• http://www.m-rated.tumblr.com/ Michelle Chin

    Maybe there should be unions for trainees. But it’s not going to happen — at least now. Look at the current culture in south-east and east asian countries? To think of it, it’s almost crazy. Students like me are happy studying 12 hours a day, sick, or half-dead for the sake of getting into a good university, and continue to do the same until I get a good job, and overwork myself to near death, in hope of a dream that I can call my own. We learn that success can only come with hard work. Our fathers taught us this. Fathers of fathers taught them that. It’s ingrained inside of us. To work hard to get what we want. That’s why in some countries, you see shops open almost 24 hours, trains running at late night and early dawn, deliveries conducted in matter of hours (not days) and people behaving almost robotic like — devoid of emotions. When you tell us to take it easy, to relax — it’s almost insulting. Because relaxing is being lazy, at least in the mentalities of some people. This is crazy. I agree. This is unfair. This I agree. But to think of it, nothing is really fair. No success arrives without sacrifice. There are no free lunches in this world. I don’t condone abuse of trainees and I don’t condone this show. I think it’s sad. Like you’ve said, it doesn’t make things better — the fact that these things are going on and this show seems to affirm this fact. But to think of it, those kids entered traineeship knowing to a certain extent what happens if they don’t make it. Thus, they are willing to do anything to get there. That’s why when they win their first awards, they cry and all because we don’t really know what really goes on behind this shadowy world that appears to dazzles and rattles our hearts in ways we cannot even comprehend. It’s tears of bitterness and tears of joy. That’s why when they lose, they disappear, or maybe hurt themselves in ways we as the audience never know. To every success, there are 999 failures behind, the saying goes.

    Ethics? Equality? I wish for that to happen. But in the real world, even in university, ethics is more philosophy than practice. Some professors, for the sake of merit, actually encourage their students to falsify data. And as someone who would not subject myself to this, I just left. Because I couldn’t bring myself to do something like that. But some people do this. Like I’ve mentioned, people will just do anything when they feel like they have no choice and that this is the only road.

    I apologize if I’ve sort of gone out of topic but this is just to give you a flavor on what the mindset process is and what factors encourage this whole thing in the first place.

    And on the side note, I always find it funny when YG stans says that SM is cruel towards their trainees with their slave contracts and all. To be honest, it’s like the kettle calling the pot black. In this business where margin profits are possibly low (if you think that the entertainment business is glitz and glamour, you’re wrong. Costs are so high — at least according to my mom who does account for an entertainment agency back then), there is no room for failures. And by throwing part of the ball to the audience, YG is leveraging their position. To make themselves look slightly better. If one of the team loses, that’s because we voted them out. Not because YG kicked them out. Although, technically… they are the one controlling the cameras. A friend who participated in the pageant said that in pageants, the winner has been set from the start.

  • Zenstus Wong

    I feel that this reality-competition is a win-win thing for everyone. The key fact is that only one group would debut with or without this competition-based show. Without it, the top brass in YGE decide which group would debut & which would be consigned to the basement with an uncertain future & for God knows how long. That group would never have the chance to appear on broadcast or their names be known. They would not have the opportunity to display their talents.

    With this reality show, both groups have an equal chance at debuting. Even the losing group would at least have the opportunity to appear on TV & gain some form of recognition leading to possible new career options. The decision on which group to debut lies in the hands of the viewers. This would likely translate to a following for both groups who would have invested in them & thus form a solid fanbase for when the winning group debuts. It also pushes up the likelihood of the winning group to break into the cutthroat K-pop scene which see numerous new entrants every year. This is the same strategy that has been employed by entertainment companies through reality singing competition that’s so popular in Korea and gave us the likes of Lee Hi, Baek Ah Yeon, Akdong Musicians, Roy Kim, etc.

    I’m sure the humility of defeat is nothing new to all these trainees who would have probably gone for numerous auditions & tasted rejections before they got accepted into YGE. The opportunity to perform & display their talents on national TV would outweigh whatever humility they might suffer in the show.

  • bitchyoucrazy

    I have to check out Hot Blood now. How bad were the other trainees if Taecyeon, Chansung, and Nichkhun made the final cut?

    • http://www.twitter.com/veiledheart veiledheart


    • Risa Sinn

      It’s funny because Doojoon was cut and he could actually sing. And the few times I heard him rap was still better than Taecyeon. The only thing he lacked was dancing, but he was more aimed for 2AM anyways.

      • http://itzbeast.tumblr.com/ NyTx3

        Exactly, Doojoon was actually one of the talented guys there but didn’t make the cut. He’s definitely better than Taecyeon at rapping….as well as singing.

        But yeah, he was supposed to be in 2AM, not 2PM.

  • Dahee Jung

    Maybe people don’t consider this, but this is what happens in real life. Honestly people, haven’t you heard of idol’s trainee period stories? People train for years to debut as an idol, five or more years of training is normal. Most of the really famous idols (and the B-list idols too) have had long trainee life, jumping from company to company, getting dropped, the group that they were training with disbanding. Some trainees give up being an idol, due to fruitless years of training, and move on to be successful actors/actresses.

    Also, the K-Entertainment world right now, is a little… too BIG. Even though carrying out the Win pogram will add to the enlargement of the industry, other companies, trainees and wanna-be trainees will have something to look at to see what real trainee life is about. Hard Work. Even Korean youth that aren’t trainees do alot of hard work, due to the pressure and competition of studying, and those who seek fame are considered to be people that play (and some probably are). This program will (maybe) give those “playingkids” inspiration to work harder.

    Honestly, I think that WIN is a great idea for the benefit of the company (although it has a lame name and YG obviously got the idea from Pledis). Obviously the audience isn’t all that is going to be considered with debuting these groups. I also think that YG already picked which group to debut (most likely group A). There already been alot of changes behind the scenes because last year, there was only one boy group, then shortly after that, another boy group was formed due to K-POPStar. Then apparently now, the Superstar K boy is with the K-POPStar boy and creating the group that is probably going to debut next.

    Competition is not a new idea in the entertainment world, and certainly not in the real life world either. When Seventeen TV was announced, there wasn’t this much negative response. When this was first announced, I thought this was a great idea. From one of the previous announcements there are 40-something tainees at YG, and not all of them can debut. The world is tough people.

