Chapter 8.6 & 8.7
Hayden broke through his fear and shot a very superb photo, so his mood was very sunny these days. No one would think that currently online, he was the network’s most hated slag man. He and Emily’s disorderly behavior gained the audience’s great displeasure.
Gustav was very surprised when he received complaints. In the first three episodes, the two’s hook-up got the blessing of a vast majority of the audience. The two’s relationship was so heartfelt that everyone loved seeing their affectionate behaviors. And the program was not for children, so they shouldn’t be getting ethical opposition.
But after carefully reading the letter of complaint, Gustav was dumbfounded.
The audience members’ general complaint seemed to be: Don’t you see Romeo’s dejected expression? For God’s sake don’t oppress the child! Get those two people away from him!
Others also wrote that Hayden and Emily’s behavior was imposing a great psychological shadow on Romeo. He is a child and needs a safe and orderly environment to mature. The program team should’ve taken his age into account.
All the letters mentioned Hayden’s damage to Romeo, it seemed that after the boy came out of the closet, he’d received everyone’s approval. Gustav was genuinely happy for the teenager, but he couldn’t stop Hayden and Emily’s love. This was a human right and a rule of law in society, so long as they didn’t hinder the interests of others, they were free to love who they wanted.
Gustav ordered the public relations department to respond appropriately to the complaints, then put on his coat and headed to the studio. He wanted to know how Kitten was doing lately, was he still confused and fearful?
But suddenly, MOT’s marketing director came to visit.
“Gustav my old friend, you’ve given me a huge headache.” The usually extravagant director now looked exhausted, staring at a stack of photos like it was giving him a migraine.
“What happened?” Gustav personally poured him a cup of coffee.
“The promotional photos you gave me are not the ones I wanted.” Mr. Director put the pictures of Emily and Romeo on the table, he pointed to Emily and said, “She is very good. If there was no Romeo or I had not seen his photos in advance, I would be happy to use her. But my friend, you should know me, I’m a perfectionist. There’s a perfect product here, but you’re insisting I use this defective one! I really can’t accept it.”
Gustav stared at the boy’s photo, his eyes were a little astonished, but he still handled official affairs seriously, “But we signed a contract in advance, you have to use the promotional photos we gave.”
“That’s because I had confidence in your production team, and knew that you’d definitely give me the best. Well, look at this, you’d have to be blind to choose this!” Mr. Director scorned.
Gustav had to admit that Ariel was too conveniently blind. The boy’s score and Emily’s only differed by a point or two, if Ariel had given him a fair score, today’s controversy wouldn’t exist.
He knew what Ariel was up to, but he couldn’t bring it up to outsiders, otherwise, it would affect the reputation of the show. He repeatedly apologized to the director, and agreed to give them appropriate compensation.
The director thought for a moment and compromised, “The contract cannot be breached, but it doesn’t require that each of our stores has to have your poster. So I can post Emily’s poster in the main store, and leave the other stores to our company. What do you think? Also, in the future, all arrangements related to our company’s products need the best photo to be selected with our consent, so today’s dilemma won’t happen again. If you have no opinion, I would like to write this condition into the original contract.”
Since MOT was providing funding, the program team had the obligation to meet their requirements. And for the benefit of the company, they should only give the best choice, not Ariel’s sentimental selection, so this change does not hinder the principle of fair competition. Gustav thought for a moment and nodded.
The two made a new contract, stood up and embraced each other.
After sending the director away, Mr. Gustav continued on his way to the first floor studio.
Today’s program was giving the players a major transformation. Hayden dodged the camera and pulled Ariel into the corner to speak, then he gave Emily a very strange smile when he came back.
“In order to help you find the hidden potential supermodel in your body, and also make you achieve your most perfect and fashionable self, the program team has invited the world’s top stylists to change your image. You’ll have people dye, perm, and cut as needed. I’ve planned out the most suitable change for each of you, please look forward to it!” She twisted her hips and danced a little cheerful dance.
Everyone cheered and looked forward to their new look.
The huge studio was filled with washing, cutting and other equipment, the smell of various chemicals mixed together, it was slightly dizzying. Zhou Yun Sheng was pale and hiding in the corner, unwilling to get anywhere near the stylist Ariel had arranged for him.
“What’s the matter with you?” Ivana walked over to him with fresh, short, and neat hair. Now she looked even more handsome and fiery.
“They asked me to shave all my hair. I can’t do that.” Romeo wept, looking very pitiful.
