Young Olympics singing star didn’t really sing.

Official ruled true singer, 7, wasn’t cute enough, so rival lip-synched instead

Lin Miaoke, left, is shown during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games on Friday. An official ordered her to lip-synch 'Ode to the Motherland' because seven-year-old singer Yang Peiyi, right, wasn't deemed cute enough.

Lin Miaoke, left, is shown during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games on Friday. An official ordered her to lip-synch

A 7-year-old Chinese girl was not good-looking enough for the Olympics opening ceremony, so another little girl with a pixie smile lip-synched “Ode to the Motherland,” an official said.

In the latest example of the lengths Beijing took for a perfect start to the Summer Games, a member of China’s Politburo asked for the last-minute change to match one girl’s face with another’s voice, the ceremony’s chief music director said in an interview with Beijing Radio.

“The audience will understand that it’s in the national interest,” Chen Qigang said in a video of the interview posted online Sunday night.

The news follows reports that some footage of the fireworks exploding across China’s capital during the ceremony was digitally inserted into television coverage, apparently over concerns that not all of the 29 blasts could be captured on camera.

China has been eager to present a flawless Olympics image to the world, shooing migrant workers and so-called petitioners who come to the central government with grievances from the city and shutting down any sign of protest.

‘Instant star’
The country’s quest for perfection apparently includes its children.

Lin Miaoke’s performance Friday night, like the ceremony itself, was an immediate hit. “Nine-year-old Lin Miaoke becomes instant star with patriotic song,” the China Daily newspaper headline said Tuesday.

But the real voice behind the tiny, pigtailed girl in the red dress who wowed 91,000 spectators at the National Stadium on opening night really belonged to 7-year-old Yang Peiyi. Her looks apparently failed the cuteness test with officials organizing the ceremony, but Chen said her voice was judged the most beautiful.

“The national interest requires that the girl should have good looks and a good grasp of the song and look good on screen,” Chen said. “Lin Miaoke was the best in this. And Yang Peiyi’s voice was the most outstanding.”

During a live rehearsal soon before the ceremony, the Politburo member said Miaoke’s voice “must change,” Chen said in the radio interview. He didn’t name the official.

So Peiyi’s voice was matched with Miaoke’s face.

“We had to make that choice. It was fair both for Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi,” Chen told Beijing Radio. “We combined the perfect voice and the perfect performance.”

Chen couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

Crooked teeth
A photo of Peiyi posted Tuesday on popular Web site shows a smiling girl with bangs and crooked teeth. A China News Service story posted with the photo says a China Central Television reporter asked Peiyi whether she felt regret over the opening ceremony.

Peiyi responded that just having her voice used for the opening ceremony was an honor.

Whether the move was unethical, or unfair to both girls, has become a hot topic among Chinese and is racing across the country’s blogosphere.

“The organizers really messed up on this one,” said Luo Shaoyang, 34, a retail worker in Beijing.

“This is like a voice-over for a cartoon character,” Luo said. “Why couldn’t they pick a kid who is both cute and a good singer? This damages the reputation of both kids for their future, especially the one lip-synching. Now everyone knows she’s a fraud. Who cares if she’s cute?”

Zhang Xinyi, 22, who works in marketing in Beijing, disagreed.

“I can understand why they picked the prettier girl. They need to maintain a certain aesthetic beauty during the opening ceremonies. This situation is not so bad, especially since it gives two people an opportunity to shine rather than just one.”

Peiyi is a first-grader at the primary school affiliated to Peking University. Her tutor, Wang Liping, wrote in her blog that Peiyi is both cute and well-behaved, with a love for Peking opera.

“She doesn’t like to show off. She’s easygoing,” Wang wrote. She and other school officials couldn’t be reached Tuesday.

Little blogger
Miaoke, however, was a minor celebrity even before the opening ceremony. The third-grader appeared in a television ad last year with China’s biggest gold medal hope, hurdling champion Liu Xiang, and she was in an Olympics ad just before Chinese New Year, China Daily reported.

