• Nate Broadus

    Why do you need a show for this? Why not just starve them and throw a piece of meat on the ground? Whoever clubs the other one to death gets to eat and debut.

    This doesn’t have to be a YG putdown — this would be pretty damn tasteless if done by ANY company.

    • anonymous

      doesn’t have to be a YG putdown, true, but fact is that it IS YG doing this. :<

    • SB_Mark

      On the contrary, win or lose, all the trainees get primetime exposure. Who knows? Maybe the losers use this to their advantage, move to Cube, and become even more popular than the WINNERs. In other words, LOSERs –> BEAST 2.0

      • Nate Broadus

        That is assuming the losing group doesn’t get gutted of a chunk of its members, or get shelved for an indeterminate amount of time — both instances covered in the official statement.

        This isn’t a cruel, unusual, excessive or gut-wrenching way to have talent compete with talent — it’s just in horribly poor taste. HORRIBLY poor taste — like mixing baking soda, vinegar and whiskey in a 20 liter bottle of Mr Pibb and then shaking it up poor taste.

        • QQBBQ

          No you simply need to untangle your panties, grow a pair and learn that your first world problems don’t meant shit to the rest of the world.

          The PROBLEM with your entire whiny rant is the fact that being an idol isn’t a RIGHT. There’s nothing in the Magna Carta or Cyrus Cylinder or the Ten Commandments or any other declaration of human rights that says “daddy has to promise to make you a kpop star.”

          The world is full of failed pop stars, and YG giving these boys a worldwide platform to showcase their talents, win lose or draw is nothing short of a massive boon to each of them. It’s like you and these other chinos have never even heard of competition shows on reality TV.

          YG failing to debut some of these boys isn’t abuse, you sound like some spoiled kid in Malibu who thinks that daddy buying you a Ford instead of an BMW is some huge crime against humanity. OMG giving kids a slot on a major reality show is sooooo cruel. World class training worth millions gratis for years on end… it’s such such poor taste.

          Seriously this is the issue you have with injustice in the world of entertainment? Meanwhile there’s some kid on a casting couch in Hollywood getting plowed who will never on air. Huge crime. YG put kids on a reality show. The horror.

          • Nate Broadus

            Thank you, man. This response made my day.

            I’ll just go back to my house in Malibu now and try to wish my Ford into a BMW.

          • beautyandbeast5

            THIS. *slow clap*

  • ShootAnonymous

    Before I comment on anything else, I’d like to say that above all, I find the name “WINNER” lacking in taste. And seriously, YG was doing so well in their naming! (Se7en, Big Bang, 2NE1) *sigh*

    “WINNER” inevitably sets unrealistic expectations. Plus, wouldn’t it be false advertising if say WINNER doesn’t actually end up winning anything upon debut(or comebacks thereafter)? (Though granted, the EXO debacle has shown that anything is possible when it comes to idol groups and music shows)

    Even if you compare it to other somewhat-presumptuous names (DBSK comes to mind), it lacks any sort of class or character, coming off as utterly bland underneath it all. =/

    TL;DR who names their groups WINNER? What are you? A preschooler?

    • GSun

      Agreed but bringing EXO into this was a low blow. Those guys deserve to win for their album alone, it’s definitely on of the best albums of 2013 so far (Wolf being a outlier).

      • ShootAnonymous

        I’m not sure why you’re being so defensive, when the discussion isn’t even about EXO…. I was merely pointing out the reality of the awards given out by music shows.

        The point of “deserving” and “should” is moot, as is “hard work” and “talent”. The reality of music show awards is that if the group (be it EXO or the to-be-WINNERS) fanbase is large and determined enough they’ll will win an award. Simple as that; the music show does not actually care if their album is great or crappy; it doesn’t even care if the song being promoted on their show is great or crappy.

        P.S. I never did say that EXO didn’t deserve the award btw. Music show awards generally mean little to me, if you get it, yay celebration time! if not, try and try again, I suppose.

  • Angela

    Maybe it’d be fair if both groups average age was the same. But seeing as group A’s average age is 20, I don’t think its fair. That “average age” roughly implies that you are near or in your 20’s. Meanwhile group B’s average age is 17…

    That said if group A doesn’t debut now, their average age will increase & their debut chances will only decrease.

    • ShootAnonymous

      Maybe we’ll get a Hyunseung 2.0 from this mess.

      (And just in case anyone misinterprets I refer to Hyunseung as in -gets booted, returns in a new group and then achieves success while in new group. I could always use more happy-ending fairytales :D )

      • patswasika

        Maybe we’ll get the whole losing group to be a Hyunseung 2.0 from this. Hopefully, they could get signed as a group to a different company and show YG what he missed. >.<

  • ughzelo

    Thank you so much for this! This is really ridiculous. I mean not just this show but the fact that all these other debuts are going on as well. How is YG going to manage all this? It all seems very rushed and messy. It just seems like he’s trying to make YG number one with all these debuts but honestly at this rate it’s going to be real ugly for him and its a shame because YG has many talented artist like Lee Hi and Gummy. I just wish he would slow things down a bit.

  • Lavlavs

    Patricia, you wrote this article so well!
    It’s ridiculous and a little disgusting how YG has planned this. There’s fierce competition in K-Pop, no doubt, but this just seems cruel. For me the worst part is that the losing group probably won’t get a chance to debut later, “The loser group may be broken up or face member replacement.” These kids- because half of them are kids- are basically going to fight their hardest for a company that may or may not debut them. And of course this is the life of most trainees, but in the case of these kids they’re going to have to do it all televised. It’s like YG has forgotten these are human beings. And after one group “wins” the other is going to be left with a lot of resentment and I doubt most of them will want to stay with YG. I really really hope this doesn’t set a precedent because conditions for trainees are bad enough as they are now.

  • Diah

    Is it just me, or is YG getting really overconfident? It seems that after 2ne1, Big Bang, and Lee Hi that YG thinks he has the means to support this project, and that other girl group that will probably debut eventually.

    Anyway, I’m not sure what to think of this. It feels kind of like they aquired too many trainees and aren’t quite sure what to do with them. Besides, this feels like an audition process, just with groups, and on a much larger scale. And more public.

    On the other hand, I almost feel like YG is over exaggerating this to draw in people’s attention. While it may turn out to be like how you explained it on the article, it may also just be another rookie group reality show, only the audience votes for their favorite. Still, if this is a marketing technique, I’m sorry to say, it’s working.

  • MangoMagic

    YGE hasn’t been about family in a long, long time. This doesn’t surprise me. I’ve stopped paying any mind to these desperate attempts at attention and “media play”. Wow me with your music not your sub-standard Hunger Games-inspired marketing ploys.

    • Chocho268

      mte, so sick of his desperate attention whoring in the media and all the hype while the quality of the music is steadily going downhill.

  • patswasika

    It’s like YG hasn’t learned it’s lesson with Hyunseung. Also, YG has just been talking and talking and yet, nothing happens. CL solo was overhyped and then the SuPearls debacle not to mention the girl group he’s been talking about for almost two years now. And then he suddenly does this? A boy group debut and a gril group debut? This is coming from the company that can’t manage more than one artist at the same time. Gone are the days when people should even trust YG anymore. The quality of their music has been degrading in the past year, all we get is talk of comebacks and debuts that don’t happen which reeks of unprofessionalism and now this.

    Not even MyDol or Hot Blood was this harsh since those shows were geared towards creating one group (or in the case of Hot Blood, two groups). And Win? Two groups already made and one gets to debut? That’s just stupid not just in a humane sense but in a business sense as well. There will, no doubt, be bad blood between YG and the losing boy group and many, if not all, of the members will choose to leave the company all together. And that’s one potential moneymaking machine leaving the company. Not even SME of the evil “slave contracts” and trainee’s galore company does this.

