Russian man 'trapped' in Chinese singing competition finally gets to leave after 3 months

Vladislav Ivanov used the stage name Lelush. Credit: Producecamp2021/Instagram

A Russian man, whose pleas to be voted off a Chinese music competition turned him into a pop sensation, has finally been able to leave the show.

Vladislav Ivanov from Vladivostok, Russia made it all the way to the final of Produce Camp 2021 - a talent show that whittles down hundreds of male singers to a final 11 which go on to form a boyband.

Going by the stage name Lelush, Mr Ivanov's deliberate poor performances and requests to the audience to vote him off so he could go home resulted in a dedicated fan base which ensured he made it to the final episode - which he did not win.

It was reported Mr Ivanov was forced to live on a secluded island for three months, constantly practicing and performing with limited access to his phone.

Lelush pictured departing the show after losing the final

The South China Morning Post reported he said on the show: "Becoming a member of a boy band is not my dream as I can’t sing and dance.

“I hope the judges won’t support me. While the others want to get an A, I want to get an F as it stands for freedom.”

Mr Ivanov's deliberately aloof and sometimes angry attitude in stark contrast to the rest of the participants led him to develop a large fanbase - much to his dismay.

He attracted over 840,000 fans on Weibo, a social media platform like Twitter available in China.Before appearing on the programme Mr Ivanov was a part-time model working as an assistant on the show when he arrived at the base camp on an island off the coast of the southern Hainan province.

Lelush performing the Russian rap song Jackpot on the show

While working he was reportedly confused as a participant by staff due to his good looks, and the show's director convinced him to take part in the show.

He decided to take part in a bid to change his life and help him tackle his fear of appearing on screen.

But the move quickly backfired and he almost immediately realised he didn't enjoy the endless rounds of singing and dancing.

He quickly decided he wanted to withdraw from the competition, but faced a heavy fine if he broke his contract.

The fear of facing the heavy fine was what drove him to take his unconventional method

He also attracted a following in his home country of Russia, where many people accused the programme's backers, the massive Chinese tech company Tencent, of keeping him hostage.