At the recent swansong performance of Chinese pop group Rocket Girls 101, all eyes were on Yang Chaoyue. Ever since the 11-member group was formed in 2018 from finalists in the Chinese edition of the talent show Produce 101 , the singer has been the one that has had the most media attention. The focus, though, has not been her talent – but on her lack of it. One particularly memorable moment was when Yang sang a cappella on stage during the televised competition and when she broke down in tears during and after her lacklustre performance. She was criticised for her poor singing and dancing skills by judges and online commentators throughout the show. Despite this, the singer garnered more than 130 million votes from members of the public in the final – placing her third overall. The 21-year-old, dubbed a crybaby by the Chinese media, has been dividing opinions ever since, with critics arguing there were more talented and deserving contestants and that the show sets a bad example for young girls, while Yang’s supporters insist her genuineness makes up for her shortcomings. Author and entertainment blogger Mi Meng was among Yang’s most scathing critics, saying: “She doesn’t have any ability. She doesn’t work hard and can only cry. She is a huge baby. She is a drag on her team. To all the girls who work hard in the world, her ranking [on the show] is a joke.” Some people lodged complaints to China’s Ministry of Culture, with one saying “the acknowledgement of a contestant who can’t sing and dance [in a talent competition] is at odds with core social values, giving the public the impression that solely beauty can bring success”. Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily (people.cn) was more generous in its appraisal of Yang in 2018: “Whether it’s singing, dancing or creativity, Yang is not good among the contestants. But she looks pretty and has a very authentic personality … her [rise] is a show of grass-roots power overlooked [in the past].” Yang comes from a single-parent family in a village in Jiangsu province in eastern China. She quit school to support her farmer father, who told the media in 2018 that his daughter often cried because she was unable to see the world. “I don’t have money to send her to school to learn dancing and singing. She cries because she gets nervous easily,” he said. It’s a story that has made her fans love her even more. In 2018, Yang was featured on the cover of China Newsweek after being selected as one of the year’s most influential Chinese people, alongside the likes of physicist Wang Yifang and economist Zhu Min . During Rocket Girls 101’s farewell show on June 23, Yang delivered a tear-filled speech, saying: “I can’t do anything well. I am [only] good at arguing with my boss … But God doesn’t just like clever people. He blesses stupid children like us, too. So don’t give up on yourself [even if] you are mediocre and stupid.” Now that her obligations to the girl group have come to an end, Yang has set up a talent management agency. She wants to focus on her acting – which, unlike her singing and dancing, has not been panned by her usual critics. indeed, her supporting role in period drama series Ever Night 2 surpassed expectations. She will play the lead in two upcoming TV shows: romance drama series Midsummer is Full of Hearts and period drama series Dance of the Phoenix . Her fans are waiting to see whether she can finally carve out an illustrious show business career.