It looks like Nu’est is attempting to go the Exo/Super Junior route by forming a group that would be heavily focused on promoting in the Chinese. They’ve also taken a pro-tip from SME and decided that the best way to have any success in China is by adding Chinese members in the group. So what do they do?
Meet Jason. Or Fu Long Fei.
Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s focus on the real issue at hand: how Jason will affect Nu’est and their Chinese promotions.
There are already some signs (not a lot, thankfully) that people are not exactly pleased by the news, saying that the extra member is unnecessary and possibly breaking into the “OT5.” My response? My concern is that this is not the problem at hand, or really worthy of giving our attention. We all know that fandom does inexplicable things, and it’s not worth fixating on the crazy responses that are just bound to happen.
The weird thing is though, I highly doubt that Nu’est’s fandom is going to give Jason the kind of crap that Henmi got from Only 13 advocates. Nu’est doesn’t have the history (the concept of rotating members) nor the fandom (massive) that Super Junior has. What I do worry is that Nu’est isn’t ready to just jump into China. As great as their fandom probably is, I don’t see them taking a major chunk of the market when even larger name groups from wannabe-conglomerates (ehm, SM) are struggling relative to the rest of the Chinese music market. Super Junior-M gained significant footing by having two Chinese members and one Taiwanese (not just one random person)—but more importantly, the fame Hangeng had in China. I don’t think Jason has the ability to become Nu’est-M’s anchor all by himself. Nu’est-M could fail before it even starts.
Then there’s the more minor issue of the massive age gap he has with most of the other members. Age gaps are usually not much of an issue these days when all the members start out together, but adding in someone who is significantly older than there rest later down the line? That could pose some group dynamic problems on and off-stage given that Jason is a “hoobae” by profession and a “hyung” by age. With the addition of the fact that Jason’s only relevance is through Nu’est-M, it looks like he may end up with a foothold as an idol in no-where-land between China and Korea. Which effectively, means none.
All things considered, best wishes to Jason and Nu’est in their endeavor. Hopefully Pledis knows what they’re doing.
How faithful are you, Seoulmates, in Nu’est-M?