Posted : 2013-08-22 17:06
Updated : 2013-08-22 17:06

Who is next 'Big bang'

Yang Hyun-suk, CEO of YG Entertainment, speaks at a news conference on how the next boy group will be selected, at Conrad Seoul, Tuesday. Team A will compete against Team B in a new talent show "WHO IS NEXT: WIN."
/ Yonhap

YG Entertainment sets off 2 bands to pick 1 candidate

By Park Jin-hai

"Eight years" is the time the most powerful Korean star agency has waited to debut a new boy band, succeeding Big Bang. But, despite the hype of music industry watchers, not much is known about the next generation boy band, except that they will perform under the name "Winner."

Another mystery marketing tactic? Maybe, but it is mainly because its members are not yet chosen.

The YG Entertainment, home to Psy, Big Bang and 2NE1, has announced that it will debut a boy band in 100 days time, through a reality show "WHO IS NEXT : WIN."

In the survival program, "Team A" and "Team B," each comprised of five and six members, will compete. The winners will debut as soon as the program ends, but the other team will be dispersed or wait for another chance, which Yang Hyun-suk, CEO of YG Entertainment, said, will not happen for four years at least.

Team A includes Lee Seung-hoon, first from left, and Kang Seung-yoon, second from right. Lee and Kang previously appeared in other talent shows.

What makes this competition fiercer is that all of the boys are trainees of the agency, who have spent at least two to three years together, going through the YG training program.

Team A has a bit older and already-known faces like Kang Seung-yoon of "Superstar K 2," and Lee Seung-hoon of "Kpop star." The B team has younger and talented members, including B.I, who Yang fondly said has the potential to grow bigger than G-dragon.

Psy said through a video clip that the program is "cruel," since it squeezes the family-like trainees into friend-and-foe situations. That, however, could garner most of the viewership.

"I wanted to show young people who want to be singers that the road to being a K-pop star is much harder than anyone can expect," said Yang.

B has younger members, including B.I, second from left, known as little G-dragon.

Through the program, the whole process of YG's star-making program will be unveiled to viewers, from hours and hours of training to cut-throat competition during the notorious end-of-month tests.

Another twist comes from the fact that unlike other talent shows, the winner will be purely chosen by viewers. People will vote for their favorite team online or via mobile phones.

The 10-episode program will be aired on Mnet and tvN channels every Friday at 10 p.m. and 11: 20 p.m. respectively, and will also be broadcast through the Daum website and its mobile page.

The program will double as the platform to increase the next K-pop stars' exposure to the viewers prior to their formal debut as well as showcasing advanced K-pop system, both at home and abroad.

For international fans, it will be televised through Channel V and Channel M to 10 Asian countries from Sept. 17. In the case of China, where the majority of K-pop fans reside, the biggest local video streaming service site Youku will air the program.

In addition, talks are underway to tap into Arirang TV to broadcast it to some 188 countries, subtitled in Spanish, Chinese and Indonesian among others. If successful, the plan can be materialized from mid-September at the earliest.

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