5 Reasons To Watch “Unnies Slam Dunk Season 2”

The second season of the KBS variety show Unnies Slam Dunk premiered in the middle of last month and has been consistently bringing a lot of laughter and entertainment for its viewers. Though less of a ratings hit than its predecessor, the series is creating a lot of buzz among international fans, especially because of its star-studded cast. As a fan of the first season, I’m happy to say that the second season of Unnies is even more enjoyable, so here are five reasons why you should give the show a try!

1. The Friendship

Viewers might have been skeptical at the beginning about how the relationship or chemistry between this cast would turn out, what with middle-aged variety veterans forming a girl group with actresses and a teenage idol or two. It was an idea that seemed inconceivable but it really worked out for this show. The cast gelled pretty quickly despite their age differences and grew closer week by week, even reaching a point where they were able to share their most personal difficulties and thoughts comfortably with each other. It was touching to see how they found support in each other and also interesting to see that the cast members shared or had gone through similar struggles in their entertainment career. They were celebrities but they were as real as you or me, and this show did a good job of foregrounding their true selves.

2. Minzy

This might come across as slightly biased but there is no denying that this former 2NE1 member is an integral part of this show. While she is the second youngest in the cast, she is also the leader of the girl group and has been doing a fantastic job guiding those who are less experienced in the idol industry. Her special friendship with her fangirl Somi has also been fun to watch, especially since they are the closest in age and the youngest. It’s been ages (at least in the fast-paced realm of K-pop) since Minzy’s been active, especially on television, but she remains an inspiration not just to viewers but to her fellow cast mates with her amazing abilities and caring nature. Watching her work so hard and diligently on the show despite already being used to this entire idol business makes viewers root for this girl group to succeed even more, despite the huge odds stacked against them.

Also on Kultscene: From ‘Nation’s Producers’ to Actual Producers: The Many Futures of I.O.I’s 11 Members

3. The Trainers

The girl group definitely isn’t alone on their quest to debut successfully, as there is a team of experienced trainers guiding and helping them along. What really differentiates this season from its predecessor is the sheer amount of professional effort being put into the production. While Season 1 featured Park Jinyoung (JYP) as the main coach for the Unnies, this season featured an entire team of veterans in the K-pop industry. Heading the team is legendary music producer Kim Hyung Suk who has already produced not one but three catchy songs for the Unnies. With him is famed lyricist Kim Eana, who penned hits such as “Dream” (Suzy & Baekhyun) and “Piano Man” (Mamamoo). For dance, there are two trainers, Kim Hwayoung and Kim Kyu Sang, both of whom have created notable dances such as Sunmi’s “Full Moon.” Finally, the vocal trainer who has been making waves among fans ever since his first appearance on the show a few episodes back, is Jang Jinyoung. A former idol singer himself, he is now the vocal trainer of many well known K-pop groups and idols, mostly from SM Entertainment. With his good looks and affectionate nature, he has been gaining a lot of attention from fans as well as the Unnies themselves (Somi in particular), especially because he is truly experienced and works hard to help the members improve their singing in innovative ways. These trainers add a whole new, and more serious dimension, to the show but they make it more enjoyable to watch as well.

4. The Music

The songs that the Unnies are preparing are really catchy and extremely suited to their image, perhaps even more so than “Shut Up” from last year. Producer Kim Hyung Suk did a fantastic job with the two tracks as he took into account the varied vocal qualities of the members and created parts that were just right for them. It seemed so unimaginable that a trot singer like Hong Jinyoung and a former classical singer like Kang Yewon would be able to sing a song together but this show made the impossible happen and I can’t wait to see the final fruits of the Unnies’ labour!

Also on Kultscene: KCON 2017 Mexico’s M! Countdown Day 1 Concert Recap 

5. The Comedy

Even without trying (or perhaps even more so when she is really serious), Hong Jinkyung is really hilarious in this show. As a returning member from Season 1, she definitely shows how comfortable she is in the show and puts her many years of variety experience into good use. With her around, there’s never a boring moment, and she plays an important role in lightening up the atmosphere for the members. Unfortunately at times, she brings humor because of her (lack of) singing and dancing skills but she definitely tries hard week after week to improve. Another unexpected comedic character of the cast came in the form of beauty queen Han Chaeyoung. She came on the show with a glamorous image but is unlikely to leave quite the same way. Since the start of the program she has proven herself to be another dancing/singing “hole,” along with Jinkyung, and the pair provide a lot of laughs to the viewers, the cast and even the trainers because of the disparity between their confidence levels and their actual skills. While it’s a running joke that I do enjoy, I do also look forward to each improvement that they make and am rooting for these underdogs to finally succeed on the stage.

Unnies Slam Dunk is a refreshing variety show that I look forward to week after week, equal parts heartwarming and hilarious, but it also offers a somewhat behind the scenes perspective into the creation of a K-pop girl group and the work that goes into it all, which would be a really interesting watch for all K-pop fans around.

Have you been watching Unnies Slam Dunk? Tell us what you think in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

4 reasons why you should check out tvN’s ‘Society Game’

society game

The latest brainchild from the creators of the The Genius, Society Game is a brand new tvN reality game show which premiered earlier this month. While the show is designed and edited in a very similar way to The Genius it’s a whole new ball game on its own and is worth checking out, even for non-Genius fans. Here are four reasons why.

The Premise

In this game show, 22 participants have to live together in an outdoor filming set designed to look like a traditional Korean village for two weeks. The set is split into three main areas, “Nop-dong” , “Ma-dong,” and the “Neutral Zone.” Participants are separated into two villages and compete against each other daily, with the losing village eliminating a member. This set-up alone allows for personal interactions between the participants within the villages since they really have to get to know each other and adapt to each other’s living habits. While such hijinks can be humorous and adorable to watch sometimes (martial artists getting scared of live chickens), living together on Society Game can get extremely tense since the participants have so many more opportunities to form alliances or trick each other. The real competition arguably takes place within the villages when each day ends, and this constant tension is what makes the show so unique and fun to watch. The “true” side of each participant is also more likely to be revealed, especially when they are placed under increasing pressure and extreme conditions (the show was filmed during a heatwave and the participants slept outdoors) so this show could be a good watch for fans of shows like Survivor.

Also on Kultscene: What Do You Find At The End Of A Rainbow? 

