When major entertainment labels cycle out debuts and comebacks of their idols and idol groups, I couldn’t help but notice it’s usually in such a way that avoids direct competition. For example, when YG’s fierce ladies of 2NE1 came out with their album To Anyone last September, their three song kill swept the music charts as well as significant awards at the end of the year music awards show and festivals. During this time, members of Girl’s Generation, SM Entertainment’s doll-like crown jewels, were hitting the ground running in Japan with Japanese versions of their infectious and addicting hits Gee and Genie. Males are usually rotated as such too, with seriously influential idols typically never butting heads with those of other companies. I’ve yet to understand what kind of tactic this is—perhaps a way of avoiding fandom wars, or ensuring music sales, but either way it’s something that’s always happening, both between and within entertainment companies.
This fall, however, we all may be watching something different on our favorite music and variety and radio shows. JYP’s Wonder Girls, LEON’s IU, SME’s SNSD, and MNet Media’s T-ara are all coming back to the Korean music scene. There is no doubt in my mind all their producers are trying to concoct the catchiest and cutest jingle to drop, probably because these last minute 2011 promotions will most likely affect who will win what award and how many at the end of this year. It’s strikingly peculiar for me because this is one of the first times I’ve seen both SNSD and Wonder Girls releasing music in the same window, especially since both risen to superstardom due their enormous success both nationally and abroad.
I’m a skeptical for T-ara, since they’re working themselves dry in Japan at the moment, so I don’t know how much energy they’ll bring or for how long. Plus, I’m not going to sugar coat anything—Wonder Girls and SNSD have left many in their shadows before, it wouldn’t surprise me to see it happen again. But then again, who really knows. IU has caught major attention as ‘Korea’s little sister’, and T-ara has had gotten themselves out there as well. Perhaps this fall, the limelight is fair game. We all just have to wait and see who comes out on top.