    Fighting to those in the program!!! I will certainy be playing.

  • 내가 제일 잘나가

    As a YG stan, I was so disappointed on hearing about this. Sometimes, I feel the family thing is a ploy or a gimmick. Also along with the fact that there seems to be civil wars in the YG fandom than other companies too (let’s not even get into the blackjack fandom). YG has an emotional attachment to the older family but seems not to give a damn about the new ones just seeing them as commodities. I truly don’t understand why you would give no choice to youth who run the risk of feeling humiliated and 100x more pressured on top of the already competitive industry to appear on this show. It’s like a k industry version of The Hunger Games. I just think YG needs to start paying more attention to his relationship with people in his company more than his relationship with the Media.

  • ShootAnonymous

    There are two factors at play here that are making the backlash against this reality tv concept stronger than it normally is.

    1. Idols sell idealised realities. Harsh truths about reality are not what most idol fans are looking for. If I wanted that I’d go watch the news.

    2. Fundamentally, the aim of this show is different from other casting shows.(e.g. Mydol). It’s more like Survivor than American Idol. Last (group) one standing wins a mil dollars (a debut).

    Despite the good number of trainees being eliminated in Mydol, the show’s first and foremost purpose to gain fans for the upcoming group was very evident. It was about debuting a new group, not eliminating excess trainees.

    YG’s show. From the outset I think everyone can feel the “Hunger Games”-vibe — why? Because at least half of the draw is about one group getting eliminated. It’s much less about getting people or groups out there (Kang seung yoon is by no means a complete nugu -relative to other idols-) THIS show, is about eliminating a group, made all the more evident by the farce of a name “WINNER” that’ll be given to the non-eliminated group.

    From what I’ve seen so far about the show concept, it already seems to be done in bad taste.

  • Ariel2003

    I wonder if YG would let his daughter participate in a show like this when she grows up. The concept is really great groundbreaking even, a program aimed to expose the emotional and mental strength of teenagers dealing with rejection from the public. If you get rejected you could relive the moment in full HD glory, courtesy of the DVD given by YG on your way out or if they’re too cheap the internet will not let you down. Oh and don’t forget to get the parent’s reaction as they watch their child get tormented on national TV that’s the very definition of a f***king good reality program. Don’t you even dare accuse YG of having a social conscience (really people where do you get such moronic ideas) they do not exist for that. They are here to earn a profit in every tasteless way possible, get that through your thick head. So yeah I guess he will let his daughter go on a show like this as long as the price is right.

    • Sundos Alhayek

      You said the only words that really needed to be said here.

    • mine

      oh please no is getting tormented if it’s that big of a deal to you then go fly to korea and save these poor innocent souls from being cut from a group, the poor things
      and doojoon for example seems fine and he was on a show like this

  • Chris

    I like YGE but I don’t like YG.

    From his 2ne1’s dating ban to supearls’ disbandment, I’m getting frustrated with how YG handles his artists.

    The WIN program is just adding to that list.

    With the WIN program, even after the “winners” have been chosen, there’s going to be trust issues. How easy is it to trust a boss that was going to get break up your team if the other team won? Why is he willing to years of my hard work on the line for the sake of television entertainment? There’s going to be resentment from the losers too. Even if they get into a new group, how long will that take?

    On a side note, the name… Oh. God. No. WINNERS? That’s a title given in elementary school to someone who wins a kickball tournament. Not a boy band. No. Just no.

    • mangochic

      Not defending YG or anything but most companies don’t allow their artists to date as it messes with the illusion that they are ‘your’ boyfriend/girlfriend so invest in them, etc.

  • skyeskye

    Sure the trainee competition is fierce, but if I were a trainee, I wouldn’t want my humiliation and disappointment broadcasted for the world to see.

    Also, I think YG is stretching itself way to thin. With 2NE1’s once-a-month release plus “debuting” his other new girl group one or two at time, how can he concentrate on a boy group as well? (Also, when is Big Bang having a comeback…?).
    They couldn’t even manage to debut SuPearls who already had a loyal following…

  • Josh Chinnery

    For those people who are saying that this is no big deal and that this is business as usual (and even going so far as to point out idol shows like Hot Blood or BIGBANG Documentary), can I point a few things out to you?

    1) I may not be stupid enough to think that dropped trainees/disbanded groups aren’t the norm in the K-Pop world (and the entertainment industry at large), but at least those dropped trainees/groups still have a little dignity knowing they were dropped behind closed doors and not for the world to see. That’s one of the biggest issues I have with this show; the losing group being tossed away for everyone to see and the winning group being named WINNER (which is a *really* stupid name).

    2) Those other idol shows were about forming an idol band, not pitting two already formed ones against each other. That just sounds like a bad idea. Even if the other group manages to stick around without being cut or having members replaced, that is going to cause some horrible tension in YG, a la T-ARA style.

    I’m hoping I’m not sounding too melodramatic (or unrealistic) here, but this could have been handled so much better. Why not just debut the group you think is more ready, and have the other keep training.

    Also, I’d like to say that it’s *your* bad managing skills YG that are to blame for debuting soloists/groups in a similar time frame. I’m actually wondering how the heck you’re going to manage 2NE1’s comeback, Kang Seung Yoon’s debut, this reality show, their girl group’s over-the-top debut, and Akdong Musician’s debut when they’re up. I’m hoping all of these plans don’t crash and burn, because you’re going to have hell to pay if they do XD

    • Zainlovesmusic

      Akdong isn’t debuting this year. Kang seung yoon is just releasing a single without promoting and 2ne1 is releasing their single next week. They already said so at the Singapore concert and they are going to start filming June 24th-26th. It’s not the first time yg had two groups promoting stuff at the same time anyway. Lee hi and epik high last year both promoted and released stuff during a similar time frame.

      • Josh Chinnery

        Well there’s some good news in all this XD And I was just pointing out how ridiculous it sounded when YG used the length of BIGBANG’s training period as justification for not being able to debut one boy group this year and another next (or something).