The Participants

Within this relatively large cast, the show’s participants are from different educational backgrounds and have varied occupations, ranging from an English lecturer to university students. This diversity makes for interesting television, since people with different life experiences and even age would naturally have different strategies and opinions. More importantly, they have varied abilities, with some of them being extremely athletic, some who are quick on their feet and others who have great cognitive abilities. These abilities are all valued equally among the participants, especially since the challenges posed to them tend to incorporate elements from all three domains.

There are a few stand-out participants however, who have already made a name for themselves in the show. One of them is mixed martial artist MJ Kim, a 26 year old woman who continually defies gender stereotypes with her physical strength and abilities. With her decisive and hardworking nature, she is shaping up to be one of the strongest participants in the show. Along with her is comedian Yang Sang-gook who successfully led a rebellion in his village within the first episode of the show and has maintained a tight rein over the villagers under his charge ever since. While he might have the manipulative skills required to ensure that he is always in an advantageous position, he also does show genuine care for his villagers. His leadership skills and initiative has won the trust of the people around him so far and with his foresight, he will probably go far in this game.

The Politics

Society Game functions somewhat like a social experiment, not just to observe how strangers live together for two weeks but also to see how successful or disastrous certain government systems can be. In the case of this show, Nop-dong is run as a democracy, with new village leaders being elected daily through a vote. Ma-dong, on the other hand, is run as a totalitarian state. Once elected, the leader will remain in power until another villager completes a rebellion successfully with the support of a majority of the villagers. Both systems have their pros and cons and create vastly different dynamics in the villages. In Nop-dong for instance, with their daily elections, the tide can turn very quickly depending on who is in power. These daily elections can fracture and divide the society so much so that it would be difficult for the village to stay united for long. In Ma-dong however, the divides are more clearly defined and the alliances more permanent, since survival can only be ensured if you are among the majority. It may thus seem more stable on the surface, but will definitely lead to more complicated problems in the future. Society Game therefore gives viewers a very exciting demonstration of these two types of governance, especially when participants of high calibre are involved. Though the show has just begun, the in-depth strategizing of the participants has already caught my attention and I’m excited to see how both villages will turn out.

Also on Kultscene: 5 Reasons Why You Should Watch “The Genius: Grand Final” 

The Editing

I expected nothing less coming from the team behind The Genius but I’m glad to report that the editing for Society Game is pretty top-notch. The background music used really sets the atmosphere for the show, whether it’s meant to be humourous or tense and climatic. Interestingly enough, a few less exciting or downright awkward scenes which would have been cut from mainstream variety shows are occasionally added as well. While this sometimes breaks the flow of the episode, they serve to build up the characters of the participants, making them more personal and relatable for the viewers. The use of time-skips and flashbacks in this show has been excellent so far as well, as it creates some truly shocking plot twists and game changers in the episodes.

Society Game premiered off with a strong start and has shown much potential in its run so far, so here’s hoping that its success will last. Check out a preview of the show below!

Have you watched Society Game? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching ‘Infinite Showtime’

infinite showtime

Infinite Showtime” premiered mid-December last year and is currently gearing towards the second half of the season. As the sixth season of “Showtime,” the show is an example of great variety which is at times entertaining and at times extremely meaningful. Even if you are not a fan of Infinite, there are many reasons why this show is worth watching, and here are five of them.

1. The Variety Skills of Infinite

I am an acknowledged Inspirit (Infinite fan), but I am definitely unbiased when I say this: They are wonderful at variety. By this I do not mean that they are all extremely comical or that they attempt body gags whenever they get an opportunity to, rather that as a group they are able to complement each other to create entertaining conversations, activities and situations. There are quiet members in the group (namely L and Hoya) but even they get their moments to shine through the show, whether it’s L being unusually focused on eating or Hoya doing some really weird aegyo.

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These moments work because of how the other members react (or don’t react) to them; there is this sense of friendship and camaraderie between them that I love to watch. Of course, there are also the vocal ones like Sunggyu and Sungyeol who always create a lively atmosphere for the rest of the group, even at the risk of embarrassing themselves.

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All the members of Infinite, for that matter, are willing to destroy their perfect images for the sake of playing a game or completing a challenge successfully. Take pretty face maknae Sungjong for example, after he lost a game his punishment was to get made-up by his fellow members. Though he looked pretty hilarious at the end of it, he still had the confidence and grace to go out to the convenience store and buy food as per the requests of his members. Variety shows would be very boring if the cast was too concerned about their images so I’m glad that Infinite was willing to go all out for this program. It certainly makes watching this show more fun.

2. The Great Production

Perhaps it is because this show is in its sixth season, but everything about it seems more refined and well-planned than in previous seasons. (“EXO Showtime,” “EXID Showtime”). The activities that have been carried out so far in the episodes all had a lot of significance and meaning to the Infinite members as well, be it an individual midnight drive or the surprise meeting of L and Dongwoo’s beloved teachers. The members even had an entire episode devoted to the activities that they personally wanted to learn about (driving, DJ-ing, fortune-telling, boxing).

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“Showtime” isn’t just a show for viewers, it’s also a time for the members to relax and have fun even though they’re still being filmed. The editing for this show has been very good so far as well. In particular, I really enjoy the hilarious captions and animations that pop up frequently throughout the episodes. For some reason this show also seems less scripted than the other Showtimes and previous Infinite variety shows (“This Is Infinite,” etc.) because of how the activities and conversations of the members progress.

As the show had been advertised, it showcased another side to the group and showed off the “natural interactions” between the members. They were able to talk lightly about serious and potentially controversial issues, they resolved conflicts by playing “rock paper scissors” and so on. It felt like an accurate reflection of how they were in real life. The most memorable example of this would be in episode six, when the members played an alternate version of “Never Have I Ever” and Dongwoo, Sunggyu, and Woohyun talked about previously being asked to leave the group.

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It was a serious and shocking revelation for fans when the episode was broadcasted but the members talked about it light-heartedly, as if it were a humorous memory. They even made jabs at L jokingly, mentioning how he would never be asked to leave the group because he was so handsome. In another show, I believe that conversations like these would have been edited to more dramatic effect, to create more conflict and tension, but I love the fact that this production team seems more concerned with empathizing Infinite’s friendship and closeness more than anything else. While it may not be as suspenseful it is definitely sweeter, and viewers like myself are constantly touched by these moments.

Also on Kultscene: ‘Infinite Effect’ in Los Angeles Was Anything But ‘Bad’

3. MC Sunggyu

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Infinite’s leader Sunggyu has been getting more and more recognition these days for his emcee-ing and variety abilities, something which is also very evident in “Showtime.” He’s always been outgoing and hilarious in his own way, but he has a new aura now. He’s able to initiate and guide the conversation, to take control of potentially awkward situations and turn them into funny moments but yet still maintain his grumpy grandpa persona that he’s always had in Infinite.

Thanks to his short stint at “Weekly Idol” he also became a better MC, as can be seen in episode four, when he carried out a surprise for L and Dongwoo, involving the teachers that they were grateful for. For the entirety of the episode he had to entertain the two teachers despite not being close with them but he did all this very respectfully, so much so that the two teachers had many praises for him.

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This might be a stretch at this moment but there are times when Sunggyu reminds me of popular comedian Yoo Jae Suk, who is recognised not only for being humorous but also for being very charitable and generous. Yoo Jae Suk is also very careful, he never goes overboard with his antics in an effort to remain respectful and thus controversy-free. Likewise Sunggyu has shown a lot more restraint and has become more balanced in this program, he definitely has the makings of a successful variety personality.

Apart from just being a good emcee though, Sunggyu also reminded viewers how great of a leader he was. From the thoughtful messages he gave over the radio to each member during their midnight drive to the effort he put in to let his members meet the people they missed, he showed his love for his members and how much he understood them. Infinite is a group that has been through alot together and at the head of it all Sunggyu has been guiding them very well.

4. Infinite’s growth

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There were many funny challenges that the members had to complete in the show which made for great entertainment but there were many times that the mood was more contemplative, in the sense that the members were learning more about themselves and about each other even as the viewers were learning about them.

The desire that the members had to develop themselves and as a group was evident in this program as well because they constantly showed a passion for improvement.They’ve been through so many ups and downs both as a group and as individuals, whether they released albums and went on world tours or worked as soloists/in subunits/acted in dramas/appeared individually on variety programs. It’s great to see that the members are all developing themselves beyond their group but at the same time are still united as one Infinite. Whether or not it was intentional, the show did a great job of bringing this message through all the separate platforms given to the members to show off their individual charms.

Also on Kultscene: 10 Baby- Making K-Pop Songs

5. Heartwarming

This point is a reason all by itself because Infinite’s close relationship is the main highlight of this show. It’s evident in everything they do, even when they’re not together (Sungyeol missed two episodes because he was filming “Law In The Jungle” but the other members kept bringing him up and talking about him). Through this show they had opportunities to talk honestly with each other and to reconcile the various differences between them; this essential open communication was lovely to watch because the members were definitely growing closer and we also got to learn more about them.

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The members also knew each other very well and about the problems that each member was facing at the time, so it was extra heartwarming to watch the members being concerned about Woohyun, who was (and probably still is) going through a slump. Be it Sunggyu’s attempts at understanding and caring for him to Sungyeol’s attempts to help him receive more luck by going to a fortune teller, the members all showed extra love for him during the show. Yes they still play around and disturb each other but at the bottom of it all, their love for each other can truly be felt and is a key reason to why this show is so enjoyable to watch.

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Showtime has been great to watch so far, and I’m certainly excited to see how it will continue. Have you been watching Showtime? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

5 Reasons Why You Should Watch “The Genius: Grand Final”

The Genius: Grand Final

[Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead]

The final episode of “The Genius: Grand Final” aired on the 12th of September and a new “king” was crowned. As it is produced by cable network tvN, “The Genius” is not as well-known among K-pop fans as other shows such as “Running Man” and “Superman is Back”, but over the past four seasons the show has garnered quite a large fan base both locally and internationally. “The Genius” is a variety show where 13 contestants of different backgrounds and age groups are gathered for a battle of wits that lasts throughout a season of 12 episodes where a contestant is eliminated each episode through a death match. The final winner, or the king, is given a cash prize based on the number of garnets earned by the players throughout the season. How then, you might wonder, did this intellectual show, in particular its fourth season, manage to attract so many fans? Here are five of the reasons why.

1. Complicated but viewer-friendly games

It is an intellectual competition after all, and the games that are played every episode are certainly of a high standard. Each episode is broken up into two parts, a “Main Match”, where the winners are granted tokens of life and the loser is sent into the “Death Match” along with another contestant of his choice.

Main matches take up the majority of the episode, and they range from auctions to horror races and even card games. The rules of the games are very extensive, but they are all necessary in order for the participants to gain victory. So if you’re someone who finds the thrill in exploring newly discovered casinos and you get an adrenaline rush every time the cards are dealt, you should definitely check this show out!

The show always ensures that viewers know what is going on, however, by using an animated video at the beginning of the game to explain the rules. The possible scenarios for winning or losing the game are also spelled out clearly so that both the participants and the viewers will be able to understand how the game works.

When a participant makes a game-changing move (this usually happens at least once per episode,) the show will insert a special commentary of the person’s move and how his or her move would affect the game. This is a genius move on the part of the producers because it would help viewers understand what the participants are thinking and in a way, add more personality to the participants. Once viewers are able to become invested in the games they will experience a greater thrill and excitement while watching, which is one of the greatest strengths of this show.

2. It is a real-life version of “Liar Game”

If you’re a fan of the Korean drama “Liar Game,” you’ll definitely be a fan of this show as well. Seeing as how both shows are produced by the same company (tvN), this was something quite expected in terms of the format of the show and the games that were played. In fact, when the first season of “The Genius” aired, it was criticized for being too similar to the original Japanese version of the drama. Apart from the format however, what I found the most similar was the way cast member Kim Kyungran played the games in “The Genius”. She was a runner-up in season one and returned in this fourth season, She reminded me of Nam Da Jung (the protagonist in the Korean version of “Liar Game” played by Kim So Eun) in the way she constantly advocated for mutual cooperation and trust. Kim Kyungran embodied her beliefs in her actions as well, because she never failed to keep her promises and help her teammates, all of which led to this amazing moment in episode five where five participants (including Kyungran) achieved a joint victory together. Anyone else having “Liar Game” flashbacks yet?

Also on Kultscene: Korean Variety’s Hidden Gem: ‘Crime Scene’

3. Friendly and lively cast members

The unique part about this fourth season is the fact that all the participants are people who have been in previous seasons of “The Genius”. This does not just heighten the tension surrounding the various matches and eliminations, it also ensures that viewers get to enjoy the familiar banters between the participants.

The cast is made up participants from various backgrounds and occupations including Jang Dongmin (comedian), Kim Kyunghoon (graduate student), Yoo Junghyun (politician) and so on, but they get along very well together. No matter how tough the competition is, the participants are always able to find humor and joy from each other (but this definitely does not mean that they go easy on each other!), which is very heartwarming to observe. Take the last episode for example, when the finals were concluded the whole cast gathered back in the main hall and held hands. It was a sign of unity, but more than that it was also about forgiveness.

There were many betrayals that took place throughout the show but at the end of the day the friendships that they had forged with each other were more valuable than any prize money they could have won. It’s an important lesson, and one that the show brings out actively.

The Genius pic

In addition, tvN releases “behind the scene” footage of every episode, which gives viewers an insight about how the episodes are filmed. Most of it is hilarious and fun, and these videos once again show how close the cast have gotten as they spent long hours filming this program together.

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4. The editing is always on point

No matter how interesting a cast or a game is, it is definitely difficult for an intellectual show like “The Genius” to be humorous and enjoyable for mainstream viewers. But that’s where the production side comes in.

Everything from the captions that are used to the background music that is thoughtfully selected for every scene contributes to the delightful program that is “The Genius”. Suspense levels are kept very high with the numerous twists and turns in every episode. The best example of this would arguably be in episode four, when the tables were completely turned contestant Oh Hyunmin, who was portrayed as the most likely victor throughout the whole game, when a secret alliance was revealed at the end and Hyunmin was in last place. It was such a surprise, both for the participants and for the viewers alike, and it is surprises such as these that keep viewers engaged and excited.

The background music that has consistently been used for this program since the first season is mainly provided by a band called Idiotape. Their music is highly electronic in nature and is very climactic with a clever use of the drums, which suits the nature of “The Genius” to a tee. Idiotape’s music has become an icon of the show, much like other aspects, such as the socalled “Bandage Man” and the main dealer, Hong Jiyeon.

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5. Jang Dongmin

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And finally, arguably the star of season four, is Jang Dongmin. Don’t get me wrong, this is not my personal bias speaking, but I had started out this show with a very low expectation of this comedian and my impression of him has completely changed. I had watched him in “Crime Scene Season Two” previously, but apart from being impressed at his amazing memory, I did not think that he was an exceptional participant. I certainly did not expect that he would be such a loyal yet cunning player, with good social and leadership skills.

As mentioned several times during the season by his fellow participants, Jang Dongmin has the perfect skill set and ability for this show. He may not be the best mathematician or the boldest gambler, but he knows when to show off and when to play safe. He is also very driven and determined, as can be seen by his face-off with Oh Hyunmin in a deathmatch game of Tactical Yutnori, a new take on a traditional Korean game. In season three of “The Genius,” this was the only game that Dongmin had ever lost, and it was also against Hyunmin, one of this season’s forerunners. Dongmin saw this chance as an opportunity to prove himself and show his improvement, and boy, did he succeed. Apart from proving his own abilities, Jang also desired to show that comedians were not a group of people to be looked down on, but that they are intelligent and valuable people who deserve to be respected.

The show highlights the fact that Dongmin grew up poor and less privileged than some of his fellow contestants, so it becomes a triumph even for the viewers when he succeeds in matches and challenges. By being on this show, Dongmin disproved a lot of common stereotypes and thus gained a lot of respect for it. No matter who the fans supported, they never begrudged Dongmin of his success, to which I must say kudos to both Dongmin and the show for portraying him in such a manner.

As a bonus, Dongmin’s interactions with “The Genius” constant, Dealer Hong Jiyeon are both adorable and hilarious. It’s amazing to see the normally cold-hearted dealer turn into a smiling and flustered woman in front of this charming comedian, and tvN certainly realized it, judging by the number of times she ended up featuring in their “behind the scene” videos this season.

“The Genius: Grand Final” is a show packed with humor, heart and thrill. I’m definitely looking forward to the next season of it!

Are you watching “The Genius”? What do you think about the evolving variety scene in Korea? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Korean Variety’s Hidden Gem: ‘Crime Scene’

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Amidst popular variety shows such as “Running Man” and “Infinity Challenge”, the deduction game “Crime Scene” is slowly emerging as a hidden gem in the Korean entertainment scene. Despite being produced by a cable TV network (JBTC), this show drew attention because of its elaborate sets and props and the highly entertaining yet intelligent cast. This show began last year and the second season of the show is currently airing.

Based on real-life murder cases, the context of the show is unique to say the least, but it is also similar to “The Genius,” another intellectual variety show produced by JBTC. Somewhat like the board game “Clue”, the cast members role play as different characters in a murder case, all with certain relations to the murder victim that make them all likely suspects, while one cast member plays the detective, who is excluded from the list of suspects and has the authority to lead the investigations. In addition, the detective also has an extra vote with two votes, while the other members only can vote for one suspect at the end of the investigation. If the murderer is caught, the members who voted for that person would win the equivalent of $1,000 each, but if the murderer goes free, the murderer wins all the money.

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The stakes are high and the desire to catch the criminal is strong, be it because of the money or because the members want recognition of their deductive abilities. Along with the interactive feature, where viewers are allowed to vote for the criminal online and win prizes, this all makes for a very engaging and interesting watch, which is something that few variety shows do well.

The cast’s chemistry definitely plays a part in the success factor of this show as well. The current members of this second season are Hong Jinho (ex-progamer, current broadcaster), Park Ji Yoon (announcer), Jang Dongmin (announcer), Hani (from EXID), and Jang Jin (film director). They all have different ways of expressing themselves and unique ways of deduction and thinking, hence bringing in the comic relief in an otherwise serious show. The members are equally intelligent, what with Hani’s IQ of 145, Jang Dong-min’s amazing observation skills, Jang Jin’s uncannily accurate storytelling abilities, and Park Ji Yoon’s logical deductions. Although there are clashes in their way of thinking, throughout the show the cast gradually learns how to work together and use their different abilities to solve the crimes, which is satisfying for the viewers to watch and enjoy.

The realism of this show is no small feat, especially as the case changes every week. It may seem confusing, but as a viewer, I am still able to follow the several cases well because of how invested the cast members are in each role that they play, even if the role requires them to cross dress. As none of the cast members are professional actors, it is definitely difficult for them to play their roles convincingly, and indeed, this was a complaint made for the first season of this show. As a result, a change was made to the format of the show, where the cast members sat down to pick their new roles at the end of the episode, rather than at the beginning of the new episode, as was previously the case. This gave the cast members more time to get into their roles, and the effect of this can be seen clearly in the increasing acting abilities of the cast members. This also allowed the writers and producers of this show to develop each character more, adding more layers and complexity to each character, showing depth and substance to this variety show.

