According to the previous rules of the variety show, the six guests were to be split into groups of two.
In consideration of various interests, the director crew originally planned to group together Zhinong and Gao Shi, a new idol in a similar position. Before the recording, both sides had settled it well.
But after the recording started, Gao Shi suddenly changed his mind and very naturally walked to An Baicheng’s side.
“I want to be in a group with brother1affectionate term of address that can be used to refer to a non biologically related male Baicheng.”
A flash of pink immediately slid through the comments.
[I ship I ship! An Gao2ship/couple name combining their names is real!!]
[Are all young people so direct nowadays? Gao Xiaoshi, stop with the fluff!]
It turned out Gao Shi collaborated with An Baicheng in a drama years ago. An Baicheng was the main lead while Gao Shi was the third male lead forced in by the company. There wasn’t any emotional interaction between the characters originally, but because their personas were complementary, many shipping fans arose off-screen.
For the past six months, in order to mooch off of An Baicheng’s popularity, Gao Shi’s agency had secretly excited the shipping fans to the point that even after the collaboration ended half a year later, An Baicheng was still shackled to this random ship.
An Baicheng originally didn’t want to pay much attention to Gao Shi’s pestering, but recently Gao Shi had a new song online. The reason he racked his brains to get onto this week’s variety show was simply to play the same old trick and leech off An Baicheng to make his album popular.
No matter how good of a temper An Baicheng had, he didn’t plan on letting Gao Shi go overboard again.
He smiled as he avoided Gao Shi’s approach, turning to walk towards Ji Zhinong, who was standing in the corner most, and holding Zhinong’s hand. He took back the airs of the host, saying in a way that allowed no room for argument, “I’m more inclined to be in a group with little kiddo Zhinong. Zhinong, are you willing to be my teammate?”3An Baicheng talks to Zhinong like he’s talking to a kid, probably because he’s like the adult taking care of Zhinong
Ji Zhinong: “Of course. Please take care of me, senior4Senior as in someone more experienced; it’s used as a term of respect.”
Although this was outside of his expectations, Zhinong’s impromptu response was very quick, not letting anyone see that there was something fishy about this at all.
The audience watching the livestream didn’t know about the original arrangements of the program crew, but upon seeing An Baicheng abandon Gao Shi, those shipping fans were immediately outraged.
[Was that necessary? He was way too obvious about not being ambiguous?!]
[Even I feel awkward for Gao Shi. An Baicheng, you’re a senior at the very least. You’re really so intolerant of others!]
[Where did this Nong or whatever come from? Stay away from An Baicheng!!]
[Why is he calling others “little kiddo”?! Shouldn’t An Baicheng only have one “little kiddo,” Gao Shi?!]
[tbh, Gao Shi’s almost going to be thirty next year. How could he have the nerve to have someone call him “little kiddo”?]
No matter how noisy the comments were, it couldn’t change the fixed reality of An Baicheng and Ji Zhinong being together in a group. And Gao Shi could only be in a group with the old professor Li Rui. The other female guest Chu Yi5may or may not be intentional, but her name (Chu Yi) sounds like the phrase for culinary skills (also Chu Yi), on the other hand, was grouped with a high ranking chef Zhang Chenchen, who was very good at cooking.
When An Baicheng held Ji Zhinong’s hand, he intentionally considered the feelings of Li Shaoyao, who was outside of the shoot. He only touched Ji Zhinong’s wrist and very quickly released it.
A certain sugar daddy expressed his approval.
The program smoothly entered the next segment.
The recording location was a farm along the sea in City X. This farm’s terrain was even, the concrete path ran through the endless landscape of farmland. Their main task today was to help the farmers harvest the strawberries in the fields and advertise these agricultural products. The group that sold the fastest and the most was the winner.
Before this, the production crew invited two locals to guide them on the technique to harvest strawberries. But their local accent was very strong, and the guests had to exert a lot of effort to even listen.
This was one of the effects variety shows sought, so the director crew didn’t interfere. The guests would have to rely on themselves to handle everything.
Farmers: “babble babble babble babble babble babble babble babble babble babble”
An Baicheng: “????????”
Director Crew: “????????”
The comments also filled the screen with question marks:
[What language is this?]
[The foreign language listening comprehension exam will now begin.]