        • Zainlovesmusic

          Eh I’m pretty sure he’s planning to debut both eventually especially if their styles are different. He just needs to make sure that people watch the show so he’s upping the stakesto make sure people would vote for the group they really want. It would be a waste to set up two groups and then let one completely go after a long time of putting them together. A bunch of trainees were cut before too like Donnie who was a dancer became a trainee but he went back to being a back up dancer recently. Also there are some people in both groups that yg is not going to let go of bc they either signed the exclusive contract or bc he thinks they have great potential. People are expecting team a to win bc of Kang seung yoon but I won’t be so sure bc most of his fans want him to stay a soloist so depending on how he fits in the group they might not win. Group b has BI who has been training since he was 14 and groomed to be the next gd/teddy judging by his practice videos on YouTube. And he was appointed as a leader since he was 14 years old. That’s why I’m thinking that even if the second group doesn’t debut exactly the same as on the show they will debut somehow. Either we soloist or duos.

    • Letti

      lol you do sound melodramatic sorry xD

      first of all the losing team won’t get locked in a cage or thrown away.. they just make the show sound harsh and dramatic for the sake of promotion.. though yeah the name WINNER is kinda stupid >< I reaaally hope it will grow on me but I reaaally doubt it xD

      everyone seems to forget Hyunseung who was also eliminated from BigBang and then he debuted with Beast (I've heard this story many times.. this person was a trainee in this company but debuted with that company)

      ugh please don't mention T-ara when talking about YG here.. (no hate.. just saying)

      "Those other idol shows were about forming an idol band, not pitting two already formed ones against each other."

      since when did competitions become "a bad idea"?? tsk tsk don't you know that people get better and stronger with competitions?? I actually think that this is something good for both of the teams! besides people are going to get to know them through this show.. so even if in the end some of them get kicked out they might be picked up by some other company..

      anyway we just have to wait and see…
      I actually think that YG is a very smart businessman.. he knows that it's not easy to debut a half-ready group right now.. I mean there are so many groups ou there and so many debuting all the time! I think this show gets to serve two roles.. first to catch our attention so we can expect something.. and second promotion for whichever group will debut… ;)
      (dunno about his managing skill though.. u might be right.. I mean he really is in a tough spot right now lol I hope he'll pull through though.. cause there are too many good artists and groups in there! YG get a grip of yourself please!!!)

  • witchz135

    “And may the odds be ever in your favour~”

    ….I don’t even- T_T

  • Jasmine Samodio


    As a YG stan, it’s really hard to give a reaction to this kind of sensitive matter but I think rather being an overconfident, YG is also a one pressured CEO.

    It’s really hard to create a group that many people would give their interest to it. Competition is getting higher and higher as the time passes by because even if you debut to a well-known company, there’s always someone out there who’s better than you are.

    Well, the “Winner” is kinda lame and harsh “reality show” but this kind of debuting process has been used since the old days of K-pop scene. I think it’s actually part of the Korean culture. It has to be the best. I’m not saying YG artists are the best but they are the best and perfectly fit to the company. There are already a lot of trainees who have left or have been kicked out to the YG, but why?

    Others may have different dreams, just like continuing their studies in college or have a different career. I think others are getting impatient because they want to debut as soon as possible. There has many different reasons but even if you leave or kicked out, it’s always for the something better. Just like with Hyunseung, I think we won’t be able to see this kind of Hyunseung if he debuted in YGent. Also the Supearls, I felt that it’s such a waste of letting go of such an amazing talents, but without Jimin(of JYPent) and replaced by Hayi, I don’t think it would be that awesome as the original Supearls members.

    I just wanna clarify that this article really has a point and I’m not against of it. YG is a businessman and a human himself. He’s not perfect. He can make bad decisions, he can be as harsh as other CEO’s out there, He’s a businessman that wants money. It has been in the human nature to have selfish desires. To be honest, I can’t blame him, he’s one pressured businessman who’s thinking what’s the best for the company. Sacrificing some dreams for the benefit of the living of many people in the company is better than putting all of them on the ground.

    Lastly, trainees are also humans, making their choices of their own. If they think that joining that “reality show” will lead them to a better future just let them be, but even if the other group will lose. They will surely learn something from it ,and after all, it’s still not the end of the game for them. As long as they continue to work hard and believe in their dreams, they’ll be successful.

    (sorry sa nobela,spamming,feels,wrong grammars, at poor english *bow*) XDV

    • Letti

      I almost agree with you.. but trust me.. this article at some point do get far-fetched! so don’t worry.. even though you’re YG-stan your opinion is just fine and not too biased! ^^ (that dude mixed up a competition that this show is with sexual abuse! the article has some points but mostly it doesn’t even make sense! :P)
      I just don’t agree with what you said “sacrifice a few dreams for the sake of the company”.. YG can kick out, keep or debut someone.. but he can’t sacrifice anyone’s dreams cause they’re not his to sacrifice! =)
      I think all trainees in all companies know very well that their future is uncertain! It’s always a competition but if you never give up and if you really have talent you won’t disappear just like that ;) worst case senario.. u debut with another company :P of course there might be some people that don’t get what they deserve but usually is because of “bad luck”.. well shit happens! it’s not a perfect world, but it’s not the end unless you give up!
      Oh one last thing! I think you really have a point in saying that YG is very pressured!! these days so many groups debut of course he wants to find the best timing for debut a group.. a good group! not only for the sake of the company but for the sake of the group too! so yeah! that show also serves as good promotion!! that’s why they make it sound so harsh and dramatic.. it’s just promotion.. ;)

  • mine

    Huh, wait ? How is what he is doing messed up it’s the same as shows like kitchen nightmares and what companies have been doing for years. You know,
    1.Plan a group
    2.Gather up people for that group
    3.Keep the ones who mesh well with that group
    4.Then debut that group
    Besides it’s not like he debuted the group then in the middle of their promotions then decided to cut some members that would have been messed up. Some of you guys are overreacting lol don’t you think?

