Chapter 652 The four "wonders"!
Later that afternoon.
After the first round of preliminary auditions ended.
Zhang Ye gathered Ha Qiqi and the others and started going through the demos sent to them with email. Although today's audition had ended, they were still going to have another round tomorrow or the day after, and thus needed to sort out the contestants to notify them to come for the auditions. For those candidates who lived further away, if they really had the potential to qualify, the program team would have to be responsible for their plane or train tickets, covering their return trip as well.
"Come, everyone have a look at this."
"I will be in charge of these 100 candidates."
"Leave this page to me."
"Alright, if there's any demo that's good, let me know. I'll listen to it as well."
"Hey, Teacher Zhang, this one sounds good, come and listen."
"Let me take a look."
"Will this person do?"
"Sounds quite good, notify her."
"Director Zhang, I found one who's quite good as well."
They kept busy for a full two hours and only managed to go through about a fifth of the applications. There was nothing they could do about it as there were far too many candidates. If it was said that people did not have much optimism for The Voice of China before, but after landing the Brain Gold title sponsorship and with the four famous music coaches coming aboard, the applications increased severalfold. It was an unprecedented number three or four times more than those of other similar talent shows. This was due to the fact that none of them ever had such a prestigious lineup of coaches and such an astronomical title sponsorship fee. The first move made by The Voice of China had already cast all thoughts of other similar talent show programs far from the minds of the audiences!
Ring, ring. A phone call came in.
Zhang Ye answered. "Director Jiang."
On the line was the deputy director of Central TV Department 1, Jiang Yuan. He said, "Little Zhang, why did I hear that you have chased away four of the music consultants I appointed to your team?"
Zhang Ye laughed and replied, "Director, it wasn't that they were chased off, it's just because we did not see eye to eye with the concept and requirement, so they were not of much help in the picking of contestants. Since it was that way, I thought that it would be better to just handle it on my own. At most I will have to attend every round of the preliminary auditions and spend a little more time. It's not a big deal."
Jiang Yuan could not say anything to that, so he just told him, "Alright then, I won't be bothering with this matter then. But I'll still say the same thing: I want results, and that means the viewership ratings."
Zhang Ye said, "I understand."
"How many people qualified from today's auditions?" Jiang Yuan asked concerned.
"Four contestants," Zhang Ye said.
Jiang Yuan reacted in shock. "So few?"
Zhang Ye said, "But they're all the most excellent ones."
Jiang Yuan said, "Fine, I will just wait for your good news."
After hanging up, Zhang Ye looked at his watch and gathered everyone again. He said, "Let's stop here for today, it's about time to leave anyway. Thank you for your hard work, everyone."
"It's no trouble."
"It's our job, Director Zhang."
Everyone could finally take a breather and relax as they got ready to leave work.
Zhang Ye was a workaholic and in other times, he wouldn't even be getting ready to knock off at 7 PM. Sometimes he would even work until 8 or 9 PM, but today, he was the first to leave. 20 minutes before the official end-of-work time, Zhang Ye had already left. This was because there was still a little one waiting for him at school. He had to rush to the Experimental Primary School to pick up Chenchen. If he were late, she would surely be unhappy.
When Zhang Ye left, everyone started talking to each other without needing to hold back anymore.
Zhang Zuo sighed, "Tell me honestly, do you guys think that these contestants can make it?"
Wu Yi gave a forced smile. "I don't know, but i suppose Teacher Zhang has his own considerations."
"Ai, I don't know what to say anymore." Ha Qiqi said while pinching her brow. "I just hope it works out by some miracle." Having said that, even she did not believe that this miracle would happen!
Everyone was looking at each other with worried faces!
Some of the program team staff even had expressions that seemed to say "we're screwed!"
With regards to the chosen contestants today, everyone had great doubts. They'd seen odd ones, but never such strange ones before!
These four "wonders," each one more "amazing" than the other!
The lights in the office of The Voice's program team blinked out as everyone dispersed and proceeded downstairs.
In the elevator, Assistant Director Zhang Zuo bumped into a friend from his previous program team. The two of them had known each other for quite some years now.
That person greeted, "Old Zuo."
Zhang Zuo said, "Ai, it's Old Yu."
That person asked, "How's it going? Have you finished busying yourself with the equipment work yet? I heard that your program team has spent more than 20 million on purchasing new equipment?"
Zhang Zuo said, "Yeah, we bought a bunch of equipment. They should be delivered within the next 2 days."
That person said, "Heh, your team is really rich, but that can't be helped with a 100 million title sponsorship. Even if you all just spent it recklessly, it would take a long time to deplete those funds. Just look at the program team that I'm in, they're so petty. We only exceeded the budget by tens of thousands of yuan, but the leader has already curbed our spending with immediate effect. We're not as lucky as your team, getting whatever you want." Then he paused before suddenly asking, "Oh right, didn't they hold auditions for your program today?"
When he heard that, Zhang Zuo's expression changed into something slightly unnatural. He replied, "Ahem, yeah, I guess it was."
