Face Off: should lip syncing be banned?

Face Off: should lip syncing be banned?

Each week, two of our readers debate a hot topic in a parliamentary-style debate that doesn’t necessarily reflect their personal viewpoint. This week’s topic is ...

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Singer Mariah Carey (unfortunately) greeted 2017 with a failed lip synced NYE performance in New York.
Photo: Reuters

Rai Anna-L, 18, The University of Hong Kong

The issue of lip syncing is a highly controversial topic, especially with recent incidents garnering more attention and worldwide debate.

Fans not only spend time but also their hard-earned money for the sole purpose of hearing their musical idols. Singers are aware of this expectation and it is only fair for them to deliver on their word.

Singing is a hard job. Singers often have busy schedules, which cause a strain on their vocal chords and can eventually result in health problems. Lip syncing helps to relieve this burden.

However, hypothetically speaking, if a regular person found they were not able to do their regular job, they would not be paid. So why should we give special treatment to singers? That is a double standard.

International superstar Adele is a professional singer who can not only sing powerfully, she can improvise when the sound system fails. When she sang All I Ask at her concert at Birmingham NEC Genting Arena last year, she ran into technical difficulties – but she didn’t stop. She kept singing the whole song. Everyone applauded her performance and they sang along with her, too. It was a brilliant show and she did it well. She did not need lip syncing to keep the audience amused. Her “real” talent touched everyone’s heart, and demonstrated her actual ability, and this is what makes her an international pop star.

Lip syncing should not be allowed as it fails to prove singers’ real talents that they rely on to make a living and be popular


Lip Sync Battle at the 2014 JRAs


Lucinda Kam Wing-lam, 20, The University of Hong Kong

Consider the line: “I know I can treat you better than he can; and any girl like you deserves a gentleman.” Now, which would you rather singing Treat You Better to you: a pre-recorded audio file, or the actual voice of Shawn Mendes? Most of us would prefer live shows to highly produced CD-quality audio. But there are times when lip syncing should be accepted.

First, it is the rising demand and expectation from fans that drives singers to lip sync in their performances. Fans always expect their idols to have perfect shows, filled with amazing dancing and incredible singing, but when they discover that their favourite star has lip synced, it becomes a major scandal.

Most recently, popstar Mariah Carey used a recording of her voice while she performed at a New Years event. It is believed that she did it so that during the performance she could come closer to the crowd, and actually shake hands with them. In a case like this, lip syncing is perfectly acceptable.

Then there are shows that are done on a huge scale, such as the opening or closing ceremonies of the Olympics. Seen around the world, these events are supposed to be perfect, and that includes the music. The committee of the Beijing Olympics picked two girls for the ceremony. One was responsible for singing, while the other was asked to perform on stage. In this case, the lip syncing was a good choice, as it ensured the quality of performance.

You may argue that lip syncing is not a real performance, but it is a good tool that many singers use to keep the show running. There are times when the performer does not feel well, but they still need to show up for fans who have paid their hard-earned money for tickets. Lip syncing allows them to see a high quality show, and lets the singer avoid criticism for not being able to sing properly.

Lip syncing is not a crime, so it should not be banned.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Should lip syncing be banned?

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