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Archive for the ‘MBC Star Audition’ Category

So MBC is milking every last bit of popularity from this show and put on a concert involving several of the old contestants.  First up was little Jung In singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” which segues into Kim Tae Won rocking on the guitar and the 12 contestants presenting a rock version of the song.  Kim Tae Won really has amazing guitar skills.  Every guitar player can play “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” but Kim inserts this amazing emotional quality to his playing that really can’t be taught.  He just has it.

Next up was Kwon Risae doing a cover of Hyori’s “U Go Girl” featuring our resident Kpop idol Noh Jihoon.  She’s so pretty but they keep putting her in really bad outfits.  I see that they’ve got the wheels turning for her debut but she definitely has some work to do.  Hyori has one of the best fake smiles in the industry.  We all know she’s faking it but she’s so good at her job we forget about it and really begin to believe that she’s having the greatest time ever.  Risae’s nervous smile just made me uncomfortable.

David Oh and Jo Hyun Woo did the cutest cover of “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.  I love how Jo Hyun Woo has a slight British accent (he studied in London and is fluent in English) while David Oh has this bright California tone.  I’ll say it again, those two need to get together because by themselves, they’re just okay but together they’re definitely a force.

Afterwards we got to listen to some of the contestants look back on their time.  Jo Hyun Woo tells us that the most memorable moment was when the judges chose him to continue to the live performances.  Jo was originally cut by his mentor and didn’t think he would ever see him again.  When that episode aired, Shin Seung Hoon called him and said “Hyun Woo, its time to sing.”  For Kim Hyeri, the moment she remembered the most was the times her mentor yelled at her.  During those moments, Hyeri didn’t know what she was doing wrong but looking back she understands why and it made her better.

After the clip, Jung Hee Joo sang “It’d be nice if it were like that” by Cho Young Pil.  Poor Kim Yoona not being able to even attend this concert.  I love Heejoo’s tone and control but she’s so unmarketable the way she presents herself.  She’s for a lack of better words plain.  Her voice while great isn’t unique or mind blowing.  If anything she’d have to grow her hair long again and lose weight.  It’s sad but people don’t expect “pretty girls” to have great voices and that alone would probably do more for her popularity.  Not that she’s not pretty but isn’t not the typical pretty Korea wants.  That said, not sure if she even wants to go that route.  She seems more of the indie type of girl but who knows.

Next was Shin Seung Hoon and Shayne singing “Butterfly Effect” by Shin.  It was also one of the last songs Shayne sang for the training phase before the live auditions.  Shayne really needs to work on his accent if he plans on pursuing a career in Korea.  While his fans might not care if he wants mass appeal he really needs to work on that.

The Mentee Band sang Lee Moon Sae’s “Sunset Glow” and everyone from Son Jin Young to Baek Sae Eun provided musical entertainment for the crowd.

While Bang Shi Hyuk gets his share of negative comments for being the devil when I see him like this I realize he’s just a big ole softy.

During the past week MBC online had asked what performance the viewers wanted to rewatch.  #1 was no surprise Baek Chung Kang’s “HeartBreaker” and #2 was Kim Hyeri’s “Come Back to Me.”  Chungkang’s nasal habit was back in full force during this performance and was a bit less energetic while Kim Hyeri’s performance was actually a lot better than the first time around.  Vocally she was about the same but she seems so much more comfortable, like she actually wanted to be on stage this time around.

And finally my favorite performance of the night!  Kim Tae Won and his mentees sang “Lonely Nights” by Boohwal.  Son Jin Young’s voice was actually the best suited for this song.  Its strange how these three match so well together.  Their voices are all so distinct but it worked.  And I loved that the band actually came to play with them.  🙂

The show then went to a clip of the mentees talking about their mentors.  Bang Shi Hyuk had been vilified in the news but his mentees tell us that he’s really a sweetheart.  Lee Eun Mi seems to have this untouchable charisma but for her mentees she showed them everything, all her secrets and considers her their captain.  Shin Seung Hoon has won #1 more than 60 times but he eats with us like a family and gives us spending money like a hyung.  Kim Tae Won who loves his vibrato, who was sick but still took so much care of his mentees.  The mentees say it was an honor to spend time with him.  Kim Yoona who smiles for her mentees but is also a strong and outspoken leader.

