On Episode 22 of MBC’s mystery singing competition show, King of Masked Singer, which aired on August 30th, winners of Round 1 from last week competed in Rounds 2 & 3, with the final winner going on to challenge the reigning Masked King in Round 4 for the honour of becoming the 11th generation Masked King.
‘Legendary Guitar Man’ made a splash last week with rampant speculations over his identity (with many arguing that he’s EXO’s main vocalist Chen) and he again shot to the top of Naver and Melon search as well as trended worldwide on Twitter after two incredible vocal displays in Rounds 2 & 3.
Guitar Man faced Single-hearted Sunflower (Solar of MAMAMOO) in Round 2, performing “물들어” (Stained) by BMK and winning by a wide margin of 71 to 28.
In Round 3, he defeated Rose Bloom at Night (Shin Hyo Bum) with a heartwrenching performance of “취중진담” (Drunken Truth/There is Truth in Wine) by Exhibition (Kim Dong Ryul) that left many ladies in the audience swooning.
Winning Round 3 gave Guitar Man the chance to face the reigning Masked King, Your Way Hawaii, in a final round battle for the throne. Ultimately the veteran singer proved too strong and Guitar Man was unmasked to reveal that he was indeed Chen of EXO.
The judging panel and audience were left in shock at his vocal talent (given that he’s a popular idol) and were effusive in their praise. Judge and composer/music producer Kim Hyung Suk noted that Chen’s vibrato and high notes are really good and he has a beautiful vocal colour, comparing it to that of Sung Shi Kyung, and added that he has great potential in the future as a vocalist. Kim Gura praised Chen’s voice as being the core of EXO’s music, and judge Kim Hyun Chul brought a few laughs when he snapped pictures of Chen, claiming to be a fan.
Chen expressed his gratitude to the judges and the audience for listening to his voice, explaining that he’d participated on the show in order to be judged impartially based on “singer Chen’s” merits rather than as a member of EXO. It appears he’s succeeded – netizens have flooded news articles and discussion boards with comments praising Chen’s performance: “I fainted at Drunken Truth… his voice is so sweet!” and “I didn’t know that EXO’s abilities were at this level, I approve!”