    YG should learn to shut up.

    Also, WINNER? This coming from a company that has clever names such as Big Bang and 2NE1? They’re not even trying, are they?

    • darkchocolatecoffee

      hmmm… i never thought Big Bang was a good name in the first place tbh. I came to know them when I first started transitioning from American pop and I found it ridiculous to name a group after a scientific theory. haha… but WINNER is definitely a step back from the usual names YG came up with.

    • Risa Sinn

      I agree. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but even SM isn’t evil enough to publicly humiliate their trainees this way. Nor do they hype them up, telling their real names, showcasing their talent and then just drop them. And the SuPearls? I’m not sure if they would have the same sound with SM, but I’m sure they’d at least get to debut and not get (publicly) used as spares.
      SM had their poor management, but to me they were never blinded by arrogance and pride like YG.

      • idontknoe

        I’ve always felt that SM always felt a certain sense responsibility towards their trainees, especially those that stuck around for a long time. I don’t think I’ve heard stories about SM trainees ever being kicked out, just trainees leaving. Even in the DBSK/the other male trainees debacle…… they felt that they had a responsibility to them and even with the rotating system. It wasn’t like it was a rotating system to drop them when they’re done, it was supposed to be a launching pad into another career path in the entertainment industry.

        • patswasika

          Same. I think an example of SME and their sense of responsibility with trainees would be EXO’s Suho. He was a trainee for seven years and was finally able to debut in EXO. Most companies would have dropped him after a couple of years as a trainee.

          And with SME, even acts that didn’t really get that popularity like TVXQ/SNSD were given other opportunities. Some go into theater and become actors in musicals. A good portion of them become the trainers and help in developing future acts. An example of this being The Grace actually training SNSD (ie Stephanie was their dance teacher, Lina was their vocal instructor). Not to mention that acts that didn’t succeed still get let out of the dungeon, be it in the family concerts or OSTs or actual less-hyped comebacks. And all these are managed with the same level of professionalism that SME would give to a popular act.

          • flamingshawol

            Agreed..I know tht SM has a horrible past when it comes to the treatment of their idols…but they SEEM to have been improving lately. An example would be Jonghyun from SHINee. I liked that his health was given priority over all else during the WSS promotions. He had to practically request SM to allow him to perform for their goodbye stage.

        • Teemeah

          You are not serious, are you? O.o Jesus Christ, so many blind people on this globe!

      • silentmoon

        I think the problem with YG is the same that with JYP, both CEOs have too much power and too many responsibilities, and while their strength reflect on their companies, so does their weakness. SM has its own problems but they tend to have a bigger team and a lot more people making decisions, or at least discussing them. About this whole WINNER thing, I agree with this article 100%.

        • Olliana

          I am so glad you brought that up. Too many responsibilities and you miss the little things that eventually blow up. YG probably might not even be aware of the public’s dissatisfaction because he could be focused on his money sheet right now.

      • Teemeah

        No, SM just publicly humiliates the artists that dare to leave them. We all know who these artists are and what they had to suffer through.

    • mine

      Hyunseung debuted in a sucessful boy group and they already have a potentail money maker which is kang seungyoon.

  • Stephanie

    Seriously, how is this a good idea? I understand there are competition shows such as the one he currently judges in that with the votes of the audience there will be ONE winner in the end. But to put the status of a group of talented boys who’ve sacrificed their lives for a chance of fame and respect to play is absolutely uncalled for. What is YG’s goal for these boys? to give them a lower self-esteem and higher stress levels? Because we all know that being a trainee is no walk in the park, and to just expose it all for the audience to decide who is the best, I just- it’s so terrible. In the end, both groups will have definitely feel miserable and have lost the trust of one another.

    I’m not a huge fan of YG, but I understand that he really expects alot from his trainees and they all have been successful. Of course in the end it will be rewarding, but at what cost? /sigh/ The life of a trainee is tough, and it’s such a shame that they are often put into cruel scenarios such as these.

  • Cincinn

    I see it as American Idol (Korean Style)

  • asta meisner

    I have always loved YG for their professionalism but I have to say I find this to be a tasteless move done by such a powerful company. I find this whole concept of showcasing the trainee life utterly ridiculous and tactless by any company. I, myself would not want a camera following me around 24/7 whilst living the hard and unglamorous trainee life, not even knowing if you will be debuting or not. I know they did it with Big Bang, but even there I wasn’t a fan. I just find it cruel.

    I loved YG for striving to be unique, but maybe the recent sucess of Psy has made them become overconfident. The music which I once loved, is too decreasing. CL is my girl, and I would love to be Biffles for life, but I did not enjoy her solo, in which I felt it was sort of a bad rip-off of GD’s “One of a kind”.

    Also not a fan of “WINNER”. It seems that Kpop group names get worse and worse by the month. I love YG, but you shoud step your game up.

  • http://splashofinspiration.wordpress.com/ Shweta

    Patricia, your article was awesome.

    We already know who’s going to become WINNER. The group of five has the two contentants from various shows. They already have the names to back them up whereas the group of six has no one.

    • Josh Chinnery

      I know what you mean… I already feel horrible about group B >_>

  • Sharon

    I completely agree with you, this is a bit like what Pedius is doing with Seventeen. Only some of them can debut and ofcourse its the most popular ones. When I heard that I lost interest in them.

    I want nothing to do with this show, and I can’t support the boy group bc at the end of the day it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth and the group will forever remind you of the trainees that lost their dreams. How in the world does YG think is s a good start to a group?

    The fact that YG acts like he morally better than the other companies in the entertainment industry makes it even worse. He’s no better and it looks like he’s not hiding that anymore. Well YG, thanks for removing your sheep skin and showing that your really a wolf underneath the costume. I actually kinda liked him before.

    • Josh Chinnery

      The fact that YG was gloating last year that he chooses talent over money, skill over appearance, etc has flown right out the window with me (it kind of starting unbolting itself from the wall with the “SNSD-like girl group announcement). That above everything (Hunger Games/Battle Royale style competition, the losers becoming disposable, the horrible name) is what makes me feel the worst about this show.

      • Chelsea

        “talent over money”

        …I don’t know but I the only talent I see nowadays in YG groups is rapping but even CL is getting worse and worse. I was expecting a lot when I heard how fans were praising the talents of 2NE1 and Big Bang but I was dissapointed. Bom was an amazing singer but she kinda ruined her voice. Minzy is a good vocalist and Lee Hi as well. I guess Daesung is also alright and YG have some good dancers as well but I don’t really see the “talent” YG (or the fans) is talking about and I stopped liking songs of YG a while ago already. Lee Hi had 1 or 2 songs I liked but that’s all. Yeah I might get hate for this comment but it’s just how I honestly feel so don’t kill me YG-stans.

        “skill over appearance”
        When YG started to promote this one girl (forgot her name) who should be a member of YG’s new girl group I was really excited but this girl was no way better than other female idol rappers. She was just pretty. I was really dissapointed and now the girl dropped out.

        I think since the fame of Psy and GS and all the money he made his personality changed a lot or maybe it started even before Psy and GS.

        • 내가 제일 잘나가

          I suppose it’s all down to personal taste and what display you feel shows “talent”. I can get for e.g. why people are SMtowners because they are extremely talented but YG artists (for me), have this authenticity when it comes to performing like it’s not so structured and dance routiney (I am contradicting myself here because of LOVE SHINee and Infinite) but they are still able to give really powerful performances and connect well which to me is a talent.

          p.s. I think Dae is one of the best vocalists in Kpop, better than Bom and I think her voice is amazing esp in pre debut videos

        • Josh Chinnery

          Bom’s voice is one of YG’s greatest let downs >_> If you thought early 2NE1 was good, you should check out early BIGBANG stuff that features her; it’s like crack for your ears. When I first started getting into 2NE1, I’d definitely say that Bom was my bias; now it’s a bit of a fight between CL and Minzy. So sad…

          Anyway… I just can’t with YG anymore. I used to stan YG stuff super hard, but this is ridiculous. The entertainment industry is bad enough; trainees can get cut and replaced at any time (hell, even established group members can have that threat looming over their heads >_>), but at least the cut members still have their dignity left; it wasn’t shown for the entire world (yes, YG was planning on airing this worldwide) to see.

