Ao Ziyi Talks About His Agency’s “Gradual Elimination” Process

Ao Ziyi
Ao Ziyi

Ever wonder what getting cut from an agency’s roster looks like? Unlike the eliminations we see on survival shows, things aren’t so clear cut in real life.  Douluo Continent star Ao Ziyi recently shared some bits about his experiences as a trainee on the variety show Mao Xue Wang. He says the way his agency went about eliminating trainees was of a quiet and gradual sort.

We all know trainee life isn’t for everyone. Aside from the gruelling practices, trainees are often faced with a whole lot of uncertainty. You never really know when you’ll get cut or if you’ll even debut at all. To borrow the words of Heidi Klum: “one day you’re in. The next day, you’re out.” Indeed this appears to be the case in Ao Ziyi’s experience under Time Fengjun Entertainment. He joined the agency prior to his debut in 2013 who also manages C-pop groups like TF BOYS and TEENS IN TIMES. The 21-year-old actor shares from a group of 50 to 60, they were whittled down to a small group of 7 or 8.

The thing is though, the reason why you’re cut might not be so clear since the agency didn’t employ a rating system, nor was there even an exam given to trainees. There will also be colleagues he’d been practicing with during the previous week who are suddenly nowhere to be found the following week! “You’ll be practicing then you’ll realise after being away for the week there seems be less people by the time you’re back on Sunday! You train again together for a week, then the week after, the numbers will be down several people once again!” He adds that they know who doesn’t return, but they’re not privy to the reason why they’re not coming back.

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