As with all good reality shows, there's got to be the right dose of scandals and shocking antics to keep viewers interested.
While the star power, talent, and good looks in Chinese reality competition Call Me By Fire — the hottest show in China now if you haven't caught the hype — have captured billions of eyeballs, some of the attention has now turned to how annoying some of the contestants, or 'older brothers' as they are called, are.
In a recent poll, netizens voted the top five contestants they dislike the most, and the results are below.
For the uninitiated, Call Me By Fire features 33 male celebrities — all past the peak of their careers — vying to become members of a new 17-member boy band. Think the male equivalent of Sisters Who Make Waves, which was last year's biggest show.
Contestants come from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, US, and Australia, and they range from veteran pop singers such as Terry Lin and Edmond Leung; actors Julian Cheung and Jordan Chan; martial artists Vincent Zhao and Max Zhang; dancers Li Xiang and Liu Jia; to rappers MC HotDog and MC Jin.
The show premiered on Aug 12 and was hit with a scandal just two days later when the ex-girlfriend of Chinese contestant Huo Zun, 30, accused him of cheating on her. Text messages reportedly from the singer were also leaked, in which he showed his contempt for the show. He announced his withdrawal soon after.
Top 5 brothers that netizens dislike
The Taiwanese actor has irked some viewers who thought he was still mooching off the popularity of his drama Meteor Garden from two decades ago, when he sang the drama theme song, Meteor Rain in the first performance.
During some scenes with his team-mates, the 44-year-old appeared hurt and later cried during interviews, leaving some viewers to label him pretentious.
The popular Chinese actor is a fan of Jerry's, and the two are often spotted together in the episodes. So much so that some viewers think Leon, 33, is in the show just to fan-boy over his idol, and hasn't actually worked on his performances.
The Taiwanese singer is one of the most experienced performers in the competition with 30 years of showbiz experience, but some netizens are accusing him of using his seniority to overwhelm the others in his team.
Viewers didn't like that Terry, 55, didn't accept his team-mates' opinions, and would allocate tasks to them based on his own ways and methods. Rumour has it he intends to withdraw from Call Me By Fire but there aren't any announcements yet.
There are a handful of rappers in the competition, and a few are vocal about their opinions. In the first episode, Chinese rapper Gai, 27, approached Hong Kong singer-actor Jordan Chan and said: "I think [Hong Kong veteran actor] Jerry Lamb was a bit disrespectful towards my brother Bridge. Even if he doesn't know who Bridge is, he shouldn't have said it in front of Bridge. He's my brother, and I feel uncomfortable about it."
Jordan, 54, then apologised on Jerry's behalf. Netizens are peeved that Gai put Jordan in a spot even though it wasn't his fault.
Because of the incident above, the 27-year-old rapper is now accused of blowing up a small incident. Nevertheless, Jordan has praised Bridge a few times during interviews in the show.