Generic Korean

MBC Star Audition 위대한 탄생 – Episode 21

Posted on: April 23, 2011

Date 2011.04.22

And then there were 8.  The challenge was to perform a kpop song and this was by far my favorite challenge.  And I don’t know about you, but I felt like there was some tension between the judges this week.  The scores were surprisingly low fand some interesting differences of opinions.

First up was Jung Heejoo who decided to pick Shinhwa’s “T.O.P.”  Shinhwa for all the kpop newbies is the longest running Korean boyband and still retains every single original member.  When youtube was still relatively new I literally watched every single Shinhwa video posted so when Heejoo got to meet one of the members and began to hug him I had a sudden urge to gouge out her eyes.  But then she performed and I had to calm myself.  She’s got a great tone and sang well considering she was dancing.  I loved the outfit too except for the belt and shoes.  I get that she’s not used to dancing in heels but did they really have to put orthopedic sneakers on her?

The mentors liked her tone and really appreciated the fact that she pulled off the dancing and showed a new side to her.  Mentor Bang however noted that it was a bit obvious that she was trying too hard and failed to actually enjoy performing it.

Bang:  8.3  Lee: 8.5   Shin:  8.5  KTW:  9.0   KYA: No Vote  = 34.3

Next up was Kim Hyeri singing “Two Different Tears” by the Wonder Girls.  Every introduction begins with the mentors giving their mentees advice and I was dying as her Mentor Lee watched Hyeri’s dancing.  Poor girl has no rhythm which unfortunately it also showed in her singing.  She’s been noted for her lack of rhythm before but it was hardly noticeable when she was singing ballads.  Here she was half a beat too early and it just went downhill from there.

KYA said that Hyeri can sing but she needs to emote, KTW said that she needed to learn how to sing different genres of songs and Mentor Shin said her rhythm was off.  Basically, she’s good but something is missing from her performances.

By the way, what ever happened to the Wonder Girls?  Are they still singing “Nobody Nobody but Chu?”  Its like they are cover singers for their own songs.

Bang: 8.8   Lee: No Vote   Shin:  8.3    KTW:  8.7   KYA:  8.3 = 34.1

Third up was Shayne singing  “Avoiding the Sun” by Rain aka Steven Colbert’s arch nemesis aka my future husband.  I’m so glad he’s singing without his piano.  I felt like he was using it as a crutch, to metaphorically hide behind in previous performances.  It’s hard to really gauge a singer’s stage presence and comfort in front of an audience when all they do is sit and play ballads.  Shayne’s voice was good.  His pronunciation was good and he hit most of the notes.  Stage presence wise, the kid has some work to do.  But bless Mentor Shin who was mouthing the words with Shayne the entire time.  He’s so invested in his mentee and roots Shayne with so much fervor.  Shayne has a kickass mentor.

KYA said she liked watching him without the piano while Mentor Bang was amazed at how he can sing Korean songs better than American songs.

Bang: 8.9   Lee:  8.3   Shin:  No Vote    KTW:  8.3   KYA:  8.7 = 34.2

And then David Oh comes on screen singing BoA’s “Number 1.”  He also needs to step away from the guitar.  I’m not a fan of his but I keep hoping he’s going to impress me with his next performance.  I see why his mentor picked him but I feel like he’s failed to live up to the hype.  I think its partially the song choices.  If he had sung a CN Blue song, FT Island song or even a 2pm song, I think it would have worked so much better.

KTW said that David needs to try harder while Mentor Shin said David needed to work on expressing the feelings of the song.  However, Mentor Lee said that he was perfectly on beat and enjoyed the performance.

Bang:  No Vote  Lee: 8.2   Shin: 8.3   KTW: 8.0    KYA:  8.6 = 33.1

Son Jin Young was next with a cover of g.o.d.’s “Love and Remember.”  I say my future husband is Rain but my heart will always belong to g.o.d.  It was sweet how his mentor KTW said the song was JinYoung’s thank you to the viewers.  Half the lyrics are rapped so I was wondering how JinYoung was going to manage it but whoever arranged this version did a great job.  He still needs to work on his vocals but I think he’s one of the more expressive singers of the group.

However I guess I was the only one who liked it.  KYA said he needed to work on his vibrato and the other mentors called him out on his failure to sing with background music.  Mentor Bang actually co-produced this song and said he wasn’t feeling the way it was sung.  Mentor Bang also said that he needs to start actually listening to what the mentors are telling him if he wants to last.