    “Anyone who’s spent a decent amount of time in K-pop knows full well that the audition and training process for K-pop idols is grueling and merciless, and that little effort is made to ensure that the delicate, naive dreams and emotions of these 12-year old trainees remain unmarred by the unforgiving and ruthless demands of the business world.”
    Lol I’m sure they’ll be fine, if they truely have a dream in the entertainment world then being cut from a company will stop them for a bit but not hold them down.
    “Not only does the show commodify trainees into disposable little pawns worth nothing apart from their potential marketability as pop idols”
    That’s kinda what trainees are they are not permanent under companies, besides they aren’t really disposed don’t be so over dramatic, take Hyunseung he wasn’t disposed he was recycled and the guys who get cut from yg may debut as a group in the future, some may be put in the winning group and some may join other compaines. They may be some who do neither of the above but what can you do.
    “…but there’s no getting around the fact that the dehumanization and commodification of people for the sake of profit is wrong and ought not to be tolerated, no matter the circumstances. Turning it into entertainment is even worse.”
    What? You making sound like these trainees are going to be fighting to the death like some real life hunger games when all they will most likely be doing singing and dancing.
    “but YG doesn’t seem to think that the cruel reality unveiled through this honesty is problematic at all.”
    Because it’s not, things like this have been done before, why complain about it now? Now it is sad for the ones who get cut but life goes on and its not the worst thing in the world, also it doesn’t mean their dreams are destryoed, just look at all the kpop idols who trained under a company didn’t make it and debuted in a differnt one and the idols who were in a group line who like soyeon of T-ara. I bet she felt dissapointed that she didn’t debut in snsd but that didn’t hold her back and she debuted in T-ara.
    “YG’s treatment of their trainees and their choice to pit them against each other a la Battle Royale is unsettling in itself, but their nonchalant, “business-as-usual” attitude and their regard towards their trainees as disposable and commodifiable objects is what makes the existence of a show like WIN especially sickening.”
    Sickening? Oh wow you must hate shows like americas top model or superstark.
    “But the fact that YG has the guts to produce a variety show that effectively glamorizes this commodification and abuse really puts them in a league of their own.”
    “YG publicly affirms and endorses the belief that the mistreatment and commodification of trainees is not only normal, but is necessary.”
    But there are other shows highly similar to what yg show it going to be about and are you serious with the words abuse and mistreatment do you know the defintions or are you just using these words to make your article sound good. These people are not being abused or mistreated they’ll probably just singing and dancing agiasnt one another; I imagine it’ll be something like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9kKcFbzuMM not making it in a boygroup is not abuse or mistreatment, I think the word for looking for is upsetting.
    “This lessens the pressure and lowers the standards for larger companies like SM and JYP to treat their trainees and artists with equity for the sake of good PR.”
    Jyp had a show simliar to what yg plans to do and both compaines do the same thing but I guess it’s okay that they “abuse” their trainees behind closed doors.
    “This gives the green light for smaller, shadier companies to continue abusing trainees with a lighter conscience”
    Alright cutting people out of a line up of potential canditates for a new group is not abuse.
    “If you are concerned about young female trainees being sexually abused in exchange for an idol debut, you should be concerned about this show.”
    Okay author please tell me its Aprils fools day in the part of the world that you live in, how in the world is trainees being cut from a potential group line up show on the same level as trainees being sexually abused. I mean being dropped from a company is like number 98 on the 100 thing screwed up in the entertainent world but being sexually abused is just so high up there on that list. I’m surprised someone on seoulbeats would say something like that.
    “If you are concerned about an entertainment industry that is showing increased acceptance of the “reality” of pop artist-hopefuls surrendering pieces of their humanity in order to survive training, you should definitely be concerned about this show.”
    Surrendering pieces of their humanity? Surrendering pieces of their humanity? I can’t even..
    “and it will matter — to smaller companies wanting to emulate YG’s brand of success, to other executives looking for loopholes, to people who look up to YG and believe that YG genuinely has the best interests of their artists in mind.”
    They’ve already been doing things like this.

  • whoa1205

    Competition shows like this are nothing new though. Like you said before, they did it with Hot Blood or Mydol.

    However, you failed to mention one major point (and in my opinion the real reason why this is unfair and BS): the soon-to-be solo artist Kang Seung Yoon will be training with one of these groups – if his group wins, then KSY debuts as both a solo artist and as a boy group member. If his group loses, then KSY gets to be just a soloist.

    This is the major problem I find with this entire program that YG is planning. It’s not a real competition – it’s an unfair fight to begin with. KSY is immensely popular (product of a singing show, CFs, even a drama role, not to mention his solo song being released) even with k-netizens, who have been anticipating his debut for years. It’s rigged. And if for some miraculous reason the group that does not have KSY wins, then KSY still gets his debut…leaving his group members behind and meaning they will forever get branded as being so bad that even KSY couldn’t save them. It’s completely messed up.

    • Letti

      at least someone found a real reason -.- this article is so messed up!! o.O
      anyway I know what you mean but don’t forget there are going to be 10 episodes so that people can also get to know the other trainees too before the voting! also what u say about KSY might actually backfire cause I’ve read some people saying “I want team B to win cause I want KSY only solo not team” etc.. so maybe that kinda balances things out!
      I don’t think that the “losers” are getting “stigmatized”.. I mean this show is actually a promotion for all of them.. and just because you lose doesn’t mean you suck! (unless you really suck lol)
      and in the end maybe this whole thing is already pre-determined… who know… let’s just wait and see.. it’s not like we can do anything else :P

  • June

    i don’t know what to say
    i’m kinda speechless

    • Letti

      before you speak and before you let anything you read affect what you think…… first think for yourself ;)
      I mean this article is way far-fetched!!
      I mean dafuq? just because YG decided to throw a competition between his trainees to fire things up and give the motivation and make them better (a competition actually has those results) how does this have anything to do with sexual abuse or all the other things that were written above!??? jesus!! o.O

  • lovelytunes

    Well, maybe YG will end up debuting both groups. Being the troll he is, it might just happen. So let’s just see how things go. The show might not even end up airing.

    • Letti

      I was also thinking the same… maybe the losing group will debut late next year or in 2 years who knows?? though it depends on what will happen to the trainees.. I mean maybe some of them will give up or even debut with another company (it has happened before and not just talking about Hyunseung here ;p) we just have to wait and see…

  • KrisMyStar

    UGH hated this survival show idea as soon as I heard of it. Why pit two groups against each other? Why not just member to member? What if there’s some crazy-talented guy in the loser group that gets cut just because the rest of his group members aren’t good enough? I can just see this whole thing ending up in a bloody mess.

