A Russian contestant was relieved to finally be voted off a Chinese boy band reality show after lasting for almost three months.
Vladislav Ivanov, 27, joined “Produce Camp 2021” by accident and repeatedly asked viewers to vote him off, according to Channel News Asia.
On Saturday, the unlikely star made it to the final episode but failed to receive enough votes to become one of the winners.
Ivanov, who speaks Mandarin fluently, took to Weibo to express his relief. “I’m finally getting off work,” he wrote.
Originally hired as a Chinese teacher for the show, Ivanov was urged by the directors to participate as a contestant due to his good looks, The Guardian reported.
Similar to other idol-training shows that are popular in Asia, “Produce Camp 2021” isolated its contestants from the rest of the world to compete for a slot in a new boy band. Contestants were required to stay in dormitory rooms on a tropical island in Hainan province.
After joining under the stage name Lelush, Ivanov reportedly wanted to quit almost immediately. However, participants who leave the show mid-season must pay a large fine, so the Russian teacher-turned-contestant decided to stay.
He repeatedly asked viewers to remove him from the show by voting him off. During one episode, he told viewers, “Don’t love me, you’ll get no results.”
In an ironic twist, Chinese audience members were captivated by Ivanov’s apparent disinterest. They kept voting for him up until the show’s final episode.
Some fans have called him “the most miserable wage slave” and an icon of “sang culture,” which refers to a defeatist outlook on life.
Feature Image via CHUANG2021