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As a bonus to the already great cast, the guests who have appeared on this show have consistently been amazing as well. They range from actors such as Kim Ji Hoon to popular idols such as EXO’s Xiumin and CNBLUE’s Minhyuk, along with homecoming appearances made by former season one members. These guests are supposedly fans of the show, and this can be seen by their familiarity and adaptability to the format of the show and how comfortable they are with the cast members, allowing them to fully showcase their deduction skills.

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It is the small details that really make this show shine, be it the increasingly intriguing cases that are presented in this show, the numerous clues that can literally be found in any nook or cranny, or even the ever-amusing and good-looking detective’s assistant that makes his appearance at the start of every episode. This show stands out in the sea of Korean variety, and I’m certainly hoping for a third season.

xiumin on crime scene 2

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Are you watching Crime Scene? Do you like the new format of the show? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

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‘Miss Korea’ Season 2 Contestant Jojo Hung Discusses Trying To Make It As A K-Pop Star [Interview]

jojo feature image

Jojo Hung, also known as a Ga-in of Brown-eyed Girls look-alike, is an average Singaporean adult with an extraordinary love for K-pop. Currently a dance instructor at Celine Jessandra School of Performing Arts, this special 25-year-old was a participant of the second season of CJ E&M’s “Miss Korea” alongside 19-year-old Julia Wu, and is also a participant of ongoing reality competition ”Chinh Phục Ước Mơ.”

Not to be confused with the beauty pageant, Lee Hyori song, or the 2013 drama with the same name, “Miss Korea” is a reality program produced by Mnet and Mediacorp which followed the two talented individuals in their three months spent in Korea together. They received vocal and dance lessons from professionals and had the opportunity to audition at several entertainment companies such as Soulshop Entertainment. From this program, the girls learned a lot and had several memorable experiences, some of which Jojo shared with Kultscene, while also discussing her friendships, challenges, and dreams.

Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you introduce yourself to the readers who may be hearing of you for the first time?

Hi everyone! My name is Josephine (Jojo), and I’m from Singapore. You might have seen me recently on two reality TV programs, “Miss Korea” S2 by CJ E&M and another K-Pop singing competition currently airing in Vietnam! I’m currently a dance instructor at Celine Jessandra School of Performing Arts – a pop music school based in Singapore!

What made you decide to audition for “Miss Korea Season 2”?

As someone who loves travelling and the performing arts, I saw “Miss Korea” as an opportunity to challenge myself. Being part of a reality TV series was something that’s new to me, and when the producers of the program met up with myself to discuss, I knew it was going to be a platform where I could take on another adventure in a foreign land!

When did your interest in K-pop and dancing start?

I had begun performing from a young age, and my interest in K-pop started around the same time as the debut of the boyband TVXQ. A friend had shown me their video back then, and I was blown away by their ability to sing and dance, plus their awesome stage presence. I haven’t looked back since!

What were some challenges you faced during this show?

In the midst of filming ”Miss Korea”, I suffered a bad fall which required stitches just above my lips. The doctors said it was quite serious, and I wasn’t allowed to sing or dance for 2 weeks. I remember then I had an upcoming singing exam as seen in the episodes, and the injury affected me physically and mentally as I felt rather unprepared as the exam day drew closer.

Being primarily a dancer, having to focus on my vocals – and sometimes song-writing, threw me out of my comfort zone at first, but on hindsight, I really do appreciate the opportunity given to me to grow in these areas with the help of industry experts, not forgetting the help from my partner Julia!

Also on KultScene: Artist Spotlight: Livii

In what way did your life change after the show?

One of the biggest differences is that I’ve been getting encouraging messages from both new and old followers, telling me that they have watched the show, in and turn inspiring them to go out there and chase their dreams! I’ve had people on the street also recognise me, coming up to have a chat about my experiences, and wanting to find out more about what I’ve been up to.

Most memorably, I met a lady on the train who was hearing-impaired, and despite her difficulty in communicating with me, she made the effort to type out a sweet and meaningful message to me.

Ultimately, I cherish the fact that I’ve managed to help people see that chasing one dream isn’t that far off an idea. Because of their encouragement, I too have gathered more courage to continue pursuing my dream.  

What were some memorable experiences you had during the show?

The long lasting friendship I’ve gained with my partner-in-crime, Julia. Being locked in a house together with her for over 3 months, and then touring the sights and sounds of Seoul is something I’ll always fondly look back on. We grew really close during our time spent there, and during the last few days of filming, we would both get really emotional knowing that our experience was going to be over soon!

I had a lot of fun making the music video as seen in the series’ last episode, where we had to write and record the song “Bad” within two to three days. Almost immediately, we headed out of Seoul to a place known as Gangwondo, where we filmed the scenes, and had plenty of amazing bonding time with the production crew as well!

The trip was always going to be special as there was Julia alongside me. Two strangers crossing paths, so different from one another, yet hitting it off so well. Plus we were constantly creating havoc everywhere we went. We still keep in touch, and we know we’ll always be supporting each other in whatever lies ahead for both of us!

Jojo & Julia (the other “Miss Korea” participant) during their stay in Korea

How did you start working at CJ?

Celine Jessandra School of Performing Arts is an establishment of Pop Entertainment, a company that is well-known for pioneering the vocal and dance K-Pop wave in Singapore. It was founded in 2006, and I had the opportunity to be part of their performance crew shortly after. After training, I started teaching my first class around 2008, and I’ve been here ever since! Being here, I’ve been able to perform in front of groups like B2ST, BtoB, and several other groups who’ve performed in Singapore, so it’s been awesome.

Also on KultScene: Album Review: SHINee’s ‘Odd’

What do you do currently?

I’m currently focused on both teaching and performing with CJ, as well as catching up on several other passions like learning new languages – Korean and Japanese. I’m rather busy but definitely fulfilling!

Could you tell us about the singing competition that you are currently participating in?

It’s a singing reality program – a Joint Korean / Vietnamese collaboration known as “Chinh Phục Ước Mơ,” where six contestants representing the five ASEAN countries were selected to compete in Korea, with Vietnam serving as the host country.

What is your greatest takeaway from this experience?

I had the opportunity to be trained in the FNC training academy, where I worked with renowned instructors who have trained successful groups such as VIXX, BTS and G-friend amongst many others. I’ve also learned a lot from many of the other competitors, some of whom are recognised artistes in their own home country.

