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Chinese Spring Festival TV gala gets mixed opinion

(Xinhua)

10:53, January 24, 2012

(CNTV Photo)

BEIJING - An online survey has revealed that Chinese people have a mixed opinion on Sunday's Spring Festival TV gala, the 30th of its kind since 1983, albeit many of them agree that there were innovations and improvements in it.

As of 10:00 p.m. Monday, about 48 percent of some 71,000 respondents in the poll held by sina.com.cn, one of China's major portal websites, said they think the gala fall short of their expectations.

Another 23 percent of them said they think the gala was just fine, and only 10 percent said it was splendid.

The gala, an annual grand celebration broadcast by the China Central Television on the eve of the traditional Spring Festival, China's lunar New Year, is the most-watched TV event in the country.

"I can see the efforts of the gala staff, but it is still not good enough," said netizen "roam the life" at the Sina weibo, a popular Twitter-like microblogging website.

At the Sina weibo website, the topic "grumble at the 2012 Spring Festival TV gala" has outnumbered others with over 64 million comments and become the hottest topic of Monday.

Nonetheless, many people acknowledge the innovations and improvements in the gala.

The gala made some attempts to take a more public-friendly approach by inviting some "grassroots" performers, such as farmer-singer Zhu Zhiwen, as well as cutting all commercials during the broadcast.

A dance performance depicting a romance of peacocks and starring Yang Liping, a well-known dancer in China, is the most-followed topic at the gala's official weibo account, drawing over 3,500 comments.

The audience was also impressed by a piano duet played by Li Yundi, first prize winner of the the 14th Frederic Chopin international piano competition, and Leehom Wang, a Chinese-American pop singer-songwriter.

Moreover, about 59 percent of the online poll respondents said the stage design was quite cool.

"There are really many improvements in the gala, but it is absolutely difficult to please everyone," wrote weibo user "Wawamiaowaiwai."

Unlike their elder generation, the young generation in China has more diversified options for entertainment, and it is of great challenge to attract them at the Spring Festival celebration, said Xia Xueluan, a professor of sociology with Peking University.

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