MBC Star Audition Season 2 – Episode 1
Posted September 11, 2011on:
So the first episode of MBC’s Star Audition, Birth of a Great Star aired and actually did better in the ratings than Superstar K3. The first episode introduced us to the five new mentors. I’ve said this before but I’m very disappointed that the show got new mentors. I’m sure there were reasons for the switch but after watching the first episode, I’m wary of this new group.
There’s Lee Seung Hwan, a singer who was formerly married to the actress Chae Rim. He hasn’t had much recent success with his music but he’s got a trove of ahjummas who are dedicated enough to fill concert seats. During the introductions, he joked that he would have never passed the auditions if he had tried out on season 1 because the mentors continually stressed the use of articulation and pointed out the misue of every singer’s nasal sounds, both of which are Lee Seung Hwan’s trademarks.
The next mentor was Lena Park, who has more recently been on “I am a Singer” and was a guest judge on MBC’s rival program Superstar K3. She’s got a long resume of songs, duets and appearances. I’ve already said a lot about her singing. While she’s absolutely talents, I just can’t stand her voice.
Third is singer and producer Yoon Sang. He wrote songs for IU, Boa, DBSK, and GaIn. He’s well known in the industry but not a mainstream name. He’s one of the more harsh judges on the show but won’t be anything like former mentor Bang Shi Hyuk because while harsh, he says it so politely you don’t realize he’s dissed you until you leave the stage.
Forth is producer Yoon Il Sang who has written songs for DJ DOC, YB, Turbo, Cool, and Kim Bum Soo just to name a few. Like Yoon Sang, he a star in the music industry and has more leverage and power than someone like Bang Shi Hyuk. While Bang does seem to get a lot of airtime, he’s definitely does not have the resume of either Yoon Sang or Yoon Il Sang.
Finally, the diva to rival Lee Eun Mi is Lee Sunhee whose got decades of singing experience, performed at Carnegie Hall, and taught Lee Seung Gi how to sing among other things. I didn’t know much about her but she’s definitely talented. Her ear for music is evident from the first episode and I can see her raising up a really good mentee.
In the first episode, the show ended up in London for the European leg of the auditions. Out of thousands, 23 contestants got tickets to the next round in Korea. First up was 19 year old Anthony Mcpherson from France. He was definitely a good looking guy and compared to Josh Harnett by Lee Seung Hwan. He did some freestyling dancing and beatboxing which the judges loved but when it came down to singing, Anthony was lackluster. All three judges gave him a “Sorry” and he left without a ticket.
I’ve got to say, while Anthony wasn’t a horrible singer, he did have that bit of “star quality” that every judge seems to search for. He definitely needs work on his voice and his stage presence and I thought the judges were right in eliminating him but with some lessons, I could see him on tv one day.
After a montage of horrible auditions, we were introduced to someone who is already a veteran of the audition process. Tita Lau from the UK was on the British show “The X-Factor” as one of the members of a girl band called Girlband. So creative this one. Obviously she didn’t make it big but she’s still pursuing her musical career. She sang a Christina Aguilera song which was so so but when asked to sing a kpop song, she surprised everyone with her rendition of 2ne1’s “Lonely.” While she needs some work I was actually impressed with how well she sang in Korean. Of course the judges were impressed and she was through to the next round.
My favorite audition from the Europe auditions was this guy, Sam Carter. He’s a 25 year old from the UK and is half Korean. He was also a pro soccer player before a back injury halted his career. He sang Adele’s “Someone Like You” and the judges loved him. Lee Sunhee verbalized it the best. He has an unique voice that you don’t hear in Korea and the way he pushes his breath out instead of in when he sings is really interesting. I agree Lee Sunhee. He reminds me of John Park from Superstar K2, except this kid is way more talented. I could see him going far into the competition but I have one suggestion: Proactive. Dude’s face is narly.
Next up with Sam’s bff, 21 year old Kim Yehoon. Unlike Sam, Kim wasn’t very interesting. He had a good voice but the judges questioned how talented he was. Both Lee Seung Hwan and Lee Sun Hee gave him a pass hoping he’d impress him in the next round but I agree with Lena Park that he should have been eliminated.
The final contestant was Nick Josh (sic) who graduated from Oxford University. He sang “Tree” by Boa. He was bad, his pronunciation was bad and worst of all he was freaking boring. However after his singing, he made the judges smile with a dance cover of Rainbow’s “A” and he was given a pass to the next round. He’s one of those who I see and go “wtf” because he did not sing well. And while everyone seemed to be impressed by his clothes and dancing, I felt like he was just an imitation and behind all that makeup and clothes and general aura he was portraying, in the end he’s just plain.
Back in Seoul, judges Lena Park, Yoon Il Sang and and Lee Seung Hwan were bombarded by thousands of hopefuls, many of them who made me cringe. First was Lee Eun Byul who was boring and didn’t make it to the next round so I’m going to skip her. The judges watched contestant after contestant come up with their guitars only these contestants had failed to tune them before coming up making all the judges sigh in frustration. Then out comes Kim Tae Gook with his trusty, out of tune guitar. The judges cry out but he actually ends up getting into the next round with his interesting cover of Hyori’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” He was also a bit of a douchebag interrupting the judges and pretending he was cool. Dude, you’ve got a bowl cut.
Next was Kim Soyoung who did an imitation of Lena Park singing the national anthem. At least Lena can laugh at herself because it was hilarious and had everyone in the audience in stitches. Afterwards she wowed the judges with her rendition of “Five” by Cherry Filter.
The next contestant was a 14 year old who considered himself the next Micheal Jackson. He had watched the first season of the show and was impressed with the young Mickey from Thailand and decided he would try his luck. I almost died from second hand embarrassment as he tried to sing “Beat it” by MJ. He’s never had any lessons and his parents weren’t very supportive of his dream. I wonder why. Of course he was eliminated.
Another 14 year old graced the stage and this time rocked it with her rendition of “Fallin” by Alicia Keys. Shin Yerim had talent and when asked to dance she took off her cute glasses and turn into fierce Yerim dancing to Lady Gaga. Of course she passed onto the next round. Personally, I don’t think kids this age should be allowed in the competition and her chances of making it to the end is almost nil. but good for her.
Next was 23 year old Kim Min Sun who looked like she belonged at a racing model convention. The judges were wary of her intentions but she swore she wanted to be a singer. No girl you want to be famous. There’s a difference. After her horrible singing and worse dancing, she was given the axe by the judges.
The final contestant of this episode was 22 year old Go Pil Joon who had lost a ton of weight to become a singer. He had grown up as a chubby kid and as he got older he felt that no one was taking him seriously or even acknowledging him. He lost the weight and hopes that his dreams of becoming a singer will come true. He sang “I’m in love” by Ra.D and afterwards, Lena said that even if he had never lost any weight she would have given him a crown (yes) because he’s good. The other two judges seemed to be a bit more cautious but both of them also gave him a crown. I don’t know. The guy’s okay but he wasn’t anything special. If he didn’t have the story of him losing 80kg (176lbs), I don’t think I would have even remembered him.