[Everyone has a confused expression. I’m taking a screenshot and using it as a meme!]
“He seems to be saying,” Ji Zhinong watched the shapes of the farmers’ mouths and tried his best to translate. “He’s saying not to directly squeeze the strawberries with your hands; it’s best to grab the strawberry stem.”
The farmers nodded their heads forcefully.
An Baicheng said in surprise, “Zhinong, you understand the local language?”
Ji Zhinong was also confused. This dialect was completely unfamiliar to Wen Che, but he shared a part of the original owner’s memory and just felt that it was especially familiar upon hearing the dialect. He randomly connected a few keywords and seemed to be able to accurately figure out what the other meant.
Li Duan asked, “Could it be that this is your hometown?”
Ji Zhinong: “…My hometown doesn’t seem to be this one.”
[lolololol How come he’s foolishly cute and doesn’t even know where his hometown is!!]
[Seriously, he’s going overboard with playing dumb!]
[What are you establishing a dumb persona for, huh, sir?]
Ji Zhinong couldn’t see these malicious comments. He was busy with continuing to be the interpreter.
Farmers: “crackle crackle crackle crackle crackle crackle”
Ji Zhinong: “After separating the strawberries from the branches, try your best to not touch the strawberries. That way, you can avoid squishing the strawberry.”
He talked while using his hands to make demonstrations. He was also unexpectedly familiar with it as well. He got a thumbs up from the farmers after just picking his first strawberry. The farmers then started saying another babble of words.
Interpreter Ji: “What this uncle means is, the more complete the picked strawberry is, the better the appearance, and the higher the price.”
[He interprets just like a real interpreter.]
[But, without his interpretation, I’m guessing this segment would be stuck on the dialect barrier lolololol]
[Did he do his homework beforehand, wanting to be in the limelight?]
[I’ve never heard of Ji Zhinong before!]
[The production crew is giving him way too much screen time!!!]
[Isn’t An Baicheng’s expression when he looks at Ji Zhinong too obvious?!]
[That’s clearly an appreciative expression.]
Aside from An Baicheng, the others in the production crew weren’t familiar with Zhinong at all. But it was true that they relied on his interpretation to understand the farmers’ words. As a result, when the guidance ended, they didn’t forget to use various methods to express their thanks. Only Gao Shi spat out one sentence disdainfully when he was walking out of the shot.
“Heh, even a country bumpkin wants to be in the limelight.”
Coincidentally, although he didn’t show up in the shot, his voice was extremely clearly recognizable.
[What does Gao Shi mean by that?]
[Even if you don’t like him, don’t express it so clearly! It’s a livestream, bro!]
[lololol little Gao Shi is straightforward, he doesn’t have bad intentions. Don’t mind, guys!]
[Biting the hand that feeds. If he has the ability then don’t listen to Ji Zhinong’s interpreting!]
[Whose ancestors three generations back weren’t farmers born on farmland?! The one surnamed Gao really thinks he’s so high and mighty?]
After the groups started moving separately, every guest’s camera separated and was on their own.
With this separation, the popularity of the solo livestream was overly tragic by comparison.
The most popular was Gao Shi. After all, he was the newly supported celebrity, and his fans were the most enthusiastic, achieving 30 million viewers at once.
The second was Chu Yi who came on the variety show to promote her new drama. Just her beauty alone was a fan attracting weapon.
The popularity of the rest were also all above ten million. After leaving the huge group, only Ji Zhinong was left with simply…5000 people watching his solo livestream of picking strawberries.
“There are only 5000 viewers remaining for our camera. Oh, now it’s 3500.”
In order to create highlights, the cameraman took the initiative to chat with Ji Zhinong. Zhinong had his head lowered, busy picking strawberries. Hearing him say there were a few thousand people watching his livestream, he raised his head in surprise. “Not five people?”
Cameraman: “…” You really are optimistic!
On the other side, when the united fans6scattered fans uniting against an outside threat gathered at Gao Shi’s camera complimenting him as handsome and beautiful, they didn’t forget to ridicule the neighboring Ji Zhinong.
[A certain country bumpkin’s live stream viewer count is almost falling to the hundreds!!]
[I literally watched his popularity fall from tens of thousands to thousands. Even diving isn’t this exciting!]
[Don’t give that flop your attention. And he’s good enough to compare with Gao Shi? Little Gao Shi is the best!]
