Chapter 1319: Zhang Ye resorts to cheating!
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
At the outside world.
The cards of fortune continued taking the country by storm.
And on this day, the Spring Festival Gala held its first approval session.
At Central TV.
In the morning.
At the venue of the first approval session.
In a large studio, only several dozen people were seated in the first two rows of the audience seating. Zhang Ye sat right in the middle with a group of executives from the Spring Festival Gala’s organizing committee on either side. Behind them were several assistant directors and staff participating in the approval session, while the remaining seats were all empty. Meanwhile, the backstage was filled with the waiting celebrity artists and song and dance troupes from the various government branches. Together with the staff of Central TV’s Spring Festival Gala, the backstage was bursting with people.
First up was the review of the singing acts.
Zhang Ye flipped through the list of acts and commanded, “Let’s get it started.”
Ha Qiqi read out loud, “Will the first group of performers please stand by.”
The leaders and staff participating in the approval session picked up their pens, ready to give scores.
The list of acts for today’s approval session was actually not changed from the previous one that Li Ke had drawn up when he was in charge. Of course, a majority of the performers were in the “guaranteed” groups, which consisted of the song and dance troupes nominated through the various government branches. Zhang Ye did not make any changes to it and followed with this list of acts for the approval session. The main reason for this was simply because there wasn’t enough time. Zhang Ye had taken over the Spring Festival Gala event in a rush when it was almost time to hold the first approval session, so he could only follow with what had been drawn up for the time being. He would have to observe how it went before making any further decisions. As for the acts, he would have to filter through them afterwards to make selections. Zhang Ye needed to first understand what the standards of the performers and acts were.
Singers from a song and dance troupe.
The performers appeared on stage one after another.
“This one isn’t too bad.”
“This one is good.”
“This song is a little old, isn’t it?”
“Isn’t Team VAA’s performance too simple?”
“That performance by Spring Garden won’t do.”
The members of the approval board for the first approval session were whispering. As the performers sang on stage, they discussed among themselves in the audience.
Then it was time for the dances.
Teachers from a song and dance troupe.
Students from a dance school.
There were a total of eight art troupes.
“It’s a little boring to watch.”
“Who recommended this group?”
“It’s the Naval Song and Dance Troupe 1 .”
“It’s not really that great to watch.”
“Yes, it feels very similar to the dance they did two years ago.”
“Hai, this definitely won’t do.”
“That student group’s dance performance was somewhat interesting.”
Acrobatic performances: There were a total of three acts.
Stage magic tricks: There were also three acts.
They were followed by ten language performances.
There was crosstalk.
And even a three-person talk show.
And so on.
“This skit is pretty good!”
“Teacher Ci is still going strong after all these years.”
“The script still needs a little fine-tuning. There are areas that can be improved upon.”
“This talk show is no good.”
“Right, I agree. Let’s take this one out.”
“Director Zhang is the creator of the talk show genre, so performing a talk show in front of him is indeed putting on a performance in front of a professional.”
“The three-person talk show might be a rather refreshing idea, but it’s a little too nondescript.”
“Eh, what about Director Zhang, Yao Jiancai, and Dong Shanshan’s skit?”
“Director Zhang is the main judge of the first approval session, so how would he have the time to get on stage to perform. He can only put it aside for the time being and might perform it during the second approval session.”
From morning until night.
From dawn until dark.
After an entire day of work, the Spring Festival Gala’s first approval session finally came to an end.
The performers had all left, and many of the staff also returned home to rest. However, Zhang Ye and the other approval board heads stayed behind at the venue in their seats in the first row.
Zhang Ye was silent.
Ha Qiqi looked at him.
Zhang Zuo blinked several times, unsure of what Director Zhang was thinking.
Ever since the first performance started during today’s approval session, Zhang Ye did not say a word. He did not express any attitude to any of the performances. Was he happy? Was he satisfied? No one knew exactly what he was thinking. They were all evaluating the performances and pointing about as they wrote down scores. Only Zhang Ye did not have any reaction throughout.
An executive on the Spring Festival Gala’s organizing committee glanced at him. “Boss Zhang?”
“Boss Zhang” was clearly just a form of address they had for him since Zhang Ye couldn’t strictly be considered a boss. Based on these executives’ statuses and ranks, there wouldn’t be anything wrong if they just addressed him as Little Zhang. However, not anyone could call him that as they liked. This was because Zhang Ye’s wife was Wu Zeqing. From the perspective of ranks, the two highest-ranking leaders on the Spring Festival Gala’s organizing committee were only of equal status with Wu Zeqing, while the rest of them were ranked lower than her. And since the office was a place where seniority was considered important, when they were faced with Wu Zeqing’s husband, they couldn’t address him as Little Zhang, could they? So calling him Boss Zhang or Director Zhang was the most suitable form of address.
“Director Zhang, what do you think?”
“The acts for the first approval session have all performed. What do you think about them?”
The organizing committee’s executives were all seeking his opinion.
In the end, Zhang Ye came up with a startling response.
He said, “I only have one thought right now. Is it too late to say I quit? ‘Cause, you know, I still have some matters to attend to at home. Why don’t you check again with someone else to see if they can take the role of executive director?”
Everyone was floored!
“Director Zhang, please don’t joke like that.”
“You cannot be talking like this. You mustn’t joke about such things!”
“Aiyo, what’s this about?”
“Boss Zhang, please calm down, calm down!”
The executives got scared!
The production team staff were dumbfounded!
What the heck!
Even Zhang Ye is thinking of calling it quits?
