Boyle tunes up for Asia debut
Updated: 2011-07-09 07:55
By Xu Junqian (China Daily)
Susan Boyle (right), runner-up of Britain's Got Talent in 2009, is all smiles as she poses with Cai Hongping, a 55-year-old vegetable seller dubbed the "Chinese Susan Boyle", at a news conference in Shanghai on Friday. Gao Erqiang / China Daily
SHANGHAI - As fingers hovered over camera buttons, a hush of anticipation spread through the spacious and resplendently lit hall. Singing sensation Susan Boyle was about to make her entrance.
Dressed in a red Chinese-style suit and carrying a checked bag, Boyle, runner-up of Britain's Got Talent in 2009, made her debut in China at a news conference in Shanghai's Royal Meridien Hotel on Friday.
As special guest for the finale of the second season of China's Got Talent, to be filmed on Sunday at Shanghai stadium, Boyle will sing two songs: Who I Was Born To Be from her first album and I Dreamed a Dream, the song that made her famous.
It will not only be the first time the Scot has visited China, but also her debut performance outside of Britain or the United States.
"I like Chinese culture and the friendly people here," Boyle told China Daily when asked what attracted her to the country.
About 30,000 people will see her perform live, with millions more watching at home, say producers of the show, which enjoyed record ratings in its first season.
"We have been inviting Boyle since the first season," said chief director Jin Lei. "It's a pity she didn't make it last year because of her tight schedule, but we're glad to have her here this year, when we happen to have a contestant sharing a similar experience and voice with Boyle."
Jin was referring to a 55-year-old vegetable seller Cai Hongping, dubbed the "Chinese Susan Boyle" after she rewrote the lyrics of Luciano Pavarotti's Nessun Dorma and sang it on China's Got Talent. A video clip of Cai has been viewed close to 23 million times in a month on Youku, a popular video-sharing website.
Prior to the confirmation of Boyle's visit, Cai expressed a desire to talk with her British icon and teach her some of her works, although the Anhui native does not speak one word of English.
At Friday's news conference, Cai gave Boyle a silk dress on behalf of the TV production crew. In return, she received a box of traditional Scottish shortbread.
"I hope Cai enjoys singing on the stage, rather than seeing it as a competition," said Boyle, who will stay in Shanghai until Monday.
Jin said eight groups of contestants, including Cai, will compete for the title of "Chinese talent". The audience, three judges and a group of 101 Chinese journalists will jointly decide the winner.
"There is no champion, or second and third in our show. Everyone is honorable as they are all coming with a dream," said Jin. However, the final "Chinese talent" will have a chance to be part of a global tour, just like Liu Wei, the armless pianist who won last year's show.
(China Daily 07/09/2011 page1)
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