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The Back Dorm Boys is a Chinesemarker 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 Chinamarker and around the world. Many of their videos can be seen on YouTube, giving them YouTube fame. The two, Wei Wei ( ) and Huang Yixin ( ), were sculpture majors at the Guangzhou Arts Institute ( ).

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 too 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.


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 Triomarker 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 of 2006.

Career History

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 very much so that they helped to spread the videos out. The Back Dorm Boys made use of their art school education to help them prepare the composition, visual effects, and lighting in their videos.

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. They also signed a contract with, one of the largest Chinese Internet portals. The Back Dorm Boys maintain a Chinese-language blog through In 2006, they received "The Best Podcaster Award" from

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. 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.

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 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.


Video # Episode 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 shirts.
#3 3 "Get Down " 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) "渡情" 新白娘子传奇 white tennis shirts
#4 (3rd song) "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 "童話" (" Tong Hua/Fairytale") Malaysianmarker artist Guang Liang, aka Michael Wong Released Nov 20, 2005.
#6 (2nd song) 4 "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 "分开旅行" ("Travel Separately") Rene Liu & Stanley Huang Huang Yi Xin in white shirt, Wei Wei in black tank top
#8 5 "不得不愛Bu de bu ai" ("Can't Help To Love") Pan Wei Bo, aka Wilber Wei Wei in white Adidas track shirt, Huang Yi Xin with blue scarf
#9 "说唱脸谱" ("Peking Opera") traditional Chinese opera costumes Released May 26, 2006
#10 Da Da Da Triomarker 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'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 鲁豫有约 (Lu yu you yue)
#14 Da Da Da Triomarker (Second version) Blue t-shirts Released August 26, 2006.
#15 "本草綱目" ("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 "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

Pop culture references

  • A recent music video of the show Mr. Meaty main characters shows them singing along to I Want It That Way hoping "to be famous". As they sing the song, their boss is seen doing something with his back turned.
  • The first episode of the NBC TV show Heroes included a reference to the Back Dorm boys. Two young Asian men are seen in a karaoke bar singing I Want It That Way and wearing Houston Rockets jerseys just as the Back Dorm Boys did in their video for that song.
  • In the back of the graphic novel American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, an illustrated picture of two of the main characters in the novel as the Back Dorm Boys is shown.
  • In a South Park episode "Canada on Strike", they were shown trying to collect "theoretical dollars" along with other popular internet memes.
  • In VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the '90s," a brief clip of the Back Dorm Boys' version of "I Want It That Way" can be seen during the show's coverage of the original song in the top 100.

Notes and references

  1. 2 Chinese boys, The Associated Press
  2. Back Dorm Boys interview,
  3. China 'net stars not just for geeks, Sam Flemmings blog
  4. China's Internet Media Awards Ceremony,
  5. Out of the dorm,
  6. Lip-synching Duo Look Beyond YouTube Fame, by
  7. A Decade of Internet Superstars: Where Are They Now?, PC World. Retrieved on 2008-10-21
  8. Some videos have a designated episode number, whereas others do not.

External links

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