Call Me By Fire S1 (2021) 披荆斩棘的哥哥 : Reality Show Review (Episode 10 – 12)

Call My Name, By The Fire – Idols On Fire

Recapping the last 9 episodes, 10 participants have been eliminated – Chen Hui, MC Jin, Liu Duan Duan, Li Yun Di, Henry Prince Mak, Owodog, Shawn Huang, Liu Chong, Bridge, Henry Huo (due to his earlier controversy). As MC Jin is brought back in Episode 6, we are now left with 23+1 participants.

The remaining participants are split into 2 teams, one with the winning team (Nathan Lee & co) and the other one with the highest voted team leader ie Max Zhang. The starting of episode 10 also brings back 2 eliminated participants – Chen Hui and Li Yun Di. And then the explosive controversy with Li Yun Di obtaining prostitution services automatically sent him out from the scenes (and blotted out too).

Episode 10 provides the background to the reorganisation of the new 2 teams, while Episode 11 showcases the performances of both teams, whereby some of the really best performances are in this episode. This is also the episode whereby the wives of participants provide cheering for their husband’s teams and many laughter too. Cherrie Ying, Ada Choi, Anita Yuen, Zhang Dan Lu, Wei Jia are all pretty ladies supporting their husbands in their own beautiful ways. The wives of the Greater Bay team are really a funny lot. Cherrie Ying with her great laugh with mocking.   

At the end of the episode, 3 participants are further eliminated, right before the finale – Ricky Rui, Edmund Leong, Chen Hui.

Episode 12 is a really long 4-hour session – group performances, team leaders’ performances, individual performances, performances by eliminated participants & guest stars (Karen Mok and Ning Jing) too. Spoilers below on final results & rankings. 

Guest star Ning Jing performing the theme song in red hues – Call Me By Fire

Reorganisation of Teams

In the reorganisation of the 2 groups, the best 6 (other than the winning team) is parked with Max Zhang. The “fight” for the remaining participants is quite interesting. The fact that the best 6 participants are automatically parked with Max Zhang’s team (aka A Stalk of Flower) is a big disadvantage to Nathan’s team (aka Qilin).  With Max given the best 6 participants, he reserved space for his previous team whom he gets along very well. The tactics employed by Max and Nathan are quite different. Max uses emotional attachments while Nathan uses logic & rationale to attract the remaining participants. Very interesting as Nathan is put in a very difficult situation as a leader trying to pull participants to his team. He does it very well – providing rationale on why is it best to join his team and taking in rejections very well. From a “management” perspective, the words he uses – open, trying new things, repeating to obtain clarity are all very great management skills. My conclusion – he can be a manager of artists 😀   

Idols in white – finale performance

A Stalk of Flower (Lead : Max Zhang)

  • Best 6 other than the winning team : Jordan Chan, Terry Lin, Chilam, Jerry Yan, Kido Gao, MC Hotdog
  • GAI, Xiao Bai, Li Xiang, Yin Zheng, Hu Hai Quan, Chen Hui

Qilin (Lead : Nathan Lee)

  • Original : Zhang Qi, James Lee, Paul Wong, Liu Jia, MC Jin, Ricky Rui
  • Vincent Zhao, Michael Tse, Lo Lamb, Edmund Leung, Zhang Yunlong

So Many Unforgettable Performances

如果还有明天 Ru Guo Hai You Ming Tian

The song is a shocker for me. The start with the guqin, the chorus, combined with Once Upon A Time (Wong Fei Hung)’s theme song at the ending, and tweaked to focus on the pride of being an Asian.

Hei tou fa (black hair), hei yan jin (black eyes), huang pei fu (yellow skin) hu hu!

The theme is really very nicely selected, with the burgeoning growth for China as a super economy globally. The song probably resonates more for being “banana” especially in non-Chinese speaking environment, and for many of the participants who grew up in non-Chinese speaking localities eg MC Jin, James Lee, Nathan Lee. The original is very nice, but the arrangement for this performance is great with the additional tweaks. The original song is actually a sad song, of which the singer dedicates the song to a friend who was diagnosed with cancer in his 30s. Unfortunately, the friend did not survive. How a small tweak changes the concept totally. A link to the simple arrangement of the song is as below.


给电影人的情书 Gei Dian Ying Ren de Qing Shu

This is another shocking performance, so touching. The start of the performance is already explosive with Max Zhang breaking the glass as a stuntman, getting hurt in the process. The performance is so real, Nathan Lee shows great concern whether he is ok. Chilam starts off the song, with many memories along the way, and leaving the cinema with his shadow at the end. Totally touching the heart of many actors & actresses. Yin Zheng facing the mirror, having a conversation with himself while singing – such a great theme.

The song that single handedly results in tears rolling on the faces of the experienced actors and actresses.

