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Immortal Song 2: Development into a Worthwhile Watch

News via seoulbeats.com

KBS 2TVs Immortal Song 2 began with a dreamy and fairly straightforward concept: idols would get to show off their vocal ability and performance skills through remaking songs from notable artists. Those singers themselves would be present to give comments on the idols performance. Singers would be pitted against each other, the audience picking which performance they preferred of the two at hand, until there was only one left: the winner. The initial cast was full of noteworthy competition: BEASTs Yoseob, 2AMs Changmin, SISTARs Hyorin, IU, Super Juniors Yesung, and SHINees Jonghyun, all accompanied by MCs Shin Dong-yup, Kim Gu-ra, and a bit later, Moon Hee-jun. The show began in early June 2011, featured outstanding performances, and brought in all those views from fans of the groups. What could possibly go wrong?

Several things, apparently. Idols werent the most ideal of contestants to have running a show. With popularity comes busier schedules. IU left after the first episode; Yesung and Jonghyun had to leave after the third. BEAST was heading off to Japan fairly soon, so it wouldnt be long before Yoseob was out as well. But luckily, what South Korea does have in abundance are idols. From FT Island, MBLAQ, Secret, and more, it was possible to continuously exchange contestants as conflicts arose regarding scheduling. But not only were schedules conflicting: with idols, there is always that inherent sense that fans want to make their idol win, no matter how important or unimportant it is in the long run. (Not convinced of this? Just take a look at the explosion that developed within Seoulbeats own Best Debut poll.) While watching the voting results, a viewer cant help but wonder if there are Shawol-noonas for SHINee or STAR1-uncles for SISTAR, among others, wanting their favorites to win. And its that type of thinking that could wreck the potential the show had and at times overshadowed the legitimate singing ability of idols.

In addition, it didnt take long for audiences to point out the blatant injustices involved in the voting process. The order of performances was chosen at random. Voting had only two choices each stage, each performer either having just performed or having just won a stage. With such a stellar cast, it would be difficult to choose one over the other. Furthermore, each performance wasnt intended to be similar to those of others. Songs with entirely different feelings could have been chosen, arousing different sections of a large range of emotions. How can anyone compare a ballad with heart-wrenching emotions to a lively dance track that makes you want to get on your feet? How can anyone choose which one is better? Not only that, but the first performer was always at a disadvantage. Their chance of winning was indubitably slimmer because they had to face every contestant thereafter. The last performer, before even performing, had a 50% chance of winning simply because of luck of the draw. The show soon modified the first of two rounds, where performers chose their song based on a theme, into a tournament-style that eliminated half the idols through face-offs of two, but left the final choice up to votes for any of the eligible performers: a system that was still unsatisfactory.

To be fair, the show did begin with some positive aspects. Performances grew with quality as an understanding was developed of how to reach out to an audience successfully. To win, that stage better be outstanding, whether its because of a smooth and basic dance routine, emotional expressions, or a hyped up scene acted out on stage. And it also connected generations through remakes of older songs. Younger generations may not have listened to older music, perhaps engrossed in current K-pop. But when those that are closer to the age of the younger population create a stirring performance out of an oldie, it becomes relevant to younger people, and maybe even something of interest in classic songs.

KBS eventually got a clue, understanding that perhaps the show wasnt as well-planned as anticipated. Less than two months after the first episode, Huh Gak and 4Mens Shin Yong-jae, non-idols, were added to the roster, and intentions were made known to expand the list of vocalists to include more vocalists outside of the idol realm, bringing in singers like ALi, Lyn, K. Will, and more. The voting system changed earlier in 2012 to a much more acceptable method. After each performance, the audience would choose to vote or not for the performer based on the impact of the stage. While contestants would still face off in pairs, instead of the audience choosing one or the other, it would be based on how may of the 500-member audience felt moved after each performance. Whichever performer garnered more votes out of the 500 would move on towards winning for the week. And a last change was the introduction of fixed members. With the frequent exchange of idols, it was difficult to have some form of consistency with the show. But with contestants like Sonya, K. Will, Ulala Session, and Ailee present each week, viewers are guaranteed strong performances despite fluctuations in other members. And each exchange of idols had the potential to bring in a new batch of viewers, some of whom wont leave when their favorite had to because of the other music available.

And what a relief the developments have been. Immortal Song 2 started out as an unfeasible, yet attractive idea. Focused on performances, not just vocal talent, it makes for an excellent platform to display skills. But recurring shows based on idols are difficult to maintain for reasons already stated. The addition of fixed members is a similar idea to what is present in variety shows. And also much like in variety shows, these members are the ones that can make sure its not awkward in the waiting/viewing room with their ongoing jokeslove triangles involving Ailee and two Ulala Session members or comments on Sonyas continuously strong performancesand comfortable presence. Newer host Jeon Hyun-moo, along with Moon Hee-jun and Shin Dong-yup, continues to keep interactions amusing with commentary and continuous efforts to engage all present performers. Interviews have grown to encompass groups or pairs of contestants, making those more lively and humorous as opposed to the more serious ones of before.

