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.