What are your plans for the future? Have your dreams/personal aspirations changed in any way because of “Miss Korea”?

I’m still very much into the whole singing and dancing concept, and I haven’t changed much. Maybe it has spurred me on towards working harder and better in order to be where I want to be. I’m currently working with my management company on my upcoming blog where I’ll be sharing my experiences with my followers soon and it’s going to be exciting so readers should watch out for it!

Any final words for Kultscene readers?

I definitely hope that “Miss Korea Season 2” has provided the readers with ample laughs and entertainment, and that they have gotten to know both Julia and myself better! Most importantly, I wish for all the readers with dreams like myself to continue to work towards them, and never give up. Cliche as it might sound, it’s still very sound advice!

Check out the first episode of  “Miss Korea Season 2”  right here, along with the music video created by Julia and Jojo.

Continue to look out for Jojo in the K-pop industry, and one day we may see her making her debut in Korea! What do you think of reality programs like “Miss Korea” ? Do you think there are ample opportunities for ordinary people to train and become K-pop artistes? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

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‘Coming Out! FTISLAND’ Takes Cues From American Reality TV

The Real Housewives of South Korea? Almost, but not quite.

It’s not every day that Korean idols go to a waxing salon and let their fans watch, but that’s exactly what some of FTISLAND’s members did during the first episode of “Coming Out! FTISLAND.” With scenes showing the band arguing and getting drunk, the reality show feels a lot more like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” more than typical Korean idol reality shows.

The five-episode long show began airing on SBS MTV in South Korea on April 7, and became the first reality show dealing with K-pop idols to receive a 19+ rating. The result is something almost entirely foreign to the K-pop world- full disclosure. While this is something new for K-pop fans, elements of “Coming Out! FTISLAND” would make it a perfect show for the American reality-loving audience.

This Is FTISLAND’s Reality as a Band

If you’ve never watched “The Bad Girls Club” or “The Real Housewives” series, consider yourself lucky. But two important elements make those shows enjoyable to watch- the fighting and the partying. That also happens to be some of the elements that many bands are known for (ever hear of Guns N’ Roses or Van Halen?) and helps FTISLAND shirk off the idol-band image they began as. The group doesn’t hide behind the smoke screens of editing, sleeps naked, and doesn’t keep their tempers in check.

In fact, FTISLAND doesn’t really keep anything in check. The group completely disavows its idol-image, showing the nitty gritty of their lives and relationships in a way that idols typically hide behind makeup and perfectly manufactured personalities. In essence, FTISLAND attempts to use the show that it is a band not an idol group.Drunk Minari

FTISLAND drinks… A lot. Hongki’s love of alcohol verges on alcoholism and he’s a clear enabler, which he admits. The band’s youngest member, Minhwan, even wakes up one morning still drunk from the night before after Hongki insists on buying vast quantities of alcohol. Drinking games and parties are part of South Korean culture, and FTISLAND lives up to it.

Drunk Minari 2

Also on KultScene: FTISLAND Give Vibrant Performance in NYC & Announce New Album

The other members aren’t as intense as Hongki, who lives up to his status as a Korean rockstar, and there’s nobody tearing out one another’s weave, but “Coming Out! FTISLAND” isn’t just an outlet to showcase FTISLAND’s preparations for their comeback. The members mention multiple times that the show is for their fans, but it’s also a way for FTISLAND to break the mold of K-pop idol and become real people. Well, reality show people.

Take Us As The Humans We Are

FTISLAND doesn’t shy away from their issues, though, and instead broadcasts them freely. All reality television shows, American and Korean, get edited to some degree, but this is the perhaps the first time in K-pop history that an idol group doesn’t claim to be anything but the co-workers that they truly are. What FTISLAND has going for it is the members have worked together for so long that they’re able to freely communicate with one another their thoughts and needs.

Lee Hongki 1

The tension between FTISLAND’s members is clear from the first episode. Lead vocalist Lee Hongki is described as an “American rockstar” by the other members of FTISLAND, and shows it by not showing up at practice and instead going drinking with friends. Leader Choi Jonghoon is mostly quiet and sulks, while the three younger members (Lee Jaejin, Choi Minhwan, and Song Seunghyun) play around, mostly carefree. There’s bickering and irritation, and even though K-pop fans want to believe that idols are best friends with one another, it’s clear that there are issues within this band.

Lee Hongki 2

Throwing together humans and telling them to be a band is difficult (ie TVXQ, EXO, One Direction.) But “Coming Out! FTISLAND” depicts FTISLAND honestly, allowing the members to be frank about their worries and concerns while making it brutally honest that their relationship is as bandmates and not best friends forever (Minhwan and Jaejin’s waxing date aside…).

Lee Hongki 3

“No matter what problems we face, no matter which members fight, I will protect the name FTISLAND and protect my members until the end!” — Lee Hongki

Lee hongki 4But, even though FTISLAND’s members have issues internally, they still work together. The personalities in the band are different, but they are still connected by what they’ve accomplished as K-pop’s first real band. The second episode was the most tense (Jonghoon got mad with Minhwan and Seunghyun and Hongki showed up hungover to a fan meet) but also features the five men drinking together and talking honestly to one another. Because, at the end of the day, FTISLAND has come so far together that the very suggestion that the thought of their group’s end is something they must protect against.

Also on KultScene: Banishing the Stigma of K-Pop Idol Singers, One ‘Mask King’ Episode At A time

Rated 19+

One of the most newsworthy things about the reality show is that it’s the first time a K-pop act filmed a mature rated reality show. FTISLAND’s clearly trying to break away from the K-pop idols image that helped them debut. And the band is popular enough that it no longer needs young K-pop fans; FTISLAND’s Primadonna fanclub is extremely loyal, and FTISLAND’s prowess as a band is not up for debate (I repeat, listen to their latest album in its entirety.)

Ugly HongkiUGLY HONGKI 2

But going 19+ is still risky. FTISLAND is still a K-pop band, and idols, no matter what anybody says. The choice to bare all (waxing!) is smart marketing but could only happen with a loyal fanbase. SHINHWA set an example of a K-pop act doing something outrageous to make fans happy and shot a nude photo book in 2001; FTISLAND shot 19+ in 2015. It’s not something that all K-pop idols could do and get away with, but FTISLAND’s outrageous attitudes have brought the band all over the world and made them successful. By “Coming Out!” FTISLAND is declaring its emancipation from manufactured.

It’s a bit difficult to find episodes of the show with subtitles, but here is a link to the first episode for anybody who has yet to watch.

