Chapter 471: Let's go, off to sign up!
Middle of the night.
Yao Jiancai stared in amazement, "Bro, that's awesome!"
Zhang Ye laughed, "Hur hur, I'm just so-so."
"How on earth do you do it?" Yao Jiancai was still looking at his cellphone screen as he asked, "Did they somehow get the rankings wrong? Why did the 28 of us drop in ranking, but only you rose up?"
Zhang Ye explained, "There was a crosstalk actor called Tang Dazhang who seemed to keep finding fault with me and pissed me off, and so I began posting some poems, one a day and somehow my rankings rose up little by little."
Yao Jiancai was stunned. He said, "Tang Dazhang? I knew him from my days as a crosstalk actor. We've even met a few times before. How did the two of you come to clash?"
Zhang Ye said innocently, "You should ask him. I didn't step on his tail first."
"Then after that you posted a few poems?" Yao Jiancai asked.
"Yea." Zhang Ye replied.
Yao Jiancai said, "What kind of black magic is that!? Let me take a look!"
Zhang Ye laughed, "Hur hur, look them up then."
Yao Jiancai was still in disbelief as he went onto Weibo to verify Zhang Ye's story. When he browsed through the posts and came to understand what had happened these past few days, only then was he thoroughly convinced. He gave a thumbs up to Zhang Ye and laughed out, "You sure are great. My bro is still the best! Come, let's drink to that!"
"Here." Zhang Ye picked up his beer and gave him a cheers.
Yao Jiancai said in admiration, "Only you can pull of something like this. The others in the entertainment circle do not have any such heaven-defying talents like you."
Zhang Ye waved his hands. "I can only resort to such temporary measures for now, but it won't last me for long, and I can't possibly be writing a poem everyday and keep posting them. Even if I did, the people would not want to see it. This kind of stuff needs to be done at the right time, place, and to the right people. At this juncture, those three poems had only brought me a little increase in fame. Once this passes, even if I were to write 10 poems a day, it would not mean a thing anymore. The netizens would have become tired of it. Every method can only last you for a few days at most, and so when that day comes, my popularity ranking would definitely drop. It's just that I managed to last a little longer than all of you."
Others could only see the glorious side of Zhang Ye bucking the trend with his scolding and face slapping during this time of being banned, but only Zhang Ye clearly understood that all of this was temporary. In a day or two, the situation would still would definitely normalize and he would still be unable to buck the trend any further.
Yao Jiancai slurped a few mouthfuls of noodles and said, "Yea, this ban is really pushing us to the edge of a cliff."
"So let us think of a way together." Zhang Ye did not finish his noodles, as he was not in the mood to. He just gulped down his beer before saying, "We can't just wait for our deaths this way."
Yao Jiancai shook his head, "Movies, dramas, variety shows, and even novel writing are no longer options we can choose from. What other ideas can we get? Even if we were to invest in ourselves to film an independent show, it wouldn't be allowed to be broadcast on TV. That also applied to anything that would be broadcast on the internet!"
Zhang Ye fell silent.
"We won't call it a day until we're drunk!"
"OK. I am up for it!"
The cans of beer were emptied into their stomachs!
After having so much, they naturally became more outspoken. Zhang Ye and Yao Jiancai suddenly started to scold the television stations, scolding the heavens as they released all the pent up anger that had built up these past few days.
The next day.
8AM in the morning.
The house was a mess. The noodle bowls were still scattered across the table with the chopsticks lying discarded on it, while the floor was littered with beer cans as well. Zhang Ye was lying on his bed snoring loudly and Yao Jiancai was leaning on the small sofa snoring as well, as if he were competing with Zhang Ye in terms of decibel levels. The two of them had had too much to drink last night.
The television had been left on.
The promotional footage for this year's highly anticipated National Crosstalk and Skit Competition was showing at the moment.
Zhang Ye was woken up by the sound from the TV as he opened his eyes while rubbing his sore neck and yawning, "Old Yao, are you awake?"
Yao Jiancai made a sound,but his eyes stayed closed.
Zhang Ye got up and looked over at the TV.
"This year's competition follows the same format as last year's. It will be divided into two parts, namely the crosstalk division and the skit division. The crosstalk division registration deadline will end at 11AM today. Thereafter, the preliminary round will begin from tomorrow onwards, followed by the knockout stages, and then the finals. The preliminaries will consist of the contestants performing their crosstalks live to an audience, which could also be streamed live on the internet. Teams will advance to the knockout stages via the judges' decision, coupled with the live audience's voting. In the knockout stages -- Central TV 11 will be fully broadcasting the event live. The contestants will face off....."
Zhang Ye looked at the TV screen and suddenly blinked. He shouted towards the direction of the sofa, "Old Yao!"
Yao Jiancai was still in dreamland.
"Old Yao, don't sleep anymore!" Zhang Ye shouted at him.
Yao Jiancai turned around in annoyance and said, "What?"
Zhang Ye got off his bed saying, "Hurry up and and get up. Look what's on TV!"
"TV?" Yao Jiancai sat up rubbing his forehead. He casually looked at the TV and said, "Hai, I thought it was something important. Isn't that just this year's National Crosstalk and Skit Competition? What's the big deal about it? it's been promoted for so long already and it happens every year!"
