Unfortunate, but not surprising (care of the Times):
BEIJING — Pigtailed and smiling, Lin Miaoke, age 9, stood in a red dress and white shoes during last Friday’s Olympic opening ceremonies and performed “Ode to the Motherland” in what would become one of the evening’s most indelible images: a lone child, fireworks blazing overhead, singing a patriotic ballad before an estimated one billion viewers.
Except that she was not really singing.
Her proud father, Lin Hui, who only learned of her singing role 15 minutes before the ceremonies began, watched on television and noticed “that the voice was a little different from hers.” On Tuesday, Mr. Lin said in a telephone interview that he had assumed “the difference might be caused by the acoustics.”
Acoustics had nothing to do with it. 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.