Last Friday, little Lin Miaoke performed “Ode to the Motherland” for a global audience at the Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing, China. Dubbed a “smiling angel,” she captured the hearts of viewers around the world, and became an overnight media darling.
But as it turns out, the production team pulled a Milli Vanilli bait-and-switch, of Olympic proportions. The New York Times reports:
Under pressure from the highest levels of the ruling Communist Party to find the perfect face and voice, the ceremony’s production team concluded the only solution was to use two girls instead of one. Miaoke, a third grader, was judged cute and appealing but “not suitable” as a singer. Another girl, Yang Peiyi, 7, was judged the best singer but not as cute. So when Miaoke opened her mouth to sing, the voice that was actually heard was a recording of Peiyi.
And it is unclear if Miaoke even knew.
“The reason was for the national interest,” explained Chen Qigang, general music designer of the opening ceremonies, who revealed the deception during a Sunday radio interview. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression.”
To read the New York Times article in its entirety, click here.