    • Letti

      hopefully not! I think YG is just trying to promote the whole thing with all this drama “the loser’s future is uncertain” and all :P but we’re talking abou YG here… maybe he will change the members of the teams in like episode 8 or even maybe after the WINNER is decided he will say let’s also add this member or remove that member from the team etc etc lol

  • Fatricia Fatlegs (Trish Okeke)

    I think it’s stupid to believe that there is going to be a real competition between the two groups. It’s the entertainment industry and to entertain is what they are supposed to do. Most probably the WINNER members are already pre determined and that this show is just for publicity. Also, WINNER is a terrible name indeed.

    • Letti

      well I don’t know if they really are pre-determined or not.. but yeah sure all this dramatized version of a competition it’s also part of promoting :P
      I also don’t like the name WINNER x.x

  • J2201987

    So….will everyone band together to start a petition to keep this from happening?

  • Tessa Caetano

    I sincerely wish there is not one person here trying to justify this bullshit YG is trying to do. Aren’t we all human here? Trainees and Idols are no less human than us.

    • Letti

      yeah but now you’re trying to compare potatoes with shoes… o.O
      umm sure ok whatever u say human rights and all… but what does any of this have to do with a C.O.M.P.E.T.I.T.I.O.N??
      first of all this is good for both teams cause people tend to get better and stronger through a competition!
      secondly they’re not going to beat the crap out of them and lock them in cages -.- they’re just gonna choose a team to debut.. and it’s not the end of the world for the losing team! it’s not the end unless you give up!
      what you say makes no sense… (that comes from me who was also surprised and sceptical about this at the beginning! but I don’t find this competition any different that any other talent shows like kpop star etc)

  • indenial

    So the losers will be another Hyunseung.2 but what are the chances of them succeeding like Hyunseung? Should they all just move to Cube??

    • Letti

      just don’t forget one thing.. everyone can debut and/or make it big.. NOT..
      it’s sad but it’s true.. otherwise we would all quit our jobs and become idols :P

  • Jan

    YG needs prayer………now may we bow our heads. Wait for it……damn I don’t think it worked!

  • Dulce

    How is it different from any music competition show in the industry? It’s cut-throat. Someone wins and someone loses. And there will be profits made.

    1) Yes, it makes sense that 2 groups cannot debut in the same time frame because YGE may not have the staffing/producing capacity to support 2 groups promoting at the same time for the FIRST time if they want it to be a quality-driven debut. It’s already difficult for 2 labelmates to promote at the same time, especially if they are 2 groups with multiple members. And the BIG BANG reference just shows that they (the boys AND the staff) had to take that long to even debut ONE boy group since it was the first idol group from the company.

    2) The whole battle or competition. Yu-gi-oh-esque or not, I still don’t see how this is controversial as EVERY competition has a winner or a loser, someone who gets the ‘glory’ from the show and someone who may end up in the shadows. But there are many stories in which ‘losers’ have become ‘winners’ in other instances in which other people become the losers. So I don’t understand why a competition is a big deal. At least with this competition, they would get exposure and that at least one of the groups will not be in the shadows anymore (hopefully).

    3) How can you say that the ‘harsh, troubling reality’ is being presented ‘as trivial entertainment’ when we haven’t even seen how the show is? I suppose you also stand against BIG BANG’s documentary as well as other shows that document how difficult it is to go through the traineeship of any K-POP star. But face it, if you are so concerned about this harsh and troubling reality, then the big-picture question is then shouldn’t you be against the entire K-POP traineeship (the cliched way of how you put it… with the whole naive 12-year-old and evil businessmen who lure them into a life of rich and fame) in general? While the story may ring true for several artists and trainees and management companies, let’s not be so bold as to generalize. Yes, these narratives may speak to some, but not all. And if this harsh and troubling reality speaks to MOST trainees, then can we give them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they’re getting themselves into (since I’m sure a lot of them are not 12-year-olds)… and even if we can’t… then shouldn’t we clamor for the banishment of such horrible realities that these entertainment companies establish for these kids?

    4) I’m glad that the writer put it out there that she is an SM fan. That definitely screams at me already that this is a biased article. While I wouldn’t usually take my time to comment on articles such as these that can easily be construed (and maybe rightly so) as just another YG-fam fan rant, the notion that this reality show is viciously different from any other competition show worries me and the dangerous correlations you make of this show with immorality, lack of equity and even sexual violence worries me. And I think that if the writer really wanted to speak in big-picture terms and their concerns for security and well-being standards of entertainment companies, they should consider that this show fails in comparison to news of lawsuits against entertainment companies for mistreatment, stories of KPOP idols fainting or being sent to the hospital due to over-exhaustion, etc. For a writer, I think that there needs to be some discretion in jumpting to conclusions and making way too many huge, dangerous correlations between 2 issues… because this tells me that it’s nothing more than a witch-hunt article that aims to vilify a particular party without really making any other references of other possible parties that may have had the same or different (more ‘humane’) ideas to showcase talent and thus utterly fails to critically analyze the bigger issue at hand (if that’s what the writer was really trying to get at).

    5) Let’s face it. It’s a competition show. While it has been stated that the show would be ‘harsh’, I think that the word was meant as an advertising tool to make people curious about the show. Because all competitions are ‘harsh’ and especially in the music industry in Korea. It is cut-throat (and if he used this word, I’m sure the writer as well as critic hawks would think YG is out sharpening knives to get ready for the show). If we are criticizing the show for being barbaric, then we are saying that all competitions (whether it be aired on TV or not) are as well. If we are saying that even if this competition is okay but they should just do it in the privacy of their entertainment building, we are saying that we don’t really want to see how difficult it is for a trainee, let alone a group, to debut onto the music scene. Then really we just don’t want to face that reality. If we don’t want to watch the show because maybe there are somethings there that will make me feel sad like someone getting yelled at for not doing their homework or not doing their best, then I think that you need to check your sensitivity level and maybe step outside of your room into the world where people sometimes do get yelled at if they make a mistake. If the show does reveal something sinister to us, then better yet. You know why? Then we can clamor and demand that whatever ‘sinister’ thing it was, that entertainment companies should stop doing that and that there needs to be change. That’s what transparency does. Of course, the show won’t entirely be transparent as it will be cut and edited (just like other shows aired on TV), but I think it will show us a lot and we can learn from it.

    And at the end of all this, I still don’t understand why the need to single out this one show when competition shows are everywhere and they don’t seem to show or lead to the things that the writer warns us about. If we want to talk evils of the K-POP world, then how about we talk in length about the sentencing of the CEO who admitted to committing several sex crimes against his trainees and how people like him should be given the harshest possible sentencing to deter this kind of seemingly pervasive and patriarchal behavior that does run rampant in the entertainment industry given the numerous incidents that have popped up these days. Or how about CEOs and managers demanding or encouraging (same thing) their artists and trainees to have plastic surgery, which artists themselves have revealed? That’s not just one company, but quite a few.

    • CLass

      Thank you for pointing out everything I wanted to say.

  • geronajoy

    why do SM fans have to comment here?! get a life! SM is Different from YG. Gosh people, don’t you know your alphabets?!?! S-M vs Y-G HEllo?!! dumbasses..

  • xxxSRY


  • Literati Tempo

    YG is the worst about debuting groups he keeps so much talent locked in the dungeons of the YG Building it should be a crime. Hopefully the losers are able to get contracts elsewhere. Not that it will matter because soon enough YG will tire of them and they’ll go by the way of 2NE1 or Gummy. Never to be heard of again.

  • Sei Satou

    since the first time i saw the news about this. i already knew its gonna be a big mess. first is i really dont get why they are announcing this new boy group while they still have the pending comebacks of 2ne1 GD and Taeyang also the new girl group that he was talking a.bout since last year. may i add that the new girl group’s debut is totally overdue and as the wait is prolonged the hype and attention that has been given to them is dwindling down. now this new boy group. im really tired withYG announcing things but in the end they could not deliver on time and kept on delaying. Why make promise you cant keep?

    YG is totally messed up. they create 2 boy groups and kang seung yoon is one of the members. isn’t it quite unfair to the other members because win or lose he will still get to debut. no offense to the guy because he deserves to debut as well but i dont like YG for adding him in there.
    next is only one group will get to debut and it is decided by text votes. i dont like this idea at all. all the hardwork their future rests on the hands of the viewers.
    i also dont like that the losing team will be put in the pit of an uncertain future. it seems like they were given false hope.
    Given that YG is the master of trolling and delays atm i doubt his words when he say that the WINNER will get to debut immediately after the show ends. im totally side eyeing YG right now. I think there’s a big possiblity that even the Winner might get a delay in their debut. If this is the case withbthe Winneri dont even want to know what will happen to the unfortunate ones

    • Letti

      they didn’t “create 2 boy groups”.. I mean..in fact they’re still trainees..
      they’re future is in their own hands.. if they’re in the losing team it’s their choice to give up or keep it up.. (ahem.. Hyungseung.. does this name ring a bell??:P)
      the “uncertain” future is what ALL trainees from ALL companies have.. and actually all people even you and me ;)
      every thing else u said though is true.. too many promises from YG papa and too much trolling :P he’s probably doing this on purpose to keep our attention I guess..
      anyhow..people shouldn’t get so worked up about this show.. YG just being dramatic for the sake of promotion..
      come on people it’s a korean show.. of course there’s gotta be suspense and people crying etc :P but really now.. the end of the show is not the end of the world for the losing team..
      also YG created this competition so that all of them will become better through it!(first episodes is already out now so you can really tell)
      well people do get better and stronger through a competition! it’s a good thing for both teams.. it’s only unfortunate that only one team will debut in the end.. I just hope it’s really the best in terms of skills that will debut and not in terms of popularity!!

  • taequila777

    I believe YG is suffering from blockage. Someone schedule a colonoscopy…STAT!

  • G-Raim

    “If you are concerned about young female trainees being sexually abused in exchange for an idol debut, you should be concerned about this show.”

    I’m sorry, what? You are comparing losing a reality TV show to sexual abuse? Are you for real? I can just see that defence in court.

    “But your honour, when I saw people being eliminated from The Voice, I felt that meant it was reasonable that I could have an intimate relationship with my trainee without her consent.”

    I get you have your SM fan panties in a bunch over the fact that YG is doing anything at all, but it is seriously not right to throw sexual abuse around like it is a trump card. YG is not abusing anyone on national television – least of all sexually. And the slippery slope one-leads-to-another argument is a giant logical fallacy.

    As for the rest of your article – YG held the BIGBANG documentary that already showed viewers the reality behind the scenes and the competition between members with B2STs HyunSeung being eliminated from the group. It did not cause the industry to devolve into new levels of neanderthalic behaviour.

    JYP held the Hot Blood Men documentary showing the training days of One Day (2AM/2PM) in which Lee Swichi, Im Daehun, and Yoon Doojoon were also all eliminated. Again, the industry did not fall apart.

    Besides, I am pretty sure that SM needs no pointers from YG on how to mistreat their idols. Just ask JYJ and Han Geng.

    • mangochic

      She didn’t imply that YG is abusing the trainees, she said that some other trainees in other companies may be forced to hand out sexual favors so that they can appear on a show similar as this so that they get fame and fortune.

      • G-Raim

        Quote: “But the fact that YG has the guts to produce a variety show that effectively glamorizes this commodification and abuse really puts them in a league of their own.”

        Sounds like she is claiming YG is abusing the trainees to me. And glamourising it to boot.

        And again, if a CEO/Producer/Manager is that way inclined, then he will do it with or without this show. By implying that the show will somehow be responsible for the existence of these predators removes the blame from where it belongs.

        Sexual assault should not be trivialised like this because someone can’t handle their biases. Decent people should be able to act decently despite what other people are doing.

        • Guest

          again.. amen!

