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 Chapter 499: The crosstalk and skit competition gets called off!

Backstage.

After they went off stage, Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai did not bother making their way back to their auditorium seats as it was meaningless to go back. The two of them went directly to the makeup room to change out of their costumes. Even though they had already gone so far away, they could still hear the chants that emanated clearly from the auditorium.

"Zhang Ye!"

"Teacher Yao!"

"Champions!"

The next participants did not begin as the audience did not seem like they wanted to give them a chance to perform. They only had eyes for Zhang Ye's team!

Yao Jiancai sighed a little, "We've really scolded to our hearts' content today!"

Zhang Ye smiled, "I got such a kick out of it too! We really didn't come for nothing!"

Yao Jiancai laughed, "Yea, even though we don't have a chance to advance to the main matches or go on a live broadcast, after seeing so many in the audience support us this way, I know we were really right to come here!"

Zhang Ye stood up, "Let's go."

Yao Jiancai said, "It's just such a pity that our scolding segments were not seen by anyone else other than the live audience."

Zhang Ye did not say anything, but felt relaxed.

"Eh?" Yao Jiancai suddenly said, "Why is there a burning smell?"

Zhang Ye sniffed a little, "Yea, I smell it too, I hope it's not a fire."

Leaving the makeup room, they looked in the same direction and saw many staff members moving in and out. A few of them even had dark expressions of lingering fear. Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai looked at each other and understood something at this moment. Could there really have been a fire?

......

The other side.

A group of people were continuously streaming in!

"What happened?"

"Leader, a portable charger exploded just now and the control room is on fire!"

"What did I say? Ah? What did I say yesterday? I said to ensure that there would be no problems, so how could did this happen again! So why did this happen again! Ah!"

"We didn't want this to happen either, but....."

"No buts! Just take a look at the live broadcast signal now!"

"Live broadcast signal?"

"We already cut to commercials."

"Yes, there shouldn't have been a problem. The fire was not too big and was under control. Only a few cabinets and articles of clothing were damaged, but our control equipment was.......Ah! Why is the live broadcast signal showing the auditorium's feed! This....who switched the controls? Why is the white switched pointed up? Who did this!"

"Heavens! Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai's crosstalk was live streamed again?"

"What the heck is going on here?! This is already the third day that something like this has happened!"

Everything was now a big mess. The person-in-charge quickly sought to cut off the video signal, while the angry Central TV's leaders looked on in furiousness. His heart had gone cold knowing the big trouble that they were in for. When it happened the first time, they had gotten away with it. The second time, they were forgiven as well, but this was already the third time that it had happened. The National Crosstalk and Skit Competition had given banned artists a live broadcast three times in as many days, so all of the consequences were now out of their control. Even Central TV's Department 11 might not be able to hold up against the authorities anymore. To everyone else, it was clearly an act of defiance towards the authorities!

But only their team's internal staff knew this. Of course they would not have gone against the orders of the management. Even if they had 100 lives, they would not dare to do so!

The first time was because of a misunderstanding!

The second time was due to a fault in the backup signals!

The third time had happened due to a fire causing a wrong control to be pressed!

Each time it happened was due to accidents and the program team no longer knew how to explain it without sounding like they were making up excuses. Their impression of Zhang Ye at the beginning was already not good, but after all these events, they even felt like they hated him. That fella was truly a jinx! He was even exuding a sense of weirdness from head to toe! It made everyone speechless!

Central TV's leaders did not bother to give them a dressing down. After giving them several tasks to do, they immediately went off to an emergency meeting to clear up the issues with the authorities.

......

Outside the makeup room.

Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai also found out about this matter from the dialogs of several passing staff members.

Yao Jiancai: "........."

Zhang Ye was already smiling. Luckily for him, the difficulty adjustment die's effect duration was for 6 days. It was already the third day today and if the die roll only gave him 2 days of reduced difficulty, it wouldn't have been enough. Upon overhearing the passing staff, he knew it was the credit of the difficulty adjustment die again!

In front, the program team's person-in-charge had brought a few other staff and hurried over. When he saw Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai, his face sunk as he said, "I was just looking for the two of you!"

Zhang Ye looked at him, "What's the matter?"

The person-in-charge said coldly, "I am officially informing both of you that you have been disqualified from the competition due to policy violations. With your performance containing elements of the three vulgarities that has caused disruption to the crosstalk competition, misleading the audience, conveying negative information, and negatively affecting other competitors. Right now, all votes towards your team will be voided, so we will need you to pack up your belongings and leave the premises immediately!"

