When aspiring fashion designer Vladislav Sidorov, aka Lelush, reluctantly agreed to be on a Chinese reality show, he expected to be voted off immediately. Instead, he survived until the final vote.
The Saturday season finale of Chinese talent competition “Produce Camp 2021” saw 11 young singers selected for a new boy band that will soon go on tour and chase their dreams of stardom. Those who didn’t make the final cut were devastated — all except one, that is.
For 27-year-old Vladislav Sidorov, a Russian man who was never supposed to be on the show in the first place, not being chosen for the 11-member boy band brought a flood of relief, and emancipation from a labor contract he probably should have read a bit more carefully.
A reluctant star
Sidorov, who used the stage name Lelush on “Produce Camp 2021,” has lived in China for years. A native of the eastern port of Vladivostok, Sidorov moved to the northeastern city of Shenyang to study Mandarin at Liaoning University in 2015. In the years since, he has lived in several Chinese cities, studying and working as a model, a personal stylist, and a tour guide while saving up to start his own fashion company.
In late November, Sidorov was hired as an interpreter and assistant for two Japanese contestants on the Chinese talent show “Produce Camp 2021.” According to an article last month in Southern Metropolis Daily, Sidorov was supposed to teach the two men Chinese and help them adjust to life in a new country. However, a few days before the show was due to start, a staff member asked him if he would consider becoming a contestant himself. Continue to read the full article here
– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.