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 Chapter 484: Second Work is Decided!

That night.

'I am a Scholar' went completely viral!

The votes for the two "Nameless People" continued to soar!

130,000...

150,000...

200,000...

It had long since broken the historical records for the National Crosstalk and Skit Competition's preliminaries. Furthermore, it broke the record every second, creating new history. If one did not have an intuitive concept of the number of votes, then a simple tabulation of the votes would be enough to explain it. According to the numbers, from the beginning of the competition in the morning to this point in time, more than a thousand contestants had received a total of 286,000 votes. That was to say, the netizens had nearly voted 300,000 times in total, and the crosstalk team, "Nameless People" had obtained more than half of the votes!

One vs more than a thousand!

200,000 vs 86,000!

This was absolute victory through an overwhelming number of votes!

This was a disparity so dazzling, that no one could look at it straight. Nearly every commoner praised it. They had never experienced a completely new form of commercial crosstalk. The reviews were very good!

However, in contrast with the delight of the commoners, some others had extremely polar reactions!

The media remained silent. Not many media outlets published any comments on this. The title "I am a Scholar" was not even mentioned, let alone the names, Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai. It was as if they lived in a different dimension from everyone else. A few media outlets even scrambled to report about a few crosstalk artists who did pretty well in the preliminaries, such as Tang Dazhang's two disciples. Two newspapers even praised them to the heavens, saying that they had inherited Tang Dazhang's mantle, and that their performance in the preliminaries was extremely outstanding. There was also the person ranked second in the preliminaries, which the media reported as a branch of a tree that thrived and outshone others!

After seeing this, many netizens laughed in ridicule!

"What a joke!"

"Are we living in the same world?"

"If Tang Dazhang's disciples are considered extremely outstanding, then what would you consider Teacher Zhang and Teacher Yao? Wouldn't they be stunning the entire universe!?"

"It's too fake!"

"What sort of news is this?"

"Even if the criminalized artists have been banned, shouldn't news be about seeking out the truth?"

"Is it right for these newspapers to report it in such a way? Aren't they trying to mislead the public!?"

"Since they have to write it this way, let's just wait and see. Anyway, any wise person knows what is going on. They really think the commoners are stupid!"

"The media is such a bully!"

"Do you even believe the sinister reports that you put out yourself?"

If Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai's work had not been aired live, or if they did not caused such a stir, everyone would probably have been fooled by the media's coverage. However, anyone who paid any attention to this year's National Crosstalk Competition would know about the underlying conspiracy! This was no longer something that could be covered up. Everyone knew what was going on, so the more the media covered it up, the more the commoners felt disgusted!

Then, on Weibo, a self-titled "Critic" stepped forward.

This person was an internet celebrity. His true name was unknown and no one knew what his job was. He was quite loud mouthed and often attacked celebrities and famous people on the internet. After a series of scoldings, the number of Weibo fans he reached was more than 200,000. He would often give his take on anything that recently happen.

His nickname was Alexander. "After watching the 'I am a Scholar' crosstalk, I really do not understand what sort of madness Central TV's Department 11 fell into. They even dared to stream such a worthless crosstalk live? There was an internal mistake? I think the relevant personnel should resign. To not do their jobs while receiving their wages, what are you doing? This crosstalk has really amused me because it was so bad. Crosstalk is an art, so why did it become so morally degrading when it was produced by the two of them? Is this still considered crosstalk!? Are you just going to focus on humor? I can't even see the most basic artistic flair of a crosstalk in their work? Showing this work is embarrassing! And there were so many joke segments that were jarring to the ear. This was only an internet live stream, so the boundaries could be pushed a bit further, but no matter how much you push, you can't destroy crosstalk in such a manner. For the both of them, I only have a simple evaluation - vulgar, base, and philistine!"

Then another famous critic spoke out on Weibo. "Decree #43 was just issued. The document explicitly states that playing to the gallery through indulging in vulgar jokes or works with the 'three vulgarities' (sex-obsessed, mindless, and tasteless culture), including crosstalk are not allowed. Now, decree #43 has yet to even lose its warmth, yet Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai have already committed an offense despite the headwind? Aren't they a bit too arrogant? I don't even want to evaluate this 'I am a Scholar' piece of work. It's completely vulgar inside and out. It is impossible for it to enter the sacred halls of elegance. I suggest that the Central TV's Department 11 and the National Crosstalk and Skit Competition's organizers disqualify Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai!"

Following that, Tang Dazhang from the crosstalk competition issued a statement. He even named names on Weibo: "I am very disappointed and distressed that a work that insults the art of crosstalk can be so well received. Whether 'I am a Scholar' is funny or not, I would not comment on it, but the art known as crosstalk doesn't have humor at its core. Since my trade is considered an art, then it has its mission and values. It shouldn't be something that denigrates things left behind by our ancestors. No matter what crosstalk work it is, it has to have the most basic depth and scope. If it's full of vulgar joke segments, that isn't crosstalk. We from the crosstalk world will never acknowledge this as a form of crosstalk!"