Zhang Ye said, "If you want to disqualify us from the competition, I have no problem with that, but if you say that our performance violated policies by stirring up other competitors and misleading the audience, then I will not accept it." He blocked their path and continued, "When did I mislead the audience? When did you see me stirring up our competitors? They were the ones who tried to turn everyone against us, so did I affect them, or did they affect me? Old Yao and I were just performing our crosstalk and we did not offend anyone from the beginning, but somehow, these bunch of people started scolding me and now you claim that I was affecting them? I will affect your great-grandpa!"

A staff stared and said, "How dare you scold us!"

"Zhang Ye!" The person-in-charge nearly blew his top. He was the head of a National Crosstalk and Skit Competition program that was the top rated show every year, so he was quite famous in the industry. Whenever most celebrities or actors saw him, they would definitely treat him with a lot of respect. Who would have dared to speak to him in this manner? What did a celebrity depend on? They depended on popularity. How could they gain popularity? They'd definitely need a platform to gain popularity. Because of this reason, most celebrities did not dare offend people from the television stations, but this Zhang guy standing in front of him did not follow the industry's rules and just scolded as he liked. He totally did not treat him with any respect!

Of course, Zhang Ye would not treat him with respect. He had already hit rock bottom and had nothing to lose from being banned, so what was he afraid of? Even if he treated the person-in-charge with respect, it would not have helped him to get on TV anyway, so why should he be respectful at this point? Who the hell did that person think he is?

A commotion had started over here.

Yao Jiancai was trying to settle it peacefully by saying, "Forget it, old bro. Don't take it up with these bunch of people."

......

On the web.

The Crosstalk and Skit Competition program's notice of Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai's disqualification had been posted online. When it was released, many people got angry about it even though they knew it was inevitable!

"This bunch of grandsons! That bunch of grandsons!"

"I'll never watch the crosstalk competition ever again!"

"Zhang Ye spoke so well! Are those people blind? They can't even differentiate between what's good and what's bad!"

"The point of crosstalk is to entertain the audience, but those aren't people being dumb to insist that it has to be elegant and educative? Do we fucking need you to educate us? Who do you think you are!"

"They even used a reason like 'misleading the audience'? That's really laughable! I think it's the program team and the crosstalk world's people who are the ones trying to mislead us instead! The audience enjoyed Teacher Zhang and Teacher Yao's work, but it's only you people who dislike it, so you're forcing their disqualification by claiming that their work was disastrous and ruined the people! I would like to put out this question of who are the ones who are really misleading the audience!?"

"I like Zhang Ye too much!"

"If Zhang Ye is no longer participating, then I wouldn't bother with this lousy program anymore!"

"Yea, they want to boycott Teacher Zhang? Then we will boycott the crosstalk competition instead!"

"That's right!"

"Count me in!"

All of a sudden, countless people had gone onto the crosstalk competition's website to scold them!

......

At the competition venue.

In the participants seating area.

A youth was holding his cellphone and waving it around saying, "Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai have been disqualified. An official notice was posted by the program team."

Another middle aged crosstalk actor nodded, "Hur Hur, they're finally being chased away."

A rookie crosstalk actor whispered to his partner, "With Zhang Ye gone, those people who were supporting him will come to us now."

His partner replied softly, "When the two of them were here, the audience was only interested in him. We know that from the vote statistics, but now that he's gone, those votes will come to us instead. Our popularity can only surge ahead now."

No one would do something if there wasn't anything to gain from it. These bunch of people had tried so hard to bring down Zhang Ye because there was something to gain from it. That was what most of them had in mind.

The next team had already gone on stage for their performance which was live broadcasted. It was Tang Dazhang's disciples, Zhang Xiao and Liu Yuan, but what was surprising was that after the hosts had announced their team, there was barely any applause for them. The paltry applause that was heard was very sparse and mainly came from the front row where the crosstalk world's members were seated.

The duo began their performance.

But the audience members were no longer interested. Their craving had already been satisfied after listening to Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai's performance. They did not want to listen to crosstalks by anyone else anymore. It was difficult to listen any further!

It was the same online and no one was watched the live stream anymore.

As Zhang Xiao and Liu Yuan performed on stage, they could feel the disinterest from the audience. Many people had their heads lowered, checking their cell phones or chatting amongst themselves. There weren't many people who were seriously listening to them at all. When one of the joke segments that Zhang Xiao was very proud of was executed, he waited for their response, but there was hardly any laughter coming from below the stage and was abuzz with sounds of conversations. The competition atmosphere was getting very awkward and poor. When Zhang Xiao and Liu Yuan noticed this, they were particularly affected by it and could not carry on with their performance!

