Saturday, 19 January 2013

KPOP STAR WATCH: Last casting auditions Pt1

Casting auditions 2 (Part 1)

AAH LAST ROUND OF CASTING AUDITIONS! The judges each have 6 casting opportunities from their pick of the contestants. This means that only 18 acts will go through, eliminating almost half of the contestants left in the competition.

The first 20 minutes of the show went through the contestants receiving more training at their respective company headquarters based on who casted them in the first round of casting auditions. They prepared for 2 weeks to perform at the second round of casting auditions and another chance to compete to be the next Kpop Star.

Act 1: JYP's Miss 8 Im KyungHa & Kim TaeYeon & Song YooJi & Nam DaWon
The girls introduced themselves as Miss 8 because they trained 8 hours a day since they were formed into a girl group. Im KyungHa (white socks) and Kim TaeYeon (red socks) were originally supposed to be a ballad duo, but due to JYP's iffiness about the pairing he decided to put them with the other two and form a girl group in hopes that their voices would add to the other's skill in dance.
JYP mentioned in the pre-performance interview that he saw lots of potential in the girls. TaeYeon was better at dancing than he though, he saw a new found singer potential in YooJi (orange socks), KyungHa (blue socks) improved in her singing, and DaWon was very good overall.
Let's note here that Kim TaeYeon is wearing over the knee socks probably to hide the nasty new bruises that she developed while her dance practice.
YG said that he was impressed with JYP's ability to bring these girls up to this level. He also noted on the new potential he saw in Son YooJi that he only heard about by JYP and BoA before. BoA was impressed with YooJi's bright expressions throughout the performance.
Son YooJi and Kim TaeYeon were casted by YG. SM and JYP didn't cast anybody because they didn't see the potential for improvement in the next round.

Act 2: SM's The Bestin (Best Teenager) Song HaYe & Park SoYeon & Jeon MinJu & Yu HyoJin & Yi Mirim
A member of the SM team commended them on their hard work, their willingness to practice to hours on end. Everyone commented on their worries for Song HaYe, who was the main vocalist of the group, and strained her voice during all of their practice.
YG mentioned his appreciated for Jeon MinJu's (in the middle for most of the performance, when they were being judged) hairstyle this round, and casted her for being the most charismatic of the group.
JYP pointed out two aspects of the performance that he believes cannot be taught: when the girls took off their jackets, and when they hold their pose at the back of the stage in the transition. He said that the motion can be taught but the vibe they give off while they go through these motions cannot. He casted Park SoYeon (grey top) for her ability to pull it off the best and the most naturally.
BoA personally wanted to keep the group as it was, but she missed the opportunity after the casting had started so she picked Song HaYe (lace belly top) for her potential.
Yi Mirim (brown crimped hair, gold spiky necklace) and Yu HyoJin (pony tail, lace dress) were eliminated.

Act 3: Shin JiHoon (YG)
While training Shin JiHoon, it was discovered that she doesn't actually know any current mainstream music. She enjoys listening to the songs of her parents' generation, and enjoys a music program called 7080, which only airs the songs of the 70's and 80's.
It was also revealed that YG himself helped choreograph some of the movements in her performance, which resulted in some extreme awkwardness in her performance. He was criticized for it, and admitted to being totally off with it.
JYP casted her with the promise of not making her do any choreography.

Act 4: SM's Only Boy Andrew Choi
Andrew got a makeover and a change in perspective throughout this whole process. He is already known as a producer at SM (he recorded BoA's Only One). In his (all English) interview he mentioned how odd it was for him to be the one being fussed over and to be the one performing when he's so used to be the one producing/recording those who were the performers.
Instead of adding choreography to the song as the judges had joked about, Andrew rearranged the song and sang in English lyrics. [I'm actually kind of surprised that the judges hadn't said anything about the fact that he has yet to perform in Korean. They gave shit to some contestants last season for the same problem]
JYP critiqued Andrew Choi's performance by saying that everything was great, but Andrew seemed too tight  when he was performing, likening his technique to a bell that was being held at the bottom when being rung so it restricted some of the reverberation in sound. YG argued that it just may be his style and that trying to change it may affect the other great aspects of Andrew's performance, then BoA stepped in with the insight from when they were practicing during the last two weeks. She mentioned that during their practice performances he didn't seem to sound strained or restricted as JYP said, but because he was much older  than the other contestants (he's 34), it may just be the nerves.
JYP casted him despite his criticism, acknowledging BoA's point of the fact that it may just be nerves affecting his performance.

Act 5: JYP's Raccoon Boys Kim MinSuk & McKay Kim & Brian Shin
Some of the challenges that the boys encountered was McKay's difficulty in pronouncing the Korean 'ㄹ' sound, which is like a cross between an English 'r' and 'l' sound. Also, because MinSuk was serving his mandatory army time, it was difficult to keep constant contact with him. However, he was very quick with writing his raps so it wasn't as bad as it seemed.
Can we all admit to the highlight of the performance being the very end when Brian whispered "JYP", mimicking JYP's trademark watermark on all of the songs that he produces.
JYP stated that he had no hand in the rearrangement of the song that the boys performed, and they received compliments all around.
BoA asked if the boys wanted to continue to compete together, and at their confirmation she used her priority card to to cast the three of them together.

And here's the preview for the next episodes (that airs tomorrow)

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