Subsequently, another famous critic from China appeared. "Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai's crosstalk had great commercial value to it. When I watched it, there was indeed a few things worthy of ruminating over, but it was just a few things. If crosstalk wants to break its current limitations and bottleneck, it has to rely on the most core artistic values. By losing that, then that's attending to trifles to the neglect of essentials. Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai have crossed industries and have gone astray and have gone down the wrong path. It is a great pity. If a crosstalk master were willing to guide them, these two people might have a chance on returning to the orthodox path. It would prevent them from going too far astray. I suggest that Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai watch Teacher Tang Dazhang's crosstalk works. That is true crosstalk art, and so, it's best you learn more from your seniors. Don't make your work be filled with the Three Vulgarities!"

The moment this bunch of people appeared, many official institutions stood forward too!

For example, Beijing Writer's Association's Vice President Meng Dongguo, or the leader of the Folk Art Association, or a few crosstalk artists from crosstalk organizations. There were even many contestants, who were participating in this year's crosstalk competition. They shouted on the internet, publicly denouncing Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai!

"Extremely vulgar!"

"Is this still considered crosstalk!?

"How can such vulgar crosstalk receive so many votes? It is definitely fake votes. Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai have many fans to begin with since they are entertainers. It is normal for their fans to fake votes for them. Compared to them, how are we crosstalk contestants to compete evenly with them? They didn't win using their work, but their massive fanbase. They did not win fair and square! I suggest that their votes and qualifications be removed!"

"Right, letting Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai participate in the competition is already unfair to us crosstalk actors. He is a C-list celebrity, so how many fans does he have!?"

"Supporting Teacher Tang!"

"The critics said it so well!"

"That's right. They voiced out what I wanted to say. Everyone should collectively resist such crosstalk that are filled with the Three Vulgarities! I was wondering why there are people that like such vulgar crosstalks? Do you even have a tiny bit of appreciation for art? Can't you tell what's elegance and vulgar?"

"I don't understand either. What's up with the audience these days? There were so many outstanding crosstalk artistic works they did not like, yet they ended up liking such a vulgar crosstalk performance? Hai, now crosstalk is really getting tough. We've studied and practiced so hard, performing in earnest, yet we failed to get a tiny bit of recognition. Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai just came up with some crappy performance and they received the praises of numerous people? Can't the audience appreciate things at all now? I'm actually quite depressed. I'm mourning over our crosstalk, as well as our generation. Hai!"

"Boycott Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai!"

"Right, boycott vulgarity!"

"They only focus on humor! This kind of crosstalk can't even be considered crosstalk!"

Numerous people from the literary world, the crosstalk world, celebrities, and relevant artists came out to denounce Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai!

The normal populace were all applauding it, but the official organizations and relevant artists were cursing at Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai incessantly. This contrast was too great. They were both watching the same piece of work, yet it produced two completely different voices. When neutral people saw this, they could not understand the situation. They had seen controversies, but they had never seen such a huge controversy before!

......

9+PM.

Jiaomen, Zhang Ye's house.

After Zhang Ye had dinner at Old Yao's house, he returned home with Yao Jiancai. They had to rushed their preparations for tomorrow's second preliminary round.

Instead, just after returning home, they saw the scene on the internet. A bunch of people from the literary world, critics, and internet celebrities were discussing them and full of condemnation. It was as if Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai had a blood feud with them! All of them hated them to the bone!

Yao Jiancai cursed, "A bunch of mad dogs!"

Zhang Ye smiled and said, "They even said the audience doesn't know what crosstalk is? Your performance isn't well received and you blame the audience? Beijing has a saying, it says don't blame the toilet when you can't shit. I think it's pretty appropriate to giving them that. Oh, that Tang Dazhang also stepped forward? I ignored him, but he still doesn't know his bounds? He comes time and time again to trample on me? Alright, I've remembered you. And those few people. Internet celebrities? Critics? Alright?"

Yao Jiancai said, "Ignore them. Let's just focus on doing a good job!"

Zhang Ye laughed. "Old Yao, I've already decided on what to we will do tomorrow."

Yao Jiancai was stunned. "Hur, you said you haven't thought of it when I asked you on the way back. You already have an idea so quickly?"

Yes, after seeing their criticisms, a piece of work flashed in Zhang Ye's mind. He made the decision immediately. They had taken the initiative to give him the materials for the work! These people had tried to ride over him a few times. If he didn't take a bite out from them, that clearly wasn't Zhang Ye's style!

***Translator notes:

This actually happened in real life to popular crosstalk actor, Guo Degang. You can read a treatise on this matter here.

Also.

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