"It's like this."

"So the moon....uh, so the sun...."

Zhang Xiao and Liu Yuan's performance was full of mistakes.

When their master Tang Dazhang saw this, his face turned cold and his hands shivered. Why did it turn out this way? What was the audience doing! Do you all even understand what art is?! My two disciples are clearly better than Zhang Ye, but why was no one listening?

It was an extremely awkward scene!

The crosstalk world's veterans did not look too well either!

When the program team noticed this, they began to panic. Without any interest from the audience, the actors would be badly affected. How could the competition move on if that happened?!

After 10 minutes, it was time for another team's performance.

The third team.....

The 4th team......

But the situation did not turn any better!

Many people from the audience were leaving early as they streamed out of the venue. They'd rather go home or go for a meal instead of watching this any further!

The program team's mood had totally changed by now. They had a very bad feeling about all of this!

Those competition participants who had boycotted Zhang Ye and called for his disqualification were now left cold in their hearts. They had initially thought that if their two strongest foes were disqualified, the rest would be able to get a share of their votes and would increase their chances of advancing, so when they saw that the crosstalk world's veterans boycotting Zhang Ye and with the encouragement from them, they had joined them in calling for Zhang Ye's team to be disqualified. If they could get rid of him, they would have gained a lot from it, but now, the outcome was totally different from what they had thought would be!

Indeed Zhang Ye had gone down, but they did not move up at all. Not only that, they did not even get any attention from the audience as they had chosen to ignore the competition. With Zhang Ye's scolding from today, he had all been brought down together with him!

Many of them finally realized that Zhang Ye's introduction of a new style of crosstalk was actually beneficial for the world of crosstalk. Zhang Ye had used his amazing talent to attract countless new audience members. He attracted those that did not watch crosstalk or those that had left due to being disappointed with the state of crosstalk and brought them back to noticing this art form and these crosstalk actors again. Zhang Ye had been trying to make the cake bigger so that everyone could have a share, and this would have been a good thing for crosstalk as it would have brought about progress for them!

Yet, this was not noticed by them while Zhang Ye was treated as a thorn in their sides. As for Zhang Ye and the crosstalk world's complete division, it had been noticed by the audience as well. Those who had actually enjoyed crosstalk had now given up on them as they chose to support Zhang Ye instead!

The disqualification had not affected Zhang Ye much, as his name had now been noticed by everyone. His work was now recognized by the masses! In fact, it was the crosstalk world which was hurt from Zhang Ye's disqualification from the competition. Zhang Ye had left having taken a large chunk of the crosstalk world's 'flesh' along with him. It had further reduced the number of loyal fans of the art form from its already small fan base!

Someone had checked on the Celebrity Rankings website and discovered another shocking truth. This was not a guess, but a fact that was backed up by real data!

Tang Dazhang's ranking had slid back down. For the past few days, he had been in first place on the D-list and he had nearly broken through into the C-list rankings, but now, he was ranked 5th place on the D-list, dropping 4 places!

Crosstalk artist, Master Xu Wenxiang rank had also fallen. He was an extremely experienced crosstalk veteran and was rather popular as well, but that was now a thing of the past as he was ranked at the front of the E-listers. After today's incident and Zhang Ye's crosstalk performance, Xu Wenxiang's ranking had dropped drastically and his name was now floating in the middle of the E-list rankings!

As for the crosstalk world's other mainstream actors, competition participants, and those rookies, all of their rankings declined at different rates!

The collective members of the crosstalk world had their popularity negatively affected!

This was something of a shock that none of them had expected!

But for Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai? After their first performance, their popularity had already started to increase. When the second and third performances were done, Zhang Ye was no longer in the last few positions of the C-list rankings but had moved into the middle positions instead. It wasn't even the lower half of the middle positions, but rather the upper half and that was just after 3 crosstalk performances! From the last position to the mid-top positions on the C-list. The increase in popularity was shocking! With this momentum, as long as he worked a little harder this year, he might even be able to reach the B-list rankings before the end of the year! It could even happen before the middle of the year, but of course, that would depend on whether his ban was lifted or not. Otherwise, he probably did not have a shot at all.

Zhang Ye's popular had soared too much this time. The C-list was a completely different concept from the D and E-lists. The higher ranked lists had fewer celebrities and there was a fixed number of artist in each list, with the difficulty increasing the higher the list went. When Zhang Ye had risen from the bottom to the middle of the D-list previously, the difficulty level of that compared to him rising from the bottom to the middle of the C-list was totally different!

