AOMG Official has partnered with MBN to launch a new competition show to find the next generation of great hip-hop talent in South Korea.
MBN and AOMG Official are collaboration to discover the next generation of South Korean hip-hop artists in the form of a competition survival show. For the new program called “SighHere,” the show will look to find the artists that are extremely talented rappers, vocalists, or producers. In particular, they are looking for people who are well-rounded with both basic production and performance skills.
Artists from AOMG Official including Jay Park, who is the CEO of the label, Simon Dominic, Gray, Code Kunst, Woo Won-jae and more, will join the program as team leaders. The leaders will try to recruit members who will compete against opposing teams in the show. Further, if they struggle to get people on their side, they themselves may have to step into the competition which is a facet that is raising expectations.
On top of that, it is noteworthy this is the first program headed by producer Nam Sung-hyun, who transferred from KBS to MBN. Previously, Nam worked on “Hyena on the Keyboard” and assisted in the creation of the hit collaboration song “Don’t Give it to Me” by Loco and MAMAMOO Hwasa.
Meanwhile, “SignHere” will premeier during the first half of the year.
EXO Chanyeol and ASTRO Cha Eun-woo will compete against each other in a bowling match at Idol Star Athletics Championships (ISAC).
Both Chanyeol from EXO and Cha Eun-woo from ASTRO have decided to participate in the 2019 Lunar New Year Idol Star Athletics Championships (ISAC). The upcoming match between the two is already gaining attention as fans anticipate an exciting rematch.
During the last ISAC special, Chanyeol won the gold medal, beating out Cha Eun-woo in the final round. Joining the two in the competition are iKON’s Bobby, Super Junior’s Shindong, and SEVENTEEN’s Mingyu.
Meanwhile, ISAC is a bi-annual program that pits members of different idol group against each other in various sports competitions. Stars can choose to compete in track and field, basketball, rhythmic gymnastics, archery, bowling and more.
Bowling, in particular, is a popular competition for both artists and fans because of the low risk of injury. Many stars have signed up for it since organizers officially introduced it last year.
Two important ice skating competitions are to take place over the weekends and act as the opening events for the season.
The Korea Skating Union announced that from December 21 to 23, two figure skating competitions will take place at the Mokdong Ice Rink in Seoul. There the 2018 KB Financial Group’s Nationwide Men’s and Women’s Cup Ranking competition and the first round of the 2019 Nation Figure Skating competition will take place.
The two national events kick-off the skating season for Korean athletes who will likely head to international competitions abroad in the coming months. There are upcoming events in Russia and the US through February and March 2019 that athletes can choose to attend. Moreover, ISU World Figure Skating Championships, this year held in Japan, will also be held in March.
This coming weekend, a total of 98 athletes, 15 men and 81 women, along with a junior ice dance team, will participate in the events. In particular, some of Korea’s top-rated skaters including Cha Jun-hwan who is a two-time national champion and Kim Ye-lim, the 2018 CS U.S. International Classis bronze medalist, will compete.
Everyone will probably agree that ‘PRODUCE 101’ series is one of the most sensational survival programs that Mnet ever invented.
The idea of forming a group that satisfied the public’s every need and want was intriguing to everyone. They became “national producers” to pick and choose the members they wanted, designing a girl/boy group with the nation’s favorites. As a result, ‘Produce 101′ successfully gave birth to ‘I.O.I’ and ‘Wanna One.’
Indeed, the program had a good intention of providing an equal and fair opportunity for every trainee to debut. However, I believe that it also called attention to the bitter reality of Korean society.
Whether intentionally or accidentally, every step and segment from the program is a representation of the harsh life of the youth community in South Korea.
1. The “Pick Me” Generation
The youth community in South Korea, specifically the Millennials to Generation Z, started calling themselves as the “Pick Me” generation. This phrase conveys that they are willing to do anything to “get picked” by a higher authority.
To further explain, here is a list of trainees who were on the more popular side of the spectrum: Kang Daniel, Park Ji-Hoon, Choi Yoo-Jung, and Jung Chae-Yeon.
They all had one unique thing that immediately caught everyone’s attention and guaranteed a spot in I.O.I and Wanna One. Kang Daniel’s ‘sexy thigh dance‘ and Park Ji-Hoon’s signature ‘save in my heart’ swept many nuna’s off their feet. Choi Yoo-Jung’s breathtaking dance skills and Jung Chae-Yeon’s legendary ending pose in ‘Into the New World’ are no-doubt what helped them to become the I.O.I members.
Just like these trainees, the members in the youth community of South Korea are willing to do ANYTHING to get noticed. However, only in reality, they do so to continue earning the basic rights as a human, such as receiving higher education. This refers to middle schoolers moving onto high school, and high schoolers moving onto college. LITERALLY, basics of life that should be granted to everyone, equally.
Since elementary school, it is normal that they work on materials at least 3 grades up their age. From the moment they wake up, they go to school, art class, English class, Math class, and other extracurricular activities. This is so that they can start building their qualifications to get into the school they want, but most importantly, the society approves. The amount of things they have to do just to receive better education? It is bizarre.
2. Conform to the Society
South Korea still counts as one of the relatively conservative countries. Most people, afraid of becoming a target for criticism, tend to hold back their opinions and desires.
