They were the Olympic opening ceremonies that wowed the world with their stunning displays of Socialist sophistication— but were they on the level? Allegations are flying that Chinese authorities faked certain parts of the broadcast, even going so far as to replace a singing 7-year-old who organizers deemed not hot enough to serve as the face of young China. Says HuffPo of the last-minute switch:
The real voice behind the tiny, pigtailed girl in the red dress who wowed 91,000 spectators at the National Stadium on opening night really belonged to 7-year-old Yang Peiyi. Her looks apparently failed the cuteness test with officials organizing the ceremony, but Chen said her voice was judged the most beautiful.
Video (and more accusations of Olympic fakery) after the jump:
THR's James Hibberd provides a helpful roundup of allegations, including complaints about NBC's misuse of the "Live" stamp and charges that a beautiful, aerial shot of fireworks was computer-generated, a fact that that commentators danced around:
Accusation: That viewers were misled by the use of CGI fireworks during a sweeping helicopter shot leading up to Bird's Nest National Stadium. Organizers note the fireworks were there, but the footage was created in advance due to the danger of shooting live from a nearby helicopter.
Hurt by the allegations, NBC and Chinese authorities teamed up to release an ominous statement intended to quash dissent, promising, "If more columnists dare to question the magisterial beauty of our Games, we will have no choice but to pull Olympic coverage in favor of wall-to-wall airings of Can't Stop the Music. Xie xie."