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More Fakery From Opening Ceremony


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From (London) Times Online August 12, 2008

China banned child singer with crooked teeth from singing at opening ceremony

The cute little girl whose sweet-voiced rendition of one of China’s favourite revolutionary anthems started off the Olympic opening ceremony performance may not have been all that she seemed. Little Lin Miaoke, it has been revealed, was only lip-synching.

Officials have now admitted that the voice that rang out through the vast Bird’s Nest stadium was really that of seven-year-old Yang Peiyi, who may have had the voice of an angel but whose crooked teeth made her unsuitable for the opening ceremony's top spot.

The revelation has stirred up an online furore in China’s Internet chat rooms and on comment pages.

Many are not amused to learn that the nine-year-old whose coy smile and pigtails won the hearts of the world during Friday night’s opening extravaganza was chosen more for her cuteness than her talent.

The English-language China Daily announced today that little Miss Lin was well on her way to becoming a star. The Internet has been littered with pictures of the little girl going back to school after her stirring performance that had millions singing along to “Ode to the Motherland” -- a paean to the revolution -- in homes across China. The newspaper said: “The 9-year-old songbird said she was thrilled to be part of Friday’s performance, mostly ‘because I felt so beautiful in my red dress.' ”

But the songbird looked better, it seems, than she sounded while little Yang Peiyi, unfortunately for her own ambitions, sounded better than she looked

Chen Qigang, music director for the ceremony said in an online article: “Little Yang Peiyi’s failure to be selected was mainly because of her appearance, because we were concerned with the interests of the nation.”

It appeared that while the seven-year-old child's voice could not be faulted, her crooked teeth were not deemed suitable for a ceremony required to show a flawless China.

Mr Chen’s explanation drew furious comments online. One said: “What does it mean to say you are worried about image? Seven year old girls are all little angels. Why say this. It’s really ridiculous.”

Others were less polite. “That’s bullfeces. Any little boy or girl who is not so good looking and sees such an explanation will sob their heart out.”

It was not the only moment when the ceremony diverged from reality. Gao Xiaolong, head of the visual effects team, said the opening fireworks were computer graphics of the “footprints of fire” inserted into coverage since the actual fireworks were too difficult to film. It took almost a year to create the 55-second sequence. Actual fireworks exploded but officials said it was logistically impossible to film them by helicopter. Hence the decision to engage in digital fakery.

In a further twist, Chinese Olympic organisers today admitted to deploying "cheer squads" to create atmosphere and disguise blocks of empty seats in the sports venues.

The legions of spectators wearing matching yellow t-shirts and banging together oversized inflatable batons have been highly visible at the first sold-out Games. But Wang Wei, vice-president of the Beijing Olympic Organising Committee (Bocog) revealed they were volunteers shipped in to “create a good atmosphere” by cheering for both sides at team events.

Sitting in seats not taken up by sponsors, Olympic officials and spectators arriving later as sessions get more interesting, they are being used to cover up the embarrassment of having empty rows at events that are supposed to be full. “If people turn up they will let them take their seats,” Mr Wang said.

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I so knew she was lip synching it. I even made that comment in the Opening Ceremonies live chat thread here on the boards. It was kinda obvious right at the start.

The ceremonies are usually lip synched since so much can go wrong....but to lip synch someone elses voice is an Olympic first, no?

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“Little Yang Peiyi’s failure to be selected was mainly because of her appearance, because we were concerned with the interests of the nation.”

Does China really have that much of a complex that they believe a girl with slightly wonky teeth could harm their image abroad? Pathetic is the only word.

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Does China really have that much of a complex that they believe a girl with slightly wonky teeth could harm their image abroad? Pathetic is the only word.

That's absolutely true. Now that is a real scandal (unlike the pre-recorded "footsteps fireworks" segment).

A couple of months ago, I've written my master thesis about how major sports events are exploited for the image of countries and their politicians. So I've read quite a lot about that topic -- but I've never read or heard something as absurd as this story.

Shame on those who made that insulting and ridiculous decision!

