by2 two

Initially when I read the blog of this pair of 15 years-old twin sisters (named by2) on omy, I felt something was amiss, but did not probe further.

Something was not right with two little girls blogging about their lives overseas, without a regard for schoolworks or even their parents.

This pair of twin sisters by the way, are the latest artistes to be rolled out by Ocean Butterflies International (ob-i), founded by famous local musician, Billy Koh (许环良). ob-i is also the recording company that successfully made JJ Lin (林俊杰) the big star he is now, in case you don’t know.

The twins were talent-spotted by ob-i from its music school when they were 13 years-old. Marked for stardom, they were sent to Taipei, Tokyo and Beijing for grooming for 6 months since June 2007, last year.

After taking time to read through their older blog entries today, I finally realised what was wrong – ob-i made the girls dropped out of secondary school to pursue a music career with them.

You can read what the girls have to say about this in their own words on their blog:

晚上妈妈说她将要去海蝶森林跟Michael老师谈合约的事。妈妈说海蝶音乐公司决定栽培我们,首先要我们同意休学才可以进行计划。退学的原因是因为我们要在一个月后飞去台湾受训。听到了这个消息,我们都不敢相信,因为来得太突然了,但是也非常的兴奋。我们很感谢海蝶给我们这个机会,当然我们没拒绝。他们也尽快安排台湾海蝶的工作人员找一个靠近公司的宿舍,还有一间艺术学校给我们继续上课。

(rough translation: Mom told us she need to go to Music Forest to talk to our teacher, Michael, about the contract. She said ob-i has decided to nurture us into stars, but first, we have to agree to drop out of school. The reason being we need to fly to Taiwan for training in a month’s time. When we first heard this news, we can’t believe it and thought everything was happening too fast. However, we were very excited too and very grateful to ob-i for giving us this opportunity. Of course we did not reject this offer!)

What’s even more shocking – Initially, they even lied to their teacher that they were going overseas to study:

今天就要把休学的信交给学校的主任老师,由于公司要求休学原因尽量保密,所以我们心里有点紧张,担心老师会问太多问题。放学后朋友们陪我们一起去见主任老师,说关于我们休学的事。老师问原因,我们就很简单的说要去国外念书,老师接着问了很多问题,幸好有朋友们帮忙cover-up,才没有被老师看出破绽。:p

但是最后老师还是要我们把那封信交给General Office ,-____- 由于休学的算是一件很严重的事,由我们自己跟general office说他们不会相信,所以妈妈还是要到学校来帮我们解释。

(rough translation: We need to hand in our application to drop out of school to our form teacher today. However, ob-i requested us to keep the reason for dropping out a secret. Hence we were very frightened. We were worried our teacher will ask too many questions. We went to approach our teacher after school with a group of friends. We lied that we were dropping out in order to purse our studies overseas. With the help of our friends, our teacher did not discover we were lying.

However, our teacher told us that we have to hand the application letter to the school’s General Office as dropping out was a very serious matter. In the end, we still have to bother our mom to come down.)

I thought all the reality TV, Idol-type TV shows were bad enough – Singapore Idol, Project Superstar, Superband, even Campus Superstar.

While I admire the twins’ resolve in making a name for themselves, I do wonder what rights ob-i had to pull them out of school this way. Were their parents properly consulted? Although I am a staunch advocate of free choice, I still cannot fathom two 15 years-old girls being able to decide for themselves appropriately, the serious implication of dropping out of school to pursue a singing career.

What’s worse, they were even made to keep this a secret from the school authorities and lied to their teacher.

by2

Seriously,

at what cost, stardom?

Or is this the way things are for those under 18 in this time and age? – the guts to live their lives the way they want it. Individualism. Free Choice.

These are concepts I were unfamiliar with before I turn 18.

What is your feel about this?

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