Japanese singer MARiA gains unrivaled popularity on China's reality show
Published: May 09, 2023 04:44 PM Updated: May 09, 2023 04:38 PM
Photo: Sina Weibo account of MARiA_GARNiDELiA

Photo: Sina Weibo account of MARiA_GARNiDELiA

Japanese singer Mai Mizuhashi, also known as MARiA, has achieved unrivaled popularity on a Chinese reality show. She ranks the first among a total of 33 performers in Ride the Wind 2023 with more than 21 million votes as of Tuesday after singing her signature song Gokuraku Jodo in the first public appearance.

Chinese hostess, singer and actress Xie Na ranks second after MARiA with nearly 7 million votes.

MARiA expressed appreciation for her Chinese fans' support on China's Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo on Sunday. "It is the support from you that gives me the power to continue to stand on the stage. I will keep fighting!" she wrote.

MARiA and composer toku are members of Japanese pop rock duo GARNiDELiA. The pair is well known for their back catalogue of hit anime songs. They became famous in China after the dance video for Gokuraku Jodo, which features dancing from MARiA and two others, went viral on Chinese social media platforms in 2017.

In the first appearance of the Ride the Wind 2023 released on Friday, MARiA performed the signature song in both Japanese and Chinese, sparking a wave of nostalgia among Chinese netizens with many posting videos of themselves dancing Gokuraku Jodo on to social media platforms.

Ride the Wind 2023 is the fourth season of popular Chinese reality show Sisters Who Make Waves airing on Mango TV. In the show, female celebrities aged above 30 will receive training and form teams to compete in singing and dancing. Singer-actress Cyndi Wang from China's Taiwan island won the third season in 2022.

This year, celebrities attending the show include actress Alyssa Chia, 48, who won Best Actress for the movie The Falls at the Golden Horse Awards in 2021 and singer-actress Ella Chen, 41, of girl group S.H.E. They both come from Taiwan island.

Besides MARiA, foreign celebrities like German pianist Gina Alice Redlinger, 28, wife of Chinese pianist Lang Lang; South Korean actress Choo Ja-hyun; 44, Vietnamese singer Chi Pu, 29; and US singer Amber Liu, 30, of K-pop girl group f(x), also attend the show this year.

Global Times