The mentees also talked about some behind the scenes secrets.  Kim Tae Won’s health isn’t great so when they eat, Kim only eats meat.  Bang Shi Hyuk looks like the OCD type but in real life he’s a bit on the shabby side and barely brushes his hair.  Noh JiHoon also makes fun of how Bang’s claps.  Its funny because it’s so true.  Kwon Risae tells us that her mentor has Aegyo (cuteness) and the MC forces Lee Eun Mi to show us.  I’m not sure if its cute or painful.  Shin Seung Hoon always says he doesn’t have a girlfriend but the mentees thought it was a lie until they spent so much time with him that they realized he really doesn’t have a girl.

Noh JiHoon and Hwang JiHwan then showed us a replay of their jazzy “Good Boy Bad Boy” routine.  Midway through MissA appeared and performed together with the two.  I guess Hwang JiHwan had asked his friend Suzy for a favor.  Keke.  And I knew Min was short but without heels its like watching an Oompa loompa.

Lee Eun Mi and her two mentees performed “I Was Born Like This” and tried to get the audience to stand up and rock.  I’m not sure it worked but Lee’s charisma definitely shadowed the other two singers.  Poor Hyeri, she still doesn’t have any rhythm.  Watching her dance is just…sad.

The final solo performance was Baek Chung Kang singing “This farewell must have become a Star” written by Kim Tae Won.  This song is definitely the better of the two Kim wrote for the show.  Baek didn’t think he would win so when they called his name he went blank.  While Kim’s mentor did win first place, we see a clip of Kim telling them that it’s not about who wins first but that their careers will outlive this show.

The finale is a group performance of the 12 singing “Show” complete with confetti and stage diving…walking.

The Final Episode!

While every live broadcast was held inside MBC’s own stage, the show went all out for its final episode and moved everyone to the Koryo University Hall.  Even better, they filled the place with pyrotechnics, a orchestra and 4000 screaming people.  Earlier in the day, all 12 mentees arrived on the red carpet dressed to the nines.  Obviously the show’s coordinator Choi Han Suk had no say in their outfits because they all looked good.  Seriously, if anything consistently sucked throughout this program it was the horrendous clothing.

Taking care of some business first:  The picture of Taekwon v. Chungkang belongs in a MacGruber sketch.  Kwon Risae is really pretty and has a banging body.  Kim Yoona didn’t make it to the final show for health reasons.  Reading her tweets for the past few weeks I could slowly see her getting sicker and sicker.  Its like “oh here’s me and all my meds.”  Then next week she shows up with an iv in her arm.  Then it’s a patch over her eye.  What’s the point of working so hard if you can’t enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Aigo.  And finally the mission for the final:  Singer’s choice.

Lee Taekwon went first and decided to sing “Peppermint Candy” by YB.  While Taekwon stole my heart when he sang Toy’s “Still Beautiful” he kept my interest by singing rock songs.  I love that Taekwon surprises me with his song selections.  For a kid who is 20 (21 in Korea) he’s very mature and thoughtful.

Taekwon met Yoon Do Hyun and explains that he’s always wanted to be in a band.  Since this is going to be Taekwon’s last performance he wanted to have no regrets and just sing what he wanted.