Miaoke has her own blog, and one of the latest photos posted since the ceremony shows her looking up nervously at the ceremony’s director, film director Zhang Yimou. “Giving the child encouragement,” the caption says.

Her father, Lin Hui, told China Daily he learned Miaoke would be “singing” only 15 minutes before the opening ceremony began. The newspaper wrote Lin “still cannot believe his daughter has become an international singing sensation.”

It was the second straight Olympics where the opening ceremony involved lip-synching.

Luciano Pavarotti’s performance at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin was prerecorded. The maestro who conducted the aria, Leone Magiera, said earlier this year that the bitter cold made a live performance impossible for Pavarotti, who was in severe pain months before his cancer diagnosis. Pavarotti died in September 2007 at age 71.

*Story was taken from the the pages of MSNBC*


~ by Digory Kirke on August 13, 2008.

2 Responses to “Young Olympics singing star didn’t really sing.”

  1. OMG lip syncing at the opening ceremony of the olympics, that is shocking an horrible it is even worse than faking weapons of mass destruction so that you can invade a country and kill 10’s of thousands of civilillians and have 1000’s of your own countys armed forces killed while huge multinational companies make billions of dollars off of thier deaths. I do feel sorry for the girl who was deemed to be too ugly to sing herself, so hey lets leave the president and the administration that faked weapons of mass destruction alone and was the cause of so many of americas brave men and womens deaths, and lets all et mad and angry at a 7 year old little chinese girl…… would burning her at the stake be too harsh?

  2. Hey Peter,

    Thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog. This blog was not set up to crucify either little girl. It was however placed here to show just what lengths the Chinese will go and how they began their CHEATING before the games had ever begun. It is a set up for other blogs I will be posting making that point. I believe that people are pissed at the Chinese Government and not those children. Anyone who is mad at those kids needs to get a grip and a life. It was not either of their faults.

    As for the United States and their issues let me say this, I have been very vocal about it’s lies and the crimes that have been committed by the President, Vice President, Sectary of Defense, Sectary of State and many others. I was calling for the impeachment of Bush long before others even thought about uttering the words. While you haven’t seen that posted here much is as you can see or possibly you haven’t noticed this is a fairly new Blog. However I have made a post where I addressed this briefly and even stated I would be doing a blog in the future citing the President and his cronies crimes and not only should they be impeached and thrown out of office but tried for War Crimes by the International Court and the Hague.

    I was at one time a very staunch and conservative Republican. I cried foul and what I described while I still was one. I am now an Independent. You couldn’t have found anyone more far right than what I was. Further I have served my country and was in every major “war, conflict, battle,” whatever you wish to call them up till just this last war. I was in the first Gulf War, Bosnia, Somalia, & Kosovo. So please don’t assume you understand where I stand on our own wrong doings or pretend that I am making this bigger than what it is. I have many friends that have been killed during the operations I was in and many more killed due to this last war, and have a few friends still over their now that I worry about night and day.

    I believe Bush and that War has been condemned many times over and now one is pretending this issue is worse than that war. However this is an entirely different blog about an entirely different issue. Now having said all that and returning to the issue at hand, I posted that blog to make a point and as I stated before to set up future blogs about China. I am disappointed not angry; but disappointed by them. I had such high hopes for China and wanted to see them succeed in this historic event. I wanted to see them show the world what they could achieve and what they had to offer. Sadly I and the world in my opinion has been let down by them and this was just the precursor to other cheating down the road.

    I believe many felt the same way as well and now we stand wondering about China. Hopes and dreams were shattered about China and by China. What had seemed so real and possible now turns out to be lies and deception. Begging the questions has China truly changed and where do they stand with the global community; and how far and how deep does the deception go. What makes this worse is that they broke these dreams and hopes by the world over the backs of two innocent little girls.

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