Chapter 475: Huge Blunder!
At the lot picking venue for the preliminaries.
Division A and B were done.
Zhang Ye walked back. "Old Yao."
Yao Jiancai was staring at the stage. "It's not our turn yet."
"It's fine. Let's just continue waiting." Zhang Ye was, at this moment, completely relieved. He did not even consider how to solve the series of problems that would await him. He was leaving it all in God's hands.
Di Di. He received a text message on his cellphone.
Zhang Ye took a look at his cellphone. He won a prize? Telephone bill? He locked his phone after curling his mouth. He was used to receiving such fraudulent text messages. However, when he thought of something, Zhang Ye was momentarily stunned. He took out his phone again and opened the text message. Eh, wasn't this the mobile service provider's customer service number? He decided to follow the instructions in the text message and replied to it as an attempt. Di Di. He received a short message. Top up successful!
Checking his phone bill, he had a hundred yuan (US$14.50) in credit!
Zhang Ye was overjoyed. Although it wasn't a lot of money, it was an indication for Zhang Ye. This world, which now had its difficulty reduced by five times, had already begun to take effect!
On the other side.
The results were still being announced:
"Wang Kesong, Zheng Jia. Division C, #6."
"Zhang Xiao, Liu Yuan. Division C, #7."
The contestants were in murmurs.
"The members of Division A are all very skilled."
"Division C isn't bad either. Zhang Xiao and Liu Yuan are from Tang Dazhang's Crosstalk Society. It seems that they are disciples of Teacher Tang Dazhang. They are one of the hottest favorites for this year's championship."
"That Wang Kesong, wasn't he in the top thirteen in last year's crosstalk competition?"
"Those who get sent to Division C sure are unlucky. It has the feeling of a death division!"
Suddenly, host, Wang Ge'er announced. "Zhang Ye, Yao Jiancai. Division C, #8." After finishing saying that, he looked down the stage and did a sweep without finding them, before returning to announce the results.
"The gods of plague are in Division C also?"
When Zhang Ye heard the people in front of them discussing them, he looked sideways at Old Yao, "What does #8 mean?"
Yao Jiancai smiled and said, "It means we are eighth in the preliminary round's Division C. We will definitely be able to do the recording today. Looking at the time, it will probably be our turn by noon."
Zhang Ye said, "Then let's find a place to take a break."
"Sure". The duo walked away while Old Yao was still humming a Beijing opera. He looked relaxed. As he walked, he said to Zhang Ye, "I heard that there were quite a few tough cookies in Division C. There were also two of Tang Dazhang's disciples. They will appear just before us. This time, it will be interesting."
Zhang Ye said with amusement, "You seem pretty confident?"
Yao Jiancai chuckled. "It's not that I'm confident, it's just that I haven't got any hopes up. If our work isn't aired after we are done, I'll just treat it as a game."
On the web.
Central TV's Department 11's crosstalk competition's official video website.
Division A's first work and Division's B first work were released. The moment the two videos were released, it immediately attracted numerous people.
"Who are these thin guys?"
"This crosstalk was not bad. It was pretty good!"
"That's right. It looks like there really is something to look forward to in this year's competition
In terms of quality, these works in the preliminaries definitely couldn't be compared with the crosstalk performances at the Spring Festival Gala. The reason why many people cursed the crosstalk performances of the Spring Festival Gala was because they had different expectations. For the Spring Festival Gala, many people had feelings for it, and had higher expectations as well. Just falling short of these expectations was unacceptable, so they would find the crosstalk performances bad. However, in this crosstalk competition, they were contestants from all walks of life. There were farmers, construction workers, and even CEOs of companies. They were all amateurs, so even if professional crosstalk actors participated, they were not too famous. People were naturally more tolerant towards them.
Division A #1's contestant pair temporary took the lead. Their votes constantly increased, and in the blink of an eye, they had amassed 700 votes. Note: Every IP can register three votes per day.
In the comments section.
"Ah, some clips have been released for the Divisions!"
"I saw Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai!"
"Division C? Eh, they are just after Tang Dazhang's two disciples?"
"What a small world between enemies! I'm looking forward to Teacher Zhang's work."
However, there were even more criticisms below.
"What is a host, who doesn't know anything, joining in the fun for!"
"Zhang Ye is treating this crosstalk competition as a game. What crosstalk does he know? That talk show is just some tawdry entertainment program. Although it's also for humor, it's completely different from crosstalk. Crosstalk is a form of art!"
"The buzz from Decree #43 has not stopped. Is what Zhang Ye doing fine? The powers that he is clearly repressing are criminal celebrities and vulgar, base and philistine entertainment. Zhang Ye is every single one of them, yet he still dares to appear? This is a classic case of refusing to repent until complete failure. It's fine if he's here. Let those crosstalk seniors teach him what crosstalk really is. Take a look at what true art is. That talk show of yours is considered nothing!"
"Zhang Ye is a piece of rat shit in the entertainment industry. He goofs around too much!"
"Let's see how he shames himself!"
"The difference between their jobs are like the gaps between mountains!"
Not a while later, the official website released a questionnaire. It was about "Who is the favorite for winning the championship". The result also came out very quickly.
First place was an already famous crosstalk actor. He had an orthodox heritage, and had good foundations in his humor and knowledge. He had few flaws.
Second was a pair of young crosstalk actors. They were rookies, but had recently participated in Liaodong television station's Spring Festival Gala and had performed a crosstalk. They were well received and sought after on the internet. There were even a few crosstalk artists who spoke highly of them.
Tang Dazhang's two disciples were ranked tenth.