        • MangoMagic

          Daesung, Minzy, Lee Hi, Seungri, Se7en, TOP (when he’s not acting at least) are the only talented folks left in YGE it seems. Everyone else is either caught up in the hype of fame and fortune or else has dropped off into obscurity due to bad marketing and promotions (i.e. Gummy).

          • GSun

            Seeing what’s happening to Gummy saddens me. Honestly, she has one of the best voices in Kpop and she’s really pretty. YG completely wasted her talent.

    • mine

      their dreams aren’t lost just look at the idols who got cut from previous companies

  • Sharon

    I completely agree with you, this is a bit like what Pedius is doing with Seventeen. Only some of them can debut and ofcourse its the most popular ones. When I heard that I lost interest in them.

    I want nothing to do with this show, and I can’t support the boy group bc at the end of the day it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth and the group will forever remind you of the trainees that lost their dreams. How in the world does YG think is s a good start to a group?

    The fact that YG acts like he morally better than the other companies in the entertainment industry makes it even worse. He’s no better and it looks like he’s not hiding that anymore. Well YG, thanks for removing your sheep skin and showing that your really a wolf underneath the costume. I actually kinda liked him before.

  • shannie4888

    YG has been slipping. They’re all talk and no action. Their problem is that they always bite off more than they can chew and this is the result.

    When I first got into K-pop, I thought YG was a cut above the rest, but overtime, the company continues to prove that they’re just as tasteless as the rest. All YG ever does is release articles and then delay endlessly before we see a glimmer of hope.

    I’m just over the whole thing. All I want is music and I’ll be satisfied, but lately their releases have been terrible, so now I can’t even get that much. YG needs to get it together. People are starting to see him for what he really is.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/swheekun swheekun

    Didn’t YG have some girl group in the oven though… like, two years ago? The “naturally beautiful” one? Guess we could expect him to put more focus on boy trainees because boybands just seem to have higher demand, but it’s still pretty flaky of him to have never followed through and this sheds an unpleasant amount of light on the monetary nature of his ambitions.
    In regards to this “win” thing, all I can do is agree with the article and shake my head at the unnecessary competition, bitterness, and poor ethics that will inevitably be fueled by the show’s format. He says it’s “just reality” but I’m not so sure– Can’t groups just as well be built by selecting candidates to add rather than cutting out unworthy ones? When learning about the origins of my favorite SM boybands I remember hearing that they were built from the best of a larger group of trainees. There’s still the competition, but at least that way the process is rearranged to provoke a mentality of “I must do my absolute best” rather than one of “I must be better than that other guy.”

    • takasar1

      “by selecting candidates to add rather than cutting out unworthy ones”. every time you select a candidate you create an additional opportunity cost of not having selected another candidate. it is simply just a different way of saying the same thing. the difference with YG is that he is simply admitting what most people, including himself and the public AND these trainees already know: that competition is extremely fierce amongst trainees and this process is highly cutthroat.

      • Jaclyn

        “every time you select a candidate you create an additional opportunity cost of not having selected another candidate.”That’s the point isn’t it? To add a person over another because they are better or fit better.

        I think there’s a difference between adding a person and removing a person. Does YG really have to publicly humiliate people to ‘admit’ what he and the public already know? Competition is fierce, but at least behind the scenes the trainees can chose to leave themselves or be cut with their dignity. Also, decisions would be made by management, who have seen these boys for years, rather than fans who have seen them for what? 10 episodes.

        Then wouldn’t it make sense to not do this? Wouldn’t the image that he is making “entice the more ‘politically correct’ consumers like our dear writer friend patricia” and make him more money?

        • takasar1

          the fact is that YG knows both the pros and the cons to this televised process. he is simply choosing to take the pros over the cons, cons which both you and I (as well as he) know to exist. you’ve done a good job explaining the cons, how about the advantages? firstly, you create a pre-existing fanbase, at the end of the day it matters not what the management think but the public (suju = destined to fail but succeeded, csjh = should have succeeded but my biases have not been that successful). secondly, even the failed kids get critical exposure, i mean, look at b2st, all of them failed elsewhere (highly public failures at that) and then found a new home as a result of word-of-mouth and the fact that everyone in the business has already seen their talents.Yg knows his fanbase and what they want and desire, most people who stick with kpop know the full details regarding its ‘darker’ side yet still stick with the sub-culture provided Yg comes out with good music. i would be quite surprised if the airing of this show caused this writer to be totally repulsed by the idea of kpop. let’s not forget that the response to this has not been so clear-cut and unanimous, people like me dont really see this as a very bad thing

      • http://twitter.com/#!/swheekun swheekun

        It is the same stressful cutthroat process obviously, but the different mentality or way of putting it is what matters- if you pick the best five from a group of ten, you have the best five of a group of ten. YG’s strategy however involves pitting two already-formed groups of five (or whatever numbers) against each other, which means one group would succeed as a whole regardless of the possibility that there may be more suitable candidates in the rejected group. That way, dead weights can pass through as long as they’re in a group with enough talents.

        And uh, how long have you been in this fandom? Nobody has really been buying into the “family” image of YG (including Patricia, who is actually an SM fan) as far as we can see on the international side, but even then the complete transparency here is pretty new to K-pop in general. Most of us like to forget about the hardship out idols go through, and it’s easy to be ignorant to it when the other larger companies are often consciously withholding details of idol life– such as those which the show “win” will reveal. That and- to repeat the article’s main point- this transparency enforces a new lower standard for other labels in the way they treat their trainees. It’s definitely a new low to stoop to.

        • takasar1

          YG obviously isnt doing this simply for the lols, he obviously thinks the pros outweigh the cons. this way, the group develops a large pre-debut fanbase (especially in asia, where interest will probably be highest) and secondly even the losing trainees have a chance to showcase their talents and maybe be picked up by another agency. a reason b2st are successful now and were picked up by cube was because their failures were very public, therefore making other agencies aware of their existence and talent. its the same reason ‘5 girls’ became so successful today as part of different groups. and again, it isnt about talent but about public opinion and marketability. talent in kpop (and pop music in general) often means little more than the dirt beneath our feet when determining how successful a group will become. i dont know why you are going on and on about the ‘darker side of kpop’, i quite frankly dont care, i was just highlighting the fact that most firms adhere to shareholder theory rather than stakeholder theory. “transparency enforces an even lower standard for other labels in the way they treat their trainees”. i have no idea how you can blame the actions of other agencies on YG, when we stoop to that level of thinking, we should also get rid of ‘sexy’ outfits since children may be watching. Other firms are run by adults, they must be held responsible for the way that they treat their kids, the blame cannot be shifted onto someone else, if it really is a new moral “low” then you should trust that they share the same ‘universal’ values that you do. “It’s definitely a new low to stoop to”, opinions and such

          • http://twitter.com/#!/swheekun swheekun

            Those benefits/pros all reflect the truth and do sufficiently explain YG’s reasons, but even so moral reservations with the whole operation still stand as valid. I think at this point it comes down to you viewing the situation from a business perspective and me viewing it with other priorities in mind– such as how talent may be arbitrary to measurable success but is still relevant to some, or how you just “quite frankly don’t care” about the conditions idols work in. As with any issue, not everyone can be expected to accept the system in place just because that’s the way things are, especially when things veer into the territory of human rights.

