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Posts Tagged ‘Boohwal

Date 2011.04.15

MBC Star Auditions is basically the Korean version of X Factor.  Judges from the music industry mentor several undiscovered singers in a battle to the top.  The interesting part of this show was that MBC had worldwide auditions as well as an youtube affiliated audition which brought an international look to the show.  The 5 judges are some of Korea’s most well known talented singers and producers.

Bang Shi Hyuk is a songwriter and producer having several hits including “Hit by a bullet” by Baek Ji Young, “Can’t Let You Go Even if I Die” by 2am, etc.  He’s also BFFs with popular music mogul Park Jin Young.

Lee Eun Mi is considered one of the original divas of Korea.  One of her more famous songs is “I Have a Lover” which is covered by anyone trying to show off their vocal chops.  Her ear for music is undeniable.

Shin Seung Hoon is probably one of the three most famous ballad singers in Korea.  He’s been in the industry for over a decade and have produced several memorable ballads.  “I Believe” from the movie My Sassy Girl is one of his more internationally famous songs.

Kim Tae Won is a songwriter and guitar player for the band Boohwal.  Considered the longest running rock band in Korea, Boohwal and Kim have several classic songs in their repertoire, the most famous being Heeyah and Never Ending Story.

Kim Yoona is the frontwoman for the band Jaurim and writes most of their songs.  She’s been in the industry for 15 years and is famous for songs like “Hey Hey Hey” and “Ha Ha Ha Song”.

Episodes 1-17 covered the initial selection process as well as the selection of the mentees by the five mentors.  Episode 18 was its first live broadcast which eliminated two of the contestants.  The judges’ scores and live votes from viewers were calculated to determine the two eliminated contestants and after the crying its down to 10.

Episode 20’s challenge was to sing an American pop song.  The contestants had 100 songs to choose from and met with a long time radio host Kim Ki Duk (not to be confused with the movie director) to get some tips.  He tells them that Kpop has its roots in American pop music and that they need to understand and appreciate it.

The first performance of the night is from Song Jin Young, the oldest contestant and the cry baby of the show.  He’s literally cried in almost every episode he’s been in.  His mentor Kim Tae Won has him sing “She’s Gone” by Steel Heart.

I’ve actually never heard this song but he had trouble hitting the high notes.  The judges are pretty nice with their comments and say he performed better than during rehearsals.

The following numbers are the judges’ scores.  KTW represents Kim Tae Won who did not score since its his mentee and KYA represented Kim Yoona.

Bang: 8.2   Lee: 7.0   Shin:  8.3  KTW:  No vote   KYA: 8.4

Next up is David Oh who chooses to sing “Beat It” by Michael Jackson.  His mentor let him choose the song and was worried at first but after seeing that he was going to do a rock version of the song, Bang replied “dae bak” meaning something to the equivalent of awesome.  I personally did not like it at all.  It seem totally off and I couldn’t hear him sing over the autotune (or whatever that sound effect was).

Mentor Lee called him out for going off tune and Mentor Shin called him out on his rhythm.  However the worst criticism came from KTW who said the performance didn’t suit him at all.  I feel like KTW was offended that David presented it as a rock performance.

It was actually more of a mockery than a rock performance.  Having five guitar players walk out during the song playing unplugged electric guitars, with flames in the background head banging like they were really rocking was just too much.  Of course that isn’t all David’s fault.  I’m sure it was his mentor’s great idea.

Bang: No Vote   Lee: 8.4   Shin:  8.7  KTW:  7.5   KYA: 8.3

After that was Kim Heejoo who sang Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.”  During the introduction the interviewer commented that she had gotten prettier to which she cutely replied “yeah I think I have!”  I thought her outfit was so much better than last weeks except for those MC Hammer jail pants.  Seriously, who is styling these kids!?

Bang said that the performance was dynamic but he noticed she was nervous and didn’t hit all the notes.  Lee also agreed that she needed to hit the end notes.  Also I was wondering why her English was so good.  Its because she’s from Canada.  TIL.

Bang: 8.9   Lee: 7.9   Shin:  8.1  KTW:  8.5   KYA: No Vote

And then it was Lee Tae Kwon who sings “Bad Case of Loving You” by Robert Palmer.  Lee one of my favorites.  The kids got no eye brows no neck and he’s sort of awkward but that makes me like him more.  I think he was trying to dance or shuffle during the performance but it just came off looking strange.  But I still loved it.

Mentor Lee said that he was overdoing it and lost his beat at some point but the mentors do acknowledge that they enjoyed this new side of him since he usually does ballads.