But Zhang Ye was feeling even more scared than them. He pointed at the stage and asked, “Those are the best acts that were ‘carefully selected’ from all across the country? Every one of you saw it earlier too, right? You all watched every act without missing a single one, right? If you all say that these acts are especially wonderful, so wonderful that you’ll want to applaud them, then I will feel that it is an insult to me as an artist. I’d have nothing to say!”
Some people had a wry smile on their faces.
Some of them were slightly embarrassed.
A leader said, “Boss Zhang, don’t be angry. I admit that this year’s acts are indeed lacking when compared to the previous years’. But isn’t it just the first approval session? There’s still a lot of room for improvement. Didn’t the higher-ups invite you to take charge because they needed you to help with improving the acts? I know that you’re not happy about there being so many nominated song and dance troupes from the government branches and feel that it is limiting you. We can still discuss it further. If there are any acts that you still find unsuitable after watching, and which we also think is average, then we can cut it from the program list. All of that can be discussed.”
“Yes, we can talk about it.”
“Those acts performed by the song and dance troupes this year are indeed a little poor.”
The executives on the Spring Festival Gala organizing committee were a little less restrictive about things this time.
What were the reasons behind Li Ke’s resignation?
One of them was that he could not secure the funding that he needed!
And the other reason was that of the list of acts!
What about the funding?
What about the stage?
What about the promotions?
All of those were just auxiliary!
Only the acts mattered. The Spring Festival Gala was dependent on its content to attract viewers in the end. If the acts were not good, everything else would be done in vain. Zhang Ye finally understood why Old Li had quit from his role. If he knew about the situation with the list of acts, he would never have agreed to take the job either!
What the heck were all these acts!
Zhang Ye had already reviewed the past Spring Festival Galas of this world.
The previous year.
The year before that.
And even the ones from 10, 20 years ago, he had gone through as many as he could!
Sometimes, Zhang Ye wondered why the Spring Festival Gala was getting worse year after year. Was it really because the quality of acts was declining? He didn’t feel so. Looking at the past years’ program lists and being honest about it, from the technical level of the staff to the complexity of the stage, things had always been improving year after year. What contributed to the poor reputation that the Spring Festival Gala was suffering from was the nitpicking of the audience. The audience’s expectations had become higher. If you could get on the Spring Festival Gala, everyone would know that you got there because you were good. So expectations would be raised. Even if you disappeared into thin air onstage, the audience would not be surprised by it. In fact, they would even think that this was the norm. But if you don’t disappear? Then the audience’s expectations of your show would not be met. They would start thinking that you were not good enough and that the show was just as bad.
So what could they do about that?
This was asking too much of them!
Besides, this nitpicking could even be said to be extremely harsh!
In all fairness, if those acts that were performed for the first approval session were used in any event other than the Spring Festival Gala, they would surely get a lot of cheers and be praised as wonderful. But since they were going to be on the Spring Festival Gala, they were simply unacceptable. On the stage of the Spring Festival Gala, they were just too ordinary! There were no surprises!
This would not do!
It would not work out!
If it was like this, then this year’s Spring Festival Gala would just be as bad as the previous years’!
Everyone was getting anxious as they came up with all kinds of suggestions.
“If it’s not good enough, let’s add a few more acts.”
“What about the backup acts? Maybe we can bring them in?”
“Let’s invite another few big names?”
“There’s not much time left until the second approval session. Will it be too late?”
“We still have to do it even if there’s no time. I agree with Director Zhang’s opinion; the acts we saw in the first approval session only have a pass rate of 30%. The remaining ones are totally unsuitable!”
“But the issue is that there aren’t any good acts!”
“Where are the writers? Maybe we should employ more of them?”
“The writing team is already very strong at what they do.”
“Get them to write another few acts that are good. The performers’ standards and technical levels are actually very outstanding. As long as they can write something good for them, there will surely be someone who can perform up to standards. The problem right now is that there aren’t enough good scripts. On top of that, even if we feel that some of these scripts are good, the common folk will not necessarily feel the same way as us!”
“Yeah, that’s what makes this really difficult.”
The meeting went on until past 10 in the evening.
Everyone was feeling very pressured and exhausted.
Finally, Zhang Ye spoke, “Let’s end it here today. I’ll come up with a list of acts tomorrow!”
“You’re going to plan one yourself?”
“For which kinds of performances?”
“All of them!”
“All of them?!”
Everyone was stunned!
At this point, no one seemed to have realized how great of an impact Zhang Ye’s words would have. They did not know how determined he was. At the beginning, Zhang Ye had hoped to count on the works of this world. He thought that based on the size of China, it shouldn’t be too difficult to uncover a few wonderful acts in the country. He didn’t want to touch the works from his previous world at all. Such works would only decrease in number every time he used one of them. Those who knew him would know that he was extremely “miserly.” All of the works were supposed to be left for himself, and he rarely would take them out for others to use. Even if it were Zhang Yuanqi approaching him for a song that he wouldn’t sing since he wasn’t a woman, Zhang Ye would never willingly give away any of them and would always grumble about this and that.
But he couldn’t do that this time!
Zhang Ye had been forced to show his hand!
The acts were not good enough?
They really couldn’t come up with something good?
Alright then, I’ll do it!
I’ll choreograph it!
I’ll write them!
Let me handle it!
I’ll write the scripts!
Let me plan some tricks!
I’ll direct it!
The acts that I won’t be using or are unsuitable for me, I’ll write them down, choreograph them, and teach them to all of you one by one. I’ll bring out the acts that are most closely followed and talked about in my previous world, the ones that have been market tested, and present them to all of you one by one. I’ll redo all of the gala’s acts from start to finish!
I won’t fucking believe it!
I won’t believe that this year’s Spring Festival Gala will end in failure!
The cornered Zhang Ye was finally about to resort to cheating!