  • severely

    To me, not only does it say that YG doesn’t give a shit about its employees, it also has me scratching my head at the lack of understanding of what it takes to succeed as a musician. (What, did he just get lucky all this time? Stumble into successful artists without understanding what made them successful?)

    There are plenty of incredibly talented people that don’t succeed in the industry. By his statements, his intention for this show is to point out that those talented people fail because of THEY are losing losers who can’t help but lose. It can’t possibly be poor marketing by the company, poor quality songs given to the artists to perform, or any number of trends that an individual singer, quite frankly, has little to no control over. If he acknowledged that fact, then he wouldn’t pin the blame for losing on the members themselves, which he does by threatening to delay their debut, cut the members, or not allow them to debut entirely.

    And the concept of the show makes little sense to me. But… what if the “losing” group would be incredibly successful under the right circumstances? Fan votes is just one method of looking at the possible success of a group, like YouTube views or number of CFs offered. If that was the case, UKISS would be considered despised on their YouTube views. (When we all know that they’re one of the more popular groups among international fans.) Based on the size of their international fan club, you’d think Busker Busker was an irrelevant group. (When we all know they dominated year-end ceremonies and had some of the most popular songs last year.) Lee Hyori is a no-name based on the number of CFs she’s in. (When we all know she’s the queen of kpop that many younger idols strive to emulate.) If you just look at one tiny piece, such as say TV fan votes, you’re missing other valuable information.

    But that’s just the business side. I’d touch on the fact that he also has no problem with publicly destroying people in the process for the grand reward of only getting a bit of information, but you already touched on that. :)

    • Johnelle

      Agree with what you said except for one thing–Lee Hyori just recently stopped accepting all CF deals per her appearance on the show Thank You in May. She had several long standing ones with chum churum, clio , etc. but recently gave them up based on principle (she felt bad when people would buy the products because they would magically make them like Lee Hyori)–although her CF offers had been on decline in the past couple of years she used to be among the top previously.

      • severely

        I’m aware. That’s specifically why I used Lee Hyori as an example. If you based Hyori’s success based off of how many CFs she does now, you would think she wasn’t successful. The whole point was that taking a blip of data and extracting it into explaining everything means you are taking one data point out of context. And Lee Hyori’s CFs serve as a perfect example of that.

  • ShineeWorld52911

    First they get rid of SuPearls and now this show that’s cruel and unusual punishment for the groups involved. What stupid ass thing are they gonna do next? Smh

  • tasialiu

    This is like YG’s version of the Hunger Games. I also don’t understand the logic behind this competition. Why doesn’t he just debut the group that seems more prepared right now and wait until later to debut the less prepared group? YG, stop putting all your eggs into one basket.

  • Zainlovesmusic

    Eh I’m one of the people that see this as pretty interesting. It’s a good marketing tactic considering the market is getting really over saturated. It’s hard to be successful anymore even with talent. This isn’t any different than kpop star or making the band. Also I don’t think we should be quick to judge the show when we don’t even know the format. I know it’s harsh that he’s showing it to the public but it’s not like he hasn’t done it before. I mean Big Bang had a documentary about how they trained and the competition between each member to make the cut. However they still treated each other nicely and tried to help each other. When hyunseung left there was no hard feelings between them. Hyunseung even continued as a trainee under yg after Big Bang debuted but he was let go in the end bc yg told his trainees that he wouldn’t be debuting a group for a while. It’s also why junsu from 2pm didn’t stay a trainee under yg. Most of these trainees probably know what they are getting into and I’m willing to bet that there was a competition between the trainees to even get on this show bc a while ago a bunch of boy trainees left yg. I also think that he isn’t going to let the losing group to especially if they get a fanbase. He’s probably just going to give them time to train more and then debut them as a group or depending on the talent of the trainees he’ll debut them as soloists or duos. Bc if team b loses no way is yg letting go of B.I who has been training under yg since he was 14 years old and appointed as the leader. Anyway I’m just going to wait and see exactly how this show is going to be like before I make final judgements. For now I think this is a pretty interesting way of getting both groups famous. Ohh and I would’ve be quick to say that group a will win bc most fans of Kang seung yoon want him to be solo and I don’t think Koreans like lee seung hoon all that much. At least not like Kang seung yoon is liked.

    • ANANAS

      Kang seung yoon and kang seung hoon’s names are so similar I had to do a double take to see what you were saying lol

  • maldita

    They’ll make a whole group of boys undergo what Hyunseung did. SMH at YG. These kids have been busting their asses off for years only to get publicly cut and see others debut. Keep the Hunger Games trainee drama in the practice room and away from cameras.

  • Sera

    I’ve never felt any harmony within YG. The fact that they go and do this doesn’t surprise me.

    I guess I should feel bad for these kids. Yes, they chose this path, but they were tricked into thinking they knew what they were getting into. I don’t think any of them could have foreseen THIS, much less expected it. What YG are doing is messing with the emotional and psychological stability of their trainees.

    • mine

      “but they were tricked into thinking they knew what they were getting into. I don’t think any of them could have foreseen THIS, much less expected it”
      lol no they signed as trainees, trainees aren’t garuenteed to debut i’m sure they knew that

      • anonymous

        trainees signed up to be trained and get debuted/cut by management, not be edited into some tv talent/personalities and be put on the chopping block by the public.

        • mine

          lol you just repeated what i said and getting cut won’t get anyone on any chopping block, do you see hyunseung on the chopping block because he was cut from bigbang?

  • Jay Wong

    YG caring only about the money is right. Why else would it let go of SuPearls and that girl from the new YG girl group, whom people are most interested in. In the case of SuPearls, it is most likely because LeeHi is doing so well and raking in so much profit for them, YG couldn’t care less about her other supposed members.

    This article was necessary to point out how incredibly obnoxious YG is, moreover to have that poster of the “family” posing in domineering fashion. However, I felt the article could have been more concise. Lots of paragraphs are only repetitions of the same points.

    • Zainlovesmusic

      Um Supearls could have been let go bc lee michelle wanted out? She had stopped going to practices a while before yg announced the trainees leaving. He said the reason was beyond their control and that they tried to make it work. Lee michelle then had an interview after she signed on to the new school/agency saying that she didnt think she fit under yg and felt that it restricted her and that she felt pressured. So without lee michelle and jimin the group had no way of working out and add the fact that lee hi was successful as a solo they decided to let the group go. We don’t really know the exact reasons but that is what im speculating, Kim euna left about 6 months ago back to the usa for college visits. She probably got sick of waiting to debut or she considered her education more important. Also yg had released a teaser with her and eunbi and she got a bad reaction in the comments so she probably felt discouraged by that also.

  • Sun_&_Raine

    I think deep down inside, YG just doesn’t want any new artists in his company. I think he just likes his “family” just the way it is. YG Family always gave off this air of an exclusive clique, everyone sticks together, they never go against the “family” and I believe YG truly does love all his kids. But that’s the thing, he only loves his kids and doesn’t want anymore. But he knows that BIGBANG and 2NE1 won’t last forever, so YG has start debuting new young idols quickly. I’d compare this situation to a group of friends who refuse to allow anyone else in their circle, but now they have to because some of the older students will be leaving soon. But YG doesn’t want to choose between the two groups himself so he leaves it up to the audience. It’s cruel and selfish and as a YG stan, I’m embarrassed. I think we’re going to have to start thinking twice before we refer to Mr. Yang as “Papa YG”

  • disqus_NkSdNdSRV9

    This article is so melodramatic LOL. This is no better or worse than any other pop music singing contestant show. All the contestants there have dreams they’ve been desperately working towards for years, and their journey, struggles, pain at being eliminated or talked shit about on the net, as well as the stress of being in a cut throat competition is all put on display for us to revel in. And at the end of the day if they don’t win and get booted, they can always make it somewhere else. I think some ppl are only getting overly emotional about it because they’re trainees of companies whose ‘family’ image we get emotionally attached to, and we know how hard trainees have to work in order to (maybe) debut some day so some kpop fans become overly protective of them (because it’s sad if they don’t make it). We don’t expect to see trainees compete the way we see contestants on kpop star or the voice compete. But that’s exactly what they’ll be doing.

