The little match girl of Super Girls

wang zhixin

Who will light my sticks of hope?

A car accident made her an orphan at the age of ten.
A pile of family debt forced her to leave school when she was fifteen.
Five years later, a competition that brought her story to light.
This is her story, as told by Harbin TV News.
Meet Wang Zhixin, the Little Match Girl of super girls

Walking in the chilling, snowing night sky, a stick of match warms my dreams. Every step of frozenness, every step of loneliness, the coldness of people numbs my hands.

When the heavenly, almost ethereal sound was softly enounced from the mouths of a seemingly average girl, when it filled the 600 square meter room of the GBS auditorium, below the stage, the hundreds of audiences were silent.

On the night of June 14th, Wang Zhixin, a petite girl with a headfull of stubborn short hair, stood on the stage of the 2009 Super Girls, playing her guitar and lost in her own world.

Matches Heaven

A box of matches sets my heart aflame; the freezing night cannot stop my steps; the wind pierces my face;  the snow cuts at my mouth; dragging my feet, how far can I go?

In the winter of 1988, Zhixin was born in a farm family that’s as simple as can be. Though poor, her hardworking parents and the rich fields made Zhixin’s childhood one of freedom and joy. But then, a car accident made Zhixin an orphan. On the verge of death, Zhixin’s father held her aunt’s hand, tears in his eyes, and gave the only 10-year-old Zhixin to the care of her aunt and uncle. From that day, Zhixin viewed her aunt, uncle and their son Zhizhong as her own father, mother and brother. Zhixin changed. She was no longer so happy-go-lucky. Often, she would sit under the tree in the yard and stare at the rise and fall of the sun.

One night, a still sleepy Zhizhong was shaken awake by his younger sister: “brother, I saw mommy, she’s looking at me from outside the window!’

One Night was all it took, music and lyrics by Wang Zhixin

Who will buy my matches? Who will light my sticks of hope? Who will buy my loneliness?  Who will fulfill my longings of home…

A winter night of 2003, the wind, carrying the sound of whistling, beated at the window of her uncle. Zhixin, Zhizhong and uncle circled her sick aunt. In the end, brother Zhizhong spoke. After three years of bad harvest, the family is plagued by debts. Mom’s already falllen from overwork, and father’s health is also dwindling. He has decided to drop out of college to work. What does Zhixin want to do? After thinking, Zhixin surprised everyone by saying that she will also drop out to work with her brother to support the family. Although everyone knows that Zhixin should continue her studies, but with no other way of paying the debts, the family agreed.

So the 15-years-old 7th grader droped out of school and begun working. She worked as a waiter in a restaurant with a wage of 300yuan per month. Often, she would watch her classmates joyfully passing by the store window with the backpacks behind them, and Zhixin’s heart was bittersweet. One day, the scene of a farm worker playing the guitar deeply touched her, she fell in love with the unique sounds of the guitar. She wanted to learn, but there was no place to go.

Her brother, who was workng in Beijing, learned that his sister liked the guitar, and especially sent a few books to her. With the few money she had saved, she brough a guitar. And using the books her brother sent her, Zhixin began to learn the guitar.

Some say that the gods are always fair: In the deepest suffering, they will give people joy. Zhixin was born with a clear voice and a sharp ear. She learned the guitar by herself. Since she had the guitar, her eyes became peaceful again. Whenever she’s not working, she would always be softly humming, embracing herself in her music.

“I understood” on Happy Camp, she appears at 2:39

Every time I light the soft glow of the match, I can see hope; I can see dreams; I can see mother in the heavens speaking; she says you must be brave; you must be strong; don’t be afraid; don’t worry; from now on, you’ll never wander again…

August 2007, in a chance opportunity, a neighbor told her of a national youth singing competition. Wanting to try, Zhixin brought her guitar to Harbin, and walked into the competition. The heavenly music and the pure voice immediately captured the heart of the judges. From then on, the restaurant server Wang Zhixin became singer Wang Zhixin.

