Chapter 691 Broadcast!
Around 8:55 PM.
At Zhang Ye's parents' house, his mother was in the kitchen preparing supper. She was frying some sausages1 and chopping the garlic, occasionally coming out to the living room to ask, "Has it started yet?"
Zhang Ye answered, "Not yet, there's still 5 minutes."
His mother asked, "It's still the commercials? They're taking too long with that!"
His father urged, "Just get the sausages onto the dining table first, Chenchen is getting hungry waiting for you."
"Right away, right away." Not a moment later, his mother brought out the dish and put it onto the dining table. "Chenchen, come and eat, try the sausages that Grandma fried."
Chenchen went to the dining table and picked up a pair of chopsticks immediately.
Zhang Ye stopped her. "Have you thanked Grandma for cooking this for you yet?"
Chenchen raised her head. "Thank you, Grandma."
His mother smiled happily. "No need to thank me, just eat."
Only then did Zhang Ye let Chenchen start eating. He himself also started eating, but he used his hands instead of chopsticks. The sausages were still very hot and he even let out a yell because of that. Then he dipped it into the garlic sauce and threw it directly into his mouth.
Then Chenchen did not take the sausages from her plate but insisted on snatching them from Zhang Ye's hands. "Give me, Zhang Ye, give me!"
"No, dip it in the sauce yourself!" Zhang Ye rolled his eyes.
His mother sat down. "Why are you fighting with a child? Come, Chenchen, let Grandma dip it in some sauce for you. Do you want vinegar2?"
His father turned the volume of the TV up.
Onscreen, the second episode of The Voice was starting.
Simultaneously, the same event was also occurring in many households across the country.
In a household.
"Honey, get me a cold beer!"
"The Voice is starting, I've already been waiting for a week!"
In an alley.
"Brother Sun, you're leaving so early? Why don't we play another two rounds."
"I'm not playing anymore, you guys continue. I have to go back to catch The Voice."
"Whoa, you're already past 40 and still watching talent shows?"
"What do you all know? The Voice is different, it's really fun to watch!"
At some kebab restaurant.
"Please switch the television to The Voice."
"Give me another 50 kebab skewers and 5 bottles of beer, cold ones!"
"They'll be here soon."
Millions of viewers were already waiting in front of their televisions, their eyes focused on Central TV Department 1's channel. Everyone wanted to know if the second episode of The Voice would be able to continue its miraculous run and if Zhang Ye's viewership ratings legend was really just a flash in the pan. In the past two days, a few online comments were rather spot on. The real test of Zhang Ye's standard and The Voice was starting just today. Whether they were a mule or a horse all depended on this second episode!
The introduction music played!
The logo of The Voice appeared!
During the first episode, there was a lot more fanfare, such as the opening theme song and coaches introduction. A lot of the viewing audience thought that it would be the same for the second episode, but what surprised them was that The Voice did not follow the templates of other talent shows. Instead, there wasn't even an opening introduction. In place of it was the fan favorite advertising segment!
When the show started, the focus was immediately on the stage. Zhang Ye had already walked up to the hanging microphone. He recited speedily while looking into the camera, "I-will-not-accept-any-gifts-this-year The-only-gift-I-will-accept-is-Brain Gold There's-no-need-to-watch-any-TV-shows-this-year The-only-TV-show-you-need-to-watch-is-The Voice..."
A string of advertising messages seemingly flew out from his mouth!
The loud applause from the audience thundered through the entire studio!
Online, many people who heard this again could only come up with forced smiles!
"Just how did Zhang Ye do it so quickly!"
"Was he aiming to break the speed of sound there?"
"Each time I listen to it, I get more surprised! That mouth of his is really too godly!"
"Damn, Zhang Ye has gotten faster again! I timed it just now and Zhang Ye's recital of the advertising message today was faster than the first episode's recital by 0.5 seconds! F**k, he could even go faster than before? He did not even hit his limit yet in the first episode? Still increasing his recital speed? I'm gonna faint!"
