Chinese officials are defending Friday’s lip-synched performance of its national anthem, reports the AP. "There were a number of candidates to sing that song and at the end of the day the artistic directors picked the best voice and the best performer," a spokesman said. The actual singer, a 7-year-old with crooked teeth, was replaced at the last minute with a prettier 9-year-old who mouthed the words to a track recorded by the first girl.
"I don't see there is anything wrong with it if everybody concerned agrees," added another organizer, saying the goal was to "achieve the most theatrical effect." The parents of both girls have called it an honor to be involved with the ceremony, but newspapers across the world have ridiculed the swap, saying it highlights how obsessed the Chinese have become with staging the “perfect” Olympic games.