Soo Jin Woo
English Language and Literature
In South Korea, reality TV programs featuring singing auditions are among the most popular shows. Since 2009, when the audition program Super Star K from Mnet won popularity, it is going on every year, and the season 8 will be aired this year. Other audition programs have been coming up continuously. I agree with airing the show like K-pop star or Super Star K because it effectively meets the needs of all participants; applicants, the public, and producers.
First of all, it offers the applicants a broaden opportunity to make their dream come true. Before the audition programs came up, one who wanted to be a singer had a limited way to become one. There’s almost only one way. One had to be a trainee of a major entertainment agency like YG, SM or JYP. Unfortunately, because those major agencies prefer teenagers or younger children, older people were not able to enter. Though they had dream and ability to be a singer, it was impossible. However, the audition programs provide them with an opportunity. No matter how old they are, what they do for a living, they can be picked up by the public. For example, the winner of Super Star K 2, Huh-Gak, was a twenty six years old repairman who sang as a side job. His ability was recognized through the fair competition program and now he is a popular and professional singer.
Secondly, the singing audition program satisfies not only the need of applicants but also that of the public and producers. It opens the whole processes to the public, from a preliminary round to the final round. And, it allows the audience participate as evaluators; the audience can vote for the applicant they like to be picked up as a winner. A TV show becomes a way to express the public likeness. Because the public confesses their preferences willingly and immediately, producers and the production companies can get a chance to research and mirror the consumer preferences. It means that the audition programs reduce the burden of risk that companies face whenever they try new programs. Therefore, the audition program is a way for the public to reflect their preferences and for agencies to reduce the risks in trying new ones.
Yeo Jin Choi
Over the past few years, many audition programs showed up from the Superstar K to Show me the money. The programs have made countless stars like AKMU, Seo in Kuk, and Dokki. On the other hand, far more people disappeared after the TV programs ended. Some people negatively think that the participants have been infected with so-called “artists disease”. Are there only such bad points? I want to say this topic from a slightly different perspective.
Firstly, musicians participating in audition programs show various genres of music that is not the mainstream. The viewers vote makes people think which style of music is most attractive to them. Audition programs helped minor genres like authentic Hip Hop, Indie music also come into the mainstream. The variety of music genres enriches the quality of life with music.
Secondly, people who have the passion, talent, groove but don’t have the chance to meet professionals can get the chance by participating in audition programs as contestants. People who live in the suburbs can make their dreams come true. Even though most of participants do not achieve their dream to become a singer, the experience itself has a great significance to those who have not been able to stand and sing in front of professional evaluators. To them, it is also the chances to receive professional evaluation.
Lastly, some audition programs give underground musicians the opportunity to compete with the mainstream opponents. Because so-called underground soul, skills and groove are all never worse than the mainstream's, people who watch the audition battles get to acknowledge the underground music is not bad but different from the music heard ever. Through audition, they can take pride in their soul, skills and groove all. Therefore, they can be absorbed in making the best songs. Today’s music charts prove this. After Show me the money become a success of itself, the boundary between underground and mainstream became blurred. Their new songs are hot in the mainstream.
Ji Soo Kim
English Language and Literature
Song audition programs are an extremely popular genre of television shows in Korea for a wide range of audiences. The problem, however, lies in the type of people who are drawn to it as audition participants. A key feature of many of these shows is specifically focusing on amateur-level teenagers as their main target group and creating for them a competition of singing and musical performance. Needless to say, these "survivor" audition programs are growing in number, as they are achieving their goals in commercial success; but as they grow, so do the number of contestants flocking to them. Many aspiring youth are turning their backs on education in school and entering these competitions. A large number of participant tryouts, however, unfortunately mean a large number in cuts, as only a few make it to the top. After having poured in countless hours of work and practice, many of them do not make it far enough to be recognized with enough media coverage - that is, enough to have gained any advantage of pursuing this career path over that of another, more promising field of expertise.
Da Som Yun
English Language and Literature
The talent show frenzy has hit South Korea. In recent years, the number of talent shows has increased dramatically. There have been many TV talent shows like Audition Survival: K-Pop Star on SBS, MBC's Star Audition and I am a Singer, Mnet's Superstar K2, etc. And, the public is obsessed with these kinds of programs. Is the talent show frenzy good for our society? I think that it has several negative effects.
First of all, talent shows on TV are all about fierce competition. What makes the audition programs impressive is that any of us has the chance to achieve success by trying out for the contests. The problem is that programs are overly focused on the competition and failure rather than the process of trying and challenging the contestant. According to these programs, the winner takes it all and the loser has to fall. It constantly attempts to identify winners and losers and shows stark contrast between them. The winner-take--all situations in those programs make the audience get used to that culture unconsciously while watching the shows.
In addition to that, contestants could fall victim to selected editing. In other words, they are vulnerable to malicious editing. Editing can be used to exaggerate negative points of a performer, or just delete their performance. Due to the editing, contestants’ opinion could be distorted, because their words are taken out of context. Viewers only just hear selected few seconds rather than the entire conversation, which makes them misunderstand the situation. Some people post malicious comments on the internet sometimes, and contestants suffer from harsh criticism.
Lastly, a TV talent show is far too commercial. While the aim of the show is to identify the most talented artists, at the same time, it struggles to get high ratings and make money. For instance, some programs heavily rely on votes that viewers sent by text messages and try to attract more people. Or, the show highlights someone who has a rags-to-riches story, which can appeal to many viewers. This also could make a competition unfair, because contestants are judged not by their singing ability but by their popularity or entertainment value. Interesting contestants are more likely to get through to the end. For these three reasons, I am negative about audition programs.
The Chungdae Post -
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