A Russian man who was “trapped” on a Chinese reality TV show for nearly three months has finally been voted out by the viewing public.
According to The Guardian, Vladislav Ivanov, a 27-year-old from Vladivostok, quickly realized that the devil works hard but the public works harder after he signed up to be a contestant on Produce Camp 2021, a Chinese boy group survival show, and almost instantly regretted his decision. He implored viewers to let him leave the show but instead, they supported him right the way through to the final.
While most of the contestants sang for survival each week, hoping to make it into the 11-member international boy group left standing at the end of the series, Ivanov was crooning to be cut loose, having originally joined the show as a Chinese translator before being persuaded by directors to shoot for stardom. “They asked if I’d like to try a new life,” Ivanov reportedly revealed during the series.
“Becoming a member of a boy band is not my dream as I can’t sing and dance,” Ivanov, who performed under the stage name Lelush, stated clearly to viewers after he reluctantly accepted a place on the show, according to SCMP. “I hope the judges won’t support me. While the others want to get an A, I want to get an F as it stands for freedom.”
Ivanov was unable to quit due to the contractual agreement that he had signed, so he put as little effort as possible into his performances but this backfired in the most spectacular way, as viewers were seemingly attracted to his anti-hero persona, keeping him in the show week after week. The unaspiring singer spent three months on the show before being voted out during the grand finale.
With his refound freedom, Ivanov posted on the Chinese social media site Weibo, expressing his relief at the fact that he was “finally getting off work.” A hashtag related to his exit was apparently viewed more than 180 million times and reposted more than 59,000 times, including by the Russian embassy, who congratulated Ivanov on his departure from the series and told him to “have a good rest.”
Adele Ankers is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist. You can reach her on Twitter.