Back Dorm Boys

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Back Dorm Boys
Chinese name 後舍男生 (traditional)
Chinese name 后舍男生 (simplified)
Pinyin Hòushè Nánshēng (Mandarin)
Origin Guangzhou, China
Other name(s) Back Dormitory Boys
Two Chinese Boys
Asian Backstreet Boys
Chinese Backstreet Boys
Occupation Lip sync artists, singers
Genre(s) Mandopop
Years active 2005—present
Current Members Wei Wei
Huang Yixin
Official Website Official Site

The Back Dorm Boys is a Chinese duo who gained fame for their lip sync videos to songs by the Backstreet Boys and other pop stars. Their videos, captured on a low quality Web cam in their college dorm room, have been viewed by Internet users within China and around the world. Many of their videos can be seen on YouTube, giving them YouTube fame. The two, Wei Wei (simplified Chinese: 韦炜; traditional Chinese: 韋煒; pinyin: Wéi Wěi) and Huang Yixin (simplified Chinese: 黄艺馨; traditional Chinese: 黃藝馨; pinyin: Huáng Yìxīn), were sculpture majors at the Guangzhou Arts Institute (simplified Chinese: 广州美术学院; traditional Chinese: 廣州美術學院; pinyin: Gǔangzhōu Měishù Xuéyuàn).

The Dormitory Boys, a blog of note on Blogger, which some believe is not maintained by the Back Dorm Boys, but written by a ghostwriter, is taking requests asking fans to recommend the next song they should lip sync to in a possible dorm background. In January 2006, a poll was conducted from songs picked from 427 requests on this blog in 2005, December. The Black Eyed Peas' song "My Humps" won the poll, but the Back Dorm Boys lip synced to the song "Don't Lie" by the Black Eyed Peas instead, which was a huge hit on YouTube as well as their host country.

They are apparently producing a drama, according to their official blog. They are featured in one Mainland China sitcom, or drama, called Nonstop (青春进行时).

Members[edit]

As many fans do not know the real names of the Back Dorm Boys, Wei Wei is often called simply "the big one" and Huang Yi Xin "the small one". In most videos, Wei Wei is seated on the viewer's right and Huang Yi Xin on the left. Huang Yi Xin has a cast on his left arm in some early videos from when he got hurt playing basketball.

A third "dorm boy", Xiao Jing, is in the background of most of the videos. He is often playing the Counter-Strike computer game while Wei Wei and Huang Yixin are performing. His back is usually turned to the camera and his face is only rarely seen. He does, however, occasionally play a role in the videos. In the video for the Trio song "Da Da Da", Xiao Jing gets up from his chair to hold a cardboard soccer ball in the air for Huang Yi Xin to head and kick.

Xiao Jing did not appear in the video for 'Radio In My Head'.

The Back Dorm Boys graduated from the Guangzhou Arts Institute in June 2006.

Career history[edit]

The Back Dorm Boys phenomenon has resulted in an Internet meme and spawned a variety of parodies and imitations, including attempts by non-speakers to lip-sync to the Chinese lyrics in their videos. The Back Dorm Boys received mainstream media attention in the United States through The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The Back Dorm Boys made their first video just for fun, to show to their friends. They had seen a funny 10-second lip sync video, and wanted to try creating something similar for an entire song. They completed their first video in March 2005, after much trial and error. They uploaded the finished video to the local network at their college. The other students liked it so much that they helped to spread the video more widely.[1] The Back Dorm Boys made use of their art school education to help them prepare the composition, visual effects, and lighting in their videos.[2]

While still at school, the Back Dorm Boys were signed as spokespeople for Motorola cellphones in China and eventually become host of Motorola's online lip sync contests.[3] They also signed a contract with Sina.com, one of the largest Chinese Internet portals. The Back Dorm Boys maintain a Chinese-language blog through Sina.com. In 2006, they received "The Best Podcaster Award" from Sina.com.[4]

A few months before they graduated (February 2006), the Back Dorm Boys signed a 5-year contract with Taihe Rye, a talent management company in Beijing, to continue making lip sync videos.[5] They went to Beijing to build their own Studio Video and Multimedia Arts. They also began studying singing, dancing, and stage arts with Taihe Rye.[6]

The Back Dorm Boys filmed a lip sync video, "The Perfect Day", as a pilot project for their new studio. They also released their first original single, "O Yi O Yi A". This single was accompanied by both a professional music video and a lip sync version showing the Back Dorm Boys giving their own song their usual treatment. From the Studio, they are also known for making their own film, directed by Huang Dao, in late 2006.