While picking out positions in group missions in ‘Produce 101,’ trainees who wanted the center or main vocalist position were frequently portrayed as “greedy.” While they were only doing what was necessary to survive, their determination was twisted as greed. For example, Ahn Hyeong-Seop from season 2 of ‘Produce 101’ suddenly became a “whiner” when he expressed his disappointment of moving down a rank.
Much like the program, the current Korean society doesn’t provide the platform for people to speak out or express their desires. It wants people to conform and do the “bare minimum,” while doing “bare minimum” doesn’t get them anywhere.
An example can be found in the common Korean company’s recruitment process. On top of submitting a resume, cover letter, and going through the interviews, Koreans also have to take a personality and aptitude test. In order to receive a job offer, people reshape and mutate themselves into the ideal person the company is looking for. They absolutely cannot reveal their true selves and dare risk a chance to question the society.
Just like trainee Yoon Hee-Seok said from season 2 of ‘Produce 101’ : “If you don’t have the greed, what is the point of coming on this program?”
3. Inevitable Break Up and Never-ending Competition
Lastly, the participants in the program go through all these hardships, only to be contracted for a limited amount of time.
All the project groups from ‘Produce 101’ – I.O.I, Wanna One, JBJ, and Rainz are all contracted to promote only for a certain amount of time. After the contract expires, they either go back to being trainees or start from the bottom to establish a whole new fandom.
Just like this, the youth in South Korea pass through the competitiveness from elementary school to college, just to become a contract worker. Since South Korea is a small country with big expectations, there only a few companies they consider worthy enough to work. And even if you are lucky enough to work for them, most cases are that they don’t want you working as a regular-status employee. It is truly a never-ending competition for South Koreans.
‘Competition’ has always been present in the entertainment industry, as well as the society across the globe. At this point, it is a bitter truth that it even became a normality and necessity for a society to function properly.
By. Dasol Kim
Disclaimer: The opinions or views contained in this article may not represent the opinions or views of Kpoplove, The Korea Daily, its employees, agents or affiliates.
Mnet’s new program “Breakers,” highlights the talent of singer-songwriters.
Set to begin broadcasting in April, “Breakers” will feature eight singer-songwriters in a new reality survival music program. The contestant on the show will write, compose, and produce original music that will be evaluated throughout the show’s duration. With this set-up, Mnet aims to spotlight the work and capability of talented musicians who have a range of talent.
Regarding the show, the production team said that “‘Breakers’ is a program in which multi-skilled singer-songwriters can freely develop their musical skills. Another interesting facet that sets the show apart is that viewers will see the novelty and charm of the musicians as well as their lifestyle.”
Additionally, the evaluations of the contestants will happen both on and offline. Audience members can participate and assess the songs the show’s competitors create.
On another note, SHINee’s Key has been selected as the MC for the program. As a multitalented artist who has explored different fields of the entertainment industry, the show’s producers believe he will add unique energy and perspective.
The biannual Idol Star Athletic Championships, better known as ISAC, was initially canceled due to an ongoing strike.
MBC has resurrected ISAC, the popular yet controversial biannual program, after being canceled earlier this year. ISAC’s cancellation earlier this year happened after preparations for production were already in place when a general strike occurred. The MBC general strikes struck a massive blow to both networks with a swath of different shows going on hiatus or outright canceled. However, with a halt of the strike currently in place, MBC is reviving popular programs now that essential staff returned.
Speculation that MBC planned to bring back the idol competition began last month when the news of the announcement came out. However, the broadcast company denied it the rumors and even expressed confusion. The broadcast agency welcomed the confirmation of the resumption of the show. This reception is not only because team clothing, athletic competitions, and guests were prepared, but also because idols had begun training for it. An MBC official said, ” The idols prepared for the competition in advance of Chuseok. Bowling, aerobics, etc. were all categories that need regular practice.”
Production for the is on a tight schedule, even with some of the preparations out of the way. Currently, a flurry of meetings is being conducted to meet deadlines. The first milestone to reach is the January filming goal. Right now, the company is reaching out to schedule guest idols. Moreover, the production crew is reportedly busy arranging a schedule for the guest and broadcast.
This year’s Idol Star Athletic Championships (ISAC) will have a star-studded line up with some of the biggest names in K-pop attending.
ISAC is an annual multi-sport event hosted by MBC. The event pits idols against each other in competitions spanning track, gymnastics, aerobics and more. This event provides a unique experience for stars and fans alike. For entertainers, they can compete on a playing field outside of music, shows, and film. Furthermore, for fans, ISAC is one of a handful of events where they can see stars directly compete and interact together outside of award and variety programs.
However, idol participation in these sporting activities can, and has, resulted injury. Accordingly, in recent years fans have been urging their favorite groups and celebrities to forego the event altogether. Moreover, fear of possible injuries that can affect idols during their other activities continues to motivate fan requests.
With some of the biggest names in K-pop set to participate this year including EXO, TWICE, WINNER, Wanna One, BTS’ Jung-kook, and HOMME’s Lee-hyun, viewership is expected to be high – but so will the pressure. MBC will have to find a way to ease the worry that fans have about the event. One possible way may happen through strategically choosing which competitions idols participate in.
This week MBC announced that Jung-kook from BTS and HOMME’s Lee-hyun will only participate in the bowling competition. Bowling, unlike some of the other sports, does not require practice or training and has a very low chance for injury. This news comes while the intended competitions for many idol groups has yet to be revealed. Fortunately, fans can expect more news to come out in the coming days.
Filming will take place in early September with approximately 20 hours of recording predicted.