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March 19, 2010

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Home » Feature » Events and TV

TV 'Super Families' sing and dance their way to World Expo

TALENTED families from around China, including two with expat wives, will sing, dance, act and tell inspiring stories in "Super Family" airing weekly in a World Expo promotion.

Ten families will take part in the national finals airing live every Sunday at 9:15pm on Dragon TV. It will run through the opening of World Expo 2010 on May 1.

The popular show was launched last July and thousands of families from China and abroad took part in rounds at local and regional levels.

Veteran Chinese mainland actress Liu Xiaoqing heads the jury panel, but SMS votes will be decisive.

It is the only licensed Expo-related talent show. Winners will become Expo Goodwill Ambassadors and may perform in the Expo's grand opening on May 1. Their virtual 3D images will appear on the official Expo Website ( and help Internet visitors learn more about the Expo and its pavilions.

The winning family gets one-year free rent in a new villa in Shanghai and tickets to the six-month Expo.

Ukrainian Iryna Novikova and her Chinese husband Bei Le

Duets (Cantonese and English love songs)

Novikova, who has been living in Shanghai for four years, and is something of a local celebrity, singing in clubs and on popular TV entertainment shows.

Born into a musical family, Novikova carries on her late father's love of music. Fascinated by Chinese culture, she moved to China and began to study Chinese and English.

She found work singing in pubs and clubs and on TV.

Novikova met Bei Le, a professional local singer, who later became her husband.

As the couple is dedicated to their Luwan District community and supports preparations for the Expo, they have been honored as a district Expo Image Ambassador.

"Both of us are thrilled to do something for the Expo," says Novikova. "I especially love the city's delicious food, customs and art."

She says she and her husband get along well, despite different cultural backgrounds. She says Shanghai men are "brilliant, practical and gentle."

She plans to invite her mother to Shanghai and she herself plans to live in Shanghai for a long time.

Another finalist couple from Shanghai includes a German wife and her Chinese husband.

Wang Feihong

Pop singer, martial artist

At first sight, Wang Feihong looks a lot like the late kung fu master Bruce Lee. A student of famous Hong Kong martial arts choreographer Kong To-hoi, Wang is taking part in the "Super Family" contest to pay tribute to his idol Lee.

Last year Wang and his brother performed the pop song, "A Man of Determination" - and enlivened it with martial arts. He cut through wood with one hand, walked on broken light bulbs and practiced Wing Chun kung fu.

Born into a poor family in Guizhou Province, Wang lost his father when he was only seven years old. To support the family, he worked on construction site and waited tables in big cities such as Guizhou and Guangzhou in Guangdong Province.

"I learned martial arts in childhood, at first simply to protect my mother from thieves," Wang recalls. "Later I was moved by Bruce Lee's determination and his persistence when he lost bouts against some of the best fighters in the world."

Later this month Wang will take part in a kung fu-themed concert in memory of Lee in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province. He may appear in a new biopic about the legendary martial arts hero.

In the "Super Family" show, Wang will perform classic folk songs from his hometown with his brother, mother and sister. Wang says he hopes to build a charity school for poor children in the area.

Tang Dan

Singer, cancer survivor

Tang Dan from Jiangsu Province is known as a "soul singer" because her triumph over cancer has moved many TV viewers.

In 2007, at the height of her career, she received a contract offer from the chairman of the Japanese Music Society. At the same time she was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer.

More than 30 radiation treatments in four hours damaged her ability to swallow and to walk.

She never surrendered and wanted to sing again. Now she is recovering well and can even sing. She performed on a show to earn production money for her new album, "Love."

Hearing her story on TV, many Netizens have expressed their good wishes and encouragement. Every day Tang receives messages from supporters.

"With my new songs I want to give young people a message of faith and courage," she says. "Even if one day I can no longer sing, my family and friends can hear and remember my voice."

Ang Meixian

Village singer, dancer

Although she can't read music notes, village chief Ang Meixian is the "singing queen" in her Yi ethnic hamlet in Yunnan Province. She hopes her singing and dancing will help raise money to improve life in her needy, drought-striken village.

She will perform with her family, including two teenage sons. Ang has no official musical training, but she sings many original songs inspired by rural life in Shilin County.

As the village chief, Ang is trying to raise the income of her villagers and attract some commercial development. One of the reasons she took part in the talent show is to raise funds to build a road in her village.

"It takes more than half an hour on a bullock cart to reach the nearest highway," Ang says. "Poor roads and infrastructure will hamper the development of our village."

She is also worried by a drought that hurts agriculture, reduces drinking water and increases the fire risk.

"The contest is also a good platform to ask for help," Ang says. "I hope the audience can offer helping hand to my hometown. We are one big family."


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