This week, Music Bank aired its “Music Bank in Chile” special, while Show! Music Core was utterly overshadowed by MBC airing the Melon Music Awards the day before. Add to that few, if any comebacks, and pickings are slim for the week.

Still, here were some of the performances I liked.

Hello Venus: “What Are You Doing Today?” MNet M! Countdown, Thursday 13th December 2012

Sometimes girl’ groups do better when their concepts are simple and to the point. Hello Venus are so far one of the more promising girl group debuts thus far. The outfits strike a nice balance between eye-catching enough for a stage, yet not overstyled, while the song is a pleasantly un-cloying listen. It helps that the girls are competent enough to pull it off stage. There is hope at Pledis Towers after all.

Lee Seung-gi: “Return” MNet M! Countdown, Thursday 13th December 2012

This has been a good year for ballads, and few have been better than Lee Seung-gi’s aptly titled comeback. Not only did I like his new found musical prowess, it was also nice to enjoy a ballad that for once, was not about heartbreak or one-sided love. The fact that he won this week’s chart show was probably icing on the cake.

Roy Kim: “Passing By” MNet M! Countdown, Thursday 13th December 2012

These days, reality singing show stars seem to be debuting faster and faster. But from Roy Kim’s assured debut performance, it is not a bad thing. I am loving how Mnet chose to keep the stage set up simple, to just let the man do his work with just his voice and the guitar.

Ailee: “Evening Sky” MNet M! Countdown, Thursday 13th December 2012

And on the female side, Ailee deserves a mention this week too. I particularly liked how this song tried to showcase another side to her vocals. It is proof that good singing is not always about belting, but instead focusing on bringing out the finer subtleties in the lyrics. While near the end she attempts to steamroll through the song, props to the song for making her try a more subtle approach to singing, as well as for being vocally stable to the end.

KARA’s Han Seungyeon: “Guilty” MBC’s Show! Music Core, 15th December 2012

If there was one reason for any girl group fan to watch Music Core this week, it would be this song. I am glad that DSP Entertainment thought it a good idea to create and release a Korean version of her Japanese solo project. Further props to MBC for attempting to recreating a stage version of the MV set. Now if they could fix the mikes…

The Seeya: “Poison” KBS2’s Yoo Heeyeol’s Sketchbook, 15th December 2012

For all my criticisms about them (the name, the company’s management), one thing that cannot be faulted about CCM is how well they can do ballads, and The Seeya are no exception. Add to that pleasant vocals live, and a little backing from senior Lee Haeri (of Davichi), and they are worth giving a chance.

And those were my picks for the week. How about yours?

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