Giant on the move
Olympics has an Audrey Hepburn moment
Nine-year-old Lin Miaoke, who was celebrated across China as the angelic voice with the adorable face who sang “Ode to the Motherland” at Friday’s ceremony, was merely a photogenic stand-in for the real singer, who was rejected because of her appearance.
A director of the opening ceremony, Chen Qigang, said Lin’s voice was overdubbed by the singing of the real child singer Yang Peiyi.
This is nothing new in the world of showbiz, of course. Marni Nixon provided the singing voice for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Deborah Kerr in The King and I. (Would you call her an unsung hero?)
But a search on Google Blogs found a lot of critical reaction. Here are a couple of representative examples:
New York Chique: Frankly, I think that’s disgusting. Honestly- they’re 7 and 9 years old! So young! and I can’t believe that they picked one little Chinese girl over another. In my opinion, they were both adorable.
Charles Lee: For me, I think it is another social commentary on the value of image over substance in humanity.
There’s an excellent piece by Jo Ling Ken, including some Chinese reaction, at Dispatches from China.
To return to the question about the fireworks, does it matter all that much?
Games organisers certainly didn’t think so. Games Executive Vice President Wang Wei said it was done to achieve a better effect. “It was a joint decision to achieve the most theatrical effects,” Wang said. “I do not think there is anything wrong with that.”
Is he right?
PHOTO: The Olympic rings seen during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium, August 8, 2008. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez