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KPOP Star 5 7 replies to this topic Started by JPope , Apr 07 2016 04:37 AM · 

#1 JPope

JPope
  • Dick

Posted 07 April 2016 - 04:37 AM

Anybody watching this? The final is next week. I somehow managed to squeeze 20 episodes into one week, and I'm really glad I did. without getting into any spoilers for those who might want to start watching it (check it out here) -- I'll save the spoilers for subsequent posts in this thread -- I just want to say that this is the best audition show I've ever seen. I haven't watched any of the previous four season, but I'm going to do that once this season ends.
 
For those who have not watched the show, it's similar to other music audition shows (American Idol, X Factor, etc), but way better. The judging panel is comprised of the CEOs of three Korean entertainment companies: Park Jin-young of JYP Entertainment, Yang Hyun-suk of YG Entertainment, and You Hee-yeol of Antenna Music. 
 
EDIT: my memory is shit, and my original explanation of how the rounds work is off, so Wikipedia to the rescue
 
The judges are really what make this show interesting. Being professional musicians, they are finely attuned to what separates a great performance from a merely good one, and once you get into the 3rd round, they break down each performance in great depth. Their love of music is infectious, and their schoolyard teasing of each other is entertaining as hell. They are totally professional in the critiques -- there is no Simon Cowell snark on this show (not that I don't like Simon, I think he's really great, tbh) -- and I really like how they put overall performance over technical skills. A high level of skill is simply assumed, but a missed note or blown lyric will not hurt you if the overall perfomance moves them. I can't believe I never watched this show before. It's so good.
 
I'm gonna upload some of the better performances from this season, including judges comments, later in this thread, because there have been some really great ones. One contestant in particular is absolutely astonishing. I'm honestly shocked that she has made it so far in a Korean pop competition.


#2 JPope

JPope
  • Dick

Posted 07 April 2016 - 06:32 PM

I suppose the clip I'm about to post constitutes a spoiler in the event anyone is watching the series and hasn't yet reached episode 11. so...
 
 
***SPOILER ALERT***
 
 
First, a bit of back-story on this clip: As I said, this is from episode 11. That's eleven with two ones. And it's the first on-screen appearance for Ahn Ye-eun. She had made it through three rounds, yet the producers felt she wasn't worthy of actually including in the show to this point, but having made it to the casting audition and being paired up with Woo Ye-rin -- both of whom were saved from elimination via an Antenna wild card in the 1st round -- they were forced actually put her in the final cut of episode 11. If you lilke seeing underdogs succeed, stories of redemption and overcoming obstacles, you're going to love this clip. I included the intro video, judges comments and casting vote. 
 
The video is 22 minutes, and the first 7:30 sets up Ye-eun's rocky path to this point. Skip to 8:00 if you just want to get to the performance.
 
 


#3 JPope

JPope
  • Dick

Posted 08 April 2016 - 11:58 PM

Here's Lee Soo-jung and Yoo Jay doing Stevie Wonder's "Part Time Lover".

 

Yeah, I know, lame song, but they fucking crush it. It's so good, really. Both girls are American, Soo-jung from Chicago, and Jay from New Jersey. Jay is just 15, which is unreal. 

 

This video is 21:30 including the intro, performance, judges comments and casting vote. Jump to 7:30 for the performance.

 

Lee Soo-jung & Yoo Jay - Part Time Lover.



#4 JPope

JPope
  • Dick

Posted 10 April 2016 - 10:31 PM

Not that anyone seems to care, lol, but Lee Soo-jung won the final last night. She beat the surprising Ahn Ye-eun, despite being behind on the judges votes after a lackluster first song. In a surprising twist, the contestants had to sing one of the songs the other had sung during the competition, and as Ye-eun had basically written ALL of her songs (except for IU's "Pink Shoes"), Soo-jung seemed to be in a tough spot. She went big, though, and wowed the audience and judges with her version of Ye-eun's "Stalker" which, despite swapping the (necessary, IMO) creepy desperation of the original with a sultry jazzy delivery, was still a killer vocal performance. Ye-eun actually lead the judges voting, but only because they couldn't give Soo-jung more than 100 each for "Stalker". I knew she had it won after the firs verse.

 

Soo-jung chose Antenna as her agency, which wasn't a complete surprise as she had called You Hee-Yeol a "genius" after working with him during the show. Still, I would think that JYP or YG would be far better positioned to maximize her talent for her future. 



#5 Zaeleus

Zaeleus
  • ANGERME

Posted 11 April 2016 - 01:00 AM

I recently started watching the show. I only know of it through previous seasons' clips and results but have never actually seen a full episode. As you mentioned, I do enjoy how sincere the judges are.

Unfortunately, digital music stores already put up a single with the top two on the cover, so consider me spoiled to an extent.



#6 Anderei

Anderei
  • つんく♂

Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:27 AM

Not that anyone seems to care, lol, but Lee Soo-jung won the final last night. She beat the surprising Ahn Ye-eun, despite being behind on the judges votes after a lackluster first song. In a surprising twist, the contestants had to sing one of the songs the other had sung during the competition, and as Ye-eun had basically written ALL of her songs (except for IU's "Pink Shoes"), Soo-jung seemed to be in a tough spot. She went big, though, and wowed the audience and judges with her version of Ye-eun's "Stalker" which, despite swapping the (necessary, IMO) creepy desperation of the original with a sultry jazzy delivery, was still a killer vocal performance. Ye-eun actually lead the judges voting, but only because they couldn't give Soo-jung more than 100 each for "Stalker". I knew she had it won after the firs verse.

