- The Washington Times - Friday, April 6, 2007

BEIJING (AP) — Tears, wild hair and unhealthy songs will be banned when China’s latest version of “American Idol” goes on the air next month.

“No weirdness, no vulgarity, no low taste,” the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) said yesterday in a notice to the producers of “Happy Boys Voice,” according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The talent show, to be broadcast beginning May 1, is a sequel to the hugely popular TV contest “Super Girls’ Voice” in 2005, which drew more than 400 million viewers. The woman who won that contest became a popular singer in China.

But Xinhua said the competition drew official and public criticism for promoting vulgarity.

“Happy Boys Voice” should include only “healthy and ethically inspiring” songs and “avoid scenes of screaming fans or losing contestants in tears,” the regulator was quoted as saying.

The show should “maintain a happy atmosphere,” SARFT said in the notice to the show’s producer, a television station in the central province of Hunan.

It said scenes of wailing and screaming were in “low taste.”

And in a move that would shock Simon Cowell, the acid-tongued judge of the Fox network’s “American Idol,” the broadcast watchdog said judges were prohibited “from mocking or humiliating contestants.”

Contestants must be at least 18 and, Xinhua said, “their hairstyles, clothes, fashion accessories, language and manners should be in line with the mainstream values.”

Xinhua quoted Hunan TV President Ouyang Changlin saying the broadcast would abide by the rules.

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