March Madness has officially begun and while many of you are flooding our inbox with predictions for the March Madness Pick ‘em Contest, there are also those of you who may be heavily pondering why some of your faves were not included in the competition. If you belong to the latter, then may this list give you some sense of closure, or further frustration.
There are several reasons why someone was not selected. A logistical reason is that there are only so many members that can be selected from the same group and the member you wanted probably comes in second, third, or fourth in the popularity department of his/her group. If this was the case, then there’s simply nothing we can do for you. It must be rough stanning Soyu or Key; we completely understand.
The more straightforward reason, however, is that there simply wasn’t enough room in the competition. There are those who may not have been included this year, but they certainly have a chance of being a part of the madness in the future. Below is a list of idols who we certainly considered but, in the end, decided not to include. As a consolation, we want to give five female idols (chosen by Mark) and five male idols (chosen by Lindsay) the recognition they deserve by including them in this honorable mentions list.
1) Subin (Dal Shabet)
Not only Subin, but Dal Shabet was snubbed from the competition altogether. For a group that’s been around for four years with moderate success, you would expect for the group to have at least have one member represented. The problem with Dal Shabet, however, is that the group doesn’t have a standout member that is truly all that popular or that’s had a ton of individual success or recognition. This may very well change though since Subin has begun to emerge as a budding singer/songwriter. It’s refreshing to see female idols dabble in the composition aspect of their music so let’s keep an eye out for Subin during Dal Shabet’s ensuing comeback.
2) Sojung (Ladies’ Code)
Following the tragic car accident that led to the death of two Ladies’ Code members, the future of the group has been left uncertain. Lauded for outstanding vocals upon debut, Ladies’ code set a new standard for vocals among debuting girl groups, a standard which has only been raised last year with the debut of Mamamoo. The true standout vocalist in Ladies’ Code is no other than Sojung whose claim to fame before joining the group was being a semi-finalist on The Voice. Her strong, husky voice registers the power of Spica’s Bohyung and it leaves no doubt why she quickly became heralded for her vocal ability upon the group’s debut.
3) Jei (Fiestar)
Fiestar has been on the brink of breaking out for a while now, and though I had put the group on my doesn’t deserve to exist list, they’ve finally hit their stride this past year with “One More.” Jei has very much been Fiestar’s best kept secret but she’s bound to explode onto the radar very soon. Prior to debut, she could be seen walking past all the ghostly Infinite members in the “Paradise” MV. Shortly after debut, she was on Romantic & Idol where she was charming, but sadly the show was short lived. With Fiestar’s impending comeback, she’s prime to capture everyone’s gaze one way or another. She’s definitely my candidate for 2015’s breakout fancam.
4) Mint (Tiny-G)
Tiny-G has made very little noise since debuting in 2012 and it’s sad to hear that the group has finally disbanded despite having released above average tracks that seem to get better with each comeback. However, one bright spot of the group is Mint, the group’s breakdancing, Taeyang-admiring, Michael Jackson-inspired Thai member. Given her unique dance background, her best shot at making it big is to get on a dance competition show like Dancing 9 or Dancing with the Stars to truly have a chance to prove her skills. As for now, we have these home-brewed remedies for those of us who want more Mint.
5) Jucy (Evol)
The underground rapper turned idol phenomenon has spotlighted a number of male idols from Bang Yong-guk to Rap Monster, but one female who’s certainly not to be overlooked or underestimated is Evol’s Jucy. Known as Juni.J in her underground days, she’s demonstrated quite the lyrical ability and technical flare in the mixtapes which she has released prior to and after her debut. She had a short stint on Show Me the Money where she got to show off her ability and her personality alongside her male peers. While Evol has been largely inactive since 2013, Jucy has continued to release music on her own. All she needs is a stint on Unpretty Rapstar where I’m positive she will raise the level of competition.
6) Kidoh (Topp Dogg)
Similar to Jucy, Stardom labelmate Kidoh was an underground rapper — in the group DaeNamHyup — before he joined the world of idol trainees. Although originally lined up to join Bangtan Boys, he ended up in Topp Dogg and has been bringing the group street cred ever since. Although there are many excellent rappers in the now 12-member group, Kidoh’s past experience and solo album release set him apart. He’s got the talent to outperform the idol-rapper competition and if he continues to work on his solo stuff, he could even challenge the big dogs someday.
7) Rome (C-Clown)
What does one even say about Rome? He’s a walking-talking ball of pure sex appeal? Sure, let’s go with that. C-Clown’s nugu status is keeping this gem of a man hidden and I’m sure his faithful fans are thankful they don’t have to share. His dancing is what got him on my radar and likewise, that’s the bracket I’d put him in. He competed on a small scale dance competition show and immediately had all the ladies in the palm of his hand. There’s just something about the energy and power of his movements that makes it hard to look away once he starts dancing.
8) Eddy (JJCC)
Despite the hype, most people were disappointed with the debut of Jackie Chan’s boy group. I, on the other hand, loved the group’s debut song as it was something different and unique in a sea of K-pop dance tracks. Particularly impressive is the group’s lead singer, the elegantly long-haired Eddy. Not only is he totally sultry when he sings, he also spent years training as a martial arts action stunt man and was a finalist on Korea’s Master Chef. Basically, he’s a renaissance man but of course his singing is what is of importance here.
9) Jun Q (MYNAME)
MYNAME is one of those groups that started in Korea but hit it off much better in Japan. Sadly, because of that, not many international K-pop fans are as aware of this group as they — in my opinion — should be. Jun Q is one of the group’s rappers, a role which he fills well, but I’d prefer to see him in the “Visual” bracket of the competition. If you like B.A.P’s Zelo or BtoB’s Sungjae, then you’ll like him. He’s got that elegantly tall body frame coveted by so many male idols and gorgeous eyes that go from playful to sexy to fierce in a matter of seconds. Of course, his bone structure helps, too, as I’m personally a sucker for a nice jaw.
10) Rokhyun (100%)
I’ve been crying about 100% to anyone that would listen since they debuted. It’s just plain unfair that K-pop popularity isn’t based on talent but rather on an odd conglomeration of company reputation, looks, and marketing. 100%’s vocal line slays in a big way, but I personally believe their lead vocal, Rokhyun, is a step above the rest. After an initial failed attempt at idol-dom, he joined 100% but sadly still isn’t getting the recognition he deserves. Although he always carries the group with his live singing on music shows, he truly shines most when he appears on shows like Immortal Song 2.
Let us know who you think got snubbed by the Seoulbeats March Madness selection committee, or even who got snubbed by the honorable mentions list.