        • Letti

          again.. amen! :P

    • Letti

      amen! xD

  • Lina90

    it seriously felt like over abused/exploitation over those trainees. As a yg artist fan, this is major turn off for me. As much as I love bigbang, it was so heart-wrenching to watch their bigbang documentary. I enjoyed their yg tv/2ne1 tv/bigbang tv or even their bts or kind of those laid back program much much more because those really represent their image as family and really showcase their personality as free artist (as far as it make sense) and less than mere labelmates. Bb documentary can be happened once and they have strong bond among each member but this new program so much sounded like hunger games in kpop and I really doubt it. Gosh I hope they know what they’re doing. YG really getting my nerves lately gaaahhh

  • sachiko_ogasowara

    I wouldn’t be so surprised if this is one of YG’s trolling announcements, hence, making those commenters, most especially his bashers, be sucked up as YG himself.

  • Alex Cabilte

    I just lost my respect on YG with this news.Used to be quite different with him now I just don’t know.He should know better that being a trainee is no joke since he is an artist himself. It would not have been bad if he organized a show to look for groups who he can debut not choose the winner from the trainees who worked their asses of god knows how long ala gladiator style. It really is disgusting to hear them showing off this show and think that what they are doing is fair and justifies all the wasted hopes and time of these trainees. Now I feel like Kpop really has no more hope to resurface as purely a talent industry. Even the companies I thought treated their artists pretty decently(e.g YG) have joined the bandwagon and realized that they could care less about real music if they have all the money.

    • Letti

      I understand where you’re coming from.. but I really believe that all this “a la gladiator style” is just a “dramatification” for the sake of promotion :P
      this is not a death penalty it’s just a competition and even if u lose it’s not the end unless you give up! ;)
      (if you do a little research you will see how many idols started as trainees here and ended up debuting there.. were in this group but ended up debuting with that group… hint*Hyunseung*hint)

  • Tiffany Noel

    I’m not so sure about all this, but the optimist in me thinks that both groups will be fine, regardless of who wins or loses. WIN will give each group immense popularity. I’m sure that the group that doesn’t win will still be able to debut sooner or later with a little extra training. They may split up. Some might even drop out of YG and go into separate companies, whether it be Cube, SM, TSE etc. Let’s just all try to stay positive and stop hating on YG, because even though we may not want to admit it, this is how life works. It’s a simple fact that only the best survive in the entertainment industry (or anywhere else for that matter). And I know that not everyone has their struggles filmed for the world to see, but overcoming the loss may prove to be a good lesson for them. It should teach them that life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine and that you sometimes have to go through different struggles and fight for what you want. Even though you may not succeed the first time, try and try again (yes Hyunseung, I’m talking about you ^.^). I guess I’ll watch this and see how it goes…

    • Letti

      I totally agree with you!! =) I actually just wrote about Hyunseung too ^^ (though my own reply was ugh more like a long essay heh (^_^)”> )

  • you’rePressed

    Fully agree with this article. This is the biggest mistake of the fucking year. Probably the biggest mistake in kpop ever. Kpop is built on fantasy, happy land, etc etc and is reinforced with those variety shows where everyone gets along. Obviously, behind the cameras it’s probably not like this and trainee life isn’t all rainbows but he is totally destroying the image that kpop is built on; The one that lacks cynicism. We know what happens but none of us want to really SEE the reality. Good job YG! Good job on destroying the whole fantasy that ent companies successfully created over all these years. I hope this show gets boycotted by the second episode.

  • http://skatingchiic.tumblr.com/ Sungel

    i feel like this is YG’s version of the pathetically gimmicky exo, except more.
    i definitely agree with the points in your article, although some of it is a little blown up.
    but i feel like this is an issue only international/western fans would be concerned about, and k-fans wouldnt even blink an eye about this.

  • Jennie K

    I actually love YG Family and all of the artists in it, but I will definitely have to agree with you guys when you say that Papa YG is getting annoying.

    And yes, a portion of this IS because I am jealous of the new soon-to-debut girl group, and don’t enjoy change very often.

    Come on YG, you’ve got WAY too many things on your plate. Sometimes I feel like he doesn’t even know how many trainees he has now. He LITERALLY has those 6-7 girls waiting to debut, Kang Seung Hoon, Akdong Musicians, those two new boy groups AND Bang Yedam now… and he’s announcing all of them at once when I want things to stay as they are NOW, with Little Hayi being the maknae. I dislike the idea of WIN, its too harsh, and the mess it will create: God I’m stressing already… BB docu was hard enough to watch. :(

    Disappointed, YG… Disappointed. Sorry but I think I’ll be a little wary of the new people after the “Lee Hi and before generation”, which I liked the best.

  • Valentina Catalano

    …. sorry… but i think that all of you are a little out of your mind….all of you speak like if you are producer or like you work in the music field… yes you are right, they make music for free why bothers them-self with money issue…. yes stay in dreamland and keep thinking that the other agency don’t do the same…. at the end all of you will watch the show… and please don’t say it’s not true…bye bye

  • Torvaltz

    I can picture this whole kind of scenario going down for the last episode:
    “Welcome, welcome.. the time has come to select one talented team of male trainees for the honor of representing YG Entertainment for this show, WIN”
    Don’t tell me Hunger Games references aren’t perfect for this because it is. In fact, why not even throw in some Hunger Games music? I mean really, WHAT IS HE THINKING?! It’s hard enough that he’s piling so much pressure on the winning team to make the mark Big Bang did in the K-Pop world, but for the losing team to be publicly humiliated? There’s a comment somewhere below that basically says that the losing team will get the chance to relive their humiliation via fans and YouTube and I agree with that! And why is he using the length of Big Bang’s debut as an excuse? Also, PLEASE don’t tell me he’s really going to name the winning team “Winner”. That name is GOD AWFUL. This is coming from the company that has awesome names like Gummy, Se7en, Lexy, Big Bang, 2ne1, and Jinusean.
    WIN (Who Is Next)
    May the odds be ever in your favor

  • Letti

    I agree with some of your points.. but I think you are exaggerating in some parts!!
    IMO YG is just trying to promote the show and catch our attention by making it seem so cold, harsh and dramatic! just like they do with every show in every country! people just loove drama! but in the end no matter who wins.. it’s not the end of the world for the other team!!

    fact 1. It IS true that there are many trainees in several agencies and it’s just NOT possible for all of them to debut!
    if you think about it, even if he didn’t make this show, only one team would debut and the other team’s future would be uncertain either way! that brings us to
    fact 2. every trainee knows that their future is uncertain! but that’s life really.. even my future is uncertain!! ;)

    Also, when you are training for anything (and that comes from personal experience too) there needs to be someone objective.. someone to criticize you and even say some harsh words when necessary! so here’s
    fact 3. ain’t nobody getting better with only praises and sweet talk and no criticism and hard work.. ever..
    so let’s not confuse being strict with being malevolent and critique with mistreatment!

