Johnny Depp to Choose Winner of Chinese Reality Show

Johnny Depp in Beijing
Johnny Depp in Beijing
 AP

Expectation is rising in China ahead of Friday’s finale of Chinese Dream, as Johnny Depp is gets ready to choose the lucky person who will come with him to Hollywood to live out their dream as the popular reality talent show draws to a close.

The show, shot in the elegant and wealthy eastern city of Hangzhou, centers around making ordinary people’s wishes come true and live performances, where audiences vote for a “Dreamer” who then goes on to the next show.

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During his visit to China in April, Depp was asked why he had decided to take on the role of arbiter in the show, and he told local media it was because he can relate to people harboring big dreams: When he was young, he wanted to be a rock musician, and only did movies to pay the rent, he said.

Chinese Dream started life in 2011, based for the first two seasons on the BBC format Tonight’s the Night. In the third season, Zhejiang Satellite TV changed the format, and it is now in the seventh season.

Chinese Dream goes head-to-head with Dad, Where Are We Going? on Hunan TV and regularly beats that show in the ratings.

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Depp is best known here as Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Carribbean franchise, which were huge hits in China, although the second part of the series, Dead Man’s Chest, was banned for its ghoulish and ghostly elements. He has a more cultish following among teenage girls for his role in Edward Scissorhands.

On a forum on the Sina Weibo service called “Depp, help me to realize my dream,” Zhiyu Xinlixue wrote: “It is a blessing from several lifetimes to be the disciple of Depp. Who will be the lucky one? Depp, if you can’t decide, you can take me.”

GIF wrote: “Ever since Edward Scissorhands, Depp is a man-god in the hearts of thousands of girls. I am so jealous that he will take a disciple and take him/her to Hollywood.”

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