Who is this mysterious Russian singer performing with Kim Soo-hyun, Jane Zhang and Zhang Jie?

Who are you, mystery Russian lady?

Who are you, mystery Russian lady?

The II Summer Youth Olympic Games kicked off last night in China’s historically on-again, off-again capital of Nanjing with a special effects-laden, two-hour opening ceremony. More fun than Beijing’s 2008 spectacular, Nanjing featured an upbeat pop song, Light Up the Future 点亮未来, sung by superpeople Jane Zhang and Zhang Jie, and foreign guests Kim Soo-hyun and an unknown Russian singer.

An unknown Russian singer.

Far be it for the organisers to include her name in the program, or for official media sources to refer to her as something other than “a female Russian singer.” Chinese sources give her name as 噶丽娅, transliterated as Galiya. Ah, of course! The famed Russian pop princess, Galiya!

Except nobody seems to know who she is.

Popular South Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun received the biggest applause of the four performers, while the blonde Russian songstress went virtually unnoticed. This is unusual, because Chinese audiences usually love white people singing in Chinese.

In covering the opening ceremony, Chinese media this morning focused mostly on the Korean idol. Some even claimed he has an “amazing voice” (but let’s be honest with ourselves here). A foreign entertainer hasn’t received this much attention in China since Celine Dion performed on CCTV’s 2013 Spring Festival Gala.
Virtually no media sources covered the Russian performer beyond her nationality. And her recently created, Wikipedia-esque Baike page remains a stub, revealing nothing except that she is a Russian singer who performed at the Nanjing Youth Olympics.

Her lack of public exposure and unknown status (at least in China) raises the question of why she was chosen to perform alongside three A-listers. More outlandish conspiracy theories suggest that she may be a Russian spy.

If you know the identity of our mystery singer, drop us a note in the comments.

Watch the full opening ceremony here.

14 thoughts on “Who is this mysterious Russian singer performing with Kim Soo-hyun, Jane Zhang and Zhang Jie?

  1. Reblogged this on Pinkpodster Ponders and commented:
    The mysterious Russian singer. Someone please help all us curious people out. I know some no-so famous people with more Wikipedia info than she has. I would love to know her secret to being famous without an Internet presence!

  2. Seems like SK entertainers are more popular among Chinese than their own stars. The applause for Kim was much more audible and enthusiastic than for both Zhangs

    • I wouldn’t blanket Korean entertainers as a whole. Kim Soohyun is virtually the only South Korean actor with mainstream popularity in China.

    • I wouldn’t say KSH is the only popular Korean actor, since Lee Minho was quite popular a while back too. It just so happens that KSH is current the IT person in China, with his face plastered over virtually ever product, public area, and bus/train stops, in addition to the lack of current hype over the other two Chinese singers. If it was GEM singing, or maybe one of the popular dads/kids from Dad, where are we going, then you’d probably hear a lot more cheering.

      • There are other Korean popular entertainers in China, of course, but very few of them have hit the mainstream the way Kim Soohyun has. Most of them have a relatively small number of relative young, fervently passionate fans. Kim Soohyun, on the other hand, is perhaps the only Korean actor that you could show to, say, a 45-year-old woman in Hohhot, and be recognised.

        During the performance, half of Kim Soohyun’s applause probably came from the fact that he was singing in Chinese. You can’t deny that Chinese audiences are easily impressed when it comes to foreigners singing in Chinese. It sounded as if Jane could have mustered a similar amount of applause, but by the time the audience understood that they were watching a musical performance, she had already finished her line.
        Also remember that the audience reaction is recorded separately from the vocals, so we’re only hearing what the director wants us to hear. For instance, we didn’t get to hear the Nanjing audience boo the Japanese delegation during the Parade of Nations. – _ –

        • Wow. I didn’t know about that. That must have been so awkward. I do remember something similar happened during the 2008 Olympics parade of nations as well, but then again, Nanjing is such a politically sensitive location, especially with all the Yakusuni shrine and Senkaku island disputes in the past few years.

        • did the audience really boo the Japanese delegation? that shows such a lack of class; after all, these athletes are just kids who shouldn’t be held responsible for the crimes of their forefathers.

          • I think that’s probably rumors? Most people attending the event are probably invited guests.

            But, um, it is Nanjing of all cities, and those athletes unfortunately do have to bare responsibility for the current crimes of Japan for denying WWII war crimes.

  3. Maybe she’s not actually Russian but a random girl they picked up?

    But the highlight of the show was the amazing acrobats!
    http://youtu.be/M4TVuScAMPY?t=1h36m39s

  4. Well, I’m from Russia and I can say for sure, she’s no way any Russian pop princess. At least I see her for the first time in my life))

  5. Totally forgot about the Youth Olympics! Thanks for the reminder, although I am afraid I cannot help on clarifying who she is. She sings much better than Kim Soo-hyun though imo. Great to see Jane Zhang and Zhang Jie.

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