Monday, 21 January 2013

KPOP STAR WATCH: Last casting auditions Pt2

Allllrighty! last round of the last casting auditions! The contestants that made it through this round will move on to compete in the "Battle Auditions", where the 18 acts will fight for the spots in the Top 10. From there, the Top 10 perform every week LIVE. I'm super excited!!!

The beginning of this episode skipped a couple of performances, but they showed who made it through and casted to which company:
Choi HeeTae casted by SM
Yoon JuSeok casted by YG
Kim MinJeong and Yi JuEun casted by JYP (the little breakdancer girl made it!! :o)
Jo YooMin was eliminated.

A running joke throughout this episode was the lacklustre that the YG trained contestants had in their performances. Compared to the JYP or SM trained contestants, those who were casted by YG in the last round had the lowest casting rate this round. To save his own self image, YG focused on being entertaining and humorous throughout the episode.

Act 11: YG's SOS Nicole Curry & Yi SooKyung & Kim SaeJung
The highlight of this group was Nicole's expressive personality which outshined all of the other girls. After watching the performance again, I really think SaeJung (black skirt) had some really good potential, but due to the restricted number of casting cards the judges had left, she was kind of tossed to the side.
JYP commented that Nicole's vibe was only one that you could feel from Americans (or people raised in the States), and BoA added that it may come off a little aggressive because it's so much more expressive than those of Korean-raised girls. Because of this, it was obvious that SaeJung and SooKyung (stripe pants) were trying too hard to match that kind of energy level that did not have and it made performing difficult for them.
YG commended Nicole for her being able to adapt so well to her obstacles on stage (the mic stand was too high for her when she was on the left side), and his love for her expressive nature was very clear. Nicole was casted by YG, and SooKyung and SaeJung were eliminated.

Act 12: JYP's Kim DoYeon
Remember the girlfriend that made it through while her boyfriend was eliminated after their duet performance? She came back lookin hot and with improvements to her singing that was well appreciated by the judges. JYP explained that DoYeon was trained with focus on adding depth to her voice (using more air, more of her body), and it was a noticeable improvement to her overall performance. BoA commented on how she may need more time to internalize and get used to that habit in her singing, but because she wanted to plant a seed of freedom in her, DoYeon was casted to SM.

Act 13: JYP's Bang YeDam
Aahh little YeDam with the sweet voice and little harmonica. He coughed in that performance because he didn't drink water before he performed when he should have, which he later explained was because he was afraid that he might feel the need to pee during the performance LOL.
BoA commented on his lack on rhythm this time, and YG suggested that maybe because he's so young he's not used to performing without being able to see the instrument being played. Because all of the times before he had his father or the Akdong Musicians by his side he could actually see the guitar being played and match himself to it, but because he doesn't have that much experience with performing without it his rhythm wasn't as good as before.
BoA asked if they could cut his hair if she casted him to SM, and of course the kid said no. JYP also argued that it was part of his look as an artist, so BoA settled on perhaps tying it back for the next time and casted YeDam to SM.

Act 14: SM's Seong SuJin
In the pre-performance clips they shared how BoA really tried to boost SuJin's confidence as a woman. It was a surprise last week when BoA chose to cast SuJin, but she explained that it was because she felt that she could really help her as a woman close to her age and give her that feeling of girl power that she needs. This performance was really important and nerve-wracking for SuJin especially because she had been eliminated at this round in the last season. Unfortunately, her throat wasn't in the best condition and she had to visit the hospital for it, but she wanted to try her best at least for BoA's sake.
JYP of course picked up on SuJin's bad throat condition but thought the performance was amazing. He and YG both were amazed at how well the SuJin + SM pairing worked out, so much that YG joked about how Lee SooMan (SM's founder and CEO) should make BoA the vice-president.
SuJin was casted by YG.

Act 15: YG's Super Girls Kim DongOk & Yi JinWoo & Yi JuYeon & Choi NaYoung
Another YG-trained act that fell through the cracks and contributed to the weakening of YG's image on the show. The girls performed as a ballad group, all with great voices but each with the problem of having nothing that was super memorable about them.
JYP said that they started off well until they started harmonizing. YG picked up on the fact that there was nothing memorable about the girls, and none of them were casted.
BUT. a plot twist... at the end of the post!
I personally think that if they were trained to be more like the R&B group Big Mama that were once signed with YGE before, they may have been more memorable. Sure they're all amateurs, but if they could have somehow stirred up the memories of Big Mama in the judges' minds they would have been a lot more memorable.

Act 16: JYP's Two Thousand Won Kim IlDo & Kim HyoBin
The boys introduced themselves in a very somber manner because they were going to sing a sad song (to redeem themselves from their mess of a performance last time). However, after their performance BoA noted the difference between performing a sad song and feeling unconfident. She also half-jokingly asked if they got yelled at by JYP because of the lack of enthusiasm they had. YG noted that maybe because they're used to performing only fast songs they don't know how to adjust themselves to a slow beat.
Of course, YG casted them (because at this point, who would try to save them and keep them in the competition?)

Act 17: Akdong Musicians Yi ChanHyuk & Yi SooHyun
The siblings performed yet another original song. However, in discussion with Papa YG about their song choice they had introduced another original song called Give Love. They didn't perform this on stage, but it was recorded and still aired before their performance. YG wanted them to perform another song of which he had seen their original video on the internet before, because they recorded it with an energy that seemed perfect for them and the song. However, they weren't able to bring that same energy to their performance on stage and it didn't convince anybody that this was a good song choice for them. Although YG stuck by his choice, the other judges weren't very impressed.
YG casted the Akdong Musicians once again to try and redeem himself for the next round.

Act 18: YG's Choi YeGeun
Trained at YG, this was the saving act of YG's overall performance this episode. She did a great job with her rearrangement of 2NE's Fire that was well-liked and enjoyed by all of the judges, and she was casted to JYP.

After the final casting, the judges reviewed their choices and found that some of their choices wouldn't work. Of course, with this season of Kpop Star having an overall goal of creating a full girl group, some of the casting choices were made with that intention. However, each judge found that they didn't cast enough girls to be able to form a group so SURPRISE, they shuffled around some of the girls to be able to do so.

After calling up the contestants that had been eliminated, YG announced that he would be taking Song HaYe from SM along with Park SoYeon from JYP to put together with Jeon MinJu and Son YooJi that he had casted. He also added the previously eliminated Yi Mirim to the group, thus putting her back into the competition. However, the deal was that these girls would be permanently together until however long they managed to stay in the competition, so if they failed as a group then they all had to go home.

Because SM gave up Song HaYe BoA had one spot left so she brought back Yi JinWoo from elimination, and because JYP had the same deal he brought back Kim DongOk and Yi JuYeon to become a new duo.

At the end of the day, the demise of YG ended up working out for 4 more contestants that had been eliminated.

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