    Maybe what we really need to re-examine is how emotional investment in kpop companies as communities/nations/families etc. It’s all business. If you’re getting mad at something like this then you should also get mad at variety shows, which force tired/stressed/depressed/suicidal idols to slap on their constructed images, get on their little tricycles and entertain us. The dirty side of idol life are ALWAYS there underneath the surface, whether they’re on variety shows or music programs or fainting at concerts because they haven’t slept in 2 days. If you get mad ONLY when a company chooses to expose that dirty side for entertainment, then I wonder if that’s because you were happier enjoying the idol spectacle without having to see it. Because then you don’t have to think about it.

    • takasar1

      the most intelligent comment i have read in this entire comments section

    • Chocho268

      Who says ppl aren’t against variety shows? lol.

      I understand where you’re coming from but at least with singing contestant shows kids aren’t signed to a company, trained for a long period of time and then dropped in front of the whole country for ‘entertainment’ just because the public doesn’t like you. So, no, it’s not really the same. Thus, I can understand judges saying ‘no’ to a random kid coming to a kpop singing contest, but intentionally putting together hard-working trainees and forming two groups that will fight against each other…with the public deciding the outcome, lol, no … that’s just low, imo.

      • disqus_NkSdNdSRV9

        I hope you realize that when trainees get signed to a company, they are told right off the bat (and already know) that they may not debut and have to compete against everyone else for spot. And some never do debut. That’s common knowledge in Korea. They try anyway just so that they can have the CHANCE, even though it’s not a guarantee.

        • Chocho268

          Yes, of course, it is understandable that not everyone can debut and if their company decides they’re not good enough… they can be dropped. After all, not every kid is fit to become a superstar, that’s life.

          But why shatter the dreams of these young people in front of the whole country for fun by making them participate in a reality show? Can’t you just tell them they’re not good enough in privacy? But that doesn’t bring in profit, does it? It is this desperate seek for public attention from YG that irks people (plus the fact YG always liked to imply they’re somehow better than the other two, YG family bond, artist creativity,freedom and all this bullshit…now he’s slowly showing his true colors and proving he’s just as bad if not worse). You can say ‘but that’s business and morals don’t count’ but I wonder where this kind of mentality will eventually take us.

    • bitchyoucrazy

      Thank you. I still fail to see where the problem is in all of this. All YG is doing is exposing kpop’s dirty laundry for the whole world to see.

      I do agree that WINNER is a ghastly name.

      • anonymous

        do all companies let the public (people who don’t actually know the work of these trainees) decide who gets to debut?

  • Nana Azura Skylla

    I wonder why you guys have bad opinions about this when the show hasn’t aired yet? You shouldn’t judge on things you aren’t sure. At least wait until the show come out, then you can say something about it. And I think you forget to mention the positive feedback about the show. You only focus on the negative and try to make everyone side with you. To debut in the KPOP world is no joke and everyone knows this so the show in the way, though might reflect on the harsh life trainees face to debut, it shows the determination the trainee has to make it in the world. The BIGBANG Documentary also showed the similar context WIN has and Hyunseung was eliminated at the end of it but still managed to debut with another group like Beast. You might say that YG is trying to glorified this need for the harsh competition among trainees through WIN but you forgot that the KPOP world is just like the same. If they can’t stand in their own within this show, what makes you think they can survive out there in the KPOP world when there are numerous debuts taking place almost everytime. The difference between debuting from this show and the debut of another rookie from another company is that, the audience already knows how hard it was for WINNER to debut. Some might think that they are just in for the popularity but if they know that the work hard and training they endured for this, then they know their actions are sincere and honest, that people can stand where they want to stand, if they work hard and strive. Let’s face it, there is no easy way out in life. If you’re saying that its too cruel to crush the hopes and dream of these youngsters, then you are underestimating them. They were the ones that chose this path and stick to it despite the long and tiring trainings. You don’t think that when they took this path, they didn’t know how hard it would be. YG is known for having long period of training for trainees, not months, years! So if they want to debut faster, they could have got to another company to debut but rather, they chose to stick to YG. Why? Because they know that YG will give them the best environment and best opportunities for them to become a star. With examples like BIGBANG, 2NE1, world star PSY, monster rookie Lee Hi, how could they not join YG? Among the TOP 3, YG is the most versatile company producing difference acts that are successful. The trainees don’t want to be similar just like how BLOCK B, BTS BOYS and B.A.P have the same vide. They are trainees of YG, one of the most powerful Korean entertainment company which means they are way a cut above the rest of the trainees from different companies, which means even if they fail to debut, the other companies can take them because they have learn from the best and have more than the standard foundation another trainee has. If you talking about ethics, then you’re naive. YG is still all about doing business. If you think they should stop producing the show, that’s fine. Do you think they would receive the same feedback compare to debuting after the show? A debut from YG will certainly be something to look for but if they debut and failed to meet the expectations of people, do you think they will be satisfied within themselves knowing their hard work was for naught? At least if they debut from the show, they will know what the audience expect for them and work harder to meet their expectations to receive a better feedback. With all the other KPOP groups debuting for the sake of their companies, they are debuting for the sake of the audience. The audience chose them and they are where they are because of the audience. Like all KPOP groups, they are where they are because of their fans. YG gave the power to the audience to chose the group they like and not YG choosing for them. The audience want something they want and not what’s given to them. You might say the audience don’t know anything about business but they are the one that ensure that their business are still going on by supporting their favourite group and buying their merchandise. The audience will support it even more when it’s the group they themselves chose to debut. I’m not siding with YG or the rest, I’m siding with the boys. And if you say the boys might have been pressured to go thought this show to stand a chance to debut, hey, I say, it’s just an obstacle they face in their trainee life and I’m sure they know that training is all about obstacles. They need to overcome it to move on and it’s not like the never face it once in their life. They are not children, they are teenagers growing up to be adults. Being KPOP idols is not a hobby, it is a career where they paid MONEY for their acts. This training is just like an interview applying for work. They are teenagers boys with dreams and striving hard to achieve them is path for them to become men.

  • BishieAddict

    It really depends how this is played out. I was one of those fans that was disappointed when Big Bang debuted without Hyun Seung, who captured my attention, so I’m not a huge fan of axing the member publicly.

    There are so many music reality shows these days. The reason why I love “The Voice” is because of the redemption factor. In this case, with the group called “Winners”, you can’t help but think of the group not chosen as the “losers” which to me, would be very devastating if I was a hopeful 20 year old who almost got the chance for a debut. I just do not like the tone of this show. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

    Business wise, it is a good move… It is low risk (although you would have already invested some money to train this group). It’s basically a test drive – you see how the group reacts to pressure, to an audience. See what the market likes. See which group shines. It’s less pressure for the company to make an actual decision. They can let the audience make the decision of which group makes it rather than the company having to decide themselves. Why bother when it is the fan who will buy their stuff, not the company? This way they don’t have to waste more money with their debut. Cut them out before investing more into them.

    It makes me wonder why he couldn’t just put the best people in a group. Why go through all this? Make a super duper boyband with the top people from both groups (kinda like what SM did for DBSK).