Mentor Shin said that this isn’t his last song but the first song of his career.  Mentor Lee said it was great but he slightly went off pitch.  Mentor Bang said he still has a long way to go but he wished him luck.
Bang:  9.5  Lee:  9.3  Shin:  9.5= 28.3
Baek Chungkang followed up with a performance of  “Resignation” by Big Mama.  Chungkang was watching tv one day and heard this song.  The lyrics hit him so hard that he  just sang and sang it.  I love that everyone is now telling Chungkang to screw that nasal habit bull and to just go for it.  Lee Eun Mi was right to correct Chungkang’s vocal habits because its made him such a better singer but now it’s not about that, its about singing your heart out.
Mentor Shin believes ChungKang finally understand the lyrics he’s singing  and says he’s proud of him.  Mentor Lee says that he looked a bit nervous singing in front of so many people while Mentor Bang said that he’s no longer a contestant but a musician.  He wants Chungkang to always remember his struggles and hopes to meet him again in the music field.
 Bang:  9.0  Lee:  9.0  Shin:  9.6= 27.6
Some of the 12 members were invited to perform again.  First up was Kwon Risae performing “Like a Virgin” or “Like a BURGeen” by Madonna.  Watching her, I realize why she was cut in the first episode.   Had to fast forward it like war had broken out on the East Coast and I was packing my stuff up for the trek to Canada.
Omg the cross mentee performance!  David Oh and Jo Hyun Woo singing “Shy Boy/Girl” by Secret and it was so freaking cute.  David, Hyun Woo and Noh Jihoon should form some sort of Great Birth idol group.  I’d watch it.
Next up was little Jung In and Yoona singing “Dancing Queen” by Abba.  It’s a throwback to the highly praised duet performance the two gave during the audition phase.
After the performances, we got to see Kim Tae Won mentor giving the two finalists an awesome awesome gift;  Their own songs personally written and composed by Kim Tae Won.  Lee Tae Kwon was so overwhelmed he started crying.  Its the first time we get to see Taekwon show any emotion.  I keep forgetting how young he is because he’s much more mature than his years.  But watching him cry just makes me want to give him a bear hug.  Taekwon’s song was called “Black and white photo” and Chungkang’s was called “I guess this farewell becomes a star.”  It’s actually a lot more poetic in Korean.
While both songs are nice I feel like I’ve heard them before.  I love Kim Tae Won but a lot of his songs tend to sound very similar.  If I had never heard a Boohwal song I would have loved both of them but I guess the fact that I’ve heard so many of his songs sort of make me itch for something different.
The final 10 eliminated contestants gave a choreographed performance while the votes were being calculated.  There was also a montage of the past episodes.  I didn’t know that Kwon Risae, David Oh and Noh Jihoon (aka the good looking ones) were on Sebakwi.  Brb, going to find episode.
Finally the MC trolled everyone by holding off on the results for literally 7 minutes.  By the end the two were laughing at the entire situation.  “The winner is….the winner of Star Audition….the winner of the great birth….ah lets do an interview.”
So after a lifetime of waiting the MC announces ChungKang as the winner.  His mom rushes on stage and gives him a gigantic hug while Kim Tae Won presents him with a representative oversized check for 300,000,000 won (approximately $280,000).  Chungkang also won a luxury K7 car.  And while Taekwon didn’t win the final he also goes home with new Kia K5.
Chungkang cries and thanks the mentors, the fans, and his parents.  He gives a specific shout out to Kim Yoona mentor and her two mentees Jung Heejoo and Baek Sae Eun for taking care of him during this entire time.  Aww I knew those girls were sweet but I really didn’t know how much they cared.
Congrats to the kid.  The entire “he hates Korea” scandal was ridiculous and I’m glad it didn’t hinder his win.  I remember watching his first audition and was amazed that he would travel 13 hours just to audition for a singing competition.  Half his hair was covering his face and he cried as looked into the camera and told his parents that he’d become a singer in Korea.  Almost a year later, he’s gained so much confidence and inner strength.  I really hope him and Taekwon have long lasting careers in the industry.  Get it!
While this show had its bad, boring, and asinine moments it was way better than any other audition show I’ve seen.  I hope season 2 is just as awesome and that the mentors stay with the program.  They were the backbone of this show and regardless of their opinions, I really do believe they made these kids better singers and entertainers.
Shoot, what am I going to do now that this show is over?!

Get it you sexy beast!

Recap coming soon.

Seems like there’s little going on in the news so I went on the show’s dcgallery site and found some cute pictures.  Cute little fan ran into Shayne and both provided the ubiquitous peace sign.

The four girls that made up the final 12 seem to have met up again

The final two contestants MonaLisa TaeKwon and AhnKa ChungKang

And finally, a cartoon of Chungkang and Shayne.  I’m not sure whether this is supposed to be cute or creepy.  I lean toward “wtf.”  I never did find cartoons of grown men portrayed as babies very cute.