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That's absolutely true. Now that is a real scandal (unlike the pre-recorded "footsteps fireworks" segment).

A couple of months ago, I've written my master thesis about how major sports events are exploited for the image of countries and their politicians. So I've read quite a lot about that topic -- but I've never read or heard something as absurd as this story.

Shame on those who made that insulting and ridiculous decision!

it's the music director himself made the decision, why would you have to blame the entire country for it? Not even most of the Chinese known about that until that trash claimed the truth~

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it's the music director himself made the decision, why would you have to blame the entire country for it? Not even most of the Chinese known about that until that trash claimed the truth~

Where did I blame the entire country?

Read again: "Shame on those who made that insulting and ridiculous decision!" And did I say that 1.3 billion Chinese made the decision? :blink:

It becomes really boring that whenever one criticises a single or several person(s) in the organising committee or the Chinese government, you and others behave as if one has criticised the whole Chinese people.

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That's show biz. And they always do this for large, NO-FAIL events.

Now if they stuck with the original singer who was less than photogenic, other quarters would also start b*tching: Was she the only child they could get? What image would that project of China? Surely we have better looking kids than that, etc., etc.

And it's not like you paid to see Madonna or Placido Domingo and then they substituted someone else. The kid(s) are no-names.

You're damned if you do; and you're damned if you don't.

But to me tt was a perfectly acceptable practice, considering it's about "putting on a show."

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That's show biz. And they always do this for large, NO-FAIL events.

Now if they stuck with the original singer who was less than photogenic, other quarters would also start b*tching: Was she the only child they could get? What image would that project of China? Surely we have better looking kids than that, etc., etc.

And it's not like you paid to see Madonna or Placido Domingo and then they substituted someone else. The kid(s) are no-names.

You're damned if you do; and you're damned if you don't.

But to me tt was a perfectly acceptable practice, considering it's about "putting on a show."

exactly~it's just turn out to be a professionism play of the showbiz. Maybe that's not really gettin honest at the begining, but it doesn't hurt of anyone since the creator admits to the public. And the girl and another both contributed very well to the work and both gettin the public attention. I don't have any idea why would somebody have to call it pathetic anyway? So you're probably thinking London whould have to present ''drug queen Amy Wirehouse'' in front of billions just not going to be any more pathetic?

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I don't think it would be a big deal if the nine year old was lip syncing (Luciano Pavarotti did according to the conductor), but it wasn't even here singing.

I agree...lip synching is common at events like the Olympic Ceremonies for technical reasons, and especially at the Winter Games since it's so cold making it hard to sing well, but to lip synch's someone elses singing?

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And another question is the reason for them to select another girl instead, I think it's also be considering about whether the first girl who really be able to undertake such huge pressure during her performance..sometimes it's difficult to let a chorus child to sing solo confidently in front of millions....

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And another question is the reason for them to select another girl instead, I think it's also be considering about whether the first girl who really be able to undertake such huge pressure during her performance..sometimes it's difficult to let a chorus child to sing solo confidently in front of millions....

You don't understand.....we're all OKAY with lip synching. If the real girl lip synched her own singing, we'd all be okay with it.

But to have someone else lip synching another person's voice is a whole different matter.

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You don't understand.....we're all OKAY with lip synching. If the real girl lip synched her own singing, we'd all be okay with it.

But to have someone else lip synching another person's voice is a whole different matter.

I understand that~but do you know those 2 girls are close friends with each other~they know to form a ideal performance is to ''work together'' somehow.

It's not a discrimination involved actually~so to say this is scandal really ridiculers~ That's why I really thinking those reports only took the story shallowly to raise the controversy as much as they can but overlooked the inside stories behind.

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It's not a discrimination involved actually~so to say this is scandal really ridiculers~ That's why I really thinking those reports only took the story shallowly to raise the controversy as much as they can but overlooked the inside stories behind.

Have you actually read the reports correctly? The musical director himself said:

“Little Yang Peiyi’s failure to be selected was mainly because of her appearance, because we were concerned with the interests of the nation.”

