Zhang Ziyi accused of lip-synching at annual CCTV gala

Chinese Hollywood actress Zhang Ziyi performs during the annual Spring Festival evening gala broadcast live on Wednesday night, Feb. 6, 2008. (Photo: sina.com)

Chinese Hollywood actress Zhang Ziyi was accused of lip-synching during the annual Spring Festival evening gala broadcast live on Wednesday night.

Zhang, 29, an internationally recognized Chinese actress, lit up the stage with a pink outfit that drew envious gasps from ordinary girls.

She sang "Fairy Scattering Flowers," which was specially composed for her by leading musician Ji Zhongping. Zhang was alone on stage during the performance.

Comments at Sina.com, a major Chinese news portal, were not too kind. Posters said that her performance was just ordinary and she had no real singing skill; it was just her fame that got her audience attention. The complaints about the program started to appear almost as soon as the show signed off at about 1:00 a.m.

An article in the Modern Express, a newspaper based in Nanjing, capital of eastern Jiangsu Province, said that lip-synching was common during the annual CCTV gala due to "hardware problems".

"Lip-synching at the gala is a tradition," it said, adding Zhang came in for public criticism because "she was an amateur singer who was not well-prepared and even forgot words". The article attributed her poor performance to "a lack of experience".

But Zhang thought she did well. "Fairy Scattering Flowers symbolizes happiness and auspiciousness. 2008 is especially important for Beijing and China and each of us. I wish spring would come earlier so that the snow in disaster areas would melt soon," she told reporters.

Zhang made her name with the martial arts blockbuster "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and with "Memoirs of a Geisha", among others. She was once director Zhang Yimou's favored actress. They collaborated on "The Road Home", "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers".

Every year, CCTV holds a special on Lunar New Year's Eve, featuring dances, songs and short comedies. This year, the gala had another theme: unity and the courage of the people to cope with the snow disaster.

A survey on Sina.com showed that among the performances at this year's gala, "Blue and White Porcelain" by Taiwan singer Jay Chou ranked top among the viewers, with the second and third places taken by girl pop group S.H.E. and Fei Yu-ching, both from Taiwan.


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