A certain warm-hearted sugar daddy who had been closely paying attention to the live stream couldn’t sit still. Even if Ji Zhinong were more of a flop than he already was, it wouldn’t be to the point of being so repulsive! Even if they were going for that appealing face of his, the popularity couldn’t fall so low as to be at this level!
The live stream viewer count was just about to fall under 500.
The cameraman had been continuously reporting the popularity of the live stream to Zhinong.
When Zhinong found out that there were only 50 viewers left, he sat down in the field with a plop, picked up a glistening strawberry, wiped it with his sleeve, and put it into his mouth to take a bite.
After all, no one was watching his live stream. These strawberries looked so plump and fresh. He’d wanted a bite a long time ago!
“It’s so sweet. Want to try it?” He took a strawberry and gave it to the cameraman.
But his hand was caught by someone else. Li Shaoyao took the hand Ji Zhinong extended, confiscating that strawberry coldly, and then said lowly in reproach: “Eat eat eat. You’re going to finish the entire field of strawberries!”
Zhinong: “Nonsense! I’m just trying one, that’s all!”
[Did someone talk to him just now?! His voice was so gentle!]
[Who is he talking to? lololololol]
[How come he’s even talking to himself?]
[What happened? How come the viewer count for this live stream fell to 99?!]
[There’s probably something wrong. The six people in our dormitory all want to see this little handsome. How come the number of viewers is this low?!]
[Did it get limited? The number of people is so low it’s ridiculous!]
[An Baicheng came!]
An Baicheng was just informed of the predicament Zhinong was in and immediately picked up a basket of strawberries to deliberately walk over to Ji Zhinong’s camera. Logically, that should’ve attracted a part of the 20 million viewers watching him over to this side.
But in the end, the viewer count of Ji Zhinong’s live stream was still fluctuating in the two digits.
This time even the director crew felt something was fishy.
And as for Film Emperor Wen who upheld the principle of being “a happy flop,” he had already begun “taking advantage of himself being a flop to do whatever he wanted”7A play on the idiom “To take advantage of one’s position to bully others” to quickly eat the entire basket of the strawberries he picked!
If it weren’t that the situation didn’t allow it, he really wanted to shout, “Being a flop of a weirdo is really so delightful!!!”
Yang Yi rushed to go and convey the problem to the workers responsible for the live stream. Only then did she find that the line for Zhinong’s livestream was maliciously blocked.
Not only was his live stream unable to receive the normal exposure, but those viewers who actively wanted to enter would be notified that the internet disconnected and be kept out.
This group of viewers who were blocked out were coincidentally people who were interested in young idols. Since they couldn’t get into Ji Zhinong’s live stream, they just naturally streamed into the livestream of Gao Shi, who had a similar position. As a result, Gao Shi’s popularity remained first steadily while Ji Zhinong’s live stream couldn’t surpass a hundred from start to end, even with An Baicheng deliberately attracting viewers. It could only keep falling.
The technical group quickly investigated the line failure.
As for who did it…
Li Shaoyao looked towards the nearby Gao Shi, who was currently promoting his own album with the 30 million popularity of the live stream.
Whoever got the biggest benefit was the greatest suspect.
When the line returned to normal, the viewer count of Ji Zhinong’s live stream flew to 9.9 million like a rocket.
At this moment, Ji Zhinong, who was taking advantage of himself being a flop to do whatever he wanted, was still eating strawberries.
“Enough, Zhinong. Stop eating. So many people are watching.”
An Baicheng reminded him.
Cameraman: “Right now there’s 10 million people watching the live stream.”
Ji Zhinong: “!!! Cough cough cough!”
He almost choked on the strawberry.
Ji Zhizhi: I want to be a weird flop
A certain sugar daddy: No, you don’t.
- 1affectionate term of address that can be used to refer to a non biologically related male
- 2ship/couple name combining their names
- 3An Baicheng talks to Zhinong like he’s talking to a kid, probably because he’s like the adult taking care of Zhinong
- 4Senior as in someone more experienced; it’s used as a term of respect
- 5may or may not be intentional, but her name (Chu Yi) sounds like the phrase for culinary skills (also Chu Yi)
- 6scattered fans uniting against an outside threat
- 7A play on the idiom “To take advantage of one’s position to bully others”