A student from the University of Sheffield has won China’s version of the X Factor competition whilst studying in Jiangsu province on her year abroad.
Second year Music and Chinese student, Mary-Jess Leaverland, sang ‘Moonlight Lovers’ from the film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, in fluent Mandarin, to beat five competitors in the final.
She scooped a cheque for around £1,000, but her prize did not include a recording contract.
Mary-Jess was invited to enter the competition after being spotted by the producers of the Chinese television show; ‘Min Xing Chang Fan Tian’ (‘I Want to Sing to the Stars’.)
On her recent success, she said: “I’m shocked to have won as it’s a big competition and the other contestants were really good with quite a broad spectrum of talent taking part.
“My dream is to be a recording artist and if that’s a possibility in the future, I would grab it with both hands.”
Dr Lucy Zhao, lecturer in the School of East Asian Studies, added: “Mary-Jess has a real talent for both languages and music. It is not easy to win a competition at such a level and I am really proud of her. ”