Another striking point is that with these fixed, powerful vocalists always on site, younger additions to the cast can really grow from witnessing these performances first-hand. While some idols may be great under idol standards, when it gets to where serious music really is at, their skills can be seen as just okay. Theres a difference between performing with a team and performing individually, in each case trying to convey appropriate emotions or a fitting routine. Seeing that difference can be a learning experience and motivation to get better. While your group may be doing okay sales-wise, theres still that music aspect to being a K-pop group. So when SHINees Taemin, whose appearance on the program sparked predictions and reviews of his performance, or Infinites Woohyun appeared on the show, you can bet that they left as improved vocalists.

Another positive stemming from the abandonment of an idol-focused lineup is the introduction to lesser-known singers. I had never heard of Sonya or K-punk rock band No Brain prior to watching their performances. And boy was I missing out. Sonyas voice is simply stunning, and No Brains take on different music was particularly interesting and fun for listening and viewing. Immortal Song 2 is a good place for self-promotion as if you claim to talent, youre in the right place to prove it. Vocalists also get the opportunity to meet several different legends within Korean music and show versatility as they provide personal takes on older songs.

Immortal Song 2 has climbed into my list of shows or performances to watch. Though I may not always engage in the fun interview portions, the performances are fantastic, each one having individual styles based on preferences and strengths. Though the show began with the potential to crash and burn miserably, it resolved its issues to stand strong today as an entertaining show with personality and out-of-the-ordinary performances. Fortunately, at this point, all Immortal Song 2 has to do is keep doing the same: bringing new idols when they can or when its promising, providing occasional special performances, and keeping those fixed members for an improved show all around.

Have any you taken a look at Immortal Song 2 since its changes in line-up and method? Have any favorite performers, performances, or vocalists that you think should be on this show? Leave a comment below letting us know what you think!

(Nate [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6], Naver [1], KBS, YangAllRise05, CapsuleHD8)

"Happy Seollal" Park Hae-jin sends out heartwarming Seollal greetings

News via hancinema.net

Actor Park Hae-jin delivered a heartwarming Seollal greeting. On February 3rd, Park Hae-jin sent out his greeting via his firm W Company. In the message, he said, "I wish you've got a satisfied Seolla" and "I wish all your dreams come true this year".

His hanbok used to be also revealed. Park Hae-jin pulled off the normal outfit perfectly thank you to his simple facial features. His colorful jeogori looks wonderful on him.

Park Hae-jin sat with his knees folded and his hands put in combination across his abdomen courteously. And then he conducted sebae, the hot Year's bow (jeol) to his drama fans.

Yeo Jin-goo and Seolhyun's kiss scene: What did Seolhyun say about the romantic scene?

News via hancinema.net

During the show, Seolhyun said about her kiss scene with Yeo Jin-goo, "Although he was once young, he led the kiss beautifulsmartly unexpectedly" and "Because he led well, letsend filming the scene successfully".

Performances for the February 6th episode of MBC Track Core

News via koreaboo.com
Performances for the February 6th episode of MBC Track Core

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterFor the February 6th episode of MBCMusic Core, 4MINUTE and Yoo Seung Woo made their comeback at the music show.

Other performers of the eveningintegrated Teen Top, Ryeowook, G-Friend, Dalshabet, IMFACT, Stellar, Yezi, The Legend, Avenue Boyz, Mose Woman Jane, Anda, Nop.K, VROMANCE, and SUS4.

Upcoming Korean-Chinese docudrama "Three Kingdom Wars - Imjin War 1592"

News via hancinema.net

Added the impending Korean-Chinese docudrama "Three Kingdom Wars - Imjin War 1592"'s page to HanCinema database"Three Kingdom Wars - Imjin War 1592" (2016)With Choi Soo-jong, Kim Eung-soo,..."Three Kingdom Wars - Imjin War 1592" is a co-production between South upcoming Korean and ChinaSynopsisThis docudrama depicts political eventualities in Joseon, Myung Dynasty and Japan throughout the Imjin War.Broadcast beginning date in Korea : 2016

Kang Ye Won and Oh Min Suk discuss dating in genuine existence once they leave 'We Were given Married'

News via allkpop.com
Kang Ye Won and Oh Min Suk discuss dating in genuine  existence  once they leave 'We Were given Married'

Every viewer needsto grasp if the couples on 'We Got Married' are real, and Kang Ye Won and Oh Min Suk mightif fact be told take their onscreen courting into real life. The couple went to get some boulevard food, and Kang Ye Won suggested, "When we end up 'We Got Married', let's have a truemiddle to heart talk."