Bang: 9.5   Lee: 8.9   Shin:  8.8  KTW:  No Vote   KYA: 8.9

Next up is Noh JiHoon singing “Goodbye” by Air Supply.  Mentor Bang decides that he should sing it in the 60’s style and have him dance dance dance!  I have to admit that JiHoon has great stage presence.  The entire thing could have looked extremely awkward and cheesy but he pulled it off.  His English pronunciation could use some work but considering he had to learn to dance and memorize a pop song, I’m going to let it slide.

Mentor Lee said that he’s always singing mid tempo songs so she wants him to show them a new side.  KTW enjoyed his performance as well as did KYA.  However the judges do call him out on some of his failed notes.

Bang: No Vote   Lee: 8.8   Shin:  8.6  KTW:  8.4   KYA: 8.7

Next up is Baek Sae Eun singing Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.”  I’m always wary of people covering diva songs and I was right to feel that way.  She sang it with a faster tempo and a huge smile on her face which didn’t fit the song at all.  There are some people who can pull off a remake like that.  She was not one of them.

Mentor Bang said he loved her voice color but he definitely did not enjoy her performance.  Mentor Lee and KTW gave her huge scores and acknowledged her great voice which really surprised me.  I think she’s the type to polarize the viewers.  Either you like her or hate her.

Bang: 7.8   Lee: 9.2   Shin:  8.2  KTW:  9.4   KYA: No Vote

Next up was Baek Chung Gang who was chosen to sing “Can’t Live Without You” by Badfinger.  And all this time I thought Mariah Carey was the original singer.  Next thing I know, someone is going to tell me “I Will Always Love You” isn’t Whitney’s song…wait!

Baek is one of my other favorites because he’s improved so much through the show.  On another note, I have to applaud the make up artists.  The kid has horrible skin in real life but damn if it didn’t look baby butt smooth during his performance.  However his performance wasn’t as smooth.

Mentor Bang called him out on his lack of stage presence and Mentor Shin said that he failed to deliver because of his nervousness.  Mentor KYA also noted that the performance was awkward but acknowledged his great voice.

Bang: 8.3   Lee: 8.5   Shin:  8.6  KTW:  No Vote   KYA: 9.0

Then it was Cho HyungWoo singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli and the kid bombed.  This was a terrible song for him and I blame his mentor Shin for forcing him to prance around and perform this song.  If Cho had taken his guitar and sang a U2 song it would have been a thousand times better.

The mentors called him out for his lack of stage presence and stated that the performance wasn’t him at all.  Seriously, after watching him sing some beautiful songs I can’t believe his mentor forced him to do something that didn’t represent him at all.

Bang: 7.4   Lee: 7.8   Shin:  No Vote  KTW:  7.9   KYA: 8.3

Almost to the end, the next performer was Kim Heyri singing “Open Arms” by Journey.  God I love Journey and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Heyri says that she rarely sings pop songs which surprised me.  Her voice suited the song so well.  Also can they stop dressing her like Victor Victoria?

She had trouble with her ear piece and Mentor Bang said that next time don’t make it so freaking obvious.  Mentor Shin said that it was a hard song to sing but she did well and KYA said that she failed to fully express the emotions of the song.

Bang: 8.7   Lee: No Vote  Shin:  8.3  KTW:  8.0   KYA: 8.9

Finally, the last performer of the night was Shayne who sing’s Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why”.  I’m not sure what his last name is since they always introduce him simply as Shayne.  Which is weird since they always introduce David Oh as David Oh and that kid has an foreign name too.

I’m not a fan of his.  The fact that he purposely goes flat all the time hurt my ears and although he’s supposed to be a cutie, all I see is his bad posture and shoulderless shoulder.

Mentor Bang did not like his performance and thought that if he was singing an English song he should kick it up a notch.  However KTW loved his performance and gave him the highest score of the night.  I think he’s like Baek Sae Eun.  You either like him or hate him.

Bang: 7.7   Lee: 8.7  Shin:  No Vote  KTW:  9.6   KYA: 9.1

Finally, the highlight of the show.  A group dance performance done to “Summer Nights” from the musical grease.  Its so obvious from this and last week’s group performance who the horrible dancers are but bless them for trying.

After all the scores are tallied and votes counted, there is a tense show down where the MC takes three hours to reveal who is eliminated.  First elimination is no surprise.  Cho HyungWoo tries to hold back his tears as his name is called and thanks everyone for the opportunity.

The second eliminated contestant is Baek Sae Eun.  Again, I’m not surprised.  A lot of viewers had seen her forget her lyrics numerous times only to be allowed further and further into the competition.  That alone told me she was probably going to get eliminated.  Although I think her voice is better than some of the other singers in the competition.

But like that say in the Gladiator, Spartacus, and every other Roman show.  You gotta win the crowd if you’re going to win anything.  (I might be making that up).