City music student wins Viet Nam Idol

HCM CITY — Twenty one-year-old Quoc Thien from the southern province of Dong Nai beat more than 15,000 contestants nationwide to win Viet Nam Idol 2008 on Wednesday night.

Thien, who is a second-grade student at the HCM Conservatory of Music, was showered with a US$5,000 cash prize and a recording contract worth $5,000 with the Music Faces Company. He will now go forward to represent Viet Nam in the Asian Idol contest.

Winning the title has totally changed Thien’s life. "The title really is a launching platform for my singing career. Now that I can sing for the Music Faces Company, I expect to move higher in my career," he said.

"My experiences at the Viet Nam Idol will help me to be more confident about competing in the upcoming Asian Idol contest." Thien will also be improving his English, he said.

Although Thien is not physically stunning, he is the proud owner of a sweet bass voice, which he used to serenade the audiences throughout the contest. He impressed the audience by continually improving at every stage of the competition since it began in August. During the final round, Thien commanded the attention of all the judges when he sang the (Lipstick) by Duc Nghia, Diep Khuc Mua Xuan (Spring Refrain) by Quoc Dung, and Dau Tinh Sau (Sad Mark of Love) by Ngo Thuy Mien.

On Wednesday night, Thien and another finalist, Thanh Duy, sang duets with superstars Dam Vinh Hung and Quang Dung. The judges: singer Siu Black, composer Ho Hoai Anh and saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan, wowed the audience with an impromptu performance. The trio performed Thenh Thenh O Oi – a song by composer Nguyen Cuong influenced by the folk melodies of ethnic groups living in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands).



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