What a difference a week makes.  Last week, the difference between first and second place was nearly 122,000 votes.  This week its closer to 60,000.  I knew Taekwon had made some new fans but I didn’t think he would cover so much ground.  My mom is still under the impression that Taekwon will win the entire competition regardless of what I say about ChungKang’s popularity.  Although I wouldn’t mind if ChungKang won but I think Taekwon has the better voice.

Wow.  This show is on fire and everyone’s actually paying to hear these kids sing.  Shayne was charting within the top ten a few hours ago but here are all the numbers as they stand right now:

#11:  Shayne “If you Come into my Heart
#12:  Baek Chung Kang “Fate”
#23:  Kim Tae Won’s Three Mentors “1970”
#39 :  Lee Tae Kwon with “Love Potion #9

I wonder if they see any royalties from this.


Well this week had some strange surprises.  We got to see Kim Yoona as a pirate, Kim Tae Won turned into Park Wan Gyu, and there were guests galore.

Kim Tae Won had a personal schedule (it must have been extremely important that he missed this because the odds of one of his mentees being eliminated this week was pretty high) so Park Wan Gyu (a former singer for KTW’s band Boohwal) took his place for the night.  People might also remember him as a guest judge in a former episode that really was one of the best episodes of the entire season.  *found out from boohwal.wordpress that KTW is in Australia filming Qualifications of Men.*

KYA came bearing a bedazzled eye patch due to a virus.  She could have worn sunglasses but she rocked that patch like a BOSS.

This week’s challenge was to sing an OST from a movie and I’m so glad with the song/movie selections.  Their guest mentor was none other than Dokko Jin aka Cha Seung Won.  Cha noted that an OST is extremely important in a drama or movie and explained to the three that it’s important to show the feelings of the song.

The three then played the guessing game with Cha.  Lee Tae Kwon got “21” which is his age.  At first Cha guessed he was 40 which cracked everyone up but soon correctly guessed his age.  I’m surprised because no one ever thinks Lee Tae Kwon is 21.  Next was Shayne who got “Shin Seung Hoon” and one of the clues he gave Cha was “I don’t have a girlfriend” to which Cha blurts out the correct answer.  Although later Cha wants Shayne to verify whether thats actually true.  Finally ChungKang got “165” which is his height.  When Chungkang asked Cha to guess his height Cha replied “160” which is basically like 5 feet 2 inches.  Totally different from 165 which is like 5’6″.  Puah!

First up was Baek Chung Kang singing “Fate” from the movie “The King and I.”  I loved the movie and the song and because of that, it was hard for me to disassociate it from the original singer but damn if ChungKang didn’t bring it.  The song matched him so well and he hit that last note really well.

KYA said that he did better than last week while Mentor Shin stated that he really liked the movie and felt like he was watching it.  Mentor Lee said that the song fit his voice and noticed he tried to listen to the sound of the band but she also stated he had gone off pitch.  Mentor Bang said it was good but that he needed to work on his pitch as well.

KYA:  9.2  KTW:  No Vote Mentor Shin:  9.3  Mentor Lee:  9.2 Mentor Bang:  8.7= 36.4

After his performance, we got to see him perform a guerilla concert.  If you don’t know what that is, a singer promotes a concert for the day and shows up at the specified time and place to see if anyone actually shows up.  His concert was a big success and during his performance his parents surprised him and he tried to hold back tears because its been years since him and his parents have all been in one place.  And like all Korean crowds, they all started chanting “Ul Gee Ma”, don’t cry.  I don’t know why that annoys me.  I know they’re just saying that to make him feel better but I’m thinking “dude, let the man cry!”

Next up was Shayne singing “If you come into my heart” from “A Dirty Carnival.”  Its the movie that turned Jo In Sung go from a pretty boy to a hard ass gangster.  The movie was alright but nothing close to “The King and I.”  The song has sort of a jazzy bossa nova sound which is really hard to get right but it looks like Shayne won them all over.  I know I don’t have the greatest listening skills but I seriously have trouble understanding him.  For example, instead of saying “I’m going to run to you” it sounds like he’s saying “I’m going backwards.”

