This article was originally written for the YOMYOMF blog which was closed approximately two years ago and is being re-posted here for archival purposes.
If you were ever curious to see how Vietnam would do “Lip Sync Battle” wonder no more. Earlier this month HTV in Vietnam aired the first three episodes of “Kỳ Phùng Địch Thủ – Lip Sync Battle” and I have to say that I think my people did well. It’s hip, it’s young, and you don’t even need to understand Vietnamese to enjoy it – although it probably would help, but my Vietnamese is pretty bad (sometimes I augment it with Spanish) and I still like watching it.
In place of LL Cool J is Tran Thanh (AKA MC Tran Thanh), actor/host/TV personality, and instead of Chrissy Teigen, the color commentary is provided by model/actress Ngọc Trinh (who I’m starting to think of as an early Viet Shu Qi even though that comparison probably doesn’t quite work, but I can see her in romantic comedies).
It’s longer and has more variety to it than the U.S. version (it’s Vietnamese TV though so it comes with the territory) – but this isn’t “Paris By Night” either (and yes, everyone loves them some PBN, or whole sets of PBN, but we’re looking for Lip Sync Battle here). I truly did get that feeling of old school meets new-what-was-the-Vietnam-War-again?
Unless you count Episode #3 where the younger, hipper Tran Thanh is replaced by an older, seemingly less energetic and slower dancing Vân Sơn who really doesn’t have the same chemistry with Ngọc Trinh and I did feel like I was watching some PBN at times (and again, see the above)…honestly I’m not even sure what the hell is happening anymore because in the teasers for Episode #4 it seems like it goes back to being its fun free self with a great Whitney Houston Lip Sync – but I still don’t know who the fuck is hosting this goddamn show.
I guess only time will tell which Lip Sync Battle I’m going to get (which I put solely on the shoulders of the Vietnam government).