“Coming Out! FTISLAND” is a fun reality show that highlights FTISLAND in all its R-rated glory. It’s a nice change from the usual, highly edited and cleaned up K-pop reality shows, and makes FTISLAND more likeable for it.

What do you think of FTISLAND’s coming out as something other than K-pop idols? Should other idols film 19+ shows? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

[All gifs credit Cross And Change on Tumblr]

Banishing the Stigma of K-Pop Idol Singers, One ‘Mask King’ Episode At A time

Let’s take some celebrities who people think they know, put masks on them, make them sing, and trick the general public into recognizing and admitting how talented some K-pop singers actually are.

If that’s what the producers of MBC’s Mask King said to themselves, they did a wonderful job in doing just that. Mask King turned South Korea’s attention to top Korean celebrities, and caused a public discussion about who was who. Disbelief and awe came after each episode’s unmasking, along with recognition of the hidden talent.

The show essentially forced Korea’s audience to admit that K-pop idols are more than just pretty packages.

With the likes of f(x)’s Luna, BTOB’s Sungjae, B1A4’s Sandeul, After School’s former leader and founding member turned soloist and music star Kahi, EXID’s Solji, and other singers who gained fame for being K-pop idols.

The producers of Mask King didn’t pick any mediocre singers. The first (and hopefully not last) season of the show showcased some of the most widely recognized, talented singers in South Korea. The surprise of Mask King was that some idols were able to break out of the K-pop idol box and prove their worth as live singers, singing with only a live band or other competitor as backup.

Many prominent performers appeared on the show but if a singer was recognized by their vocals show (Hong Jin Young, K.Will, Jo Kwon, etc.) then they cannot continue on to the next round. Surprisingly, nobody did this better than one of the most vocally respected members of one of Korea’s most popular idol groups, who has previously been featured in musicals and soundtracks, but the idol title kept her from gaining true recognition as a singer until Mask King came along.

Gold Lacquer Phenomenon

One singer, known as Gold Lacquer (or Use 2 Bucket Gold Lacquer), won multiple rounds of the show, for being both extremely talented and keeping the celebrity guests and audience from recognizing her voice.

The female vocalist continuously wowed the audience, and was given the title “Mask King” twice, before finally revealing that she was f(x)’s member Luna.

Also on KultScene: Unpretty Rapstar: Semi-Final Review

Luna debuted in 2009, and Korean and international viewers of the show alike figured out ahead of the reveal that she was likely Gold Lacquer. However, it wasn’t because her vocals were recognized automatically by fans of f(x). Instead, it was mostly because of her distinct nail polish that was visible while Gold Lacquer sang and on Luna’s Instagram; singers began to wear gloves shortly after the pictures were circulated around the Internet.

Answering The Question “Who Are These Singers?” With “Idols Can Sing Too”

Luna alone would be some well-deserved recognition, but an almost accidental side effect resulted from Mask King. Most solo singers and main vocalists of idol groups, like Navi, G.Na, 2AM’s Lee Changmin, FTISLAND’s Lee Hongki, were recognized almost right away. A few solo artists, such as Ivy and Kwon In Ha, were not immediately recognized, but it was the K-pop idols that gained the most attention, shocking people into noticing them.

Due to Mask King f(x)’s Luna, B1A4’s Sandeul, EXID’s Solji, BTOB’s Sungjae, were all given a chance to shine in a way that isn’t typically offered to them. They’re all from popular groups, but aren’t the popular member. Luna is arguably the least popular member of f(x), B1A4’s Jinyoung and Baro are representatives of the group, EXID’s burst to fame was due primarily thanks to member Hani, and BTOB’s recognition in South Korea and abroad has been minimal due to lack of hit songs.

K-pop is seen as a mostly contrived music genre both nationally and internationally, a genre of music that’s technologically advanced. But instead of singers, it’s filled with all around entertainers. But while not all K-pop idols are extremely talented singers, the ones who are shouldn’t be shunned because of the idol title.

The shock on the audience’s face each time an unknown singer revealed their mask to be an idol was visible, as if they were simply were unable to believe that the talent was hidden amongst K-pop. When Luna took off her mask, it was as if everyone in the auditorium was shocked that an idol could be so talented.

Also on KultScene: Not Making The Cut On ‘No.Mercy’ Highlights Weakness Of Idol Survival Shows

Netizen Buzz, a website that translates comments from Korean news articles into English, shared the reactions from the show that featured the unveiling of Luna and Sungjae.

One article from OSEN featured comments with over 9,000 upvotes, showing the popularity of the show. Some of the comments are as follows:

[A comment regarding Sungjae] with over 8,700 upvotes I normally didn’t give idols a chance because of idols so I had no idea that an idol of this level existed. I’ve been so selfish. I thought it’d be Lee Suk Hoon… I feel sorry for being biased against him. If the worst member of a group is this good, how good are the others..?

[A comment regarding Luna with over 3,000 upvotes] SM needs to apologize to Luna. They took a talent like this and made her sing nananana nuabo [f(x)’s Nu’ABO], jeez.

[A comment regarding Sungjae with over 560 upvotes] He’s not even the main vocalist and he’s this good… BtoB’s vocal line must be really talented then.

The magic of Mask King is that it promises the audience good performances and makes the viewers sit through every song, removing all bias against “manufactured” idols. All are equal behind the mask, no matter how pretty they are or how good of a dancer they are. Because of this, it gives K-pop idols who can sing but have been previously pegged as “mere” idol group members who go previously unrecognized (whether because they’re hidden amongst a crowd or simply because of the stigma against idols) a chance to shine.

Have you watched Mask King? What do you think of the stigma against idols? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts. Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Unpretty Rapstar: Semi-Final Review

I’m going to start this review off with saying that I have watched none of Unpretty Rapstar, so I may not be in the best position to really speculate on the outcome of the show. But after watching a couple of the raps, I felt compelled to listen to them all. What followed were four blistering tracks showing a great range in emotion and tone but all were personal for better or worse. I’m trying to look at these in a purely musical way ignoring the troubling mechanics of the show in order to get a better grasp of these girls as rappers. If we do that, then the show can turn out to be a force for good in giving some of these smaller female rappers a stage to shine on.

The semi final was split up into two rap battles, one between Cheetah and Jimin, the other between Jessi and Jolly V. These were less rap battles and more match ups, as they just performed one after the other.