"Are you sure?"
"I timed it too! Indeed, he did it faster than before!"
"My timing shows that he was faster by 0.4 seconds!"
"Teacher Zhang's taking this godly speed to the next level!"
"He's just so godlike! With a godly mouth too!"
"Teacher Zhang, you're too awesome!"
The opening advertising messages had already made many of the audience members erupt into excitement. Many of the industry insiders who saw this all felt that Zhang Ye and The Voice were being too "violent." Why "violent"? Because whenever all the other variety shows wished to pull up their viewership ratings by attracting viewers, they would have to try many tricks and strategies, like finding a better pool of contestants, inviting a well-known coach, or giving more thought when creating new ideas for the program, and even by relying on the humor of the host. However, The Voice's advertising segment that pulled in the viewers only needed to depend on Zhang Ye's amazingly fast recital speed which would crush all of his fellow peers. It "violently" relied on Zhang Ye's individual ability to pull in all the viewers' interest, and this seemingly non-technical ability actually required the most technique to execute. Right now, everyone knew that if they delivered the advertising messages in such a manner, it would definitely raise the viewership ratings by attracting enormous attention and hype to the topic. But even if they knew, there was no host in the industry who could do the same thing! So looking at Zhang Ye continuing to use his unique skill in the second episode of the program, many of the satellite channel industry insiders could only watch and sigh. Unless they could somehow poach Zhang Ye over from Central TV Department 1, they could only watch with envy!
Excitement rose in the air!
The next moment, Zhang Ye started to introduce the first contestant who would come up onstage. The show's pacing was very fast. There were no slow moments as it headed straight for the main event!
The contestant's intro clip started playing!
It was a woman's voice. "Since childhood, my family's living conditions have always been good. My parents are rather strict with me, so I can't do many things. When I went to work, it was also at my parents' company. I know that they wish to nurture me so I can take over the company in the future and have achievements in the business world, but to be honest, that's not what I like. I don't like doing business where people are always scheming against each other. I like to sing, and I want to sing. That's why I've come to the stage of The Voice. I hope to tell my parents that I will choose my own path!"
The female contestant carried the microphone and stepped on stage.
The moment she appeared up on stage, whether it was the live audience or the viewers in front of their TVs, everyone showed slightly shocked expressions!
Because of this contestant's appearance!
"Damn, a beauty!"
"This person is too beautiful, too beautiful!"
"She carries herself really well!"
"F**k, I've always thought that The Voice would only have ugly men and women as contestants! Where did a person with such stunning looks come out from? I thought that The Voice doesn't care about looks?"
"Yeah, I am also quite disappointed!"
"Could it be that The Voice has already conceded to the traditional format from the second episode? They are going to become just like any other talent show that uses good-looking people as their contestants? And I still thought that The Voice was something new and refreshing! If this contestant only performs averagely, I will not be watching The Voice anymore!"
"Listen to the performance first."
Many netizens were commenting online while watching the program. As the contestants from the first episode had left a very deep impression on them, many of them already formed preconceived notions of the contestants. Now that such a beautiful looking female contestant had appeared onstage, they felt a little unused to it!
The female contestant's name was Yuan Tong and had moved Zhang Ye with the song "Blooming" during the preliminary auditions, allowing her to qualify for the next round. However, as another female contestant had performed the same song in the first episode, to avoid repetition, the music arrangement teacher and music director had chosen another song for her after consulting Zhang Ye. It wasn't a love song nor an upbeat song. It was a song that carried some risk if performed in a singing competition as it didn't fit too well to the theme. However, Zhang Ye and his team all believed that Yuan Tong could make it sound good!
The song was-"For My Future Son or Daughter."
"I want a child. I'll teach 'em how write and speak.
"I want a child. I'll teach 'em to be thoughtful and free.
"I want a child. I'll teach 'em forgiveness and mercy.
