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'Cute' girl forced to mime at Olympics ceremony after China banned seven-year....


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'Cute' girl forced to mime at Olympics ceremony after China banned seven-year-old with crooked teeth


'Cute' girl forced to mime at Olympics ceremony after China banned seven-year-old with crooked teeth

By David Williams

12th August 2008


It was a performance that melted hearts all around the world.

In front of 91,000 spectators and a billion TV viewers, Lin Miaoke sang China's national anthem at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

Or rather, she didn't.



Rejected: Yang Peiyi (right) was banned from singing live at the Olympic opening ceremony and replaced with Lin Miaoke (left)


For it emerged yesterday that the pig-tailed nine-year-old had only been lip-synching the words - because her voice was deemed not good enough, while the girl who did sing was not considered pretty enough.

The extraordinary last-minute decision to splice pictures and sound was taken by a top member of the Chinese Communist Party politburo.

The real voice behind the tiny figure in the red dress at the Bird's Nest Stadium belonged to seven-year-old Yang Peiyi.

Yesterday, organisers of the ceremony defended their decision.



Picture perfect: Lin Miaoke mimes in front of billions during the show



Chief music director Chen Qigang explained that during a live rehearsal shortly before Friday's ceremony, the Politburo member said Miaoke's voice 'must change'.

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,' Mr Chen told Beijing Radio.

'We combined the perfect voice and the perfect performance.

'The reason was for the national interest. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings and expression. Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects. But in the aspect of voice, Yang Peiyi is flawless.'

The performance of the 'Ode to the Motherland' as Chinese athletes entered the stadium was an immediate hit.

'Nine-year-old Lin Miaoke becomes instant star with patriotic song,' the China Daily newspaper said the next day.

A photo of Peiyi posted yesterday on a popular website shows a smiling girl with braces and crooked teeth.

She insisted she was not upset at the switch and was honoured to have her voice used.

Peiyi is a pupil at a primary school affiliated to Beijing University.

Miaoke was a minor celebrity even before the opening ceremony, having appeared in a number of Olympics-related TV advertisements.



Unpopular: Empty seats at the beach volleyball as Greece plays South Africa


The voice switch is the latest example of the lengths China has gone to create a perfect start to the games.

Organisers have already confessed that footage of fireworks exploding across Beijing during the ceremony was digitally inserted into television coverage in case smog blurred the spectacle.

And yesterday, Olympic officials said they had been forced to draft in volunteers provided with yellow or red T-shirts to fill empty seats and create atmosphere in stadiums despite the games being billed as a sell-out.

Officials blame the empty seats on the bad weather and the failure of sponsors to use their allocations.


Misleading: China also faked part of the fireworks display during the opening ceremony by using pre-recorded video of the 'footprints' across Beijing










Cant believe shes replaced, wtf..

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Um, this is actually pretty old news guys. I heard about this early last week, and I say, so what? Both girls are happy they contributed (now whether they were told to say that, we shall see).


The fireworks controversy was only because most international carriers of the opening ceremony didn't state that they were digitally added. NBC, on the other hand, explicitly stated to its viewers that the footprints were digitally added.

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