That person asked, "What do you mean by 'I guess it was'? How did it turn out? How many good ones were there? When I walked passed the venue earlier, I spotted a very pretty one. She was dressed in red and had big, round eyes. Did she get through to the next round?"
Zhang Zuo said, "No."
That person asked, "Then which ones did you all choose?"
Zhang Zuo mumbled, "I'm not in charge of that, so I'm not too sure either."
That person didn't believe him. "You're an AD. Even if you weren't in charge of that, you would still know something, wouldn't you?"
Zhang Zuo coughed, "I really don't know."
Below, at the bottom of the television station tower, Wu Yi ran into an old colleague from his previous department.
That woman greeted, "Wu Yi, you're off work?"
"Yes," Wu Yi said.
The woman asked, "You all held auditions today, right?"
Wu Yi said, "Was there an audition? I'm not sure."
The woman rolled her eyes. "Who're you trying to bluff? The entire Central TV staff knows auditions for The Voice were held today. It was even reported on the news. Hurry up and tell me a little about it. How many people were chosen? How did they do? You should know that I love watching singing talent shows the most, right? So how were the contestants you all chose compared to the contestants from the other satellite channels?
Wu Yi suddenly said, "Eh, you bought a new pair of shoes?"
"Yeah, they look good, right? Hey, I was asking you about the contestants. Why did you talk about my shoes instead?" The woman was almost at a loss for words because of that.
Wu Yi lied, "I'm not sure, I wasn't at the venue."
Little Wang got on her bicycle and was preparing to ride it home.
Behind her, one of her university schoolmates came up to her. They had graduated together and come to Central TV to work at the same time, so they'd always had a pretty good relationship.
"Wang'er, I've been looking for you the whole day!"
"Ah? Looking for me?"
"I wanted to ask you about the auditions. I'm really curious."
"Does your Executive Director Zhang really not choose the contestant based on their looks and only listen to their voices? What do the contestants who qualified for the next round look like? Did you take any photos? Show them to me."
"What are you hesitating for? I'm asking you, did you get any behind the scenes videos? Show them to me first! Recently, there've been so many people who pay attention to this new program of yours, even many of us in Central TV are guessing what kinds of contestants you all selected. Just today alone, I've heard seven or eight people discussing it in the office."
"Uh, about this..."
"Weren't you at the venue? Tell me about it."
"No, I can't. Director Zhang...has told us to keep it confidential."
"F**k, what's there to be so secretive of."
"I really can't say."
"Just tell me a little, won't you? We're close friends, aren't we?"
"Ahem, I really cannot. Well, then, I'll go off first. See you tomorrow."
"Hey, you! Wait, wait! Why are you rushing off!?"
The same situations were playing out for every staff member of The Voice. At the moment, there were a lot of discussions about The Voice. The internal staff at Central TV were also very concerned and curious about how the program was progressing. Some of them even wanted to go and observe the auditions, but due to regulation, non-related staff were not allowed to enter the venue. As such, without an answer to their curiosity, they could only wait until it was time to knock off to find someone they knew from The Voice's program team, whether it be friends, ex-classmates, or ex-colleagues, so that they could get an update on the status of the program.
But without exception, none of them managed to find out anything!
Not one of the staff members from The Voice's program team leaked any news or information at all. It was as though they had all discussed beforehand to keep it a secret. Some of them even acted dumb by saying that they were not present at the auditions even though they were there. Did they really not know anything? Did Zhang Ye really ask them to keep it a secret? Actually, there was nothing like this at all! When did Zhang Ye ever ask them to keep the details of the audition under wraps?! As long as no video clips leaked, why would such small matters require them to keep it a secret!
However, no one said a thing! Not a single person!
Because the staff of The Voice's program team basically did not dare tell anyone! They were too embarrassed to do that!
Tell them? Nonsense! How should they tell them! Your sister! Look at the singing talent shows on all the other satellite channels, including those that aired in the past ten years. Counting all of them, which one did not have contestants who were either handsome guys or beautiful women? Which one of their contestants were not in the peak of their youth!?
They were everywhere!
But for their chosen contestants from the preliminary auditions?
A skinny and ugly man!
A woman weighing between 80 and 90 kilograms!
And there was even an old man!
But that was not the weirdest yet. The weirdest things about these people were their occupations. In the other talent shows, what did the handsome guys or beautiful women do for a living? They were either students from a music college or musicians who had graduated from performing arts schools. There were music teachers, piano teachers, guitar teachers, backup singers, independent musicians who composed their own songs, and even rookies who had just signed with a media agency! They had either already debuted or were working in music-related jobs as industry insiders! Their professional quality was for all to see!
However, when you looked at the chosen contestants for The Voice!?
A train driver!
A physical education teacher!
A bicycle repairman!
And there was even a sixty-year-old retiree!
How could they compare!!
How could they say anything!!
When comparing their program with other programs, the contrast was vastly different! Even if they were thick-skinned enough, they still would not have dared tell anyone about the backgrounds of their program's contestants. If they did, they would surely become laughingstocks!