One of the best aspects of China’s Got Talent (中国达人秀), which is now in its third episode (and still being filmed in Shanghai), is how it’s given rise to so many unexpected and touching moments. Paul Potts? Susan Boyle? China’s got those in spades, and I have to give credit to the producers – they’ve thankfully chosen to focus on the weird and wonderful in ways other talent shows haven’t. The latest to wow: a duck neck snacks saleman.
Zhou Yanfeng, a duck neck (yabozi – it’s a snack) salesman from Henan who works in Shanghai’s Zhabei district, dressed up as a giant pig in the latest China’s Got Talent episode and came on stage. His talent: pretending to be slaughtered by himself. As you’d expect, he received three “no”s from the judges, but that’s when he dropped this bomb.
“Actually, I came here for my wife,” he told them. “. Her favorite hobby in the world is to sing. One time, when I picked her up from work at 3 in the morning, I found her under a bridge singing. When I saw it, my heart was hurting. I hoped that by coming here, I could win a small amount of money and help my wife open a small karaoke bar. I don’t care how small it is, as long as it means my wife could sing as much as she wants. Unfortunately, I’ve been rejected by the three teachers (the judges). Our dream has also been rejected.
But I beg you three teachers – please give my wife a chance to sing on this stage. Even if it’s to yell one note, that’s fine. ”
The judges agree, the wife comes out and… woah! Did I mention Susan Boyle before? Because she could’ve been that of China. She’s not a powerhouse and it was wobbly from nerves, but it was smokey and clear and much better than anyone on China’s current pop charts.
Is it possible this was staged? Yes – after all, the speech Zhang makes sounds pretty rehearsed, and it’s hard to know whether it’s because he knew what would happen and came up with it beforehand or if someone wrote it for him. It’ll always be a question, considering the transparency of these shows – and even media exposes on the couple like this one can only dampen suspicions somewhat.
But then again, isn’t every talent program in the world somewhat produced anyhow? Good on China’s Got Talent for wringing out the maximum effect these stories could have.