On April 7, 2012, Our Heroine is invited as a semifinalist in the China idol (6 Prodigies, 1 Winner) contest on CCTV.
The appearance is extraordinary for her as well as for audience and panel: her kind of “act”, Miss Hiawatha, is rare, its convincing performance (as “primal/aboriginal”, in a “foreign” montagnard tongue not really translatable song)
In line with “new” policy of Minorities arts’ preservation, the show’s very unusually tall but well-travelled host, Li Yong, goes out of his way to be courteous: so also do the 2 fellow-singers on the panel. The crowd is another matter (watch their faces). Their supremacist contempt (snickering) is in play, as the camera repeatedly shows.
Or so, at at least. for the first of her 3 “Acts”, the ecstatic dancing and shouting we have seen as we got to know her earlier. This is Amerindian wardruming, or its equivalent, but in a society where regret for the years of contempt is only beginning to surface.
Uglier, more trying (for her) still is the behavior of the Lead Judge, Bo Lin, a well known comic raconteur and pattertalker ever present in TV specials.
I’ve watched most of the series since it launched in 2010, and I’ve never seen him so crude, mocking. Of course (as the audience would know), his career gets its leverage from a long spell in the Army (PLA) “Opera” (gewutguan), the core of Han supremacist and nationalist sentiment still, always. But that does not forgive this obviously unscripted show. “Un-PC” these days even in China. (Though as the show moves into her 2nd and 3rd acts, one notes him backing down, I think out of respect for her surprisingly (if subtle) steadfastness and skill as a verbal fencer. No surprise for us, of course, since we have seen her before and heard “Dadawa”s assessment. This “kid” is a fighter, if a gracious one.