YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk, left, and JYP Entertainment President Park Jin-young, two of the judges for SBS’ new talent show “Survival Audition K-pop Star,” which will air in December, speak during a press conference last week. / Yonhap
By Kwon Mee-yoo
There are many talent shows on the small screen these days. Amateurs show their singing and acting skills, while stars foray into fields other than their expertise such as skating or dancing.
A new audition program is aiming to find the next generation K-pop star. SBS' "Survival Audition K-pop Star" is drawing attention because JYP Entertainment President Park Jin-young, YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk and singer BoA are judges. Three top agencies in Korea, JYP, SM and YG, have joined the search for the next big thing in K-pop.
The show’s producer, Park Sung-hoon, said at a press conference last week that he wants to overcome the limitations of other talent shows in creating real stars with the help of these agencies.
“These three agencies know how to discover and train the top stars. I want to find real K-pop stars and that's why we are working with SM, YG and JYP," he said.
“K-pop Star” will put its contestants in groups and train them. “Other talent shows focus mostly on singing ability, but we will consider singing, dancing and even composing.”
The three entertainment companies have distinctive characteristics, heightening the expectation of the gems they will unearth.
JYP’s Park said they are not television personalities and will focus on finding the next Wonder Girls and Big Bang. “We will choose the people we would usually select at our auditions.”
Park said he prefers “good-natured” applicants. “Singers from JYP might not make people laugh at variety shows, except for Jo Kwon of 2AM, but they are all sincere and modest. They also need talent ― it could be singing, dancing, expression or something unique to the person.”
However, Yang said he likes more charismatic people. “An upright character should form the basis of them, but I prefer someone who can captivate audiences,” he said. “The viewpoint of a producer and viewers might be different as well as that of the three judges. But I hope we can find talent undiscovered by their parents or themselves.”
Yang also said that the winner might not make their debut right away. In fact, Kang Seung-yun and Kim Eun-bi, finalists of "Superstar K2," joined YG Entertainment but are still trainees.
"Many contestants of talent shows gain popularity while on the program, but they don't do well after making their debut as professional singers. There are so many good vocalists on the Korean music scene and just singing exceptionally is not enough," Yang said. "Yes, the winner can release an album but they might need more training after the first album."
BoA, the only non-producer judge, could not attend the press conference due to a concert in Japan. She said she would find someone with passion and guts as well as distinct individuality, in an earlier press release.
"K-pop Star" also encompasses the recent spread of Korean pop culture to Europe and South America. Hit show "Superstar K" held auditions in the United States, China and Japan, but "K-pop Star" offers regional preliminaries in Europe and South America for the first time for a Korean talent show.
The first overseas audition was Monday in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the production team will travel to New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Beijing.
"We expect to find rough diamonds in France and Argentina as it is the first time to hold K-pop auditions there," the show’s producer said.
According to Park Sung-hoon some 2,000 people applied for the U.S audition and about 80 percent of them were foreigners, not Korean-Americans. Paris and Buenos Aires received some 500 applications each, while Beijing already has more than 6,000.
"I think the time has come for blue-eyed or dark-skinned people to become stars in Korea," he added.
Local auditions will be held in October and the program is scheduled to air in December.
For more information, visit http://tv.sbs.co.kr/kpopstar.
요즘 텔레비전에는 많은 오디션 프로그램들이 방영되고 있다. 아마추어들은 그들의 노래와 연기 실력을 뽐내고, 스타들은 전문 분야가 아닌 스케이트 타기나 춤추기에 도전한다.
새로운 한류 스타를 뽑으려는 SBS의 새 프로그램 ‘서바이벌 오디션 K-pop 스타’는 한국 최고의 기획사라 할 수 있는 JYP 엔터테인먼트, SM 엔터테인먼트, YG 엔터테인먼트가 함께 참여한다는 점에서 관심을 끌고 있다. JYP의 박진영과 YG의 양현석 프로듀서, 그리고 가수인 보아가 심사위원으로 참여한다.
프로그램의 연출을 담당하고 있는 박성훈 PD는 진짜 스타를 만들어내지 못하는 다른 오디션 프로그램의 한계를 극복하기 위해 이 세 기획사와 힘을 합치기로 했다고 지난 주에 있었던 기자회견에서 밝혔다.
“이 세 기획사는 진짜 스타를 발굴하고 연습시킬 줄 안다”고 박성훈 PD가 말했다.
주로 가창력을 보는 다른 오디션 프로그램과 달리 ‘K-pop 스타’는 노래, 춤, 작곡 실력 등을 전반적으로 평가할 예정이다.
세 기획사가 각기 다른 특색을 가지고 있는 만큼 어떤 지원자를 뽑을 것인지에 대한 기대가 크다.
박진영은 방송의 재미를 생각하기 보다는 평소의 오디션에서 뽑을 법한 사람을 선택할 것이라고 말했다. 박진영이 착하고 겸손한 지원자를 선호한다고 한 것과 달리 양현석은 무대에서 카리스마 있어 보이는 인물을 고를 것이라고 했다.
최근 유럽과 남미로 번져가는 한류 열풍을 따라 ‘K-pop 스타’는 한국 최초로 프랑스와 아르헨티나에서 지역 예선을 열고, 그 외에도 미국 뉴욕, 로스엔젤레스, 중국 베이징에서도 오디션을 본다.
박성훈 PD는 미국 오디션에 지원한 약 2,000 여명 중 80 퍼센트가 외국인이라며 한국에서 푸른 눈이나 검은 피부를 가진 사람도 한국에서 스타가 될 수 있을 것이라고 말했다.
‘K-pop 스타’는 12월에 방영될 예정이다.