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August 12, 2008


Little Chinese girls in Olympic lip-sync cuteness scandal

Chinese girls lip syncing Olympic opening ceremony

It turns out that the little pig-tailed Chinese girl who sang "Ode to the Motherland" at the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday was actually lip-syncing [news report with video]. The real singer, Yang Peiyi (on the left), has a better voice, but was deemed "not as cute" as the lip-syncing girl by the Communist Party, which thinks nothing of driving talented but insufficiently cute little girls into bitterness and self-doubt by the age of 7.

"The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression," explained the music director.

Well, Yang Peiyi, join the club. I'm sure this girl with killer pipes and crooked teeth would get a lot of sympathy from American singers who have been through the same thing. Legendary vocalist Martha Wash actually sued C+C Music Factory in 1990 after a skinnier woman, Zelma Davis, lip synced to Martha belting out "Everybody dance now!" in the video for "Gonna Make You Sweat" and during live (or "live") performances. [UPDATE: Zelma says she didn't lip sync live. See below] [you have definitely already seen this video, but here it is]

And here's another one: LeShaun, the rapper who did the sexy female vocals for LL Cool J's "Doin' It" in 1996 [video]. She got upset that she was not asked to appear in that video--a few skinny girls were cast instead, which LL claimed was due to LeShaun's pregnancy at the time, "rather than any other of her physical features", according to her Wikipedia entry. Here's a 1993 video of LeShaun talking about her own videos being censored because of a double standard applied to women perpetrating violence in rap videos.

But both Martha and LeShaun got over it, and both went on to record more songs with the groups that cut them out of videos.

Little Yang Peiyi has a pretty mature attitude about her own experience with getting screwed out of a live performance that was rightfully hers because of her looks. "I’m OK with it," she said in an interview on the state TV network. "My voice was used in the performance. I think that’s enough."

"I love my country and am eternally loyal to the Communist Party," she continued, eyes wide with terror. "Please don't hurt my family."

UPDATE: Zelma Davis herself wrote in with a clarification about her vocals in "Gonna Make You Sweat". She writes:

"For the record, I have never lip-synched to Martha Wash's vocals during live performances.

I've performed "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everbody Dance Now)" on Saturday Night Live, Oprah, Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, hundreds of concerts around the world, and I have never lip-synched to Martha's vocals."

Thanks for setting the record straight, Zelma!

categories: Culture, Gender, Music, Sports
posted by amy at 12:40 PM | #

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It was obvious she was lip synching, it amazes me no one realised this before. Same for Pavarotti at the last Winter Olympics.

Posted by: anukexpat at August 13, 2008 10:32 AM

Yeah. At least Pavarotti was syncing to his own voice, and he was on the verge of death, so he sort of had an excuse.

Posted by: Amy at August 13, 2008 10:43 AM

Well I only heard about people complaining about the Digital enhancements on TV stations, some have named NBC purposely putting in the effects because they missed parts of the fireworks.

First of all Western media full of envy towards China so anything they say is pretty much distorted truth and demonizing China.
Note everything that has come out of western media on the Olympics has been negative surely the average citizen with an average IQ might become suspicious of this.

As for the little girl, no big deal they probably recorded the singing sometime ago and only selected a another little girl to take the role.
Ones an actor, ones a singer.

I mean if the participants are ok with it I don't see the problem, journalist just have nothing to write about so they try to pick on the slightest details.

Also about those China critics, they just hate China period so I can't listen to them because nothing contructives comes out of it because their comments are driven by xenophobia & racism.

Hollywood is full of fakes and digital effects how come nobody spends time to criticize them?

Posted by: eman at August 13, 2008 1:34 PM

Amy, can you go like just one month without linking to the video for "Everybody Dance Now"? I mean, come on.

Posted by: T-Rock at August 20, 2008 10:45 AM

Ha! That's not even my favorite "Everybody Dance Now" video!

This is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvLJGjVx2_0

Posted by: Amy at August 21, 2008 2:20 PM

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