(Above: singer Yang Peiyi, threat to National Interest)
Beijing, China (CNN) — A little girl and her song captivated millions of viewers during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. But what they saw was not what they heard.
Games organizers confirm that Lin Miaoke, who performed “Ode to the Motherland” as China’s flag was paraded Friday into Beijing’s National Stadium, was not singing at all.
Lin was lip-syncing to the sound of another girl, 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, who was heard but not seen, apparently because she was deemed not cute enough.
“The reason was for the national interest,” said Chen Qigang, the ceremony’s musical director, in a state radio interview. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression. … Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects.”
The decision was made at the highest levels, Chen said.
“We had to do it,” he said. “We’d been through several inspections. They’re all very strict. When we rehearsed at the spot, there were several spectators from various divisions, especially leaders from the Politburo, who gave the opinion it must change.”
I’m sure you’re all with me in looking forward to the day when China’s population grows large enough to produce a sufficiently adorable singer. In the meantime, enjoy this early-rejected Olympic audition tape. Note: may contain lip-syncing.