    I’d like to think that this show won’t send any kind of messages to the other companies. I also don’t think that it consists proof that YG himself mistreats his trainees or his artists! (of course we don’t know what really happens but I think we all agree that there are definitely way worse companies in terms of mistreatment than YG ><) In my opinion it's just a competition.. just like kpop star and other survival shows that have a "winner" with a prize and many "losers" with "uncertain futures"! However
    fact 4. in a competition there are no losers!
    yes there's only one first place but everyone wins from this experience! people are supposed to become better and stronger throught a competition! (and that's also from personal exp.) so even if you don't "win".. even if you get eliminated.. even if your company says "no debut for you".. it's not the end unless you give up! that's why
    fact 5. many people start as trainees in a company and end up having a debut with another company!
    look at Hyunseung! he got eliminated just before BigBang's debut but he managed to debuted with Beast!! he also refers to his experience at YG as important to his development as an artist!

    All in all, all of the above describe the korean idol-training system.. but the commodifying, mistreatment and exploiting of all those kids are the malfunction in this system and that is what needs to be fixed!

    That's why I think that the REAL problem will neither start with a survival show nor end with just the boycotting of this show!

    On the other hand I do understand your concern that YG has a lot of influence and that you are worried about how the other companies will perceive this.. But the problem is deeper than that and those companies can continue to be total jerks with or without the approval of YG and regardless of this show!

    (by the way.. if u really wanna find a problem with this show that's the "reality" part.. like I said people just love drama! so don't just accuse this show but TV in general! cause everything from the news to the reality shows will do just that..exploit people's personal "drama".. this is what "sells".. this is what people "want to watch".. and this is the reason I sold my TV 3 years ago xD now I only watch online whatever the hell I want :P )

  • Teemeah

    You know, it is interesting to see an Sm fan criticize YG for mistreatment of artists. Itás sort of a little … ridiculous :) I am not saying YG is perfect or anything or that i agree with his decision to put on this show, but it’s a little hypocritical of an SM fan to throw mud at YG for treatment of artists when we all know who really has the WORST artists treatment practice history in K-POP, and that’s not YG (shall I mention DBSK as an example? Of what SM did and still does to JYJ?)

    And just to enlighten people here, music industry is about competition. Sorry. That’s the reality. And why is WIN worse than X-factor and the like? Because it’s not 16 contestants competing against each other but two boybands from the same agency? isn’t SM one of the judges on a similar talent show? What is the difference, really? The loser loses in X-factor, too, and nowhere did YG say that the losing band will be thrown off to the street and kicked to death.

    Oh and one more thing. Anyone remembers a band called Big Bang and a reality show of their selection process where one member was the ‘loser’? If I remember well, that member now is doing pretty well in a band called BEAST.

    This article is nothing else just mud throwing and hate igniting without any proper facts to convince that YG is worse with this show than any other agency or talent show out there. Try again!

  • beautyandbeast5

    It’s funny how everyone is hating on this show, and yet once one of the groups debuts 90% of them are going to be the ones electronically destroying anyone who dares to critic their beloved idols or their company.

  • feb

    As someone who is left unimpressed by the show, I expected a well argued article about why WIN and most Korean reality/variety show is shallow, scripted, and boring. This article is nothing more than a whiny drabble made by some butthurt fangirl who is disillusioned by the realities of the idol Industry. (Comparing WIN with sexual abuse. Really?) Therefore, this rant will be dedicated not on defending the show, but on pointing out the stupidity on the author’s arguments.

    Firstly, the author admitted that every company can only debut a certain number of trainee, but she bashed YG for doing the same thing, except with more transparency to the public. Whats laughable to me is the fact that the author painted YG as an EVIL company. If YG is indeed being evil and abusive to their trainee, the last thing that they want is reality show! Why give the trainee a platform to speak out about their problems and show their personalities. Most importantly, the trainee in the show was anything but abused! (They are naive, spoiled, in over their head, and rather vapid, but they are certainly not abused as you claimed. (Free hotpots for challenge losers, a chance to spend time with big name celebrities, given a camera to tell their feelings, free time to shop and play with other trainee. OMG, papa YG is so abusive!)

    Secondly, the author made a leap of logic when she wrote the words ‘dehumanizing trainees’ Its an idol show. it humanizes snotty teens and displayed those nugu trainees’s abilities to the public. The show clearly pulled emphatic and support for not only the winner, but also the ‘loser’ as you called them. Months after the show ended, there are still fanbases that cheered on the ‘loser’ trainee. This is not merchandising, this is called good publicity. Dehumanization is the treatment of an individual as less than human. This show, no matter how vapid and predictable, idolize them to the public. Idolizing is the complete opposite of dehumanizing.

    Finally author also argued that this show trivializes the reality of an idol and display them as entertainment. This would be a good argument if the show did trivializes and display their hardship as entertainment. The show magnify the simple hardships of teenagers who spent their days singing and dancing, and added dramatic music on the background. (the whole drama thing is ridiculous really) Sadly, the author’s best argument is nothing but baseless slander.

    In conclusion, the hatred and ignorance that the author have could either be rooted in the fanaticism towards SM as she admitted, Or something more malicious; the intention to create a flame war in order to bring in traffic.

    If this article is written poorly with the intention of bringing traffic to the site, then that practice is, just as she said, irresponsible and unethical. It spreads bigotry and inhibits intelligent discussion, all for monetary goal. Either way, I am baffled that someone who couldn’t craft a logical argument is given the space and importance to spread her idiotic ramblings.

    I do hope that the author is becoming less stupid and/or learning intellectual responsibility in the college where she bragged about having ‘Hillary Clinton as her sunbae.’ People like you should get either educated or stop trying to sound intelligent.