"I want a child. I'll teach 'em to be selfless and true."
After this female contestant opened her mouth to sing, everyone immediately stopped what they were saying!
An uproar broke out again online!
"What the f**k!"
"That's friggin' nice to listen to!"
"This...this singing is too good!"
"F**k, who says that if you look good, you won't be able to sing? I was nearly misled by you guys! She can also sing very well even if she's beautiful!"
"Ahem, I take back my words from earlier. It was because of the first episode that I assumed the wrong things. I did not think that there would be any good-looking people appearing on this stage!"
"This person sings as well as Luo Yu! She must also be a key contestant! And she's even very pretty!"
"The Voice did great! How did they manage to find so many awesome people!?"
At this moment, on the TV screens, Chen Guang and Fan Wenli both pressed the button simultaneously as they both turned around with excitement!
"There's still two more coaches to go!"
"Hahaha, how wonderful!"
"Wow, look at Old Chen's eyes. They're gleaming at the sight of a pretty lady, heh!"
"Zhang Xia looks like she's hesitating, I think she'll turn around soon!"
Yuan Tong was still singing. There was no high notes to hit nor any showy techniques. She simply used a very emotional style of singing to perform this song, or rather she was just singing her feelings. Through this song's beseeching of one's future child, she was actually reflecting on her own experiences for the past 20 years of her life. It was performed very well and full of charm!
"I don't want you to be like me, bad with words.
"I don't want you to be like me, selfish, harsh, and untoward.
"I don't want you to be like me, showing off your vanity.
"I don't want you to be like me..."
Zhang Yuanqi turned!
Zhang Xia glanced sideways and also determinedly hit the button!
All of them had turned!
It was another rare occasion where a contestant earned the approval of the four coaches!
The audience also exploded as everyone started cheering for Yuan Tong, for her beauty and for her singing!
Backstage at the second recording studio site, Zhang Ye was accompanied by Yuan Tong's parents who did not look like they were too interested, appearing quite obviously unsupportive of their daughter. But when they saw their daughter's eyes had teared up at the most emotional part of the song, then saw how the four coaches were reacting excited due to her singing, as well as the studio audience's cheers, Yuan Tong's mother's eyes reddened. She quietly wiped away some tears from the corners of her eyes and looked at her husband who had raised his arms high in encouragement of their daughter!
Yuan Tong was crying. When she reached the final verse of the song, as her vibrato ended along with the music, she saw that the four coaches had all turned around. Suddenly, at that moment, she could not hold her emotions in anymore and covered her mouth and cried. Having held it in for so long, with so many people watching her at the venue, she would naturally be a little more sensitive, and so her tears started falling.
Seeing this, Zhang Xia also teared up a little. Perhaps she was also reminded of some memories since she looked to be in a rather complex state.
Chen Guang still stuck to his old pet phrase as he raised both his arms. "This is truly unbelievable!"
A stunning face!
An experienced singing technique!
A touching voice!
With Yuan Tong's appearance, the entire stage was lit up again!
The netizens all shouted in succession.
"The singing was too wonderful!"
"I nearly cried listening to that!"
"I'm already a fan! Yuan Tong is awesome!"
"Supporting you in wanting to walk your own path!"
"Right, don't go into business! You must carry on singing! It's your life, so you must make your own choice!"
The several industry insiders suddenly went quiet. One of them was the executive director of a talent show that was on another satellite channel in the same broadcast time slot. He could only silently sigh, knowing that he and many others had been totally underestimating Zhang Ye. When The Voice was not yet broadcast, they'd already been denouncing it and calling it bad. Many of them were not actually trying to bad-mouth it because it was a competitor; they wouldn't stoop that low. The main reason they had done so was because they truly did not believe that a talent show without any good-looking people could get popular. They felt that this was going against the market trends, but the first episode of The Voice had utterly schooled them regarding this concern. Zhang Ye had made a show that did not have any good-looking people in it and created a viewership rating miracle, shocking all his industry peers and shutting up all those doubters!
