[Thoughts] Diva Hits the Road 3 Ep 3 Highlights 花儿与少年 3

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The episode started with signs of frustration and annoyance.

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The cast were trapped in the hot and stuffy waiting room in their exaggerating costumes which made it even hotter. Then, we slowly go into flashbacks of the past two days which were generally happy. I think this is the production’s team attempt in forcing “conflicts” out to attract viewers. Because the cast is pretty much harmonious, there isn’t real catfight scenes so the editing team can only try to cook up some mystery and anticipation of drama. (And yes, I learnt from the production team and started my post with a misleading statement hehe.)
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Well, enough of the production team. This episode was a breeze! It was an easy and enjoyable watch as usual. (But my post might be slightly messy because the way the episode is presented was really messy with flashbacks thrown everywhere!)
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After all the scrimping and saving, Jing Boran and Maggie Jiang realised they do have sufficient (or even, more than enough) money. Maggie Jiang felt a bit bad because she felt she was too strict on the rest of the team. She regretted not allowing the kids to buy whatever potato chips or wine they wanted. Well, I think it’s good that Maggie had set the atmosphere early on in the trip so that everyone would have the awareness to not spend recklessly. They don’t have to live so pitifully in the future but they won’t be wastrels as well and end up suffering in the last few days.
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On the van, Jing Boran asked the group, “What do you want to eat? We have money left and can afford it.” One of the young girls cutely responded, “Nazha’s mutton!” Jing Boran then replied, “No worries, I have already secretly stole it, it’s at the back of the car now.” As it turns out, Nazha had brought some mutton pastry and it seems like everyone have been anticipating it for a while. I thought it was cute how Jing Bao happily declared he had already stole it.
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The group went on their first adventurous task: paragliding. It is so gorgeous, I want to do it too!

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Surprisingly, Lai Yumeng did not act like a spoilt princess crying that she is afraid. She said she wanted to be brave and volunteered to be first. Quite impressive, seeing how even Tony who like adrenaline sports said that he was a little afraid.

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Poor Maggie Jiang was crying throughout her entire ride but she still put up a brave front and pretended to be smiling and laughing. Kudos for her effort. Jing Bao then mentioned that even though they did some sort of paragliding activity in season 2, this was a different experience.
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They then had a picnic at an awkward spot — in the middle of nowhere without a view. Maggie then said, “We don’t need to look at our surroundings, we just need to look at each other,” which successfully got the whole group to judge her. Haha! I have to agree with her though… That cast is gorgeous.

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More flashbacks! We see Jing Bao boiling eggs and preparing for the picnic. Perhaps I have been too harsh during last episode’s highlights when I pretty much said that he is bordering on being useless. He’s not too bad. He is improving.

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More bonus points for Jing Bao as he also prepared some sort of traditional chinese herbal medicine for everyone prior to their performance. The conditions they had to endure was pretty bad so it was thoughtful of him to do that.
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Another random flashback brought us to the apartment where the group saw Chen Bolin’s video diary. I didn’t realise it when I watched the first episode but the video diary makes Chen Bolin looks like such a sad little pitiful bug!

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After watching the video, Jing Bao admits that he won’t be able to deal with being exiled like this.
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Towards the end of the episode, we can also see that Song Zu’er definitely won’t be able to deal with being exiled either. As the only person in the team that is not performing in the Brazillian rave party (I have no idea what it is called but this seems like an appropriate name), she had to spectate the show alone.

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She barely made it to the spectator stand before feeling like she is all alone and can’t survive. Her words were, “I felt like I’m being exiled.” In the youtube comments, more hate seems to go to Lai Yumeng for being a “potential Xu Qing”. Xu Qing was a cast member on Season 2, best known for her diva princess attitude and threatening to quit the show (for real). But at this moment, I can’t help but feel Zu’er is not very likeable… especially since this happened right after Chen Bolin’s portion where he is such a survivor!

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Without further ado, let’s talk about our beloved Chen Bolin! Bolin is intrigued by how the ‘africa cockroach’ is moving a ball of mud as big as itself while walking on its “hand”. I am intrigued too but I guess he is really lonely. He is talking to Fifi, the dog, about an insect…

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But it’s a good thing that Bolin was the one exiled. He is so sensible (and pitiful). Even though he is hungry and all alone, he is still sniping fruits from his campsite to serve as dinner so he can save money. His internal OS is: even though I’m exiled and given this much (or little) money, I should spend with care so that I’ll have money to contribute after rejoining the team.

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He then added that it’s okay to be lonely as he is someone who will not cause worries to his teammates and can help the team. Seriously, Bolin? SERIOUSLY? How mature can this man be?

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Thinking about it, he would be a great accountant. He definitely would not allow the budget to be burst but with his thoughtfulness, he will try his best to satisfy his teammates. In other words, it is unlikely he will be as scary (and inhumane) as Maggie Jiang…. (I’m not exaggerating with my choice of words! Just remember how Maggie ordered two dishes for 7 hungry people for dinner! Haha.)

