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China To Kid Singer: You Just Aren't Cute Enough

Lin Miaoke lip-synched at the opening ceremony over the voice of Yang Peiyi, (right), because of Peiyi's buck teeth. GETTY/AFP hide caption

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A reader named Hiki had this to say about my previous post related to the Olympics opening ceremony:

"NPR, are you kidding me? You want to compare this amazing Olympic opening ceremony with the silly event by a so-call activist/actress that no one knows????"

I'll concede the point. The ceremony might well have been amazing. But now, it appears there was definitely some C+C Music Factory/Zelma Davis lip synch action happening that night.

Here's more from the UK's Telegraph:

The girl in the red dress with the pigtails, called Lin Miaoke, 9, and from a Beijing primary school, has become a national sensation since Friday night, giving interviews to all the most popular newspapers.

But the show's musical designer felt forced to set the record straight. He gave an interview to Beijing radio saying the real singer was a seven-year-old girl who had won a gruelling competition to perform the anthem, a patriotic song called "Hymn to the Motherland".

... [Chen Qigang's] interview gave an extraordinary insight into the control exercised over the ceremony by the Games' political overseers, all to ensure the country was seen at its best.

Officials have already admitted that the pictures of giant firework footprints which marched across Beijing towards the stadium on Friday night were prerecorded, digitally enhanced and inserted into footage beamed across the world.

... "The main consideration was the national interest," he said. "The child on the screen should be flawless in image, in her internal feelings, and in her expression. In the matter of her voice, Yang Peiyi was flawless, in the unanimous opinion of all the members of the team."

That was until attention turned to Yang Peiyi's teeth. Nevertheless, Mr Chen thought the end result a perfect compromise.

"We have a responsibility to face the audience of the whole country, and to be open with this explanation," he said. "We should all understand it like this: it is a question of the national interest. It is a question of the image of our national music, our national culture ... So we made the choice. I think it is fair to both Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi — after all, we have a perfect voice, a perfect image and a perfect show, in our team's view, all together."

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Cultural relativism aside ... Lin Miaoke (the cuter, more TV-friendly lip syncher) was even "allowed to give interviews in which she lapped up the praise for her singing."

What do you think about this made-for-TV controversy?