And today, Zhang Ye had once again schooled these industry peers with another lesson!
Who said that The Voice would not have any good-looking people on it?
Who had set such a rule? No one did! Zhang Ye did not mention this explicitly before either! He only said that the contestants could join regardless of looks!
If they could sing very well and also have a very good-looking appearance, then that would be all the better. Just like how Yuan Tong was a contestant you wouldn't just find anywhere even if you looked hard. The future development path of Yuan Tong was probably going to be much smoother than Luo Yu or Qian Pingfan, since her foundation was almost perfect and she also had the necessary good qualities!
When there was a misconception that The Voice would only have ugly people joining as contestants, it was all because the audience had wanted to believe it that way. They had a wrong understanding of The Voice and today's first contestant Zhang Ye sent on stage was clearly set up for this. Zhang Ye had his own considerations, and as expected, Yuan Tong had amazed the entire venue and put across a message of truth to everyone-don't ever use your understanding to measure The Voice!
At Zhang Ye's parents' place.
His mother's eyes lit up. "This person is really beautiful and she sings very well too!"
Zhang Ye laughed. "Yes, Yuan Tong was one of my designated trump cards from the preliminary auditions. I had planned for her to appear in the second episode to shock everyone."
His mother said, "What is she like?"
"Alright I suppose. Do you mean her personality?" Zhang Ye asked.
His mother asked with concern, "Yes, is her personality good?"
Zhang Ye threw up his hands. "We've only talked a little about music and didn't have much contact after that, so I don't really know. But I guess she's alright, she seems to be quite filial. Eh, why are you asking about this?"
His father had already sensed it. "Your mom is just worrying about finding you a partner."
His mother immediately said, "Yes. This girl is very beautiful and can even sing well. Her family is rather well off too, and although she might not be famous yet, she can slowly work her way up. I think she would match you well."
Zhang Ye nearly fainted. "Mom, didn't I tell you not to worry about this matter."
His mother pouted. "If you don't want me to worry, then you should find someone. I know that many people in the entertainment circle wed late in their lives, some are even still single in their forties, so you better make sure you don't learn from them!"
"Just don't worry so much. Yuan Tong is just considered as an average beauty." Zhang Ye said, "My future wife will definitely be much more beautiful than her."
Chenchen who was sitting next to them on the sofa glanced at him for a moment. "...Hur hur."
HIs mother doubtfully said, "Is that so?"
Zhang Ye laughed. "Of course, just wait and see."
He was actually speaking the truth, since Wu Zeqing was indeed much more beautiful than Yuan Tong. Perhaps, since Zhang Ye had seen Wu Zeqing so many times, he did not even take much notice of Yuan Tong from the beginning. He basically did not have any interest in her and it was just his mother who had brought it up and incoherently connected them together, thinking that her son was still unable to find someone.
His father interrupted, "Don't talk anymore, it's the next contestant's turn." His father was never interested in watching such shows in the first place, neither could he really understand them, but maybe due to his son, he enjoyed it quite a bit. If anyone spoke loudly, he would say that they bothered his watching of the show.
His mother turned her attention back to the television and did not raise the subject of Zhang Ye finding a partner anymore. She asked anxiously, "Who's next? Is it a man or a woman? Is the performance good?"
Zhang Ye smiled and kept them guessing. "The next contestant will surely give both of you a great fright. Just watch, I won't spoil it for you!"
1. Guan Chang, or filled sausage, has been a popular snack in Beijing since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Traditionally, the sausage, a prepared pork intestine, is stuffed with a paste of flour or starch mixed with spices. The sausage is then boiled and cut into cubes or slices to be fried. In some restaurants, minced pork is also used as stuffing. Little bamboo sticks, instead of chopsticks, are the traditional way of eating the filled sausages.
2. black vinegar