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Passé Gala

By Wen Ya (Global Times)

08:05, January 13, 2012

(Photo from Global Times)

The CCTV Spring Festival Gala announced yesterday that a young fresh celebrity, 26-year-old Li Sisi, will join its hosting team at this year’s gala in an effort to save the event’s waning popularity - perhaps in vain.

The gala - a four-hour live show on CCTV every Chinese New Year’s eve featuring singing, dancing and comedy - has been watched as a tradition by tens of millions of Chinese viewers since it first aired 30 years ago.

However, it is gradually losing its public appeal, especially among young people who nowadays have more entertainment choices.

"A new host won’t change the gala’s fundamental style, which is lavishing praise on social progress and harmony, and promoting so-called mainstream values,” Chen Liwei, a 30-year-old PR company employee in Beijing, told the Global Times yesterday.

"The gala is boring and it lasts too long. Every year, it tries to create a happy and lively scene, but the fundamental form of the programs is the same,” Chen said.

Cui Yongyuan, a well-known TV host with CCTV who has participated in the Gala before, is also now mocking the show.

"You cannot really say anything but positive things [at the gala]. Nothing about food safety, or the economic slump…” Cui wrote on his verified Weibo account on sohu.com.

"No comedian in the gala makes me laugh, but instead I find myself cursing it,” Zhang Li, another Gala antagonist, told the Global Times.

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