China’s Got Cheated

A couple’s affecting stories is criticized as fake.

In these two years, China’s Got Talented has become a renowned name. Like its brother shows Britain’s Got Talented and America’s Got Talented, it is dedicated to discover the common people who have special talents. The diligent players, the fascinating performances and the strict judges are all bringing the show to every family’s screen and the leader in rating. I used to be a fan of it, but now I am getting more and more tired of it. Because I think China’s Got Talented has transformed to China’s Got Cheated. Some players succeed just because their performances are affecting other than exciting.

“Talented” means “People with convincing specialties”, which I think has two connotations. First, the players should be “talented” in living. They may have beautiful dreams for which they are persistently fighting, or they may have positive attitudes towards any frustrating obstacles or miserable experiences. Second, they should have some different skills that could convince the judges and audience. For example, the Hong Kong magician Peng Deming uses his wonderful performances (different skills) to prove that Chinese are also good at magic (big dream). I think he deserves “talented”. Click here for Peng’s escaping show.

But now, I find that some of the players only qualify the condition “be optimistic facing the misery”. What’s worse, the miserable stories has become their only but powerful weapon for moving on. I remember a dancing girl whose little salary from a factory is the only income of her family. She wants to prove her dancing talent to her ill father. This story could be a tear bomb in every talk show. But on a stage with the standard of “talented”, her appearance looks inelegant and her dance seems awkward. Punch here for her dance video. Still, the judges let her pass because she moved the female judge to burst into tears, which washed her fake eyelashes away.

There have been millions of similar cases: the young pianist without fingers, the music majored girl who abandoned studies to stick with her poor husband and the rap girl whose hobby is not understood by any of her friends. I should admit that I like these stories, because they make me believe that the world is still beautiful and the future is still bright. However, I don’t want to see this kind of players on this stage any more. They should go and apply for CCTV’s Moved China Annual Award.

I’ve got three reasons to say so.

First, this kind of players decreases the quality of the program. They may be perfect for a motivational movie like Forrest Gump. But I think what people expect from the show are beautiful melodies, exciting dances and breathtaking magic, rather than the boring unrhymed “off-the-cuff rap”, if she still dares to call it “rap”. Even my granny can rap better than that.

Second, it is unfair to the other players. On one hand, their miserable stories make the judges to lower the standard to be in sympathy with them on behalf of the unfair life. On the other hand, they occupy the quota so that the real “talented” players have to be failed.

Third, this succeeding method is encouraging more players to exaggerate or even make up miserable stories to grovel. A pianist without arms won the championship in the first season and we soon got another pianist without fingers in the second one. Punch here for the no-finger pianist. Would there be a pianist without head in the third season? I can’t help expecting that. Recently, some reporters discovered that some players’ pitiful stories are totally fake. Actually some of them were actors. I think that they deserved moving on from the aspect of performing.

To sum up, China has got moved or cheated instead of talented. I would rather to watch some dating shows like Take Me Out and One Out of 100 instead. Though the beautiful ladies also have fake identities and stories, at least they are more pretty cheaters.

About ShuzeChen

Shuze Chen is a full time graduate student at SPR, Annenberg, USC. He comes from Jiangsu, China. He did his undergraduate in Advertising, Nanjing University.
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