Park Ji-min wins ‘K-pop Star Audition‘
Park Ji-min, 14, won SBS’ “K-pop Star Audition” on Sunday, becoming the youngest winner of the biggest prize-money in the nation.
The singing sensation from Daejeon will also immediately start a collaboration with one of the three major talent agencies of SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment.
With her win, she ends a seven-month journey that saw numerous star hopefuls vie through a survival-audition format each week.
Park broke into tears immediately after she was announced the winner.
“I feel that all the work I have done here in the past seven months has paid off,” she said, sobbing. “I thank my parents and I sincerely thank the three jurors.”
She was referring to K-pop superstar BoA, head of YG Entertainment and former member of Seo Taiji and Boys Yang Hyun-suk and Park Jin-young, a pop star in his own right and president of JYP Entertainment, the judges on the program.
In Sunday’s final round, the winner sang Korean star Yim Jeong-hee’s “Music is My Life,” and U.K. singer Duffy’s “Mercy.”
Runner up Lee Ha-yi, 15, said that she was “relieved” more than anything that it was all over reflecting the pressure the contestants faced.
“It’s finally come to an end, and while I am regretful, I am also relieved,” said Lee. The native from Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province sang American classic “Killing Me Softly with His Song” by Roberta Flack and last year’s biggest track “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele.
Both Park and Lee emerged as potential winners early on in the show. Lee struck the audience and fans with her low-mid tone and soulful voice; and Park with her ability to hit the high notes and a natural sense of rhythm.
Park caught people’s attention early in the season when she sang Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” and her version of “Rolling in the Deep” became a YouTube sensation, even appearing briefly on CNN.