Music, like a lighted candle, brightened up Zhixin’s life and warmed her lonely heart. Wang Zhixin once said,”I’m not trying to practice anything when I’m playing the guitar and singing, but when I play the guitar, I want to sing, I don’t want to stop. Only when singing is my heart the most peaceful.” In the sounds of music, Wang Zhixin build her own “match heaven.”

“Let me and my guitar bring you my music.”

Because she won a national award, 19-year-old Zhixin was slowly known by everyone, and sung at a popular bar. To earn more money to help her aunt and uncle to repay their debts, other than singing at night, she also performs at various ceremonies in the day. With the money left over in 2008, she brought a guitar, her treasure that she used on the stage of Super Girls.

2009 May the 24th, auditions began for the Super Girls’ Harbin region, with an “angel’s wings,” she touched the judges. After being asked to sing two other songs, she received a pass card to go on the top 50. On May 29th, with “Match heaven” and “Cao Cao,” she got into the top 30. On May 31st, she sung “match heaven” again to enter the top 10 of Harbin, giving her a spot in the national top 300.

Don’t let my tears spend the night with me

Everytime I light the soft glow of the match, I can see hope; I can see dreams; I can see mother in the heavens speaking; she says you must be brave; you must be strong; don’t be afraid; don’t worry; from now on, you’ll never wander again; mother will take your hands and take you home, to sleep in the warm and flower-filled heaven.

“I don’t understand music, I only know that sister lives in her music,” her brother Wang Zhizhong is almost teary when interviewed about his sister,” we’re poor, and we have no money to provide for our sister. On the first day in Harbin, all the other girls ate KFC, but Zhixin only had fried rice. On the last day in Harbin, she said, “brother, can I eat one hamburger, just one?” When I saw her eating, my heart was happy but sad. I’m her older brother, yet I can’t provide a happier life for her, but she could through her own powers!” *(Western restaurants, even fast food, in china is about four times the price of a normal meal)

Thunderous clapping of hands were released as Wang Zhixin’s fingers played the last note. The “Heaven of Matches” that she sung with her heart touched the audiences’ heart, touched the judges’ heart.

On June 17th, Wang Zhixin, a girl who has never had any type of musical training, won a place in the national top 20 of the 2009 Super Girls with her self-composition “In One Night.” She used her own match – her music – to light up her youthful life.

Matches Heaven, one last time on the stage of Super Girls

Harbin TV News’ report ends there, but not her story.

Fastforward to the Super Girls Finals 15 to 10 competition. There were five contestants left and only three spots in the top 10. One of the five must be eliminated – Wang Zhixin, Zeng Yike, Huang Ying, Da Chun Zi and Li Yuanxi. The other four will go on to the next round, where a panel of judges and audiences will vote for the top three.

Judge Wu Qixian announced the results.

Wang Zhixin, the songs you chose are wonderful songs, and they require the voices to match them. I’m very happy that you have such taste to sing, but currently, you’re not good enough to sing those songs.

I was going to put this up when the Elle photoshoot for the top 10 came out, so everyone could see the little match girl as she found heaven. I should’ve known better. There are so many stories with happy endings, so many fairytale princesses Wang Zhixin could’ve been. But she was no Cinderella, she had no Prince Charming, she was the Little Match Girl, the girl whose sticks of matches illuminated her dreams, but eventually must return home when the matches all burn out.

Without a spot in the top 10, Wang Zhixin has a year with eeMedia. She’s only 20, she has more time. I sincerely hope she’ll be in the girlband, because I can’t imagine someone with her voice not singing.

32 thoughts on “The little match girl of Super Girls

  1. so, this competition is not voted by the public this time?

    if it’s not, why the non-deserving still got into top 10 spots?

    don’t know why but this year supergirls didn’t excite me as much as the first one in 2005. Is it just me?

  2. Thank you for the link, idarklight.

    …Oh my. Now I understand why people don’t get it that she got into the top 10… Why sheeee and not Wang Zhi Xin :(
    I agree with everyone that Wang Zhi Xin should be in the top 10 instead :|

    And thanks for the very interesting article about Wang Zhi Xin! :)

  3. Even He Lao Shi was suprised that Wang Zhi Xin was eliminated. She had so much potential, but I guess the show needed someone to keep the suspense (and controversies) going.

  4. Zeng Yike making it to the top 10 is so wtf -_- Even if its to rake in more viewers, the fact that shes staying makes the show look bad. Like out of 150000 ppl, is that really the best they could find :S (Most of the top 10 are awesome, but i think they couldve done alot better)

    Hope Wang Zhixin does well in the future, its a shame she didnt make it into the top 10.

  5. @nepheliad

    that’s what I don’t get. Zeng Yike can perhaps succeed elsewhere, but I have no idea why eeMedia would want to sign her for eight whole years. I was thinking that eeMedia would keep her until the top 10 for publicity reasons, but since being in the top 10 means an 8-year-contract, that seems unadvisable.

    I’m more annoyed that Pan Chen got in. Zeng Yike has publicity and suspence values, Pan Chen doesn’t even have that.

  6. Well, sometimes shows like these like to keep a “sucky” one around just to cause controversy. But seriously, her voice isn’t terrible so much as it’s not suited at all for the audience that eeMedia so far has catered to, and not at all to pop (that, plus she needs auto-tune, or learn how to stay on pitch better). She sounds a lot like Joanna Newsom, and that’s not a bad thing – if she learns what to do with it, and either writes or has someone write the right kind of songs and lyrics to match her voice.

  7. hey, thanks for giving these baidu links! :)

    Errm, it’s a bit embarrassing to ask, but who is that, bashed by most people, Zeng Yike? Since I can’t read Chinese, I never know how that person looks like :|
    And is she really that bad? Can someone provide a youtube video with her singing example? I want to know how bad she sings, haha. XD

  8. Okay, question, since some of you seem to get Hunan from satellite TV [which I don’t have], how are some of you guys watching the Super Girls competition? I have to stick with old-fashioned streaming off of sites like Tudou – I last checked Tudou like made its own Super Girls channel, but it’s annoying because it doesn’t actually have like the entire competition laid out all at once and has only short clips of whoever made it past singing – sometimes not even the right people either. I’ve so far only watched the 1st half of the 60 -> 20 competition because someone put it up, but the 2nd half of the 60 -> 20 isn’t even uploaded yet.

    And yes, I have no idea how Zeng Yike has made it thus far. I mean, really? She can hardly keep her tune straight.

  9. I’m really trying to understand the purpose of keeping her. There is nothing that makes her stand out. It’s not her looks, and she doesn’t even have that warmth in her features that Wang Zhixin has. Her composition and her voice are far below that of Wang Zhixin.

    Does anyone think it’s because they don’t want 10 soloists? What kind of company could actually support that many soloists on top of all the other artists that they have? To be honest, I’m more worried about them trying to give Pan Chen a career. Because I can’t imagine anyone trying to make Zeng Yike a star. It’d be so silly. But almost everyone in that top 7 that idarklight posted does have the potential to be soloists, except maybe Huang Ying because she’s super shy. Isn’t that too much for eeMedia?

    They are trying to do something….and I think we’ll just have to wait until the competition’s long over to find out what.

  10. Alot of audience dislikes ZYK, but I don’t know how she manage to be still there.. she’s pretty lucky. I think she should’ve been eliminated a long time ago. There are others that had alot more potential than her.

    Baidu is crazy.. everyone is bashing on ZYK.

  11. In case anyone’s wondering who the top 10 are:

    Liu Xijun
    Li Xiaoyun
    Yu Kewei
    Jiang Yingrong
    Pan Hongyue
    Huang Ying
    Li Yuanxi

    Tan Lina
    Pan Chen
    Zeng Yike

    The first seven, I understand completely. I don’t know how the 8th got this far, but she actually did pretty good on Friday. The last two, I wish weren’t alive because they’re taking up precious spots for more worthy competitors (and contract money from eeMedia).

  12. I was really said that she was eliminated, and I still can’t get over the fact that Zeng Yike made to the Top 10. UGH. -.-

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