Zhang Ye quickly asked, "How was the viewership rating for this program last year?"
Yao Jiancai said, "Are you asking about the internet broadcast or television broadcast?"
"Tell me about both." Zhang Ye suddenly sounded very excited.
Yao Jiancai glanced at him and rubbed his eyes saying, "How can it be that you don't know about this competition? Don't you usually watch TV? The annual Crosstalk and Skit Competition is Central TV's signature program. It will be broadcasted on Channel 11, which is like Channels 1 and 2, both of which are countrywide broadcast channels. As for the viewership ratings, with the exception of 2 years ago, when it was placed 2nd, they were the number 1 program for both 3 years and a year ago. The internet broadcast stats have even hit hundreds of millions before!"
Zhang Ye drew a deep breath, "It's so great?"
Yao Jiancai said in surprise, "What? And you call yourself someone from the entertainment industry? What kind of TV host are you? This competition is Central TV's signature program, so how can it not be great?"
Zhang Ye quickly asked again, "Why are the ratings so high? Can normal crosstalk and skits even attract so many viewers? Are there that many good programs?"
He was still rather unfamiliar with this world after having tried to understand more about it, but there were still things that he did not understand too well. A long time ago, Zhang Ye had already heard of this world's Crosstalk and Skit Competition and that it was different from the one that was held in his previous world, but since he had not seen it first hand, Zhang Ye did not have much of a concept of it. Now that he found out that this program was, in recent times, the top rated show in the country, he could not help but be stunned.
Yao Jiancai said, "Of course there are good shows on it. There will definitely be quite a number of good works emerging from it yearly. There are even some of them which are much more well-received than those crosstalk or skits that are aired on the Spring Festival Gala. They are very well-received, and the reason why the viewership ratings are so high is because of other reasons. For example, the competition does not have any limitations of the participants. Regardless of you being a professional crosstalk actor or a vegetable farmer, as long as you register, you can go on it. Naturally there will be some wonders and humorous ones that appear. There can also be some people, especially bad ones, and people who stammer, that also register for crosstalk. And strangely, many members of the audience like that. I remember for one live internet broadcast last year during the preliminaries, quite a number of people were extremely popular. This program is great at creating stars. Oh, of course, those who do humor can't go very far. To really become famous on stage, they have to be guys with true talent."
Zhang Ye confirmed with him, "Even the preliminaries are broadcasted live?"
"That's right." Yao Jiancai knew a lot about this as he watched it every year. He said, "The preliminaries are aired live over the internet. It is split into a few groups, such as A division, B division, C division. It feels almost the same as a soccer tournament. Every division would then have a dedicated page on the Central TV video website. There, the participants' names and work for the competition. The audience can click on them to watch it. Of course, it's not a true live broadcast. It's just some video that's uploaded after recording. As there are no limits on the registration, it can't be avoided for some people to register in order to mess things up. Every year, things like this will happen, and so those who end up messing things up or do too badly, their works will not be uploaded. Well, these kind of things happen, but not often. Oh right, also if the contestants do particularly well, with their works especially outstanding, the respective division's judges will promote the participants and their works according to the situation. As there are so many people participating, without Central TV's promotion, it's difficult to stand out. Those who truly want to succeed would value the preliminaries greatly."
"About how many people take part each year?" Zhang Ye asked.
Yao Jiancai said, "I'm not sure about the skit division, but for the crosstalk division, I think there were around 4000-5000 people last year."
Zhang Ye had a shock, "What? 4000-5000 people? So many? That must have been an inflated figure given by Central TV, right?"
Yao Jiancai said, "It really isn't an inflated figure. There were indeed that many. Everyone knows this program is popular, so the number of people registering is naturally quite a huge number. Also there is no limitation on registration. Anyone can participate. There are some joining it with the mentality of just giving it a shot, and there are many rookies who have just entered the crosstalk or skit industry. There are also those disciples of other crosstalk masters and skit artists. All of them will participate in order to test out their abilities. Although this competition is for entertainment, the professionalism is also extremely important. If you see the youth team that appeared on this year's Spring Festival Gala, they were the runner-ups of the crosstalk competition four years ago from that stage. So, this competition is the most professional ranking stage for crosstalk and skits domestically. If I had to say, if one gets a high ranking, the judges or relevant companies will sign a contract with them. For example, Tang Dazhang's Crosstalk Society that he runs. With him being a judge this year, he will definitely vie for some of the good seedlings from this competition."
After asking for a long time and getting an explanation for an even longer time.
Zhang Ye finally understood the nature of this competition.
Finally, Yao Jiancai was feeling sleepy again, "You can find out more on the internet yourself. I want to go back to sleep now. Did you even have to wake me up for something like that?" Then he attempted to go back to sleep.
But Zhang Ye pulled him up and said, "Don't sleep anymore."
Yao Jiancai said in a speechless manner, "What can I do other than sleep?!"
Zhang Ye pointed to the TV where the promotional footage for the Crosstalk and Skit Competition was playing again, "F**k! Let both of us, bros, sign up for that!"