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Both Talent and Brains Needed
Although talented singers do not have to be smart to gain the national spotlight, excessive publicity of their stupidity could wrongly show students that they don't need to study and work hard to win fame.

Such an embarrassing gaffe occurred at the Tenth National Young Singers TV competition, when a Chinese singer did not know which countries were home to Chang'an Avenue and Wall Street.

Millions of TV viewers were astonished the contestant did not know the famous avenue in front of Tian'anmen Square in Beijing and the famous financial street in New York City.

The competition, held by China Central Television (CCTV), serves as a springboard for China's young signers seeking national fame and fortune.

The intellectual part of the competition accounts for 1 per cent of the total score.

Although such a low percentage has little bearing on the singers' chances, the lack of basic knowledge could undermine their public image and create a bad example for their young fans.

Statistics show that among the professional group, more than 100 players got an average score of 0.49. The highest score is 1.

Contestants answer 200 questions on a variety of subjects. The degree difficulty does not exceed primary school or junior secondary school.

Since few people make it in the music world, youths need to know that they will likely pursue a career in which professional skills and basic knowledge are crucial.

They cannot look to such singers and draw the conclusion that basic knowledge is not necessary.

This would make them unmotivated in school.

It is up to parents and teachers to show youths the importance of knowledge after watching such a competition.

(China Daily August 14, 2002)

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