Indeed, on Friday night, the Backstreet Boys were on stage in Shenyang as part of the Liaoning TV Spring Festival Gala. (Full show here.)
How did a regional gala secure the rights to such a big-name act? It’s all part of a trend as viewers continue to search for alternatives to CCTV’s national gala, which has fallen into the trap of trying to please too many people. Via SCMP:
Analysts and viewers say that’s because the annual gala – the most-watched show in the mainland each year – has lost some of its lustre as it faces increasing competition from provincial-level broadcasters that host their own shows to ring in the Lunar New Year.
It’s not like the CCTV Spring Festival Gala’s ratings are dramatically slipping. It’s the only show on basically every channel on New Year’s Eve, and most families will have the TV on. Still, it’s behind the times. Dion’s performance this year was the first for an international star. Meanwhile, domestic performers have been increasingly snubbing the show, such as Zhao Benshan, a popular comedian and former national gala mainstay, and Fan Bingbing, who might be the most popular actress in China.
We’re sure it still had its highlights. It didn’t have Backstreet Boys, however. Here they are performing “As Long As You Love Me”: