Variety show Divas Hit the Road (花儿与少年) is back for the third time and if the first episode is any indication, this will be another great season! I laughed so much I can’t wait until Sunday rolls around again!
To those of you who don’t know already, what happens on Divas Hit the Road is that a group of celebrities are gathered together and are sent away on a trip to a foreign country without their managers or assistants and are given a limited budget to spend for the next few weeks. Any problems they encounter, they will have to resolve on their own and no help will be provided.
In the previous seasons, most of the “divas” were older respected seniors in the industry and there would be two “brothers” who accompanied them on their trip. But, this time the production team opted for a much younger cast. So, it should be a very refreshing viewing experience as I don’t think anyone here will have much of a diva personality (or at least I don’t think they will be brave enough to show it on camera as they’re probably cautious about their image). However, I don’t think this will necessarily be a bad thing, cause with everyone being around the same age, they’re more likely to joke around and voice their opinions (which can lead to some entertaining situations).
The cast members from oldest to youngest are: Tony Yang (34), Bolin Chen (33), Maggie Jiang (30), Zhang Ruoyun (28), Jing Boran (28), Guli Nazha (24), Lai Yumeng (22), and Song Zhu’er (19).
And now, without further ado, here is the recap for the first episode…
The production team surprises Jing Boran and Bolin Chen with an unexpected visit to their homes (the hotel for Bolin since he’s in Beijing for the filming of the show). They are told the show starts now, and the six other members are also being briefed as well. The producers had picked two potential candidates to be the tour guide for this trip. Jing Boran (abbreviated as JBR from now on so I don’t confuse the two guys with very similar names) and Bolin are those lucky candidates.
They don’t look thrilled at hearing the news, whereas the others breathe a sigh of relief, no one wants the job. The members also receive a second piece of good news, they get to vote for who they want as their tour guide and the loser will be “exiled” (sent on a trip alone). The candidates will each be doing a 30-minute live stream so everyone can get to know them better first before casting their votes.
Bolin goes first and he is totally unprepared, he stares at the camera not really knowing what to say. He introduces himself and then disappears out of the screen to close the blinds. From their house, Tony Yang and Zhang Ruoyun make fun of him for being such a very boring host. One of the girls sends a message asking if he’s done his homework and prepared well for this journey. Bolin says he hasn’t done any research because he doesn’t know where they’re going yet… The poor guy is stressed out (lol), he says talking to himself is kind of funny… so, he decides to show his audience the weather outside. When he sits back down, he looks at his watch and sighs, 30- minutes… But he remembers he’s got to convince them to vote for him because he doesn’t want to be abandoned somewhere by the crew.
Then he looks at the screen names popping up on his phone and hilariously asks are the people watching this live dream netizens or are they his cast members?
Ruoyun bursts out into laughter and evilly suggests abandoning Bolin because his personality seems like the type that would go crazy if he had to travel alone and that’d be funny to watch. Also, it’s mentioned that Ruoyun had went on many backpacking trips when he was in college (so experienced traveler here)!
Bolin shows them his suitcase; he packed a lot of new socks. If anyone needs them, they can just ask him!
Time is up and the crew tells him to say goodbye. The live stream ends and Maggie Jiang says she’s so glad she isn’t the tour guide!
Bolin isn’t sure how many people will vote for him and is nervous with his performance.
Next up is JBR and as soon as he appears on the screen, the ladies are excited. Everyone starts sending in messages. Tony tells him they’ve met before. But, JBR is completely focused on giving his speech.
He was on the show last time so he knows how the producers think and is the best candidate for the job. Therefore, they should vote for him! Vote for him! He yells this a few times and it gets everyone’s attention. But, that’s all he has, he’s said everything he could think of.
The staff reminds him he still has 30-minutes. He widens his eyes; he thought it was 30-seconds! So, JBR relaxes now and decides to show everyone his house as he goes on to point out his strengths. Because he’s a perfectionist, he will make sure everyone’s happy and satisfied with the things they do. Since he was a tour guide for a while last time, he believes he has the experience to solve any problems or disagreements that may come up during their trip. Everyone is impressed. Maggie says he sounds like a real tour guide.
They send him virtual gifts and he thinks it must mean they like him. Ruoyun says the gifts are just to liven up the atmosphere though (lol this guy)
After the 30-minutes are up, the members are interviewed. It seems like everyone prefers JBR so far.
Both Bolin and JBR express that they desperately do not want to be “exiled”, they would much rather take on the role of the tour guide, even though it’ll be a tough job.
Then we are told the rules of the show:
These 8 celebrities will be traveling to 3 continents (South America, Africa, Australia) and 4 countries in 27 days. They will receive airline tickets, an address, and a budget allowance. But, no other help will be offered. They will not be told beforehand where the next location is, when they will be leaving, or the tasks they will have to accomplish. When the mission card comes, they’ll just have to do it. So, the tour guide is very important. They have 24 hours to decide.
JBR and Bolin are given the phone numbers of the cast. They can call them and meet everyone face to face to try and win some votes. JBR calls Ruoyun first, who accidentally tells him his name and the staff lets him know he wasn’t supposed to do that. But the boy doesn’t care. They’re going to be meeting up soon anyway (lol). JBR keeps on asking if Ruoyun is the other candidate and Ruoyun tells him straight out it’s not him, it’s Bolin Chen. JBR is thrilled with the discovery and they agree to meet the next day.
Bolin calls Guli Nazha and she says he can come over to her house if he wants to get her vote. He’s surprised at the suggestion and she stops mid-sentence realizing how weird that must have sounded. She’s embarrassed but tells him again to come over so he can convince her to vote for him.
Then he talks to Ruoyun and finds out his opponent has been on the show before. Bolin is sweating now.
JBR calls Tony, who answers the phone in a high pitched voice so JBR thinks it’s a woman at first, but then detects something is off and tells him to stop acting. He also guesses who he is when Tony starts talking normally again.
Maggie sits and waits for a long time before someone finally calls her and she sneakily sets the boys up to meet her at the same time at a hotpot place (oh this is going to be fun haha)
After making phones calls to everyone on the list, they head out to meet the members. Bolin gets someone to drive him while JBR runs around in search of a taxi (in the end I think he asked a random person to give him a ride? lol)
Bolin arrives at his first destination, Nazha’s apartment and he begins to ask her questions to find out her likes and dislikes. She says she loves spicy food. But, she has low blood sugar so she’s a little worried she might faint and slow everyone down. Bolin assures her it won’t be problem, they’ll rest a lot. She tells him her English is bad so she hopes the tour guide can take care of that part. Bolin tells her not to worry, and basically says the same thing for every concern she has. Don’t worry; he will take care of everything!
JBR meets Song Zhu’er. She says she really likes him and cutely goes into fangirl mode. She didn’t realize he was this tall. Zhu’er lived in the states for a little while so JBR assumes she must be good at English and she sheepishly tells him she hasn’t spoken the language in a long time, but she can help him out if he needs her to. Afterwards, she meets Bolin and appreciates his attentiveness. Initially she would have voted for JBR without a second thought, but now she isn’t so sure.
When he meets Tony, JBR tells him he is counting on his vote and he believes he’s got this one in the bag because they’ve spent so many months filming together!
Lai Yumeng has questions for the guys when she meets them. What would they do if she gets lost? Bolin says that’s impossible it won’t happen with him around, while JBR say they’ll look for her. He doesn’t care about the guys, but if it’s a girl he’ll definitely find her. Yumeng then asks if they’ll get her a birthday present. JBR figures she means her birthday will occur during their trip and he’s right, her birthday is on March 18th. And for her last question she asks if they think everyone will be happy on this trip if he was selected as the tour guide. The guys laugh awkwardly. This young lady has some pretty tough questions!
Maggie waits for them at the restaurant. JBR say the bill will be on him, so she can go ahead and order. Bolin arrives first and she tells him her friend will be joining them. A little while later JBR shows up and he cries out in surprise when he sees Bolin, who is just as startled. Maggie is laughing her head off.
The guys greet each other and are very friendly, which disappoints Maggie as she wanted to see them duke it out (lol, same)!
JBR asks if Bolin knows English, he says he does and JBR tells him he should be the one to go on a trip alone then since he’ll be able to manage! Bolin disagrees, it’ll depend on where the producers send him. He doesn’t think he can survive in the wild. But, he’d be fine in New York.
Maggie thinks the person who will be “exiled” must be able to take care of himself or else it’d be really sad. So of the two guys, she will pick the one who is “weaker” so to speak, to be their tour guide. JBR insists that he is that person; he strongly believes that Bolin is more capable then him.
As he heads back to the hotel, Bolin isn’t feeling too good about all this. It seems like everyone has decided on JBR. He really doesn’t want to be sent away on his own though, he didn’t join the show for this!
The next day, Bolin asks Ruoyun where they’re going to eat and Ruoyun sends him a picture of some food in the wok. Bolin is amazed that he’s actually cooking them a meal. But, as we are shown, sneaky Ruoyun had actually ordered take out and poured everything onto his plates at home (omg I love him haha)
When Bolin arrives, he praises him for the delicious looking meal and Ruoyun shameless says he’s exhausted! As they sit down at the table, Bolin asks if these are all his specialties and Ruoyun questions if he really thinks he cooked all this. Bolin points to one unflattering dish and Ruoyun admits that was the only thing he cooked, everything else was ordered from a restauarnt! They laugh and then get down to business. Ruoyun honestly tells Bolin that he also thinks he would be able to handle a trip on his own, unlike JBR. But, it would be interesting with Bolin as their tour guide because he’s inexperienced. Bolin however, seems to have accepted his fate at this point. He tells Ruoyun to just pick JBR. Aww I feel so bad for him and Ruoyun does too as he doesn’t know what to say afterwards. So, Bolin smiles and adds: only a true leader would purpose to go the hard route and travel alone!
JBR arrives a little later after Bolin leaves. Ruoyun tells him what Bolin had said about good leaders and that stresses JBR. As he sits awkwardly in the living room, Ruoyun brings over food that he specially ordered for him. JBR jokes that he should be the tour guide since he takes care of them so well.
After the meetings, everyone packs up for trip and turn their phones and wallets over to the production team (the show provided them with new phones sponsored by vivo). They ask Nazha if she needs to call a special someone aka Zhang Han first and she tells them she already did.
JBR says goodbye to his girlfriend, actress Ni Ni, and the two seem to share a kiss off camera.
Over with Tony, he asks the receptionist at the front desk of the hotel if he can borrow 200RMB so he can catch a ride to the airport. He promises to pay her back after the trip and she offers to give him extra money but he says it’s enough.
Ruoyun arrives at the airport in style and sits down in one of the eight chairs provided for the members. The other members start coming in one at a time. Bolin is the last to show up and they all take their seats as they await the production team to give them their next instructions.
Actress Ning Jing (who was in season 2 of Divas Hit the Road) arrives as a special guest and she’s surprised at all the lovely ladies and handsome gentlemen in this season.
After they get all the hugs out of the way, Ning Jing tells them how they will decide on the tour guide today. All they have to do is give either JBR or Bolin their passports to cast their vote. But, they must also state their reason why.
Tony: both guys had assumed that his vote would automatically go towards them because they’re good friends. While that is true, Tony has decided to vote for Bolin as the tour guide because he thinks JBR can handle being on his own whereas Bolin needs the members
Maggie: she is also choosing the less adequate person to be their tour guide, and Ning Jing says the correct word must be “useless” and Maggie agrees that is exactly what she means and the person who fits that description is no other than JBR!
Ruoyun: his vote goes to JBR, he knows he’d die if he had to travel alone
Nazha: she shares the same sentiments as Maggie and Ruoyun. Her vote also goes to JBR
Yumeng: votes for JBR
Zhu’er: votes for JBR cause in her words “gege cannot survive on his own” lol
Ning Jing is bewildered by their reasoning. So this is the impression JBR gives people? Everyone laughs and she assures them he is a very capable man.
JBR wins the most votes but he is also surprised the reason they voted for him wasn’t because they think he would be a good leader. However, he is touched by the fact that they at least worried about him enough to vote for him.
Bolin tells them it’s okay, he gets to experience two things this time. He looks forward to joining them again after his solo trip.
The crew gives him his flight ticket. He will be going to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia in Africa. When he reads it out loud no one know where the place is and they laugh, while Bolin seems more stressed than ever.
JBR takes out the cash the crew had provided for them; it will be their budget for the next three weeks. The currency is red and they ask if it’s renminbi. It is, which means they will have to exchange it themselves later. JBR asks Maggie to count the bills and when he’s interviewed, he says he might not be a very competent person, but he knows how to take advantage of other people’s’ strengths and put them to good use… or so he thought. Maggie is actually quite bad at math and can’t figure out how to divide 15,000RMB between eight people. She looks to JBR for help but he also needs a calculator, which they don’t have, thankfully he remembers his phone.
Everyone should get 1,875RMB. But they decide to give Bolin 1,900, which means an extra 50 they say (HAHA they are terrible at this)!
Maggie admits she’s actually pretty dumb when it comes to mathematics, even though she has a very intelligent face (I thought so too! lol, guess we really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover 😛 )
And she goes around announcing they’re each getting 1,850 (it should be 1,875) and Bolin is receiving an extra 50. He thanks her and accepts the money (why do I have a feeling he will actually be better off on his own? lol)
Bolin is looking up where Addis Ababa is and Tony keeps him company with a worried expression on his face (such a good friend). And Ruoyun comes over to give Bolin a pat on the shoulder. Bolin tells him he’ll be okay. Tony hugs him and everyone else follows suit.
The split to go their separate ways. JBR says he believes in Bolin’s abilities and looks forward to hearing about his adventures when he joins up with them again. As they line up for the elevator, Tony tells everyone to let Bolin go first. They wave goodbye and Ning Jing wishes him good luck.
After the members check in their luggage, they go to get 12,000 renmenbi exchanged for Brazilian Real and the remaining cash exchanged for AED Dirham.
Over with Bolin he says he needs to take some medication first before traveling. He opens his suitcase and a lot of instant coffee packets falls out, he had prepared them for the members (aww). Now, he guesses he’ll have to drink it by himself. He takes some pills and reads the long list of possible side effects written on the bag, wondering why he’s using them. Then he goes to check in his luggage.
The other members are brought into a private waiting room where snacks and desserts have been prepared for them while they wait until it’s time for boarding. Bolin on the other hand is filling up a cup of ramen with hot water over on the other side of the airport. He asks the camera man if he can take a few with him, and decides to do just that. He grabs two extra ramen cups (I believe it’s provided by the airline for guests, so don’t worry he’s not stealing)! In his interview he says he had no choice, he has to plan ahead in order to survive.
After taking a group photo and sending it to Bolin, Tony calls him up to check on how he’s doing. JBR asks him to share how he’s feeling right now. Bolin says he’s alright and Zhang Ruoyun tells him he drank a lot of free champagne (they just won’t stop rubbing it in will they? lol)
The members board the plane and a passenger compliments Maggie and Nazha for how beautiful they are, and the girls are smiling. But, then the woman says she loves the drama Eternal Love (三生三世十里桃花) HAHAHA
And this is officially the start of day 1. JBR leads his group to their first destination Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and all he has is an address to their lodging, while Bolin travels solo to Windhoek Namibia. The narrator says very few people would visit Namibia alone where the wilderness stretches for nearly 2,000 kilometers and there is no cell phone reception. So, this trip should be very interesting…
Bolin lands in Windhoek and he begins talking to two Chinese men, thinking they might be here to pick him up since that’s what the crew in Beijing had told him. Someone should be waiting. But, these two guys aren’t here for Bolin. So, he goes to get his money exchanged for some local currency. He originally had 1900RMB and now he has N$1330 and $125.50. Bolin wonders if it’ll be enough, he’ll only be able to spend about 40 a day on this budget.
With his luggage, he steps out of the airport in search of his travel companion for this trip, and he finds her immediately, she’s laying on the ground with a ‘welcome’ sign… she’s a dog! She also has a little camera on her back and there’s a letter for Bolin. He reads it in English. Her name is Fifi and she eats a lot, so she asks that he feed her twice a day, play with her for at least 30 minutes every day, and to please give her a bath before returning her to her owner. She is well behaved and will listen to commands.
Bolin chuckles and seems happy with his new friend. The production team had left him car keys. So, together with Fifi, they go to the parking lot. Fifi doesn’t seem to enjoy following Bolin though, so he stops to give her a treat. Luckily for him, he finds his truck rather quickly and he reads the mission card that’s in the driver’s seat. Bolin needs to take care of Fifi, and record a video of himself each day to share his feelings about the trip. On February 28th, he must return Fifi and his keys will be taken away on March 3rd. He sighs, he thought he only had to take care of himself, but now he has a travel companion to take care of as well.
As he sets up the car seat for Fifi, she steals from her bag of treats. Bolin catches her before she can eat it all up though and immediately zips up the bag. They then head out onto the open road.
Over with the rest of the group, they land in Rio at 2PM after being on the plane for 22 hours.
The girls tell JBR and Ruoyun to slow down. They should be considerate of the people with short legs! Maggie goes to inquire about the cost of getting a taxi for 7 people. It’ll cost them 220BRL and they decide that’s doable.
As they arrive outside, JBR suggest they have people on both cars to keep an eye on the luggage but Maggie tells them they’re only getting one van. Everyone begins to worry they won’t be able to fit, they have so much luggage!
But, they decide to give it a try anyway since Maggie already agreed. She also says Nazha can sit on her lap so they have an empty seat for suitcases. After putting a few of their luggage into the trunk though the driver tells them he can’t fit anymore. JBR suggest getting two taxis and everyone starts voicing their opinion on what would be the best mode of transportation.
It’s really quiet over with Bolin as he only has Fifi to talk to (although I do see that camera man in the backseat, so he really isn’t entirely alone on this journey lol)
The noisy group finally settles on getting two vans. Maggie, who initially believed anything can be solved since they have so many brains and mouths, is suddenly overwhelmed by all the chatter. As they stuff the van with luggage, JBR says they should have gotten 2 cars in the first place to get a better deal. Since they already agreed on the price of 220 for this one van, they can’t really bargain for the next one.
But thankfully, after stuffing the first row of seats with suitcases, there is still enough room for everyone to sit. Tony suggests giving a tip to the driver for loading their luggage. The guys want to give him 20BRL which is approximately 100RMB, but Maggie asks the man directly how much tip he wants and he said 10BRL was fine. Everyone is happy now as they head to their hotel. Zhu’er wants to call Bolin, but Tony tells her their phone probably can’t make international calls.
Bolin arrives at the campsite with Fifi and discovers there is absolutely nothing there. After paying the campsite fee, he is on his own. So, he starts off by feeding Fifi and giving her some water to drink before setting up shelter for the night.
As he unloads everything from the truck though he breaks something off of the tent that is strapped to the roof of his car. Bolin is in disbelief and doesn’t know what to do now. It’ll be dark soon, he needs to get this done. So, he checks the tent again and is relieved to discover the tent has already been set up, he just needed to unfold and adjust it a little. But, he doesn’t have a ladder to climb up to it since he broke it off.
The members arrive at their destination and are pleased to discover a house. They unload their luggage and check out the place. Seeing the beautiful view of the city in front of them, the guys wish for some beer and Ruoyun finds some in the fridge. But, Zhu’er stops them immediately. Prices are listed on a chalkboard. JBR says forget the prices, they’ve got to celebrate first!
Rooming arrangements are as follows:
1st Floor: JBR & Ruoyun, Tony is by himself
2nd Floor: Maggie & Nazha
3rd Floor: Zhu’er & Yumeng
JBR is thankful there are more guys on this season of the show to help with the luggage. He says moving suitcases are always the worse part of the trip.
After settling down, they have a group meeting. JBR says they will sit down together to discuss the next day’s itinerary from now on and he hopes he can get everyone’s attention because he hates it when he’s talking and people aren’t listening. Maggie assures him they are listening really seriously right now and he thanks them for their cooperation.
JBR assigns Maggie be their treasurer and she will keep track of their expenses. Also, he tells them he is happy to be their tour guide and he is grateful they voted for him, even though the position comes with the title of being “incompetent”
Maggie also reminds everyone that no matter how unhappy they might end up feeling at some point on this trip, there will always be someone who is suffering more than them. So, they shouldn’t complain!
She of course is referring to Bolin, who has settled in his tent. As he records his first video diary, Fifi is already sleeping peacefully next to him and he says into the camera that he is thankful he has Fifi, and he feels she is the best surprise on this trip so far. He mentions he has to drive 3-hours tomorrow to get to his next destination. So, he needs to sleep now or else he won’t have the energy. He then sets the camera down and begins to doze off…
And that is the end of day 1 for the cast of Divas Hit the Road!
I like the show so far! It was surprisingly a very fun episode to watch! I was expecting a boring introductory episode, but they changed it up this season (I don’t know if they voted on a tour guide for season 2 since I didn’t watch it, but I know they definitely didn’t do this in the first season) and I thought it was quite an entertaining twist, even though I do feel terrible for Bolin. It’s good that the members made it seem like they selected JBR because he was “inferior” to Bolin, even though that’s probably not the real reason why they voted for him, it does lessen the blow a little bit for the one who wasn’t selected. I’m also glad the show gave Bolin a little doggy companion! It probably makes him feel a little less lonely.
As for the rest of the members, I might be totally biased when I say this but I think Ruoyun is absolutely hilarious and I’m so glad he’s on the show! I also like Maggie as an actress, so it’s nice to see her in real life. JBR is definitely experienced and I think he won’t have much of a problem handling this trip, although he did give me the impression that he’s a little bossy (but I guess since he’s the leader, it’s definitely better than being a pushover). Tony seems like a nice guy though (from the way he treated Bolin and how polite he was towards the people who helped them with their luggage). I like him. As for the other three girls, Nazha is quieter than I expected, Zhu’er seems pretty outgoing, and Yumeng’s behavior makes her appear much younger than her age. But, other than that, no one is getting on my nerves just yet lol
So, I am totally looking forward to the next episode! And I will try to get my recaps out as soon as I can on Mondays or Tuesdays from now on (depending on how busy I am). I know this first recap is a little late, but if you’re watching the show, please comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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