“That is too much, go, I’ll take you to find Ariel.” Ivana pulled him toward Ariel, the cameraman quickly followed behind them.
“You don’t want to shave your hair? Why not honey?” Ariel looked surprised, and even soothingly patted the boy’s back.
“I’ll become very ugly if I shave off all my hair. Didn’t you say you’d help us transform to a more perfect and fashionable self? That’s not fashionable!” The teenager puffed out his cheeks and boldly rebutted.
“How do you know bald doesn’t suit you? Your face is beautiful, baldness will highlight its beautiful lines. I have been a model for almost 10 years, please believe in my professional vision.” Ariel first tempted then threatened, “And as a model, regardless of the customer’s demands, you have to accept unconditionally. Your performance today is very unprofessional, you know? Many designers make strange requests for the models in their fashion shows, are you going to refuse jobs just because you don’t want to do them? Then quit this profession as early as possible, a model isn’t the job for you.”
The original Romeo only agreed to shave because of this intimidation, but Zhou Yun Sheng knew she was crock full of shit. He blinked his moist eyes and a cautiously replied, “You’re correct, but the purpose of today is not to get ready for a catwalk, but to help the players find a competitive image. Everybody is very beautiful, why do you only want me to be ugly? Are you up to something?”
He was quite rude, but his expression was innocent, only letting onlookers think he was outspoken, no suspecting.
“Why do you think bald will make you look ugly?” Ariel tried to hide her impatient expression. “You won’t know until you try it, right?”
“Because I’ve tried it.”
Zhou Yun Sheng blinked his blue big eyes, helpless and dazed, then he noticed Gustav’s entrance. He quickly walked over to make a request after shooting Ariel a meaningful glance.
“Mr. Acheson, may I presumptuously ask to use your Tablet PC?” He grabbed the Tablet PC, and looked helplessly at him.
Gustav loosened his tie and quietly said, “You can use it.” The kitten was blinking his big blue eyes at him, tickling his heart.
Zhou Yun Sheng smiled gratefully at him, then he dragged his finger across the tablet a few times and raised it to the crowd and the cameras, “As you can see, this is my bald headed look. I look like a white egg with a human face. Is this fashionable? I doubt it.”
A white egg with a human’s face, this metaphor was really appropriate. Everyone couldn’t help laughing.
Although the depiction of the young man was still so delicate and lovely, the feeling was strange, like a terminally ill patient, giving people the feeling of being weak and strange, not stylish. If you used this image to participate in a modeling contest, you’d become the butt of the joke.
This was the so-called supermodel’s vision? Gustav quickly glanced at the embarrassed Ariel, then rubbed the young man’s platinum hair to assure him, “Rest assured, I won’t let them shave your hair.”
It’s a sin to shave all this soft and smooth hair! Gustav felt happy that he got to rub Romeo, and angry at Ariel’s impudence.
“Then what style should I get? Except for baldness, I’ll accept whatever else.” The young man put down the computer, and used his two hands to unconsciously brush his hair, fluffing his messy hair even more, a lock even stuck out, fluttering in the breeze, he looked like a helpless fool.
But the world’s most lovely fool.
Gustav’s heartbeat quickened, he brought his fist to his lips and coughed, then he smiled, “You look very good like this, don’t change. Of course, if you want to, then you can let the stylist give you a hair mask, it will make your hair softer and smoother.” And feel more comfortable to rub.
After hiding this last sentence, Gustav led Ariel away.
Zhou Yun Sheng and Ivana high fived to celebrate the victory.
That evening, The Next Supermodel’s official website issued an announcement, due to scheduling conflicts, Ariel will withdraw from the program group, and her position will be replaced by the hottest supermodel, Bonnie.
Jeffrey and Bonnie visited the villa where the contestants lived and talked with Hayden alone for more than an hour. No one knew what the three specifically talked about, they just knew that when they came out room, Hayden’s expression was very ugly.
The second day of new imaging was the challenge. The players rode to the huge studio, and the first person they noticed was not the gorgeous Miss Jeffrey, but the tall, firm, and handsome Gustav. Prior to this, they all knew that the producer of the show was Mr. Acheson, known as the fashion-circle king, but they never saw him appear in the studio.
But it seemed that because of Ariel and Hayden’s scheme, the very sexy gentleman came to oversee the studio for two days in person.