And according to many concordant reports, he really said that. I've also seen footage of him doing his interview with that Chinese radio station.

So he himself confirmed that the girl wasn't chosen for performing personally at the OC because it's "too ugly" and would therefore harm China's image in the world. Those two girls might be friends and "such a good team" -- with the one providing the voice and the other one the looks: But apart from that, it remains a ridiculous and rude decision to let the singing girl not appear because its looks could harm China's image.

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I really don't see the problem. It is SHOW BIZ. It is about image.

If the issue was that the original voice & homely girl HAD to go together, then they would've found another voice or anoter package. Your guys' moral standards DON'T APPLY to events like this. She is NOT Sarah Brightman or Dame Kiri Te Kanawa where the face MUST come with the voice.

This is such a tempest in a teapot -- so to speak.

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I really don't see the problem. It is SHOW BIZ. It is about image.

If the issue was that the original voice & homely girl HAD to go together, then they would've found another voice or anoter package. Your guys' moral standards DON'T APPLY to events like this. She is NOT Sarah Brightman or Dame Kiri Te Kanawa where the face MUST come with the voice.

This is such a tempest in a teapot -- so to speak.

Totally what i was thinking.

This is showbiz people. We're not holding a friggin church fair talent quest.

Atlanta, I wonder if the *spirit of the south* was doing her vocals in the summertime segment . She was pretending she was, but i doubt it. Its totally fine.

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"Little Yang Peiyi’s failure to be selected was mainly because of her appearance, because we were concerned with the interests of the nation"

I am just surprised. whoever writes this sentence either has some translation error, or was making this up...

1. i browsed through quite a few Chinese reporting of this Arts Director said, and no where did I find he said they made the decision because of NATIONAL INTEREST... all he said was the girl in TV has better look and the giel who sang has better voice. It'sjust surprising people are making this such a big fus.... and the Financial Times even made an editorial out of this? What turned out to be good intention to give credits for both girls are so blown out of propostion.

1. if the Arts Director think it's an issue, he did not have to disclose it at all, and no one would even know.

2. The direction team made an effort to disclose both performers' name, and arranged both girls and their family for interview. If they really thought that was an issue, they did not even have to do it at all. Both of the girls are freinds, and the father of the girl doing the singing had made sure his daughter is fine with it, and indeed she said she is honoured to do any bit of it (of course, some people would say she is only a child, and what can she do. Talking about this.... we have this Daley 14-year old diver portrayed as a ingenious prodigy... and when the same thing happened in China (which it did back in 92 & 96), there were flooding stories about child abuse).

To me, the media has run out of juicy story to telll (where are the 3,000 masks given to the atheletes now? Was it that live-threatening as some media tried o portray?) and now take things out of context and make a bid deal out on it!!

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The reports I'm getting here in Beijing are that the decision to put a more camera-friendly little girl in the public spotlight was NOT that of the Music/Artistic/Whatever Director...that the order instead came from a top Chinese government official, who was reviewing the Ceremonies components at some point during the rehearsal sequences. Which I am perfectly capable of believing. I will go out on a limb here and say that the little girl lip-syncing is probably a relative of said government official, which we will find out in due course. (Cynical Old Jiejie.)

And yes, the Chinese are all about presenting an image over common decency (and common sense). Style over substance. Happens all the time, every day, with or without the Olympics in town.

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The reports I'm getting here in Beijing are that the decision to put a more camera-friendly little girl in the public spotlight was NOT that of the Music/Artistic/Whatever Director...that the order instead came from a top Chinese government official, who was reviewing the Ceremonies components at some point during the rehearsal sequences. Which I am perfectly capable of believing. I will go out on a limb here and say that the little girl lip-syncing is probably a relative of said government official, which we will find out in due course. (Cynical Old Jiejie.)

And yes, the Chinese are all about presenting an image over common decency (and common sense). Style over substance. Happens all the time, every day, with or without the Olympics in town.

You're right, Jie jie, I heard about it might be the future leader of China who made the decision~

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