classical musicians aside ( i think taiwan has some excellent ones, but they are rare too), taiwan just doesn't get western music.
take for example, if eric clapton were singing. granted, clap doesn't sing great, but then again, he's clapton for crying out loud. He is who he is. that's his voice.never thought about it til some taiwanese pointed it out.
in taiwan, they will say, "oh he doesn't sing that great" or "there's a taiwan player who is more 'li hai' than him. why, marty young can play 300 notes a measure" (which is lie, i can prove it...another article).
not that clapton is my favorite. just illustrating point.
taiwan people are always comparing one person to another. these singing contests have fostered this type of thinking. the average person thinks he/she can be a singing contest judge because he/she also sings karaoke.
also i've found taiwan students to be extremely lazy about music learning. they want quick results, even if it sacrifices really knowing what they're doing. they run to those TAB books, practice them, then try to convince others that they can play. then again, parents think music is a waste of time anyway, unless it can be used to compare with others or make their child "better" than others.
i never regretted being a musician til i came here. its really an ugly market. everyone from the idols to the guy who sells guitars thinks he's the SHIT! there is so much dishonesty and back stabbing. that's why i stopped teaching except for one or two really stellar students. you teach them something they didn't know, then they say "that teacher is nothing" and go on their way with their new info in their pocket.
then if you're a forigner, it doesn't matter how well you play. they'll just say, "of course you can do that, you're a foriegner. all foriegners can play guitar.you're here so you should be nothing compared to the ones in the states", so they think they don't have to pay any attention to you. then again, you still have to be careful, because local musicians hate being shown up. even if you're not trying to show them up, they'll think you're trying to show them up. ad infinitum.
why can't taiwan do western music? it's simple. because they lack a western mentality. i didn't say IQ. i said mentality. and going abroad to study at berkeley, julliard, MI, whatever, won't change a thing.
until taiwan changes their way of thinking, they will always be stuck in this ugliness. and the music will still suck.