  • nguyen

    Fack you YG for putting all this shit over my face. If you can’t debut them all, then don’t facking do it. You have lots of time yet you wait till the facking end of the year and try to bring all of your “artists” out like that? Jesus, fire your goddamn management division and hire anyone at SM (they’re better than your 100 times). Also you need to keep your mouth shut and actually do shit, we don’t need your facking bs talking, we just need music. Don’t you forget it’s PSY bring you money, not your facking mouth, so stop that.
    Time like this I feel even more worry about Bigbang, they (or each member) may even have a half-ass comeback like 2011 (3rd full album where are you). Just when all of them go to military, YG will be in a big trouble. Yet I don’t think YG [realize that he should] care about that now.

    • happy_slip

      Are you kidding with BB tho.

      It’s actually 2NE1 who’s getting the most shit, groups-wise. At least BB doesn’t get shaded every time YG opens his mouth. His PR releases about the girl group was depressingly hilarious. I get that he’s saying that they’re going to be better (as they should be ffs), but the way he implies his points make it seem like 2NE1 never did anything right ever since they debuted.

      Anyway, sorry for the rant. this is pretty irrelevant, because these boy groups seem to be getting more shit and they haven’t even gotten the chance to debut yet.

      • nguyen

        To be honest, I don’t care about 2ne1 too much (well, I don’t like girl group in particularly) but I have feeling that their carrier won’t last long than BB. 2 members already are getting too old, they likely will end up getting married like Wonder Girls’ leader. Plus, they aren’t in charge of creating their own music, so they have to rely on Teddy and YG as well as comeback plan.

        BB on the other hands, make their own goods (I think they even have a bunch of songs right now) so it’s up to them if they want to comeback or not. However, I concern about YG will make it big or not(like 4 MV in 2012 instead of 2 in 2011, new songs instead of re-release). Though YG will talk about solo next week, so I doubt that BB can make it this year.

        About new girls/boys group, I already lost interesting in them. If their songs aren’t big hits like 1.2.3.4, it will be a massive damage to their reputation (it’s not like it hasn’t been damaged though, lol). Just wait for now and embrace myself for the shitstorm in coming this fall.

        • happy_slip

          And this is the problem. People think 2NE1 are totally incapable but they forget the fact that YG isn’t even giving them the freedom even at least half of what BB is getting. Kinda getting sick of it tbh. Just because they “cannot” make music doesn’t mean they only have to stick with one producer goddammit.

          There are idols out there who are older than the two and are doing fine actually. I wonder why some people act like Bom and Dara are pushing 60 and has to retire or “get married”. It’s funny because 2NE1 never represented a specific age group but are being treated like they have to stay into the young idol demographic forever.

          It’s fucking annoying how YGE feels like only BB can do shit for that company. Why 2NE1 seem like they can’t do the same is mainly because of how the man is so bent on limiting them for no specific reason.

          I say let that shitstorm happen. YG needs to wake the fuck up.

          • ANANAS

            I think YG relies on Teddy waaay too much! they have other producers yet Teddy almost always shows up….even now with Kang seung yoon’s debut single

          • nguyen

            Yep, both you and I somehow want shitstorm to happen. It’s better for him to wake up now before it’s too late.

            Also, the limitation on 2ne1 is unfortunate for them and their fan. YG deludes BJ with those US “collab” really hard that make them think 2ne1 is going to be big in America or something (seems like WG’s lesson is still not clear enough for them). They should just stick in Korea and make Kpop (what we actually love and stay for).

            In the end of the day, we can only hope all the artist in YG will be fine and stay together, they shouldn’t be the victims of all this “trolling” BS that their “father” bring out.

  • Risa Sinn

    I’m disgusted by the idea of the show.
    I’m disgusted that YG thinks it’s perfectly okay to treat these trainees this way.
    I’m disgusted that YG knows their influence and cares more about the $$$$ than being a decent rolemodel.
    I’m disgusted that those young blind YG stans will also think it’s okay because YG said so.
    I’m disgusted at how there is nothing we can do to stop it.

    And I’m most disgusted how after all of this, it will still be called the “YG Family” that has no flaw and “thinks of it’s artists before anything else”

  • KJessh

    I do agree with this article, but honestly whats the difference between WIN and other previous shows like Hot Blood and Big Bang Documentary? The best trainees debut, the others…yeah.

    • anonymous

      because this time the public decides based on a few episodes instead of people that actually know what the trainees have been doing all this time.

  • Zainlovesmusic

    Oh I think the reason yg is rushing all these debuts and comebacks is he wants to have new material and introduce all the new artists on the yg family concert. At least that’s how Big Bang was introduced to the public officially after the comeback. They didn’t promote their first single ( fools only tears with we belong together) and they only performed on the concert. Also the Big Bang documentary got them fans and interest before they debuted which helped them. Also the experience of the documentary helped them get to where they are now and it got hyunseung popularity. I remember checking out beast after watching the documentary just to see where hyunseung ended up.

  • mochi-panda

    my biggest issue with this is that the “loser” team may face things such as member replacements or disbanding altogether. that’s just cruel especially if they’ve been training together for a while. also if members of the losing team stay in YG there will be tension within the “family”. there’s no way all the boys can come out of this unscathed. his nonchalant response is just sad to me.

    lately i feel like YG has been all show and no substance, all talk and no delivery. he’s drawing in interest through what feels like gimmicks. the “all natural, no surgery” girl group was first, supearls was teased, and now WIN is probably the biggest gimmick of all. i’m not saying the groups aren’t talented because i’m sure there is considerable talent within them but it feels like YG doesn’t even trust that to be enough and has to find other ways to gain the public’s interest. not to mention how the comebacks from YG lately have been surprisingly lower quality than i’d expect. i used to think YG was more about the talent/music rather than the appearance of their artists but now it’s focused a lot on the aesthetics and the flashiness. it’s reversed somewhat dramatically in my mind. i still believe YG is full of talent but it’s just being under-utilized (except for maybe lee hi)

    didn’t YG just gain akdong musician too?? i wonder how they fit into his plans…

    • Zainlovesmusic

      How can u judge their music this year when they only released one album with lee hi? Just bc cl’s song the baddest female wasn’t considered good and people didnt like psy’s gentleman everyone thinks yg’s music has been sucking based on two singles. I don’t even consider Michigo as a proper release bc it wasn’t promoted or released digitally.

      • mochi-panda

        oh i didn’t mean that YGE’s music sucked completely and forevermore. my comments about their music quality were solely based on the last few comebacks i’ve seen and based on my own personal taste. i’m definitely not judging their future material when i haven’t even heard it :P sorry i don’t know if that makes sense? i’m not good with writing out my ideas OTL

        basically my main issue right now is with YG himself and his questionable methods in managing trainees/debuts. i’m not going to cut out YGE’s music out of my radar though because that wouldn’t be fair to his current roster of artists who haven’t done anything wrong. and i’m actually a big fan of bigbang :) and even though i don’t stan them, i like YG family as a whole. that’s probably why this makes me so sad because no matter how “normal” the trainee process described by YG is, it’s still going to create tension, jealousy and disappointment and anyone who tunes in will know about it. the name WINNER doesn’t help, it’ll be like a permanent reminder to those who “lost”.

        anyways i hope you understood my point of view. my writing skills were never that strong :/

  • Tanya Joshi

    I hate that YG is saying that this is just the usual way that the debuting of a trainee group works. That is most probably very true, but like Patricia said, that doesn’t mean they have to just go with the flow if they are a company that other smaller companies follow in the footsteps of. If you are going to be a leader in the business, you need to find new and innovative ways to do things to prove you really are on the top. Like you said, if they are just going to melt in with the usual way, that’s just really contradictory.
    Also, it’s already hard enough to live the trainee life. The last thing you’d want is to have the whole process filmed and be judged on it before you even debut. To be judged like that before you have been fully trained or capable of a full-on debut is NOT good for morale. In some slight way you could say that it would prepare the losing group for the real world, but the fact of the matter is that the cons overpower the pros and I wouldn’t think that this is good for the losing group.
    It’s just EVEN MORE sad that the fate of the losing group is unknown or unpredictable. The fact that the losing group is basically going to be publicly humiliated and then maybe even disbanded is just sad… I really hope that the losing group (I really hate calling them that) will leave YG and join another company and do well, or just in general debut after all the hard work they put into being an idol group.
    Like everyone else said, “WINNER” is just a bad move. It just sets them up for something big, and is all in all cheesy. Idol group names these days are getting more and more ridiculous, like the meaning of MBLAQ and U-KISS. I’m pretty sure most English speaking people even know the meaning of half the words they throw in these acronyms.

    I, like Patricia, am a total SM fan, but I always thought that while SM was more into the business-y side of it, that YG would be more into the musical aspect of Idol-dom, but I guess it really is just like the rest of them. And like someone mentioned in the comments, at least SM feels a sort of responsibility to its trainees and groups.

    I just wish the companies, and now especially YG, would slow down on debuting new idol groups. It’s just supersaturated and I can’t really even bother with an eighth of the new debuts because there’s too many and it’d be a lot of work to find a slightly more unique idol group… Companies, ESPECIALLY YG, should just focus on managing their already existing groups.

  • hapacalgirl

    Frankly this happens at EVERY company behind the scenes and will continue to happen behind the scenes regardless of this show so frankly I dont get the big deal. I mean similar shows formed big bang , 2pm, 2am, and indirectly B2st so it boggles my mind that people are making such a big deal. Being a trainee does not guarantee you will debut and anyone can be dropped at a moments notice from a company so I don’t really understand the YGent hate when the only difference is that he is making a well known practice public.

    • patswasika

      The reason why people are reacting differently with YG and Win is because the losing team will not only loose that opportunity to debut at a sooner date, but will be humiliated publicly. Considering that the Korean public will most likely be the one voting and get asked which they like better, the humiliation is doubled when one considers the pressure put onto teens and young adults to succeed, the humiliation would be double. They will not only loose that opportunity to debut after being a trainee for so long, but they will be humiliated publicly and there’s a high chance they will be known as the ‘losers’ in Korea. This is why people are reacting differently.

      With MyDol and Hot Blood, it was something that trainees knew they were getting into: competition for a position in a group that will debut. With Win? It’s two separate groups, with their own strengths and weaknesses and potential, wherein one will get to debut with a crappy name like WIN (though maybe YGE will realize it’s such a crappy name and change the name) while the other group will be forced to go into a state where their future is unclear because if they stay with YG, their debut may be seen as YG taking pity on the group that loses.

      • Zainlovesmusic

        Um but why would people see it that way? Why should it be considered a public humiliation? I honestly see this as a way for yg to see who he should debut first and how to make both groups better. Also the losing team will still get popular and get a fanbase after this. Maybe if both groups get a huge amount of fans yg will debut them later. I’m pretty sure he will debut both groups in the end somehow bc before he said he had a younger and older group preparing for debut in different years. It wouldn’t be taken as pity but as a deserved debut bc people saw hard they worked and they either needed more training or time. He’s not about to let some of the boy trainees he has go just like that especially after all the training. Like BI who is in group b will probably debut either way. Same with Kang seung yoon and lee seung hoon. Now we just have to see the other trainees.

        • patswasika

          Considering the society of East Asian countries, it will be a public humiliation. The pressure from parents to succeed is big in East Asian countries. This can be seen in how students are pressured to succeed scholastically with them going to school until night, with study hall that goes into the night and then an additional tutor school to give them an advantage plus they would still have homework. To deviate from this for some fun, there’s a good chance these students would be called ‘iljin’ and the like. For those that choose the idol route, they either fit in two categories: 1) parents that supported them and 2) parents that didn’t. In a society that tells children from a young age that everything they have is because of their parents and thus parents should be honored and never disobeyed, these trainees would have to prove their worth and succeed in becoming an idol. Thus, in their minds, to be that close to debut yet not debut? It would be a humiliation. And a very public one if YG gets what he wants and this Win show becomes popular.

          Given the history of YG and how the company only debut select acts and let others go, I think it was a fair assumption that YG would give all focus on WINNER and while yes, the losing team would get fans, but there would be the bad blood between the losing members and management. It’s just them being human. They would’ve worked as hard as the winning team, maybe even harder, and yet because of popularity, they would be denied a debut. YG explicitly states that what would happen to the losing team isn’t a sure thing. There will be lineup changes, members from the show would be let go, even more negativity would be bred amongst those left in the losing team. This will happen since it’s human nature. And if they do get to debut, it’s almost certain that this group would not look at YGE in a good light. And a group that has negative feelings for their company is bad on principle and YG, if his business senses are working, would never let a group like that debut.

          • Zainlovesmusic

            But what if the trainees know what will happen to them after this? I don’t think yg would put them on this show without discussing it with each member. See I might not even like this show depending on the format and how they film it but for now I just don’t think we should think the worst of it. Yes yg takes forever to debut new acts but he can’t anymore. He needs more artists to keep his company afloat. It’s why he’s trying to debut to groups at once.

          • patswasika

            Even YG isn’t sure. It can be read in his statement. The trainees went into YGE thinking that, like any other company, they would either debut with the backing of YG or have the option to silently leave the company in an honorable fashion. Because of Win, the losing team won’t have that option. They either stay with YG where their future is unsure because it may be two or three years before the losing team debuts and YGE might end up cutting them anyways, or they can leave the company for another company that noticed their talent. And considering how YG handled SuPearls, it makes the situation more shaky and unpredictable.

            Not everyone is as lucky as Hyunseung. After being cut at the 11th hour, he left YG and drifted around before someone from Beast who got into Cube (I think it was Kikwang? Or maybe Yoseob.I forgot who) dragged him along and Cube took him in for Beast. Not everyone is that lucky and thats why this Win situation bites even more. Especially when you take in YG has been bragging about the girl group of his.

          • Zainlovesmusic

            The trainees on the show are going to be the ones who wanted to be on the show. YG had a bunch of trainees leave a while ago and i think those are the ones who didn’t want to be on the show or the ones that didn’t make the cut into being put in a group to be on a show. This will just be considered another test for them to pass. Also the trainees have two different contracts that they sign an exclusive one where u are guaranteed to debut somehow or just a trainee period contract where the trainees dont know if they will end up debuting or not. Anyway i think we will have to agree to disagree. In the end i’m not quite sure what to make of this show but all i know is that it got me interested in the boy groups when previously i only cared about kang seung yoon. I just want to wait until the first ep to really judge it bc while the big bang documentary was also kind of harsh i enjoyed watching it and getting to know the members and how hard they worked.

    • anonymous

      Yes, but at least with the normal training process, the management who gets to see you work your ass off get to decide, not the public who are going to base their decisions on some edited episodes that might not even be the best portrayal of each group. You’re basically taking everything a trainee worked hard for and putting them on the line for a marketing ploy.

  • patswasika

    So…I just reread the article. Maximillian Yangaseus. How did I miss this pun the first time around? XD

  • Chocho268

    I’m more and more disgusted with YG and this reality show isn’t helping…

    I never thought YG was an angel but at least I had the feeling the company was trying to produce quality music and being fair to their artists. Then the disbandment of SuPearls happened-dropping these terribly talented girls for an unimpressive ‘YG GG’ group whose training clips so far haven’t shown even a drop of talent SuPearls possessed ..but hey, at least the girls are beautiful, right? Way to go for a company that prides itself on preferring talent over looks!

