Fri, Jan 08, 2010 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

Compiled By Noah Buchan  /  STAFF REPORTER

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Taipei rang in the New Year with a NT$30 million fireworks display, a goofy catchphrase (Taiwan up!) and a gaggle of celebs and hangers-on singing and dancing their way through the night. But the gossip media couldn’t refrain from pointing out certain fake aspects of the celebration: most glaringly, its lip-synching “talent.” ETTV, Apple Daily, China Times and the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper, The Liberty Times, all had the lowdown.

First up, Wu Chun (吳尊) of popular boy band Fahrenheit (飛輪海). During a performance of the band’s hit song Superb (出神入化), the starched collar of Wu’s glittery-gold jacket malfunctioned and knocked his headset away from his mouth. Oddly enough, his “singing” voice could still be heard.

“I wasn’t the only one singing,” Wu said later when asked for an explanation — as if to suggest that the media mistook his voice for that of one of his bandmates.

A quick look on YouTube, however, reveals no difference between Wu’s voice with or without the headset.

Further south in Taichung, Netizens said that they heard Cyndi Wang’s (王心凌) voice, even though the microphone was nowhere near her mouth. Wang’s agent was quick to come to her rescue.

“During several lines of the chorus she was only supposed to dance,” he said. “Not sing.”

Another search on YouTube shows that, unlike Wu, Wang seems to be singing live. However, her vocals are sung over a backing soundtrack.

Incidentally, readers who check out YouTube may want to compare New Order’s Blue Monday with Wang’s Happy Loving, the song she performed in Taichung. The beginning of her tune is such an obvious a rip-off of New Order’s 1983 classic that one has to wonder what all the lip-synching hullaballoo is about.

Perhaps Wang is just following in the footsteps of her father, Wang Chi-hui (王吉輝), who is currently under investigation for fraud.

According to a report in the United Daily News, the elder Wang invited a jeweler by the name of Lin Chi-hui (林奇慧) to join an organization called the Research Institute for Cross-Straight Peace and Law (海峽兩岸和平法學術研究院). However, it appears that this “institute” is a front for selling Buddhist trinkets.

Prosecutors have since charged the “chairman,” Hung Kun-yang (洪昆陽), with fraud and are now wondering why Wang the elder introduced Lin in the first place.

Returning to fraudulent singing, Alex To (杜德偉) didn’t even try to hide the fact that he was lip-synching during his performance in front of hundreds of thousands of fans in Taoyuan. Or, rather, his agent didn’t.

“The dance routine is difficult to perform live,” he said. “We felt lip-synching to be acceptable because [To] is the original singer.”

Pop Stop wonders if To can chew bubble gum and walk at the same time.

There were other, lesser known, “bands” that engaged is this foul practice, but Pop Stop asks, what’s the big deal? Lip-synching is as common in Taiwan’s celebrity firmament as fake body parts. And nobody gets uptight about a nip here and a tuck there anymore — not unless, that is, some surgeon provides illegal implants.

Meanwhile Rainie Yang (楊丞琳) didn’t find love on New Year’s Eve, as she had hoped. The singer said she was anticipating a text message from a love interest. It never came. She did, however, receive a marriage proposal from a female fan, according to a report in the Liberty Times.

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