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Cranking up the K-pop heat

Cranking up the K-pop heat

WHEN I grow up, I want to be a Korean superstar. I’m actually obsessed with anything Korean. I’m even glad that Westerners now have started to notice and really fueled it into becoming a global phenomenon. My snarky friend, whom I shall call Kim Me Dora, is hardly impressed though. “It’s just cultural appropriation of US pop culture and they’re making money,” she said. “Isn’t that a good thing?” I wanted to shoot back. Instead, I just shouted, “Tse!”

Anyway, I first stumbled upon Korean pop culture through Quentin Tarantino. The brash filmmaker was talking about Asian Cinema and he singled out Park Chan-wook’s Joint Security Area (JSA).

Joint Security A rea is a biting drama that tells the story of soldiers from North and South Korea who learn not hate their supposed enemies. The movie crackles with so much energy, with an entertaining whodunit angle. After watching the movie many years ago, I immediately went to my suki source in Metrowalk to get other Park Chan-wook movies available. It was also through him that I discovered other Korean auteurs, such as Bong Joon-ho, Kim Ki-duk, Kim Jee-woon and many more.

And because I got hooked with Korean movies, I also got curious about Korean TV shows. It may be super-fluffy but I don’t care. It became my guilty pleasure. Naturally, I progressed to Korean music and I really admire the K-pop stars with their glossy music videos and their high fashion styling.

I really think we can learn something from Koreans. They got the formula down on what makes an impact on pop culture. It’s no secret that there is a K-pop mill to create the next heartthrobs. I will do anything to sit in one of the lessons actually.

I know this is impossible so I’m glad to know that Viu, a leading pan-regional OTT video service by PCCW Media Group, together with Globe Telecom, has produced the first Viu Original reality show of its kind in the country, Hello K-Idol. The show is aimed in finding the next K-pop superstar. Initially only available on the Viu platform, the reality show now airs on MYX Channel every Saturday night at 9 starting on November 3.

After a series of online and on-ground auditions held by Viu and Globe, 10 male finalists aged between 18 and 27 have been selected to be featured in the show’s seven episodes.

The final winner will be awarded the coveted prize of a four-month, all-expense-paid scholarship to learn K-pop vocals and dance at a prestigious entertainment talent school in Korea.

The webisodes will follow K-Idol finalists Girbo, Yohan, Yuki, Guion, Renz, Mike, JP, Kheene, Benedict and S tephen, as they undertake the seven-week challenge to hone their talents in singing, dancing, performing, styling and teamwork. A star-studded cast will critique their performances, while providing them with much-needed guidance on their quest for stardom. K-idols Yook Sung-jae from the award-winning K-drama Goblin and Jung Joon-young from the variety show 2 Days & 1 Night will serve as inspirations for the K-Idol finalists. Mentors on the panel include singers Jinho Bae and Morissette Amon and Korean professional dancer Dasuri Choi. Kring Elenzano-Kim, who actually founded two of the biggest K-pop fan organizations in the Philippines, will be hosting the show.

In the launch, Helen Sou, senior vice president for Digital Media of PCCW Media Group, said, “With a regional presence in 16 markets, we continue to enhance Viu’s core value proposition of delivering the best and most popular Asian content to ‘Viu-ers,’ including original producti ons in local languages. In this process, we also nurture and innovate with the local creative talent pool by giving them a platform to showcase their work. We believe Hello K-Idol is the ideal place to grow future talent and to create resonance with our audience in the Philippines.”

Meanwhile, Arianne Kader-Cu, country manager of Viu Philippines, said, “We are happy to announce that through this collaboration with ABS-CBN, we will be able to share our content with viewers both online and offline. Viewers will be able to follow our K-Idol finalists either via our Viu app, Viu.com or through MYX Channel. We hope that Hello K-Idol will just be the first initiative of its kind as we continue to build a stronger contemporary Filipino content segment, bringing Viu closer to the local audience.”

I personally saw all 10 finalists at the press conference and they all look hot. All of them actually stand a chance to win since they all look good a nd can sing and dance.

But personally, I think the most persevering among this group should win this contest. Like the way Sandara Park overcame all her fears and homesickness when she trained in Korea. I mean, she could have gotten back to the Philippines where she was actually already a star but she wanted more. She told me stories of how she would practice at home all alone to perfect a dance move or for her to hit a note. She remembered crying all the time but she kept reminding herself that this was her dream. And look at her now. Bongga si Sandara, ’di ba?

Anyway, to all the contestants, good luck.

Source: Google News K-Pop

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