Is Super Girl a Force for Democracy?


Super Girl is China's American Idol, and that question was asked earlier this month in the state-run Beijing Today:

For nearly three hours last week China stopped—and voted. But this was no political revolution. This was popular culture at its most powerful and bizarre—a massive thumbs-up to a 21-year-old from Sichuan, who belted out a song called "Zombie", a rendition of a hit by Irish rock band, the Cranberries…

Nothing this large and spontaneous has ever pushed its way unapproved into China's mainstream media before. And never before have the Chinese voted in such large numbers.

The Economist (sub. only) points to the China Daily's take:

How come an imitation of a democratic system ends up selecting the singer who has the least ability to carry a tune?