so impressed the judges and audience that it overcame some of her voice's deficiencies compared to her rivals.
For a contemporary bend in the programme, Hoang Thi Hong Ngoc sang Da Hon Mot Lan (More Than One Time) and a duet Chuyen Tinh (Love Story) for the win in pop music.
Despite some minor rhythm mistake in Co Gai Vot Chong (The Bamboo-Spike Girl), Le Thi Dung grabbed the Favourite Contestant award.
Promising Singer awards were given to Bui Thi Cam Huyen from Nghe An, Hoang Thi Ai Linh from Quang Binh, and Le Hong Phi from Bac Ninh.
This year's Sao Mai singing competition selected 36 finalists, of which seven are overseas Vietnamese. — VNS