Generic Korean

MBC’s I am a Singer Episode 9

Posted on: May 9, 2011

Date  2011.05.08  

I’m totally losing my ability to understand Korean.  I went to sing this weekend and I couldn’t remember how to speak Korean properly.  Nothing is worse than trying to sing a Korean ballad with an English accent.  Anyways,  I thought the preview last week was about the singers singing each other’s songs which is stupid of me because they already did an episode like that.  Instead this week was singer’s choice.  They got to remake a song of their choosing.  However since no one is being eliminated this week its not really as dramatic as it could be.  Maybe it’s just me but the fact that someone like Im Jae Bum could be kicked off a music show is nerve racking.

The episode began with an interview with Im Jae Bum who starts crying when he mentions his wife and child.  Apparently they’re going through some financial hardships because Im has suffered from manic depression for the past 6-7 years.  (Actually my Korean really sucks and he said that his actions and inability to provide for his family for the past 10 years fucked up his wife and she’s been the one suffering for so long).  After his first performance on the show, Im called his wife and she seemed so happy that he felt so bad.  He’s thankful to the show for being able to revive not just some of his popularity but his family life.  Truthfully there have been horror stories about Im and the fact that he seems like the typical sexist Korean male didn’t sit well with me personally.  But that’s just public perception being skewed.  There are no angels or devils in real life.  Seeing a Korean man confess that he’s been unable to financially and emotionally provide for his family hit me hard.

Lee Sora picked Boa’s “Number 1” which surprised everyone.  Lee Sora…singing Boa.  Did we enter some other dimension?  Im Jae Bum who has never sung another artists’ music picks “Bin Jan”, a trot song (equivalent of Korean country music) by Nam Jin…yeah, we are definitely in another dimension.

Kim Bum Soo chooses Yoo Young Jin’s “The Scent of a Woman” which has a special place in his heart as it was the song he auditioned with to become a singer and Kim Yeon Woo picks “Stupid” by one of the eliminated contestants, Kim Gun Mo.  Kim Yeon Woo is a pro at “mo chang” aka imitating singers, including Cho Young Pil and Kim Gun Mo.  So I wondered whether he was going to go the nasally route a la Gun Mo.

Speaking of Cho Young Pil, Park Jung Hyun picked “It’d be nice if it was like that” and Yoon Do Hyun chooses The Classic’s “The Magic Castle.”  When Kim Yeon Woo who often sings the song tries a few stanzas, Yoon hilariously freezes up and realizes he might be in trouble and tries to switch off songs.  Finally BMK picks Byun Jisup’s “Come Back Again.”

While the format of the earlier episodes included a private performance between the singers and another performance in front of a general audience the following week, the producers have edited out the intimate performances completely.

The performances that stood out this week for me were Im Jae Bum and Lee Sora’s.  The fact that they could turn such genre specific songs on its head and make it their own blew me away.  Im turned a Korean trot song into a rock inspired version filled with Tibetian influences and Korean drums.  WTF.

And Lee Sora…if they didn’t tell me that it was a Boa song, I would have thought it was an Lee Sora original.  Instead of the upbeat dance music that Boa presents, Lee Sora lined up a bunch of acoustic guitars and gave a Cranberries-equse performance.  I never thought No.1 would be so depressingly good.  WTF x2.

After the performances and audience votes were counted this was the ranking:

1.  Park Jung Hyun
2.  Lee Sora
3.  Kim Bum Soo
4.  Im Jae Bum
5.  Yoon Do Hyun
6.  Kim Yeon Woo
7.  BMK


You know what grinds my gears about this show.  That they have the comedian “managers” rate each singer, including their own.  It adds nothing to the show and actually having so many comedians on, I would expect some more laughs but all they’ve done is ooh and wow at each performance.  They’re like the intestinal appendix of the show.

1 Response to "MBC’s I am a Singer Episode 9"

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