Soo-jung chose Antenna as her agency, which wasn't a complete surprise as she had called You Hee-Yeol a "genius" after working with him during the show. Still, I would think that JYP or YG would be far better positioned to maximize her talent for her future.


Smaller agency would be more willing to put the time in. Neither JYP or YG focus heavily on soloists that aren't also in groups.

#7 Zaeleus

Zaeleus
  • ANGERME

Posted 19 June 2016 - 08:04 AM

I finally thought I should finish this show since season 6 announcements are already coming out. My (super late) show notes/song list for K-Pop Star 5:

Spoiler


The show starts off quite reasonable. It was nice to see the early episodes quickly go through performances and judging fairly quickly. Unfortunately, the editing starts to highlight particular people, and they start to leave so much information out, not just performances but results as well. This makes thing really awkward in later episodes because contestants you've never heard of before just start showing up out of nowhere.

The pacing of the show starts to deteriorate in the middle third of the season; segments start and end mid-episode, which is just jarring. The producers really wasted episodes on the team showcases. It had no effect on progression of the show, and that time should have been used to show more contestants and performances.

I don't understand why there was so much emphasis on the very young contestants (< 14 years old). They were thrown into an ambiguously named "potential" group. The way potential is used in this context is not that they have potential to do well in the competition but that they have potential in the future. The judges essentially burned these positions rather than choosing contestants that could have done a better job on the show. Music shows like The Voice of Korea Kids and We Kid exist because of this; the younger contestants really have no chance to compete at the level of the more experienced ones.

As the season went on, the judging progressively got worse. I praised them before for being sincere, but the judges are really hypocritical, particularly JYP. They fail so many contestants early on, emphasizing that they're looking for someone new and fresh, yet, for example, when Jung Jin Woo performs, the first thing they do is compare him to Crush, Dean, Zion.T, and other prominent Korean R&B singers. If they were so easily able to compare him to popular singers, he is not unique and therefore goes against one of their main criteria. He was still one of the more highly praised contestants.

The judges should not be allowed to see the profiles of the contestants. Many times, it's clear there is confirmation bias in their decisions. One example was when a contestant wrote on her profile that she sang in commercials in the past. The first complaint she gets is that she sounds like she was singing for a commercial. They also have the tendency to use previous performances as a baseline, even though each performance should be judged independently.

The judging was just really inconsistent, especially in the category of emotion. Kim Young Eun and Seo Kyung Deok's first duet had "no emotion", and their second one had "too much emotion". They criticized Lee Si Eun for not even being able to empathize with herself, but Lee Soo Jung can shed a fake tear, and it's the most amazing thing ever to them.

The final mission was dirty. Ahn Ye Eun and Lee Soo Jung have distinctly different styles, and making them sing each other's songs gave a major disadvantage to Ye Eun, particularly because she wrote nearly all of her songs. The judges stated in the past that song choice is key when you only have one time to impress them. Having Soo Jung sing Ye Eun's "Stick-er" was combining a highly praised song with the judges' favorite singer, making the final performances extremely unbalanced.

Some extra notes on particular contestants:
  • Yoo Jei: I'm very surprised that Yoo Jei got as far as she did, all the way to the top 6. I understand that her vocal talent is impressive for her age, but she is an incredibly boring performer.
  • Woo Ye Rin: Ye Rin was the most well-rounded contestant. She showed an amazing evolution since Yoo Hee Yeol saved her in the first episode. She was the best to adapt to different stages, moving from the keyboard to singing to dancing, which likely translates well in the real music market.
  • Lee Soo Jung: A fantastic singer, no doubt, but I found her character to be disingenuous. Her performances didn't feel they were her own but tuned to meet the expectations of the judges. She very much knew how to play the game.
  • Ahn Ye Eun: Considering her personality, passion, and performances, Ye Eun was the real winner. She legitimately enjoys what she does. She also totally sounds like old-school Shiina Ringo.
  • Lee Si Eun: An excellent power ballad singer. She did get far, but it's a shame that the judges only thought of her as a robot with no soul.
  • Mazinga S: This was a surprising formation. They certainly had the most aggressive stages and an image that would likely appeal the masses. The addition of Yuyu Liu was a strange choice, and I'm willing to bet the judges suggested adding her to the group due to the unfamiliarity of trios in K-pop.
This is the first K-Pop Star season I watched; I typically just review the results after a season ends. I can't say I enjoyed it as much as JPope did since I was getting slightly annoyed with the judges, but it was certainly an interesting music show overall.

#8 JPope

JPope
  • Dick

Posted 29 June 2016 - 06:47 AM

A lot of your criticisms are dead on, especially the point about the not-enough-emotion! Oops!, not-THAT-much-emotion, and their reaction to that fake-assed tear from Lee Soo Jung. 

 

I still think the right two made it to the final, with Woo Ye Rin and Mazinger S shooting themselves in the foot by abandoning their strengths, and Yoo Jei just falling apart towards the end. The choice of "Hit The Road, Jack" was fucking suicide. She could have sung any cliche-karaoke track -- "Rolling In The Deep", "Son Of Preacher Man", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" -- and done better than with that wack-ass arrangement of a song that gave her zero room to shine. Honestly, though, she just looked defeated the last few episodes. I wonder if she was going through some personal shit or something.