Super Girls, a contest for female singers, has been the major entertainment event in China this summer. It was even evaluated to high level of social and political meaning. Chinese Bloggers also actively participated in the hot discussion, giving much valuable thoughts on what Super Girls affect Chinese society, business and culture.
The program begun last year by Hunan TV, a provincial television network. According to the organizer and producer Xia Qing, this program was inspired by the similar “American Idol” of FOX TV. The main feature of it was that everyone can take part, with almost no requirement of age, academic background and professional training. Its theme song was titled “Sing Whenever You Want to Sing”. Another prominent feature was that every audience can send SMS by mobile phone supporting the girl he or she likes. The SMS that a contestant received would be a important standard of judging whether she can stay into next round.
The popularity of Super Girls is incredible: Near 150,000 girls have signed up for a contestant; Baidu related group mailing system (BBS) has more than 10 million posts merely concerning with the Top 3 singers; The profit earned in sending SMS was said to be at least 30 million Yuan, about 2.5 million US dollar. It was estimated that 1/10 of Chinese population have watched the final round which took on Aug 26th
Chinese Bloggers are beginning to express their attitudes as soon as the event happened. As you can imagine, many fans of those girl stars rushed to their blogs to express admiration and enthusiasm. Their number can not be totally calculated. Even some of the contestants have their blogs, which can be found on Bokee.com, though it was not very clear that whether those blogs are written themselves. Here we can only picked up some rational ideas and opinions by Chinese Bloggers focusing on what and how Super Girls changed the way of entertainment and its relation to Chinese unique society and mass culture.
Lian Yue, a famed columnist, posted an entry on his blog that satirize the jealous CCTV, the largest TV network and official media of China Communist Party. CCTV has criticized Super Girls for its philistinism in artistic taste and called for more science and technology program on television. They declared that “audience rating is the origin of sin destroying program quality”. Many bloggers and netizens were very angry with this, debuting that Super Girls was the program that they loved and CCTV just used this as excuse to strike Hunan TV, who has been a competent rivalry of CCTV in entertainment field. They have organized a signup boycotting CCTV.
Anti, a veteran journalist, is the first blogger who connected Super Girls with democratic reform of China. He pointed out that every girl, who has dreamed of becoming a star, can realize her dream by the program with individual effort. He also spotted that every audience can determine the destiny their beloved girl star by sending SMS, which means the preliminary training of participatory democracy. The conclusion he made was that the unbelievable popularity of Super Girls was attributed to the urgent need of participation and transparency in society.
Zheng carefully observed how the fans are organized online and offline to support the super girls. He noted that those fans used instant massage and bulletin system to organize in order. They went out on the streets to show their passion and urge passerby to send SMS to vote for their favorite star. Zheng praised the fans for activism while worried about that government could supervise those BBS and forums because they are too “centralized” for expression.
Zhang Rui, told the common grounds existing between Super Girls and Blog: desires to realize dream and express opinion. Both of them are providing average individuals with easy way to achieve success. Hopesome gave a similar analogy between Super Girls and Podcast, saying that podcast gave everyone a platform. Interestingly the comment following his post has rose to more than 300, showing how crazy the fans are.
Super Girls has ended with the winner LiYuchun, a boyish-style girl. We are very surprised to see that Chinese Bloggers did not only express their fancy toward their favorite star simply but also had some excellent thoughts on its impact on social motivation and internet participation. The program was not merely an entertainment event but a complex subject that need more insight and investigation and Chinese Bloggers are one of significant sources contributing to the discussion.