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Bolin also unfortunately didn’t have enough currency with him. He had changed too little money at the airport. As such, he couldn’t top up fuel for his vehicle until day 5 when he finally found a money changer. Cute Bolin didn’t dare to switch on the air conditioner in the vehicle until he got his currency successfully exchanged and fuel filled. Gosh, that boy! So sensible and pitiful… how can anyone not love him?

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Chen Bolin had changed 100usd and declared that he had made plans to sleep by the roadside and skip the shower if the accommodation was too expensive. Indeed, even though the team in Brazil seems to not have much problem with their budget, Bolin is hardly getting by just paying for fuel and accommodation. He is definitely not splurging on food. In fact, it looks like he only has two meals a day and is constantly hungry.

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Think about it, Bolin have been sleeping in tents (which is equivalent to the hard floor) for the past 5 days. It must have been real uncomfortable. Even Fifi has a bed! My heart aches for him.

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His entire dinner for day 5 is an apple… which we saw him sniping from the previous campsite. Such foresight. But really, a grown man like that surviving on one apple for dinner? I feel sad for his tummy.

And Bolin then introduces us to the most luxurious accommodation he had thus far. It has a roof (even though he’s still sleeping in tents) and a nice view. He seems to be pretty contented. Such an optimistic guy. (PS: Yes, I know this is a product placement ad. I feel the need to display it too in my post to thank the sponsors for this wonderful show as well. Doing my part as an appreciative audience ;))

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Bolin’s cut is not as dry this episode as compared to episode 2. Last episode, I had the urge to skip some of the scenes but this episode, I wish there was more of his scenes! I can’t wait for them to reunite. Bolin always end off his interviews with, “I wonder what the rest are doing… I guess they are playing some games.”

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Haha, well Bolin, I don’t think so. They sit and stare in space and do their own thing quite a lot. They either don’t play much games or the production team is not showing us those moments. (Oh! Why? I would love to see their interaction!)
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But in the rare moment we actually saw them playing games, Zhang Ruoyun proves to be really bad at it! Surprising. For a guy who likes to make quirky and smart remarks here and there, I would imagine him to be quick on the uptake and hence being good at the game. It was pretty funny seeing how everyone started targeting him which made him lose even more.
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Speaking of Zhang Ruoyun, he seems to be the only one that is currently with the group that would not only survive but even thrive if he was exiled. During his interview after the group watched Bolin’s video diary, he was the only one who did not reject that sort of life. In exchange of loneliness, he feels that Bolin gets freedom and the privilege of doing what he wants without having to be responsible for each other and their feelings. Under the prompt of the production team, he then proceeds to give epic advice on how to avoid loneliness when travelling alone: mutter & talk to yourself non-stop. Hahaha.
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Ruoyun always end off his interviews with absurd sounding answers to questions posed by the production team. But I love his interviews because even though his answers might sound dumb or absurd sometimes, it actually holds truth! Just like in this case, we do see Bolin talking to Fifi and even inanimate objects. (In times like this, I can’t help but imagine what would it be like if Dilireba was travelling alone. It would be super cute because she has a reputation for being a nag on Keep Running. She can talk and talk non-stop to herself hahaha.)
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Zhang Ruoyun is probably the most individualistic member amongst the group. He really should have been exiled. I think he would enjoy it but perhaps it wouldn’t be as huge a challenge to him. After all, he is an experienced solo backpacker and living harmoniously with a huge group might push him out of his comfort zone more. Haha.
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However, the good thing about Ruoyun is that he is very cooperative and tolerant. From his interactions with the group, the audience pretty much cannot see or sense any disharmony. He blends right in and and is on good terms with them all. It’s very comfortable watching him with the group. It is only through his personal interviews where he reveals his deep thoughts that audience can see how his personal preferences.
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Although he is more free spirited, a trait similar to Xu Qing, nobody ever compares him to the nuisance she was. Ruoyun is mot obnoxious and won’t refuse to participate. I can imagine he has a lot to say about the trip but he has managed to control it well and held it in in front of us and the team. I don’t think he is being ‘fake’ by hiding his true feelings. I see that as high EQ.

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To conclude, Chen Bolin really shined in this episode. I also think Zhang Ruoyun is very interesting so I’ll be placing a lot of attention on him throughout the season. I’m not sure if I’m biased towards him but I feel like he gives great interviews which are always used as interview tidbits/voice-overs. Bonus points!
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And one last complaint. Seriously, the Brazil rave party portion is still not over? It’s boring. They have dragged it for 3 weeks already and it’s full of nothingness. I don’t like festivals like this because to me, it’s just a lot of lame practicing and performing. The cast don’t interact much with each other, don’t do thrilling stuff and don’t go out of their comfort zone much (practicing and performances are part of their everyday life as artistes, right?). I hope it doesn’t eat much into episode 4.

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Next week’s preview is interesting, they are exploring the Amazon Rainforest. They showed us some cuts of very dangerous moments (which I think are exaggerated after editing). There are no quarrels but the premise of the episode does feel fun at least. Excitement, thrill and adventure! But….. it seems like Bolin is still not reunited…. I hope I’m wrong.

Cheers.
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