China’s Got Talent, but don’t bother signing up if you’re a “fake lady” like Liu Zhu. They won’t be taking you no matter how well you can sing.
As mentioned earlier, China’s Got Talent has been launched and auditions are going to be hosted soon — but don’t bother signing up if you’re not going to fit into the rigid gender “boxes” as defined by the show’s very narrow-minded producers and judges. More specifically, if you’re a male-to-female transgender, or a “fake lady”, as show director Jin Lei (金磊) puts it, you are especially not welcome because he finds you “disgusting” and just out to attract attention. And, oh, if you happen to be overweight, forget about joining the contest too because Jolin Tsai, celebrity ambassador of the show, says she doesn’t like to see overweight people dancing (sorry to Taiwan’s Little Fatty). Below, we present to you a translation of an article we found on the front page of the Entertainment section of last Friday’s Shanghai Morning Post 《新闻晨报》, entitled China’s Got Talent Rejects “Fake Ladies” 《中国达人秀》拒接”伪娘“. In it is a shocking admittance by Jin Lei and Jolin Tsai that they don’t quite understand that talent can come in all shapes, sizes and forms. Shame.
Shanghai Morning Post 《新闻晨报》
May 14, 2010
CHINA’S GOT TALENT REJECTS “FAKE LADIES”
Yesterday, Dragon TV officially announced the launch of China’s Got Talent. The Chinese version of Britain’s Got Talent will welcome participants of all ages, gender and performance genres, but as for the “fake ladies” currently seen on other shows, director Jin Lei, says they will be rejected because “they are a tragedy for talent shows.”
“No barriers to entry, and no limits to performance genre” — this is China’s Got Talent’s slogan. The show’s producers say they want to help ordinary people with extraordinary talent and extraordinary dreams. But “no barriers to entry” doesn’t mean no standards. Other similar talent shows have started to use “fake ladies” as their unique selling propositions, and in light of such a trend, Jin Lei (金磊), the director of China’s Got Talent has this to say, “Every year, we see new phenomena emerging in talent shows, but these can’t be said to be the mainstream. It’s no surprise to see men putting on make-up or cross-dressing for a certain performance, but for people to start appearing in another gender altogether, this I don’t agree with, and you can even say I’m disgusted with it. The one standard at Britain’s Got Talent is this — You have talent, yes, but are you good enough to perform in front of the Queen? It’s that sort of standard we’re talking about. We don’t want any people who are insincere, or people who come up with a certain behaviour just to attract eyeballs and attention. Can you imagine a flamboyant guy who transforms himself into a “fake lady”, then perform in front of the audiences on Shanghai’s biggest platform, and then go on to become a talent representing China?”
As the celebrity ambassador of China’s Got Talent, Jolin Tsai’s (蔡依林) dance steps have been imitated by men before. But as for “fake ladies”, Tsai, who attended yesterday’s launch, said, “A lot of guys really know how to put on make up these days and their dance is fantastic. But for me, I quite like guys dancing very feminine dances — as long as they’re not overweight or obese. As a judge, I would rather see more manly contestants.” Tsai went on to reveal who she thought would be a good idol for China’s Got Talent aspirants, “I am a great admirer of someone like Jackie Chan (成龙) — he’s not just a martial arts superstar, but he’s also full of love, and willing to help people around him lead a better life.”
It is understood that the team behind China’s Got Talent have purchased the rights to the mainland China franchise of Britain’s Got Talent, the show that produced Susan Boyle, and they will make small adaptations to fit the local market. In the process of the show, we’ll see the top three contestants from Britain’s Got Talent, American Idol, and Australian Idol, come perform with Chinese contestants on the same stage, and Susan Boyle may even make an appearance in Shanghai for the finals. Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Wuhan, Tianjin and Chengdu have been identified as the six main contest regions, but pit stops will also be made in Xi’an, Shenyang, Kunming, Guangzhou and Chongqing. Dragon TV will select three stars with different styles and personalities and backgrounds to form the panel of judges — and some of the judges now being considered include Ge You, Liu Xiaoqing, Ying Da, Wu Zongxian, Xu Jinglei, Zhang Aijia, Lin Zhiling and Li Daqi. Come September, top talent from the shows in other parts of the world will also take centrestage at the Shanghai Expo along with winners from China’s Got Talent.
Shanghaiist will be reaching out to Fremantle Media, owner of the “Got Talent” franchise, for their views of Jin Lei and Jolin Tsai’s statements. Watch this space.