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Can you be a Happy Girl if you can't sing in tune?

[ 2009-07-31 11:01]     字号 [] [] []  
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Whether or not Zeng Yike advances to the next round of China's most popular reality talent show, the kudos and boos surrounding her will continue.

Zeng - a contestant on Happy Girls, dubbed the Chinese version of American Idol - heads into tonight's competition ranked 10th out of 10, with three facing elimination.

Yet unlike Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent, who swept people away with her voice, Zeng, a 19-year-old girl from Hunan, has been criticized for not being able to sing in key and has been told she sounds "like a sheep".

"I think it is a crime for a TV station to broadcast such music. They treat all Chinese people like they're stupid. TV stations are public resources - they are fooling people with their own taxes," Jin Zhaojun, secretary-general of the Chinese Musicians Association told Oriental Morning Post.

Jin said he is not disappointed with Zeng, but with the program's creators. He even said Happy Girls judges were "talking rubbish" during their interviews.

But others have been smitten by Zeng's creativity and simple style, and how she plays a guitar to sing songs she wrote herself.

A month ago, judge Bao Xiaobo said as long as Zeng stays he could not be part of the show and walked off the stage during the live broadcast. "It is unfair for the other contestants," Bao said later.

Many netizens supported Bao but Zeng's fans said the critics were too mean to her.

Musician Gao Xiaosong joined the jury in Bao's place and praised Zeng.

"She has a couple of her own pieces. Her style is clear and easy to follow. As long as there is a style, she can (get help to produce an album)," Gao said to Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Weekly.

The story became even more dramatic when Bao returned to the jury. On the latest show, Bao drew a picture of a wooden house to refer to Zeng. "This wooden house looks stable, but it doesn't have a solid foundation, and if the wind blows, it will fall apart," Bao said.

However, he showed a second picture with many tall buildings surrounding the wooden house. "The lucky thing is, you are protected by these buildings"

Li Hao, spokesman for the show's producer, predicted this year would see a 50-percent increase over 2006 and 2007. The July 17 show won a 12 percent market share, the top ranking show that night. But a survey on popular social networking site kaixin001.com shows 84 percent of the Happy Girls' audience is disappointed with the program this year.

"It is no longer a program looking for divas-to-be, but clowns who attract audiences with stupid tricks," said Chinese music critic Ruan Hexiang with a Beijing-based newspaper.


1. How have some people described Zeng Yike’s voice as sounding like?

2. What instrument does Zeng play?

3. What did judge Bao Xiaobo draw a picture of in reference to Zeng?


1. A sheep.

2. Guitar.

3. A wooden house.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Can you be a Happy Girl if you can't sing in tune?

About the broadcaster:

Can you be a Happy Girl if you can't sing in tune?

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.