    With PSY’s and Lee Hi’s success.. I honestly think fame has gotten to their heads and YG (as well as some other artists in the company) have become more and more money, power and attention hungry and it shows in their recent releases (save for Lee Hi), which were lacking freshness, quality and were just incredibly luckluster. I think their recent releases (GD’s, CL’s and PSY’s Gentelmen) show exactly what the company has become-hungry for recognition, attention and preferring style over substance.

    • happy_slip

      It’s sad. I genuinely like their artists and most of their music so to see their CEO destroy them through this is hard to watch.

      • Chocho268

        mte..honestly I fear for 2NE1 and their comeback songs.. used to like most of the material they’ve released so far but if their music is going to sound anything like the mess the company’s been putting out lately… omg.. I’d rather not hear it.

        • happy_slip

          OMG 2NE1. :( I’m a fan, and it scares me too. YG has been shading them since last year tbh. Praying that it isn’t as “different” as CL’s.

  • happy_slip

    KPOP Hunger Games. After YG realized that most people give no fucks about the new girl group, he does this shit to his upcoming boy group. I’m honestly indifferent with the whole thing, but it’s hilarious how the company tries so hard when his two most successful groups didn’t get this crazy amount of hoopla when they debuted.

    Just debut them goddammit. If people will support, they will support.

    YG started losing his marbles when the company got so successful last year. Can’t believe it actually got to his head.

  • Hannah

    ummmm HUNGER GAMES MUCH?!

    so much for a “family” feel…

  • Safyx

    Papa YG should seriously take a look at this article.

  • MOXCRunner1

    I’m gonna make a Naruto reference hear and say that this reminds me of the Village of the Bloody Mist’s graduation exercise-namely, killing your bunkmates.

    • takasar1

      but the hidden mist was all along being controlled by madara, so unless there exists a shadow shogun behind YG i think this is his doing

  • anonymous

    What bothers me is that these boys probably entered the company with the idea that they would be training under YG, and would be given the chance by YG to either debut or leave the company silently (and maybe choose to debut under another company), not be forced to enter re-training or forced disbandment because of some new marketing tactic. At least normally, they could fight and earn their way because of their talent and hard work. This time, it takes it completely out of the hands of the trainees – because no matter how hard they work, the decision’s just going to be based on “who the public liked most” which could be based on edited talent and personalities on TV.

    Normally, the cuts are made by the management, not by the public, and that…bothers me quite a bit too. Of course the public has a right, they’re going to be the ones buying whatever comes out of the groups after all, but what are they going to be basing their decisions on? The management gets to see them for years, and constantly throughout their entire training process, and know the full capabilities of each trainee and the groups. The public gets to see 10 weeks condensed into a few heavily edited hours of episodes. And wouldn’t it suck being cut just because you were liked /less/?

    And another thing: unlike most other shows where the contestants are aware that they’re going to be pitted against each other to make it into the group, these trainees all probably had equal opportunity to debut before this show. But to be completely honest, what’s equal opportunity when one of the groups already has two recognised names with established fanbases in it?

  • Aaron Ho

    This is a bad decision from YG! not like bad being good but bad being bad ya know?

  • Lirrel101

    It’s not like YG has not done this before… Big Bang was created through this system. Big Bang was originally composed of 4 members but at the end only Hyunseung was eliminated which was I think kind of unfair because aside from GD and Taeyang he had the longest training period. The fact that such was broadcasted must be doubly hard on him.

    But frankly I have no problem with this system, this is a good platform to get publicity on a new group. From a company’s perspective not only do you get to solve a problem on letting go with “excess” trainees, the one that you are going to debut will already have a following beacuse of the show. It’s not like these boys have no choice about this and also this could be an advantage for them since they could also establish a reputation because of the show. If they are really talented, there’s no way that other companies would not snatch them up (ex. hyunseung) and if they aren’t then YG was right in letting them go. Sure, it’s lainful but thats reality. Don’t trust in that YG Family crap beacuse in the long run it’s a company built for profit, you only become part of the family if you’re profitable.

  • http://blossom423.tumblr.com/ Elizabeth

    I feel bad for those trainees from this upcoming boy group YG is going to debut because of the way YG is gleefully encouraging the competition for entertainment value i’m disappointed in YG’s business decision like this one even SM and JYP with its flaws is better than this and their hypocritical nature like claiming to being “different” from others in K-pop when it’s not at all different in terms of money and business and claiming he picks his artists without any emphasis on looks when it’s still is about looks for example SNSD-like group, and making T.O.P lose his weight before making it in YG he still based it on their looks.

    Overall great article Patricia basically sums up my thought.

  • myst

    (in between the interesting discussions going on in the comments i’d like to give this article some very-much-deserved praise. i thought it was spectacular. persuasive, touching, and written with a great deal of well-placed authority. props to you, patricia, for speaking out against what is indeed a terrible thing to put trainees through with such elegance.)

  • Lianna

    I’m shocked, how many ready-to-debut idols does YG actually have that it’s enough to make a competition program…?

  • Sophia

    Yeah, its a sh1t idea and i for one will NOT be watching.
    I don’t want to see some poor kids hopes and dreams deversated and played out in front of me for entertainment! No thanks

  • yuuki

    i know i really hate this kind of shits of course everyone has to work hard to be the winner but why do they have to show the general public that these are the loosers who didn’t WIN even after working so hard and going through that tramautic tracings?? common imagine those boys who don’t get choosen will they still have the courage to face the tv.. I really despised Hot Blood from JYP too their harsh treatment to boys as such tender age and look at now even if 2AM and 2PM debuted JYP more or less have given up on 2AM and only focus on 2PM because they are the winner.. KOREA need to get this fact right that not everyody has same learning capabilities and styles.. while one might be motivated to work hard on such condition to prove them selves while others could easily be discouraged and loose all their nerve to perform ever again!! YG i am a huge fan of Bigbang but what you are doing right is totally ridiculous! get your mind straight for god sake family do not creat a indoor war zone!

  • Chandler’s Turkey

    Not surprised by YG doing bs anymore, but this goes too far.

  • takasar1

    sorry but this is a feature of capitalism on a micro-level. your values are not shared by everyone, if you dont want to watch, dont. i will. the notion of morals simply doesnt exist in the world of business. the kids know what they are getting into, as do their parents. YG attempts to create a group with a huge pre-debut fanbase. thinking objectively, the worst case scenario is that a couple of kids kill themselves from depression after losing, thus affecting their families and the people closest to them. the winners meanwhile bring economic benefit to themselves, their families, YG, Yg employees, suppliers and so on and so forth. the probability is that more people win and less lose. of course the same scenario would hold true if these little games were held in-house, but Yg has his own reasons for believing that this will pay dividends.

    to naively throw around generation X inspired labels simply because you disagree with some of the sentiments and core business values on display, makes you look extremely simple-minded. you admit to knowing that this is what goes on behind the scenes yet object to the same situation being publicly televised? it looks like people really need to get out more and see more of the world. if you have seen the brutality of the world and fully understand it, all the while wanting to bring about change then go become a revolutionary, from washington to mao to hitler to castro, god knows that we already have enough middle-class revolutionaries (assuming you are middle-class) befouling human history.

    i’ll end by putting it this way; if business was almost never conducted in ways which you seem to class as ‘inhumane’ and ‘de-humanizing’ we most likely would not be sitting behind laptops today in different countries arguing over petty trivialities (kpop).

  • 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

      lmao

    • 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

    http://seoulbeats.com/2013/06/yg-battle-royale/

    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

    UGH PEOPLE… YG HAS PLANS! DON’T REACT TOO MUCH, BECAUSE U GUYS DON’T KNOW WHAT’S MORE INSIDE THAT “PLAN”. HE KNOWS WHAT IS GOOD FOR HIS ARTIST, , HE’S THE BOSS. SO PLEASE PUTTING HATE COMMENTS, YG KNOWS BETTER THAN U GUYS DO

  • 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.