Bang:  7.4   Lee:  7.8  Shin: 8.1   KTW:  No vote   KYA:  7.8 = 31.1

And then my brain imploded.  Baek Chungkang decided to sing G-Dragon’s “Heartbreaker” and not only was he going to sing it he was going to DANCE.  And holy jebus did the kid dance.  I had no idea he could dance so well.  Not only that, his stage presence was a thousand times better than in his previous two live performances.  I was so surprised I had to replay his performance and actually pay attention to his vocals.  He missed parts of the song, probably half do to him dancing and half due to his mic pack falling off.  I also noticed that he some of his nasal sound had returned.  That said, he was definitely the fan favorite of the night.

KYA enjoyed the performance and said just on his charisma alone she wanted to give him a thousand points.  Mentor Shin said that because he was focusing so much on his dancing, his former singing habits showed up.  Mentor Lee said that it was simply a copy G-Dragon and she didn’t see any of him in the performance.  Mentor Bang basically affirmed Mentor Lee’s comments.

Bang:  7.3  Lee: 7.2   Shin: 8.9 KTW:  No vote   KYA:  9.2 = 32.6

I agree that this was simply a cover but I was extremely surprised at how low the scores were from Mentor Bang and Mentor Lee.   I mean yes, even the way he was holding his mic was a copy of G-Dragon and he over did it to the point where I thought he was going to fall off stage but to give him low 7’s?  But what do I know, I’m a blogger.  On another note, someone needs to hire those back dancers.  They were so professional.

Next up was Noh Jihoon singing Se7en’s “Come Back” complete with roller sneakers.  Last week Mentor Lee had commented on how he only sang midtempo songs so I guess JiHoon’s mentor thought it’d be a good idea to remake Se7en’s song with a techno back beat.  Halfway through the performances Jihoon began to skate around and in a moment of utter embarrassment failed to hit the high notes and went off pitch for what seemed like minutes.  I felt so bad for the guy.

KYA said that there was something missing from his performance while KTW called him out on his fail singing.  Mentor Shin called out the failed singing as well and said that if he couldn’t hit the high notes, he should have tried to change notes and sing it in his own style.  Mentor Lee said that it was obvious that he didn’t show his best today.

Bang:  No Vote  Lee: 8.0   Shin: 8.4 KTW:  7.5   KYA:  8.2 = 32.1

Finally last up was Lee Tae Kwon singing “Love” by CN Blue.  Lee played the piano and presented a slower tempo version of the song.  CN Blue sings it so much happier so I had to get used to Lee’s version.  I love how his mentor calls him a 40 year old because it’s precisely how Lee sings.  He’s like Baek Ji Young or Lee Sora.  No matter what song they sing, it sounds sad.

KYA said that she wanted to see him sing like he had sung last week but acknowledged his voice.  Mentor Shin liked how he changed it into a groove song while Mentor Lee said that his rhythm was on point.

Bang:   8.6   Lee: 9.3   Shin: 9.0 KTW:  No Vote   KYA:  8.7 = 35.6

While the votes were being calculated, we got to see a product placement montage of the contestants playing Kinect and eating Mr. Pizza.  Son Jin Young’s pant are always soooooo tight that I was surprised he was wearing sweatpants and not jeggings. And speaking of pants, the entire group performed their rendition of “Gee” by Girl’s Generation.  It was disturbing but oddly cute at the same time.  Still laughing at how they put Lee Taekwon in the pink jeans.  Classic.

Finally, the time came for the eliminations.  The three mentees from KTW all survived for another round but the same couldn’t be said for Mentor Bang.  Noh Jihoon was eliminated while Mentor Lee’s last mentee Kim Hyeri was also cut.

If anyone should have been a shoe-in for this mission, it was Noh Jihoon.  He’d basically been the representative boybander of the group.  Why Mentor Bang chose to have him sing that particular Se7en song in that particular style I will never know.  If anyone should have sang a Rain song, it should have been Jihoon.  What I wouldn’t give to see him perform “It’s Raining.”

As for Kim Hyeri, its a shame she’s gone.  Her voice is awesome but she really needs to work on her expression and stage performance.  I always felt like she was trying to hold back her emotions.  Even to the last moment I felt like her words were abrupt and cold, trying to force herself from showing any emotions.  I think that’s what I feel when she performs and I think that’s why I enjoy watching Son JinYoung even though he lacks so much in the vocal department.

And boy were the judge’s scores stingy this week.  Last week they were giving out 9’s like it was candy.  What’s going on?   Do I smell some point manipulation?  I mean I can’t blame them for giving lower scores to their competition so that their mentees can move on to the next round but their scores only count for 30% so maybe I’m just reading into things.

Next week I think they might be doing Cho Young Pil songs.  If I were the producer I would have the contestants sing the song from their first auditions and see how much they’re improved.

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