Welcome to another Comments of the Week!
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There was quite a lot of discussion this week on YG’s latest marketing tactics pertaining to upcoming debuts, let’s see what various commenters had to say:
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?
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.
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).
As always, thank you for being such wonderful readers, and feel free to leave additional thoughts and comments below.
(Images via GQ, YG Entertainment, Dara’s Me2Day)