“In order to prevent unfair competition in the show, from today on, Mr. Acheson will appear as the producer in the studio, so be extra ~careful~.” Miss Jeffrey shook his finger from side to side, his expression playful.
Only MOT’s main store had Emily’s poster, the rest of the stores all had Romeo’s poster, this was undoubtedly a slap in Ariel’s face. Because of the shaving controversy yesterday, and Miss Jeffrey hosting today, if there was no editing, the audience would feel doubts and speculation about her sudden quit.
This was the desired effect from the program group. A new program was most afraid of suspicion, doubt, and complaints, but they weren’t concerned about that. Since Ariel dared to make trouble in the show, Acheson wouldn’t give her the slightest face. He let her go in a way the audience would see who to blame, and he’ll reform the system so the competition becomes more transparent and unbiased, to make up for the damage caused by Ariel.
As for Hayden, for the sake of his huge fan base, Acheson wouldn’t immediately kick him out. And that night, Hayden’s parents provided a huge sum of money in sponsorship to the program team in order to let their son stay. In the end, Acheson was a businessman, he’ll always put business interests first, so he had considered for a moment then agreed.
But Hayden’s fans seemed to be moving away from him, and his number of net votes had dropped sharply, only his luck could determine how far he would go.
There’ve been players who were speculating that the reason for Ariel’s withdrawal was because she helped Hayden cheat. In the night before the image change, after getting the hint letter, Hayden had said he’d always wanted to dye his hair and eyebrows deep gold, so he could be more fashionable and handsome. The result was after everyone’s new hairstyle, theirs were completely different from their imaginations, except for Hayden, who got his wish.
Although this may just be a coincidence, it was more likely that Hayden had bribed Ariel and the stylists. The players were still very affectionate with Hayden, but in secret, they gathered together to curse him. This hypocrisy made Zhou Yun Sheng and Ivana more disinclined to mix with them.
After listening to Miss Jeffrey, the players applauded, and several of the female players blushed.
Gustav was 193 cm tall and built strong. His face was masculine and handsome, and he had a gentle and humble temperament that made people want to get closer to him. He was wearing a tight black T-shirt, the thin cloth outlining his muscles, his smooth and graceful lines were cause for envy. His two long legs were wrapped in acid-washed jeans, exuding sexiness.
The male players who liked to boast about their figures looked down at his mermaid line and abdominal muscles and turned red with embarrassment. They were simply little boys when compared to Gustav, who was emitting strong manly hormones.
This is so depressing!
Zhou Yun Sheng suspected that Gustav was his lover, but he couldn’t be too sure, men who were 190 cm and up were common goods in A Country. Plus, he was currently a contestant, he couldn’t get too close to Gustav if he wanted to complete Romeo’s wish, it would cause the other players and spectators to question the fairness of the game.
So, he could only wait until after the game to find his love. Thinking of this, Zhou Yun Sheng felt a bit sad, he sighed unhappily and stared down at his toes.
When Romeo’s big blue eyes had stared unblinking at him, Gustav had felt his whole body heating up. He’d enjoyed his slightly appreciating and admiring look, so he’d unconsciously straightened his back to highlight his robust stature and sexiness.
But the teenager soon bowed his head in a listless sigh. Presumably, Hayden occupied his heart, so even if he saw a better man, he wouldn’t look at him.
Gustav frowned, his mood suddenly irritated. He gave Jeffery a look and motioned him to begin today’s challenge.
In order to make the rookies into adequate models, Jeffrey developed a series of exercises and arranged corresponding challenges according to the training content.
The contestants had just finished physical training, so today’s challenge was to imitate with their body language. The players will draw a card from a sealed box, and imitate the animal on the card. It was necessary to look similar to the animal, but also have a model’s fashionable temperament.
This challenge was hard to judge, it was both simple yet not simple. If you keep up your perfect image but couldn’t make the judges recognize the animal you were imitating, you’d fail the challenge. If you imitate the animal, but lose a model’s sense of fashion, the challenge will also be considered a failure.
So, the key point is to imitate the animal, but also imitate its beauty. The card you picked was a big deal. If you got a gorilla, and had to bend over and grunt and beat your chest, your chances of winning would be unfairly slim.
Fortunately, the program group wasn’t that sadistic, all the cards were for beautiful animals.
Ivana was a snake. Her body was very soft, she laid on the ground and did a few hovering and curling movements and won Miss Jeffrey and the guest judge’s praise. They almost instantly recognized Ivana’s imitation. Hayden was a lion, he valiantly strode forward, shook his golden hair, and roared like a lion.
