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Posts Tagged ‘MBC Star Audition

Date 2011.04.29

Tonight the format of the show changed a bit and instead of the MC introducing the show, there were clips of the kids filming a commercial and surfing their me2day account (aka Korean version of Twitter aka irrelevant because there’s real Twitter).  Baek Chung Kang and David Oh compared how many followers they had (over 41,000) while Shayne jealously looked on.  Shayne has a huge following in Korea so I’m sure his numbers aren’t that bad.   Another change is that only one contestant was being eliminated instead of the usual two.

Last week, there were 4.3 million votes cast which goes to show you how popular this show is becoming.  Not only that, the show must be racking up some major endorsement deals based on the new bottles of tea on the judges table, the filming of commercials, etc.

The challenge as noted by several news articles was to remake a Cho Young Pil song.  I’ve heard of the guy but I don’t know much about him.  After researching wiki and my mom, I conclude that he’s like the Korean equivalent of Elvis.  The rock/pop god of his times.  Surprisingly he wasn’t this weeks mentor.  Instead Cho Young Pil’s band “The Great Birth” stepped in to help the six contestants do justice to Cho’s songs.  And even better, the band was going to back these kids up during their performances, the first time the band has played for anyone other than Cho in 20 years.

First up was Baek Chung Gang singing “미지의 세계” aka “The Unknown World.”  I know I root for him and don’t seem neutral but I swear he keeps getting better each week.  I was amazed at how he was able to change the tone of his voice to fit this song.  Also the nasal habit he has disappeared during 90% of this song.

KYA said that he seemed to be low on energy today but appreciated his voice while Mentor Shin said that each week its getter harder and harder to point out the flaws and noticed that he was less nervous today.  Mentor Lee seemed to indirectly address the drama from last week (she and mentor Bang had given ChungKang low scores which caused a huge influx of negative comments toward the two mentors) by saying this show was not about drama but about people becoming singers and Chung Kang isn’t fully there yet.  He wasn’t dynamic today and needed work.  Mentor Bang said that he seemed awkward with the band and noticed the nasal sound more today (I must be deaf because I thought he did much better today with the nasal habit).

Bang: 8.1   Lee: 8.2   Shin:  9.0    KTW:  No Vote   KYA:  8.8 = 34.1

Next up was Son Jin Young singing “바람의 노래” aka “Song of the Wind.”  Vocally he was so much better than last week.  Also several weeks ago, Park Kollen had noted that he has better rhythm than say Lee TaeKwon which really showed here.

KYA said that today was the first time she saw him not as someone trying to be a singer but as a singer and said that he was able to control his expressions/emotions better than in previous weeks.  Mentor Shin said that the first half of the song was a bit weak compared to the second and Mentor Lee agreed.  Mentor Bang just stated that he wants Jinyoung to sing like he sang during the audition phase.

Bang: 7.9   Lee: 8.5   Shin:  8.6    KTW:  No Vote   KYA:  8.6 = 33.6

Third was Jung Heejoo singing “이젠 그랬으면 좋겠네” aka “I Hope So” and girl wore a dress tonight.  Her mentor has a interesting eye for fashion and I was hoping there would be a change of clothes considering they’ve been putting Heejoo in two piece ensembles when I was pretty sure she’d be able to pull of something more…feminine.  I can’t say I like the dress but its definitely a change.  Her performance as usual was on point.  I almost never have anything bad to say about her performances.  I did notice that she had some control issues but that’s about it.  Her stage presence is good, not great but better than some others.

KTW said the song really suited her voice and color.  Mentor Shin stated that there were times where she incorrectly hit the note short when she should have held the note for longer and vice versa but liked the emotion she put into it.  Mentor Lee agreed with Shin and added that she needed to work on the chorus.  Mentor Bang said that it was beautiful but it wasn’t dynamic enough.

Bang: 8.7   Lee: 8.9   Shin:  8.7    KTW:  9.2   KYA:  No Vote = 35.5

Next up was Shayne singing “단발머리” aka “Short Hair.”  This is one of the two songs I know from Cho Young Pil and Shayne did it justice.  I was a bit disappointed with how loud the background singers were and was hard to judge his singing at times but from what I heard it was great.  Shayne however really needs to work on his footwork.  From the waist up he seemed fine but once they panned out and you saw him trying to groove with the beat it just looked awkward.  I feel like his mentor told him to do that because Shayne did not look comfortable.