Why did his popularity increase so much?

It was because the audience and viewers liked him.

Back then, when Zhang Ye was lecturing about the Three Kingdoms, talking about the Dream of the Red Chamber, composing poetry and lyrics, writing couplets, writing supernatural novels, writing fairy tales, and many other things, all of these activities had helped him to gain some audiences and supporters. There were some people who started paying attention to him and his reputation grew, but he was still not watched by everyone in the country. Even when he did his Talk Show, not everyone would accept it. In his previous world, talk shows in the country were not exactly watched by everyone. What's more, in this world, Talk Shows were unheard of before he introduced it over here. For him to gain fame, he would have to slowly work his way up. This was why since Zhang Ye debuted, he had to fight for every bit of fame he could get. Becoming an overnight star did not happen to him, nor would it ever happen.

But the crosstalk competition this time allowed him to gain a lot of fame in a short time!

Decree #43's ban and Zhang Ye's participation in the crosstalk competition had laid out the infinite anticipation of the audience. He was attracting a lot of attention at the moment, as even this form of artistic performance had quite a good following as this art form had a very good audience base and the market had been built up for some time already. On top of that, the National Crosstalk and Skit Competition was a very well watched event and would be repeated on broadcast even after it was over. With Zhang Ye bringing over the works of Guo Degang into this world and his disagreements with the crosstalk world, it created discussions and attention that was unforeseen!

Thus, with all of that adding up, Zhang Ye's reputation grew rapidly and brought him a step closer to the B-list celebrity rankings. This was a case of being in the right place at the right time and not something that could be achieved just because of a good piece of work. For example, in his previous world, Guo Degang had to use over 10 years to go from being an unknown person to climbing to the top of the crosstalk world. Yet Zhang Ye only used three days and had already achieved some results. He knew that he was lucky this time.

As for Yao Jiancai, his popularity had risen ferociously as well. Old Yao had already moved up to the top of the D-list rankings and wasn't too far from breaking into the C-list!

......

A lot of people saw these rankings on Weibo.

"Wow!"

"Teacher Zhang's popularity is so high!"

"Holy sh*t! Why did his popularity increase so much?"

"He's headed for the B-list celebrities at this rate!"

"Old Yao isn't doing bad either. Those two old bros have surely increased their popularity by quite a lot this time. Even though they were disqualified, they gained a lot from this competition as well!"

"The masses eyes are clear to the on-goings of all that had happened. Look at Tang Dazhang and those other crosstalk actors, haha! Their popularity has dropped by so much! They totally deserved it!"

"The audience isn't stupid! They know how to differentiate between the good and bad!"

Suddenly, at this moment, the crosstalk competition's live broadcast was cut!

A lot of the viewers did not understand what was going on, "What happened? The live broadcast has stopped? Is there a problem again?"

Shortly after, a notice from the SARFT was released to explain that this year's National Crosstalk and Skit Competition would be canceled effective immediately and would not be broadcasted any further!

"It's being taken off-air?"

"What?"

"Hahaha! Well done for this halt!"

"That's what you get for scolding Teacher Zhang!"

"Well done for this halt! If Zhang Ye can't perform any further, then none of you will get to perform either!"

The netizens were gloating!

This hit the Central TV Department 11's program team and the whole of the crosstalk world like a lightning bolt. The program had only just begun and the preliminaries were still being held! Stop broadcasting? And stop immediately? They knew that this was the fallout from the authorities no longer being able to bear their continuous mistakes in airing footage of banned artists!

The program team's person-in-charge slumped back heavily into his chair!

Zhang Xiao and Liu Yuan, as well as the rest of the participants, were feeling saddened. After getting rid of Zhang Ye, not only did they not manage to get a share of his votes, they were now even unable to take part in the competition anymore. This struck them like a bolt of lightning and they were going crazy about it!

The one who was most affected was probably Tang Dazhang. He had been about to gain the status as a C-list celebrity in the Celebrity Rankings, but each time, he was denied by Zhang Ye. The competition was about to begin the semi-final round where he was scheduled to appear on the live broadcast as a judge, but there wasn't even a chance to do so now? He wouldn't even get the chance to appear on a live broadcast?

Zhang Ye!

This was all because of Zhang Ye!

At this moment, everyone could only think of this jinx's name!

On this day.

The contestants were all feeling hurt!

The crosstalk world's members were all feeling hurt!

Translator Notes: Thank you for your support so far! Please continue to support IRAS by submitting a vote at Gravity Tales Vote Page. The top 3 novels at the end of the month will get a free sponsored chapter!

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