A well-known Chinese pop star accidentally revealed she was lip-synching instead of singing during a televised concert by brandishing her microphone the wrong way around.
Sa Dingding, a 32-year-old folk singer-songwriter from Inner Mongolia, was performing yesterday at the Lantern Festival Gala broadcast on channel CCTV 15 when the embarrassing faux-pas occurred, according to a report by People's Daily Online.
据人民网报道，32岁的萨顶顶是来自内蒙古的民乐歌手和词曲作家，昨天在CCTV 15 音乐频道播出的元宵晚会上演出时发生了拿倒话筒的尴尬一幕。
In 2009, China introduced a national ban on lip-synching by its pop stars following the controversy over the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games, along with the promise of a hefty fine.
Opening the song with a section of interpretive dance, the star only realized she was holding her microphone upside down when she began singing.
The video shows Sa smiling sheepishly as she quickly reverses her mistake before carrying on with her performance like a true professional as if nothing had happened.
After the broadcast ended, Sa reportedly took to Sina Weibo to tell her 1.6 million followers: 'Next time I'll sharpen up my acting skills'. However, the post does not exist on Sa's account this morning. It's unclear whether or not she has taken it down. Some internet commenters were not surprised, believing lip-synching is not uncommon in China.
One user 'Chen Jianqiang' wrote: 'How many singers don't lip sync in China? It would be news if Sa Dingding doesn't lip sync.'
用户'Chen Jianqiang' 评论道：中国有几个歌手真唱？萨顶顶不假唱，那才是大新闻呢！
Others on Weibo argued Sa Dingding made her error on purpose to expose that she was asked to lip-sync by the director of the show.
'Tu'er Joker' said the whole thing was a setup: 'It was definitely deliberate. She could have felt the microphone in her hand'
'Tu'er Joker' 说，"整件事情都是事先安排好的，这无疑就是故意的，她明明可以感觉到自己手上的麦克风。"
Performing on the star-studded show alongside, Sa were a veritable Chinese pop talent, including the popular TFBOYS boyband who unveiled their highly-anticipated new single.
Sa, who released her sixth LP 'The Butterfly Dream' in November last year, is known to sing in languages including Mandarin, Sanskrit, Tibetan, as well an imaginary language of her own creation.
In 2008 she won a World Music award from BBC Radio 3, being voted as the best singer in Asia and the Pacific.
Two famous Chinese starlets were handed a total fine of 80,000 yuan (8,700 pounds) in January 2010 for miming during a staged concert in Sichuan.
One of the pair, Fang Ziyuan, made an almost identical mistake to Sa by holding her mic the wrong way up for half of her performance.