Cheetah Coma 07

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Not Making The Cut On ‘No.Mercy’ Highlights Weakness Of Idol Survival Shows

Starship Entertainment recently announced the lineup of seven trainees who will debut as Monsta X. However, the interesting thing is that the seven were picked through the competition show No.Mercy, but some favorites were excluded from the final lineup. While the point of any survival show is to dwindle down the competitors, Monsta X includes some picks that the casual viewer may question. The reason? Korean idol survival shows aren’t about the most talented singers or performers. They’re about forming the most perfect idol group a company can put together while showcasing the talent of more trainees than they will allow to debut. So dropping two popular trainees in the last episode makes a lot of sense.

No.Mercy began with twelve competitors, with a 13th added later on, and individuals were gradually removed until there were nine trainees competing for seven spots of the upcoming boy group. Starship Entertainment announced the final line up for Monsta X on February 11th, including rappers Jooheon and IM and vocalists Shownu, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Wonho, and Minhyuk. One of the youngest vocalists, Seokwon, and rapper #GUN (pronounced “sharp gun”) were cut in the final episode –the latter being a true shock considering #GUN was continually ranked high in the show. This writer has seen a lot of fans commenting on social media about how the whole thing was fixed, and that may be true to a degree.

#GUN & Jooheon via prince-mino

#GUN & Jooheon via prince-mino

Even though No.Mercy took viewer’s votes and judges’ opinions into account on the show, at the end of the day, it’s Starship Entertainment’s group. So if competitors don’t fit the image for Monsta X, they’re gone. Talent only matters so far when there’s many things that K-pop idols need to accomplish nowadays. And that’s what happened with Seokwon and #GUN and all of the others who were cut, for a variety of reasons.

IM Over #GUN? Idol Mentality Versus Individuality

Adding IM halfway through was ostensibly to lead to more competition from the rappers, but to this writer, it appeared that he looked like an obvious replacement for #GUN in Starship’s new group. Bringing in a new trainee seemed, at the time, to signal that Starship Entertainment had decided that Yoonho and #GUN were still not set as final members; Jooheon was ranked number one throughout the show, and as such there was never a doubt that he would debut. Although Yoonho had trained for a long time, his rap never really could compare to #GUN or Jooheon’s, which meant that he would probably be cut, which he was in episode nine.

Also on KultScene: 4 Amazing Talents To Watch For From ‘K-Pop Star 4’

This means that IM was really brought in to either force #GUN to rap better or to be included in the final lineup. #GUN is a rapper who has his own colors and strengths, but throughout the show, judges picked #GUN’s theatrical, occasionally improvised rap as a potential weakness for an idol, and his dance skills were ranked low by other trainees.

via no-yoonho

#GUN via no-yoonho

Even though viewers and the judges were wowed by #GUN’s dance skills, particularly in the seventh episode, his individuality is ostensibly a liability for idol groups, which are based on teamwork more than actual skill. IM only appeared in a few episodes, but his rap skill quickly became obvious and his personality appeared less dynamic than #GUN, who is a human firecracker.

#GUN is extremely talented, but stylistically he doesn’t really fit into an idol group. A solo debut could potentially be in his future, or, as fans request, a debut with the other trainees who lost on No.Mercy, akin to members from Team B on YG Entertainment’s own survival show, WIN: WHO IS NEXT debuting with iKON.

Hyungwon, Minhyuk Over Seokwon? Visual, Moodmaker, Maknae.

Why pick two of the three over the other vocalist? Because there are roles in an idol group. Monsta X has rappers, vocalists, and dancers, and needed the visual and moodmaker position filled.

In addition, No.Mercy did a relatively poor job highlighting the uniqueness of the vocalists’ styles. The four rap trainees (and the later addition of IM) each had their own memorable style and sound, but only a few vocalists stood out for sounding unique (Kihyun, Minkyun, and Yoosu) throughout the show. That’s not to say that the rest of the vocalists aren’t talented, but No.Mercy was weak when it came to showcasing individual vocalists.

via starshipboys

Seokwon via starshipboys

Seokwon wasn’t included despite being a strong candidate because he neither stood out nor fulfilled anything that Monsta X would be lacking if either Hyungwon or Minhyuk were cut instead of him. Minhyuk and Seokwon were competitors, and often collaborators, during No.Mercy, which meant the final cut really had to come down to the two of them.

Throughout the show, the two varied in rank, but in the final few episodes, it seemed more likely that Minhyuk would be cut before Seokwon. However, from the start, Minhyuk was shown not only as a talented singer but also as the moodmaker. Every time he was in a scene, Minhyuk set the tone and it was really noticeable. Idol groups aren’t only about singing but performing, and Minhyuk’s personality is generally warmer than Seokwon. Moodmaker tops young member any day, and it also means that Seokwon has a few more years before he has to worry about not debuting.

Also on KultScene: What To Expect From ‘Mix & Match’

As for Hyungwon, idol groups need visual members, and Starship Entertainment has continually touted Hyungwon as the most visually pleasing member. Hyungwon really didn’t shine except during a handful of moments of No.Mercy, but he was shown to have a lot of fans during scenes the show filmed in the streets of Seoul and with live studio audiences. Hyungwon can sing, but his voice is not particularly memorable; his model-like features were his highlight. He beat his opponent in the second round, but he never stands out throughout the remainder of the show. But neither did Seokwon, and in music video for the song Interstellar in the last episode, Hyungwon really showed off his skills.

So, when it comes to a survival show like No.Mercy, or even ones like YG Entertainment’s WIN: Who Is Next?, where Starship Entertainment is showing off talent but prioritizing an idol group, the picks make sense. Why leave #GUN and Seokwon hoping until the end? Because it’s still a competition and they both were in the running the entire time. But, at the end of the day, #GUN and Seokwon didn’t fit. It really was a show with no mercy, as much as some of us are saddened by the last minute upsets.

Monsta X will feature:

Jooheon- Rapper

via Taehyunggiehyung

via Taehyunggiehyung

I.M – Rapper

via jiwwon

via jiwwon

Kihyun – Main Vocalist

via shinwonseok

via shinwonseok

Shownu – Vocalist, Dancer

via bemineinseoul

via bemineinseoul

Wonho – Vocalist, Dancer

via Jiwwon

via Jiwwon

Minhyuk – Vocalist, Moodmaker

via minhyeoks

via minhyeoks

Hyungwon – Vocalist, Visual

via chubjibunny

via chubjibunny

Are you excited about Monsta X’s debut? How do you feel about the final member line-up? Leave your thoughts on the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.