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Faking Reality in the Name of National Interest
First the organizers of China's spectacular Olympic opening ceremony admitted that they digitally faked the dazzling "footprint" fireworks that viewers saw on TV leading up to the Bird's Nest stadium. Now it has emerged that the cute little girl who sang a patriotic song in the ceremony was lip synching for another little girl who, officials decided at the last minute, was not cute enough to adequately represent China's national image. Nine-year-old Lin Miaoke became an instant star in one of the most memorable moments of China's opening show, as she stood in her red dress and white shoes singing "Ode to the Motherland." But her voice was dubbed with that of Yang Peiyi, another little girl with crooked teeth who was originally chosen to sing the song. Chinese officials apparently felt the original little girl did not look perfect enough to adequately represent the country. Chen Qigang, musical director of the opening ceremonies, explained the last-minute switch by telling Beijing Radio, "The performer was Lin Miaoke, but the sound was Yang Peiyi. The reason...is this: One was for the benefit of the country. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings, and expression, and Lin Miaoke meets our requirements in those aspects."