A Tronkie Travellogue
Day 16: Beijing, China
The Hangzhou finals of Chao Nu (Supergirl), the female analogue of Chinese Idol or Pop Idol.
The uniformed pair are Reborn, a twin sister duo. The girls are former soldiers based in Hangzhou but were born, and grew up very poor, in Xinjiang Province.
Xiaotianbao meets the TEUNCs
In the morning, I introduce my cousin Cynthia to Tripitaka, figgylicious, and gondhir.
gondhir shows her the infamous "giant eyes" picture of himself, and she pronounces him "oily". She then grabs my camera and begins imitating Gond:
In the afternoon, I introduced my cousin Cynthia to:
- Homestar Runner, Trogdor, and the King of Town
- BadgerBadgerBadger and PotterPotterPotter
- Chase Me
- Weebl and Bob
- Magical Trevor
- The End of the World
Mr. Huang comes by for lunch, sans sproglet. In the early evening, my uncle entertains the president of the newsmagazine China Campus, along with a young man who is one of the editors. This month, my uncle is on the front cover; he also writes a regular column for the publication.
Left: Chao Nu, or Supergirl, features first-round contestants from each of several major municipalities, like American Idol. The five regional finalists face off in the national finals. Here is one contestant.
Right: One interesting feature is the accompaniment.
Left: Another interesting difference is in the judging. Unlike American Idol's single panel of three judges, the trios of Chao Nu guest judges are associated with each city and coach the survivors of each tournament round on how to do better in the next. Here is the female judge from Hangzhou, who generally finds something nice to say about everyone. (Hrm, that sounds familiar...)
Right: Here is the more severe male judge. I have to say, I'm disappointed that there isn't a truly snarky Simon Cowell equivalent.
Fans of Chao Nu during the last round of the Hangzhou Finals.
Left: Eliminations in Chao Nu are accompanied by tons of fanfare and hugging, along with a brief "retrospective" set to something such as Enya's "May It Be". They even pre-record goodbyes for every possible combination of survivor and loser.
Right: Finally, the contestant voted off the show gets to sing one final "farewell song".
The single most overplayed commercial in all of Chinese prime-time TV: a short ad for the Oppo MP3 player featuring a young man and woman flirting on a subway. Their momentary idyll is interrupted by a voice that says "the train has arrived".
Fourth Aunt and her husband and Second Aunt and her husband came back from Chengde in the afternoon, and Jon and Michelle got in from Xi'an a little after 22:00. I'm putting The Constant Gardener on for them now.