无所求必满载而归 Wu Suo Qiu Bi Man Zai Er Gui

This song actually provides a new perspective of Jordan Chan to me, as his raspy deep voice is used to great effects in this performance. Li Xiang nails it to win the performance pit when he is hauled up with acrobatic moves in the middle of the burning ring. Jerry Yan has also improved significantly in his singing.

天上飞 Tian Shang Fei

The finale has more participants, and focus is really given more to the final ranking of the participants. Finale’s best performance to me is Tian Shang Fei, a very sexy performance by husband-wife Nathan Lee and Qi Wei. Very well done, deep vocals, tantalising performance. I thought it is even better than the introduction sung by Nathan Lee.

Spoilers Ahead – Finale’s Final Ranking

During the finale’s 3 rounds of performances, A Stalk of Flower wins the first two rounds to obtain 6 seats (3 seats each round) while Qilin wins the last rounds with 5 seats. With the 11 seats taken, the next 6 highest ranking participants will fill up the full 17-member new team.

A Stalk of Flower’s top 6 : (1) Jordan Chan (2) Chilam (3) Jerry Yan (4) Max Zhang (5) Terry Lin (6) MC Hotdog

Qilin’s top 5 : (1) Nathan Lee (2) Zhang Qi (3) Paul Wong (4) MC Jin (5) Vincent Zhao

Final 6 members : (12) Liu Jia (13) Zhou Yan (14) Kido Gao (15) Michael Tse (16) Xiao Bai (17) Zhang Yun Long


The reality show is extremely successful and popular. I have a few theories supporting its success:

  • Real emotions & characters of the participants featured in the series
  • Music binding the brothers, pushing them forward in their quest to do their best for the best group performance
  • Male idols being more popular amongst the female audiences
  • Really good performances & production
  • Really great innovation once the various different music is combined 

Love thy spouse & family, live a harmonious & happy life, and great fortune will befall the men. See examples below:

  • Jordan Chan’s fortune takes a really great change upon his marriage to Cherrie Ying. He basically settles down, with his career flourishing with the management of a very capable Cherrie Ying with great foresights. Jordan does come across as a simple guy who appreciates loyalty, and with Cherrie’s very infectious laughter, it is easy to see how both of them adores each other in their own way.
  • Zhang Qi’s supportive wife Wei Jia, who has been with him throughout his ups and downs in the music industry since his early 20s. Zhang Qi’s few interactions with the wife seems to indicate a more traditional relationship with an extremely supportive wife, who listens and provides the pillar of strength to the husband. More importantly, Zhang Qi appreciates the wife’s understanding, support & sacrifices – always putting her first. It is quite surprising that I read somewhere that the couple is not looking to add a child in the family.  
  • Vincent Zhao’s low-key but supportive wife Zhang Dan Lu and children rooting for him openly, provides plenty of motivation. Vincent is quite an advocate of harmony, and has a very close relationship with his eldest daughter who is close to 18. The daughter is very beautiful, and well – boys, better behave especially with a martial artist of Vincent’s calibre monitoring your advances to his daughter! 😀
  • Max Zhang Jin’s stable relationship with Ada Choi raising 3 beautiful children together. Previously, Ada has always been praising her husband and true to her great foresights – Max is indeed an all-rounder – actor, martial artist, stuntman, dancer, singer, producer with great ideas, leader who utilises talents to his team’s advantage. Based on the performances & his team’s many wins, I believe his selection of the members in each performance has a role in their wins.
  • So many others such as Paul Wong, MC Jin, Edmund Leung, GAI, Bridge, Nathan Lee

In the past, many idols are unwilling to openly declare their relationship with their partners, often going underground for many years. Think Andy Lau. Their concern with open relationship is not without its merit as fans and media can be overbearing, making artists & idols cherishing privacy. However, it does seem that many netizens are not just accepting of married idols, netizens are in fact supportive of those who adores their wives.

Idols in action

Many of the participants have great passion in their own line of work. The love of performing on stage (music, performance, dancing) is the real glue for these participants, each willing to give in their 101% to perform on stage.

At the beginning of the reality series, it does look like that the adrenaline rush for the male participants spells various form of competitiveness. But it takes a surprising turn with introduction to brotherhood, emotional attachment & sincerity in giving the best performances.

Conclusion 10/10

The reality show ends and what power fire the finale it was. And what would we be looking forward to during the weekends subsequent to this? I miss Liu Tao as the host, and am wondering why did she not join the reality show for the finale. Such a waste.

Totally super 10! Go watch the entire show, and I will binge-rewatching the whole 12 episodes, hoping to gain insights into small things that I may have missed earlier. And choosing a list of my own team – if I am given a chance to vote. Totally personal preference…  

Link to previous reviews on Episodes 1 – 5 and Episodes 6 – 9



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s