“You can’t make a sound when you imitate, you can only use body movements. Have you ever seen a model yelling on the runway?” Gustav, who was quietly standing on the sidelines observing, suddenly opened, his tone was very stern.
Hayden’s face paled, but he didn’t dare show impatience or anger like he did with the past staff. He couldn’t afford to offend Gustav, heck, his parents and the entire Brown family together wouldn’t dare provoke Gustav. Not to mention, he had a past bad behavior record.
“Oh, no! We were negligent! We should’ve explained this to them earlier.” Miss Jeffrey and the guest judge quickly stood up to remedy the situation. They made it clear that the next contestants couldn’t make animal noises because it was cheating, then they let Hayden pick another card.
Hayden pointed the card toward the camera to verify it, then he crumpled it up and threw it away angrily. His true arrogant nature was beginning to slip out.
Emily was a swan. She used to be a dancer in a bar, so her dance skills were very good. She tiptoed and jumped like a beautiful swan on a lake, and won the applause of all the players and the judges’ high praise. When she withdrew from the stage, she glanced at Gustav with ambitious eyes.
Gentle and humble Gustav was better than the arrogant Hayden any day of the week, and the two families couldn’t be compared. Gustav would personally oversee every photo shoot from now on, she had plenty of opportunities to attract the man’s attention.
Thinking of this, Emily gave a proud smile.
Zhou Yun Sheng held the card to the camera for verification. Folded-ear cat, what the hell? Don’t you think it’s funny to mix that into a bunch of cheetahs, lions, pythons and swans? The feeling is completely different!
He stared at the card and made an incredulous expression. The cameraman who was responsible for shooting him almost couldn’t hold in his laughter. He wanted to tell the young man that he didn’t need to imitate, he just needed to maintain his usual appearance and he’d be an outright kitten.
Zhou Yun Sheng washed his hands and repeatedly scrubbed them clean, then he slowly boarded the stage.
The bored Gustav immediately straightened his back and stared at the stage. Did Kitten pick the card I put in? How will he act? It had been a long time since Gustav had experienced such fervent anticipation.
In order to facilitate the players’ movements, the middle of the stage was covered with a round wool carpet. Zhou Yun Sheng sat down on his legs, raised his left hand and stretched out his pink tongue, licking his milk colored white hands inch-by-inch. He used his licked fingertips to comb his hair, smoothing his messy curls. He slipped down to the ground, arched his back and stretched his waist. His lips opened in a slight yawn, revealing his two sharp little tiger teeth.
He attached himself to the woolen carpet, curled up his body, and let out a small yawn once again, then he closed his already drowsy, wet blue eyes.
At this moment, he was a lazy cat, preparing to sleep on the expensive carpet his owner had bought for him. He buried his hairy head in his arms and his eyes gently softened, the image was too lovely.
Both the players and the judges stared.
Gustav picked up his cell phone, aimed it at the teenager on the stage, then hurried toward the door with a serious expression. He walked to a secluded corner, stopped, and pressed down his frantic heartbeat, his face flushed with excitement.
Oh, my God! Why is there such a lovely child in the world! He is ten thousand times cuter than Rooney (Gustav’s pet cat)! He actually picked the card I put in, this is wonderful fate!
Gustav pounded the walls a few times, and squeezed his rapidly exploding heart back into its original shape.
He even has two small tiger teeth, this is unfair! I really want to run up and hold him in my arms and kiss him, then caress his gums. He would stretch out his tongue to lick my fingertips, or better yet, nip me with his teeth a little, aaaahhh too cute!
Gustav fantasized as he walked back to the studio, then resumed his usual gentle and elegant appearance.
The judges were announcing the outcome of the challenge.
“We agreed that the winner of this game is Romeo. He mimicked a cat so vividly that I couldn’t help but want to take him home. Child, you must’ve been possessed by a folded ear cat, right?” Jeffrey quipped as he opened his arms out for a hug.
When this episode broadcasts, the audience will clamor to become the boy’s fans, especially the cat people.
Romeo smiled shyly and walked up to hug him. The cameraman zoomed in on his slightly red cheeks and bright blue eyes.
Gustav cleverly and timely inserted himself into the hugging session, pulling the half a head shorter boy into his arms, unwilling to let go for half-a-day.
Yes, our ML is a fanboy this chapter. Don’t worry, he gets worse lol