KYA said wanted to see a different side and she thought he showed it today.  However the second part lacked energy but she really is amazed at his Korean skills.  KTW said that the amount of practice and effort Shayne puts into his singing is beautiful.  (I wonder if KTW has ever done one of these shows without saying the word beautiful).  Mentor Lee said that the song is sweet and Shayne was able to portray that sweetness but he failed to move to the beat of the song.  Mentor Bang said that he loved this new side of Shayne.

Bang: 8.8   Lee: 8.5   Shin:  No Vote    KTW:  8.5   KYA:  8.6 = 34.4

The next contestant was Lee TaeKwon singing “Dream.”  Did they start shading in his eyebrows because I swore they were a bit darker today.  Again like Heejoo, I tend to look at things outside of his performance because he’s been consistently good each week.  Interestingly I saw a youtube clip of him singing Radiohead’s Jigsaw Fall Into Place and its amazing how he can switch from rock to ballad so smoothly.

KYA said that the rehersals were better while Mentor Shin said that while Taekwon tried to sing the song perfectly, its better to try to sing with more emotion.  Mentor Lee said that at first her score was low but when Taekwon sang a particular lyric it moved her so she upped her score.  Mentor Bang said that he needed to listen to the drums and hit the points of the song.

Bang: 8.5   Lee: 9.0   Shin:  8.7    KTW:  No Vote   KYA:  8.9 = 35.1

Final singer was David Oh singing “Lets Go on a Vacation.”  I actually thought this song was by Lee Seung Gi but realized it was a remake of Cho Young Pil’s original.  And omg David didn’t have his guitar.  And this was by far his best performance to date.  Also his mentor went all out and had David playing air guitar and released a ton of confetti into the air during the performance.  It was a spectacle but actually appropriate for the song.

KYA said that if he’s going to run around he has to make sure to listen to the beat and doesn’t go off key.  KTW said that he was sorry for ever saying David could only do songs with an acoustic guitar and hopes he keeps it up.  Mentor Shin said that the performance was great and Mentor Lee said that she wanted to go up and head bang with him.

Bang: No Vote   Lee: 9.3   Shin:  8.9    KTW:  9.0   KYA:  8.2 = 35.4

As the votes were being counted, the group performed to “청춘시대” in full rock and roll gear and choreography.  Also, the MC wanted us all to know that MBC is starting auditions for season 2 so get your bars up.

Baek Chung Gang, Lee Tae Kwon and Shayne were all deemed safe while Son Jin Young, David Oh and Jung Heejoo were up for the chopping block.  After encouragement from each of their mentors, Heejoo was eliminated from the competition.

I think everyone knew she was going to leave because its been a trend for all the girls to be eliminated early into any singing competition.  Somehow I hoped this show would be different but once I saw Hyeri leave I knew Heejoo wouldn’t be far behind.  Heejoo was one of the only contestants who was consistently good from the get go and like her mentor said at the end, she definitely wasn’t eliminated because of her singing.

Heejoo is from Canada and left to come to Korea to study music and tonight was the first time she’s seen her parents in over a year.  Its nice to know she’s got some family to lean on considering how hard this entire competition has been for her as well as the other contestants.  I wonder if they came on the same plane as Shayne’s mom because she was also in the audience cheering her son on.  Love the family moments.

Also, the band was AMAZING.  They made the contestants perform better and I had a really hard time trying to figure out who the stinker was tonight.  At first I was disappointed that Cho Young Pil wasn’t the mentor but I can see why the show had the band come and perform with the kids.  Seriously awesome.

Finally, can someone tell David Oh’s fanclub that “David in Us” doesn’t sound right.  Unless they actually want David in them.  Which in that case, carry on.

Shayne’s version of Rain’s “Avoiding the Sun” is charting on Bugs Realtime Music Chart.  It’s currently at #38.  He must have some mojo going as he also charted last week with his version of Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why.”  Looks like a lot of people are interested in the show as Lee Tae Kwon’s version of “Bad Case of Loving You” and Kim Hyeri’s version of 2 Different Tears is also ranked within the top 50.

Source:  (newsen)

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).