She explained in her solo interview, "I told him we must accept a deep communicate later on in a drunken state. I think, 'What if I in point of fact date this consumer after 'WGM' is finished?' The more time passes, the more I suspect that."

Oh Min Suk also told the producers, "We certainly should. I wonder whether we feel the similareven ifwe aren't filming. The onestypes ofmind naturally come up. By skill of the way, will this portion make it at the broadcast?"

Upcoming Korean film "The Bacchus Lady"

News via hancinema.net

Added the approaching Korean film "The Bacchus Lady"'s page to HanCinema database"The Bacchus Lady" (2016)Directed via Lee Jae-yongWith Yoon Yeo-jeong,...SynopsisSo-yeong, a street-based sex employee in her 60s, is widely recognized for 'doing it so neatly she can practically kill you' among elderly men. Here's her way to make a living. One day she if reality be told kills one of her normalcustomers per request, who sought after to die because of his tricky life. And this is how the tale begins.Release date in Korea : 2016

Kim So Yeon lovingly threatens Kwak Si Yang on 'We Were given Married'

News via allkpop.com
Kim So Yeon lovingly threatens Kwak Si Yang on 'We Were given Married'

The couple discussed what cheating method to them, and they determined to play a husband who had an affair and a wife who used to be left behind. Kim So Yeon then commented, "You can not cheat on me. I'm going to kill you."

Kwak Si Yang changed into unfazed by ability of her comment, however. He answered sweetly, "How may just I ever cheat on a lady like you," and she could notassistyet smile.

On the similar episode, Kim So Yeon and Kwak Si Yang had a struggleto peer who mightconsumehighly spiced food the best, and Kim So Yeon ended up the winner.

6 EXO B-Side Tracks To have a look at Ahead of The EXO'luXion Excursion Hits North America

News via kpopstarz.com
6 EXO B-Side Tracks To have a look at  Ahead of The EXO'luXion Excursion Hits North America

"Unfair" is the easiest track to appear up in case you are having a super day or searching for a pick-me-up. A phase of EXO's 2015 Sing For You - Iciness Special Album. "Unfair" become the track that exploded into famealong their more solemn title track "Song for You." At the core of "Unfair" is a popping, electronic, and fairly Christmas sounding beat that establishes the maximum effective base for EXO's cutesy romantic vocals. As EXO sings about their love for the listener, it isnot easyno longer to fall ceaselessly in love in go back alongside a track this addictive. We dare you to hear IT without smiling:

EXO's 2nd EP Overdoseshowed fanatics how eclectic the group's song styling may be. From the serious, synth-filled, title "Overdose" to the comfortable RB sounds of "Thunder," and the entirety in between, Overdosehad it all. "Run" stands out, however, as one of EXO's first anthem taste tracks. The continuous buildup of the beat is helping to create a song this iseither empowering and fun. Let alone the repetitive "oh's" are the best earworm to get the song stuck for yourbrain for days:

EXO and Big name Wars fans alike where startled by capacity of the respectable collaboration between the two. And yet, it was some distance from unexpected when the outcome was an energetic, in-your-face club banger of a song with a visually surprising music video to match. Striking EXO's questionable lightsaber handling aside, the song itself was one of the most productive party-dance anthems the neighborhood has released up to now and it's milessimple to fall into the trap of inserting "Lightsaber" on repeat. Do notconsider us? Test it out for yourself:

Spectacular Performances From Dal Shabet, 4Minute, G-Friend, And More For The February 6, 2016 Episode Of 'Music Core'

News via kpopstarz.com
Spectacular Performances From Dal Shabet, 4Minute, G-Friend, And More For The February 6, 2016 Episode Of 'Music Core'

(Photo : Twitter )MBC's Music Coreis back with fantastic performances from some of your favourite K-pop stars. Whilst the teams performed, loud fan chants and screams were heard.

K-Pop Mixtape: January 2016 Disbandments

News via kpopstarz.com
K-Pop Mixtape: January 2016 Disbandments

2016 has rarely begun, yet were already seeing ends to a couple K-pop acts. January saw the disbandments of act like iconic ladystaff Kara and boy bands LC9 and NOM. To commemorate the 3 groups, we've got a playlist that specializes inthe great times we spent with them.

Tamar Herman is a multi-media journalist and the co-founder of KultScene. She is a freelance creator and replica editor, and has written for MTV Iggy, Noisey and Paste Magazine.