Though they may have dropped off the radar stateside, these lip-syncing sensations have by no means mothballed their careers. Wei and Huang graduated from college in 2006 with two corporate deals already in their pockets: one as spokesfolk for Motorola in China and another as bloggers and podcasters with Chinese Internet portal Sina.com. They're now in the midst of a five-year deal with Beijing media company Taihe Rye that's made them full-fledged TV stars, with appearances in commercials for major vendors such as Pepsi.[7]

Blogs[edit]

Video # Episode[8] Song(s) Original artist(s) Clothing and Acts Notes
#1 1 "As Long As You Love Me" Backstreet Boys red Adidas track shirts Released on January 2005, later performed live in October 2005
#2 2 "I Want It That Way" Backstreet Boys Houston Rockets Yao Ming jerseys
#3 3 "Get Down (You're The One For Me)" Backstreet Boys red t-shirts
#4 (1st song) "Larger Than Life" Backstreet Boys white tennis shirts This was their first appearance on a radio show.
#4 (2nd song) "Du Qing" (渡情; "Reincarnate Love") Charles Tso (左宏元) & Chang Hui-ching (張慧清) white tennis shirts
#4 (3rd song) "Wei Yi" (唯一; "The Only One") Leehom Wang white tennis shirts
#5 "Radio in My Head" Pu Shu Wei Wei wears a white shirt, Huang Yi Xin a yellow shirt Released Nov 13, 2005. Also a Motorola advertisement. An accompanying blooper video was later released.
#6 (1st song) 4 "Tong Hua" (童话; "Fairy Tale") Michael Wong Released Nov 20, 2005.
#6 (2nd song) 4 "Bosi Mao (波斯貓; "Persian Cat") S.H.E All three roommates are participating, wearing black t-shirts. The performance consists mostly of motionless bodies, moving only their mouths to lip-synch. Released Nov 20, 2005
#6 (3rd song) 4 "Super Star" S.H.E All three roommates are wearing black t-shirts, bobbing heads and rocking to the song. Huang Yi Xin is wearing a toque and sunglasses. Released Nov 20, 2005.
#7 "Fen Kai Lü Xing" (分开旅行; "Travel Separately") Rene Liu & Stanley Huang Huang Yi Xin in white shirt, Wei Wei in black tank top
#8 5 "Bu De Bu Ai" (不得不愛; "Can't Help To Love") Wilber Pan Wei Wei in white Adidas track shirt, Huang Yi Xin with blue scarf
#9 "Shuo Chang Lian Pu" (说唱脸谱; "Peking Opera Masks") Xie Jin (谢津) traditional Peking opera costumes Released May 26, 2006
#10 "Da Da Da" Trio parody FIFA uniforms Released June 30, 2006; 2006 FIFA World Cup tribute and submission to the Pepsi Creative Competition. Later performed live as a part of Sina.com's promotional online.
#11 6 "Don't Lie" The Black Eyed Peas Huang Yi Xin in red shirt, Wei Wei in white shirt. Both with paperclip "bling-bling" Released June 20, 2006
#12 "A Public Affair" Jessica Simpson Huang Yi Xin wears a red and white shirt, Wei Wei a black tank top Released July 20, 2006
#13 "Super Star" S.H.E (Second version) Features fast motion effect. Only Wei Wei sings on this video, while the two others roommate (Huang Yi Xin and Xiao Jing) are performing some fast motion effect in background. Released August 1, 2006. Recorded for the Chinese TV show "A Date With Luyu")
#14 "Da Da Da" Trio (Second version) Blue t-shirts Released August 26, 2006.
#15 "Ben Cao Gang Mu" (本草纲目; "The Herbalist's Manual") Jay Chou Wei Wei wears sunglasses, Huang Yi Xin wears a long piece of headgear. Released January 12, 2007
#16 7 "We Will Rock You" Queen Starts off with the boys behind a screen, acting with puppets. They then lip-synch in person. Released January 13, 2007; first lip-synching recorded outdoors.
#17 "Qian Li Zhi Wai (千里之外; "Faraway") Jay Chou parody of the Jay Chou MV for the same song. Released January 15, 2007
#18 8 "The Perfect Day" Catcher in the Rye (麦田守望者) Performed with a large television in the background. A 51 labour work of day on their own new studio. This is a pilot project. Released March 22, 2007
Single "O Yi O Yi A" Original Performance This is their first official single, and is an original song performed by the boys, not a lip sync. They made this in their studio. Released July 17, 2007
#19 "O Yi O Yi A" Back Dorm Boys This is their lip sync version of their first single. Also features a subtle fast motion effect. Released date unknown

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ 2 Chinese boys, The Associated Press[dead link]
  2. ^ Coleman, Beth (August 29, 2006). "Back Dorm Boys interview". Project Good Luck. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ China 'net stars not just for geeks, Sam Flemmings blog
  4. ^ China's Internet Media Awards Ceremony, china.org.cn
  5. ^ Out of the dorm, economist.com
  6. ^ Lip-synching Duo Look Beyond YouTube Fame, by china.org.cn
  7. ^ A Decade of Internet Superstars: Where Are They Now?, PC World. Retrieved on April 22, 2014
  8. ^ Some videos have a designated episode number, whereas others do not.

External links[edit]