KYA said that it was a great song match while Park Wan Kyu said that if Shayne’s accent was perfect he would have given him a 10 and said he’s beautiful (lol at him trying to mimic KTW).  Mentor Lee said that he wasn’t in harmony with the band like he was last week while Mentor Bang stated while Shayne’s charm lies in being able to smoothly transition throughout the song, he didn’t see that today.

KYA:  9.2  KTW:  9.5 Mentor Shin:  No Vote  Mentor Lee:  9.0 Mentor Bang:  8.9= 36.6

We then got to see Shayne wooing the ladies at a girl’s college, trying to get them to come to his guerilla concert.  His former group mates Jo Hyun Woo and Hwang Ji Hwan came to help the guy out.  They passed out fliers and balloons and at showtime Shayne performed to a huge group of screaming girls.

Finally, Lee Tae Kwon performed “Love Potion Number 9” from the movie “City of the Rising Sun” starring a whole lot of now famous celebs including Jung Woo Sung and Lee Jung Jae.  I remember renting this on VHS because someone had told me I could see the two main actors in a shower scene but all I got to see was the two running through the city before I got bored and shut it off.  I’m such a perv.  The performance was alright.  His voice as usual is great but he’s so awkward running around stage.  And how mean was KTW telling TaeKwon he looked like Jung Woo Sung and then laughing in his face!

KYA said that she was happy watching him while mentor Shin said that he fixed his rhythm problems from rehearsal while Mentor Lee said that while he’s slowly understanding how to express the lyrics but to not stop trying while Mentor Bang said that while it was fun, there were problems with his rhythm but he looked cool.

KYA:  8.8 KTW:  No Vote  Mentor Shin:  9.1  Mentor Lee:  9.2  Mentor Bang:  9.3=  36.4

TaeKwon got to do a concert at his old high school and it was full of lolz.  The kids went wild and screamed he was very good looking and after his performances, they had a little talent show involving the high school students.  One girl started to dance provocatively and got all up on TaeKwon catching him off guard.  Another guy started bboying to which TaeKwon promptly cried “ELIMINATED!”  haha.  It finally ended with TaeKwon dancing to “Gee” and its just as bad as it was when he first tried.

While votes were still being cast, the three met with a singer they’ve always wanted to stand on stage with (how freaking lucky are they!).  Baek Chung Kang got to meet Kim Kyung Ho and sang “Father.”  Baek actually sang a Kim Kyung Ho song for his first audition way back in China.  And OMG Kim Kyung Ho is freaking awesome.  The show must be doing amazingly well if they’re getting all these famous singers to come on the show.  Baek was actually criticized for imitating Kim at that first audition and Kim said that while the judges felt that way, he didn’t and he was really happy that Baek sang his song.

Next up was Shayne and Jung Yup singing “Nothing Better.”  And how cute was Shayne being the accompanist to Jung Yup.  Man I wish Shayne would show more excitement like he did when he met Jung Yup.  He’s always trying to be so calm and sometimes it comes off as indifference.  Anyways,  Jung Yup said Shayne sings Nothing Better much better than him which I must disagree with.  No one can hit those high notes like Jung Yup.  But Shayne comes in a close second.

Finally Lee Tae Kwon picked an surprising singer.  He picked Yang Hwi Eun because he was touched by her singing and wanted to stand on stage with her.  Its surprising he picked her because it came out of nowhere.  I thought he would pick someone more rock like ChungKang had done but went totally 180 and picked ahjumma Yang Hwi Eun.

Finally it was the moment of truth.  The three were told to come forward and the first person to go on to the next round was Baek Chung Kang who couldn’t hide his relief.

The remaining two stood for what felt like hours until the MC finally revealed that Shayne would be the eliminated contestant.  Shayne sighed and I felt like he was both disappointed but also relieved that this entire marathon was over.  He left his home for another country, without knowing its language or without any friends and endured 7 long months of training.  While he isn’t going home with the prize, he’s definitely going home with an unforgettable experience.

In his goodbye speech, he expressed his gratitude to his mentor, his fans, and his competition while his mom and mentor looked on with pride.  I was never a fan of Shayne’s voice but I really admire him for having the balls to come to Korea and for getting so far in this competition.  Good luck Shayne!

Next week is the finale!!!!  Omg I’m so nervous.