China’s version of ‘American Idol’ gets green light

A spokesman for China’s Hunan Satellite Television said Tuesday that “Happy Girls”, its proposed version of “American Idol”, had won conditional approval from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

Li Chao told Xinhua the singing contest would last no more than two months and must be aired after 10:30 p.m.. The TV anchors should act and speak decently and the judges should be authoritative and observe common courtesy.

The conditional approval came after a similar reality show planned by Hunan TV was cancelled last year amid criticism that it promoted vulgarity and encouraged youngsters to seek instant celebrity. 

TV company executives were discussing the timetable and rules of the contest, Li Chao said. But he added they would stick to the tradition of selecting the best singers to the taste of the general public.

Hunan TV broadcast “Super Girls” from 2004 to 2006 and “Happy Boys” in 2007. 

 “Super Girls” drew 400 million viewers for the finale of its four-month run in 2005 and helped contestants, including the winner, Li Yuchun, gain nationwide celebrity.

In 2004 and 2005, there was no age limit for contestants. But in 2006 and 2007, the contestants had to be aged over 18.

The show attracted as many as 50,000 contestants in one year. Besides the judges, viewers also could vote for their favorite singers by text message.

In a similar show, “Britain’s Got Talent”, Susan Boyle, 47, became a celebrity almost overnight earlier this month, after the clip of her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” was viewed millions of times on video-sharing websites.


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