Life Just Got Harder for China's Kelly Clarkson Wannabes

Chinese censors have suspended Super Girl, their nation's answer to American Idol, because the show's audience-voting feature was too Western and democratic for their Communist tastes. The hard-to-please, no-fun bunch also didn't like the show's potential to offend the Olds, its "vulgar" hosts, the songs, the dances, or the outfits people wore.

The "official" reason why State Administration for Radio, Film and Television censors demanded the removal of Super Girl from Chinese TV is that it often went over its allotted time slot. Yet they removed other TV talent shows as well, which seems more like a War on Pop Music Talent than a campaign to strictly adhere to broadcasting schedules. Since its launch in 2004, Super Girl has been suspended at least once before and criticized by the state for promoting immorality, America's Number One export. The show's brother, Super Boy, has also faced censorship—notably in 2007, when the government told its organizers to avoid gossip and only feature "healthy and ethically inspiring songs" (about the glory of Communism and the party, no doubt).

Now that Super Girl's been suspended, its home-base station, Hunan Satellite Television, will comply with government orders and replace it with programs that "promote moral ethics and public safety and provide practical information for house work." Sounds scintillating! We imagine these shows will consist of half-hour sermons about mopping and dusting, delivered by a tiny old woman whose glasses have those safety chains dangling from the stems. Oh well, at least China's talented Youngs can still turn to YouTube for their chance at song-and-dance stardom.

[FT]