As for Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai? The ranking naturally did not have them. The organizers did not even list their names as options.
This was a ban!
It was a ban from head to toe!
You can contest, you can register, you can even go through the normal procedures of the competition, but if you want to show your face, not a single shot would be given to you. It was equivalent to how the crosstalk competition was internally happening, but externally, Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai did not exist in this crosstalk competition at all!
That was the situation!
No one believed Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai would be able to set off any waves in this crosstalk competition. The only meaning for them coming here was to cause trouble. It was meaningless for everything else. Unless Central TV really aired your work, which you could even figure out with a fart, that it was impossible. Did you think Central TV was retarded?
The crosstalk competition's auditions raged on!
There were more and more contestants who finished their performance in the competition!
Some of them came out with faces of excitement, while others came out with helpless looking faces. Clearly, they had not performed well.
Before noon, Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai arrived at Division C's recording venue. Under the instructions of the staff, they went backstage, as it was their turn soon.
At the same time.
In a leader's office in the skyscraper.
The Director of Central TV's Department 11, Chen Huo, made a phone call and called his secretary into his office. "How's the competition going? No incidents, right?"
The young secretary said, "Director Chen, everything is normal."
Chen Huo nodded with a smile. "That's good. It's been hard on all of you over the past few days. We have to do well for this competition. Oh right, during the recording, remember to control the phones and recording equipment of the audience members. Previously, I mentioned that the audience's cellphones are to be locked in a cabinet upon entering to prevent affecting the contestant's performances. Also, it is prohibited that these people record anything with their cellphones. You must ensure that this doesn't happen. In a while, inform the program team about this."
The young secretary jotted it down on a notebook. "Got it."
With a thought, Chen Huo added on, "Also, there are two banned celebrities participating in the competition. All of you need to know not to manage this improperly. Mind the ban, do not record anything. Do you understand?"
The young secretary was stunned. "Even our cameras are not to record?"
Chen Huo said, "Yes, there's no need to even switch them on. It's to prevent the video from getting leaked out. Pretend as if there's no one with the decree in mind. Don't ask why, just get the people below to do it!"
The young secretary immediately said, "Got it!"
The station was still very cautious and did things very carefully.
This order was also considered normal, and there was no problem. However, this simple order caused a great blunder!
The secretary returned to his desk.
The secretary used his cellphone to call the person-in-charge of the crosstalk competition's program team. For some reason, maybe there was too much equipment, or because there was signal interference, his mobile signal was very terrible. He did not manage to get through on his first attempt, and only succeeded the second time.
The person-in-charge was instructing the staff and when he saw the incoming call, he went into the lounge, with no one around, to pick up the call. "Hello, Secretary An. Hur Hur, are there any instructions?"
The young secretary smiled and said, "I don't have any instructions, but Director Chen has given orders. Director Chen said...competition...audience's cellphones..controlled..."
The person-in-charge hurriedly said, "Secretary An, the signal isn't very good. I can't hear you clearly."
The young secretary had no choice but to repeat that he had said once again. "This matter is very important. Listen carefully. Director Chen said that for the contestants, Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai, all of you need to know is not to manage this improperly. Mind the ban, do not have any recordings! Cough!" Up to this point he coughed as he stammered slightly, before he carried on saying, "Did you clearly get that about the recording? Pretend as if there's no one with the decree in mind. Don't ask why. Just get everyone to do it! These are the words of Director Chen himself."
Unfortunately, the signal was just too bad!
Along with the young secretary having a foreign accent, the intonation was slightly out of place!
The young secretary had repeated in accordance to what the leader said, but on the person-in-charge's side, what he heard in bits and pieces was completely different!
What he roughly heard was, "This matter is very important. Listen carefully. Director Chen said...*static*...for the contestants...Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai...*static*...all of you need...not...mind the ban...do...recordings clearly...Pretend there's no...decree...don't ask why. Just get everyone to do it!"
When the person-in-charge heard this, he was completely dumbfounded!
Do not mind the ban?
Do the recordings!? Holy sh*t, and it has to be done clearly?
Pretend there's no decree? What decree? Decree #43!?
The person-in-charge was scared silly. With his hands trembling, he croaked, "Secretary An, are you sure we have to do that?"
The young secretary was wondering what the fuss was all about. "Of course, just do as I said. It's ordered by Director Chen, so you have to do it well!"
The person-in-charge stared and said, "Are you sure?"
The secretary felt a bit irritated. Was there any need to affirm such a trivial thing? However, thinking of how they were not switching on the cameras for the contestants, he said patiently, "Although it's a bit against the rules, Director Chen has already instructed it, so let's just do as he says."
However, what the person-in-charge understood was completely different!
This wasn't just "a bit" against the rules? This was f**king challenging the authorities! This was trying to tear apart decree #43! Could there be some internal leadership fight within SARFT? Right, there was news a while ago that SARFT's Vice Director had been transferred away. Could this have anything to do with that?
This was f**king a fight between gods!
No wonder they wanted to challenge it!
The person-in-charge did not dare to probe any further. After hanging up, he thought about it for a long time and knew the importance of this matter. Director Chen had given this daunting task to him. This was the leader's trust in him. He had to keep it a secret! He definitely could not let down the leader's trust in him!
He had to do it, do it well, and do it perfectly!
***Translator notes below***
There might be some of you wondering about the concept of crosstalk. Because it's mainly a chinese based folk art and comedy, it's really difficult to explain how it works.
There has been some foreign speakers though who got into it, here's a video interview with one of them: Julien Gaudfroy, ladies & gentlemen!