Singer gave way to "cuter girl" at Olympic opening
Girl who was meant to appear in the Olympic opening ceremony allowed another girl to take her place, as she was considered to be more attractive to a foreign audience.12 August 2008
BEIJING - A girl whose song during the Olympic opening ceremony won wide praise did not actually appear in the stadium and her song was mimed by another girl who was considered more attractive to foreign audiences, Chinese state media said on Tuesday.
Seven-year-old Yang Peiyi performed "Sing for the motherland" but musical director Chen Qigang said nine-year-old Lin Miaoke was asked to mime the song because "considering the overseas image" was "in the national interest", the semi-official China News Service reported.
Yang, a student at a primary school attached to Beijing Normal University, was not upset by her non-appearance and was happy that her voice was heard at the ceremony, the agency said.
Chen told state broadcaster China Central Television that the song was recorded by Yang before the event.
"The first condition was that the director wanted the image to be very cute," Chen said, apparently referring to film-maker Zhang Yimou, who directed the opening ceremony.
But Chen told the broadcaster that one of the 25 members of the Politburo of China's ruling Communist Party was among several leaders who also urged the organizers to make the "last minute" compromise.
Lin was a more experienced performer who captured worldwide attention after the ceremony, including an appearance on the front page of the New York Times.
She had appeared in several television advertisements, including one with Olympic 110 metres hurdles champion Liu Xiang, other reports said.
A newspaper reported that some footage of the fireworks display shown on television during the Olympics opening ceremony was also recorded in advance.
[dpa / Expatica]
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