This girl is lip synching. The photo of the girl who actually sang this is below.
Oh, China. You are a land of many mysteries. You fought to host the Olympics in a city so congested with pollution that you have quietly shut down scores of factories while the athletes are in town. You invite the world’s media into your backyard, but restrict their access to information. You charm the world by having an adorable little girl sing your national anthem at the opening ceremonies- and she turns out to be a fake.
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,” a ceremony official said- 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, Chen Qigang, said in an interview with Beijing Radio.
“The audience will understand that it’s in the national interest,” Chen 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.
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.
A photo of Peiyi posted Tuesday on popular Web site Sina.com 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.
If China’s officials were allowed full access to the Internet and American television, they would have figured out that these types of scams always end up being exposed- remember Milli Vanilli? It will be interesting to see what else gets digitally enhanced, replaced or deleted as the Olympics continue.