credit:SMTOWN 2012 S.M. Global Audition KOREA, CHINA, USA, CANADA, JAPANFrom January to March 2012, ’2012 S.M. Global Audition’ will be held in 5 countries and 15 cities.
’2012 Global Audition’ Schedule
KOREA – PUSAN(Jan. 7th), DAEGU(Jan. 8th), DAEJEON(Jan. 14th), GWANGJU(Jan. 15th), SEOUL(Jan. 28th~29th)
CHINA – SHANGHAI(Feb. 5th), BEIJING(Feb. 12th)
USA – NEW YORK(Feb. 18th), CHICAGO(Feb. 20th), SAN FRANCISCO(Feb. 26th), LOS ANGELES(Mar. 3rd)
CANADA – VANCOUVER(Mar. 7th), TORONTO(Mar. 10th)
JAPAN – TOKYO(Mar. 20th), OSAKA(Mar. 24th)
*For more information, please visit our website. http://audition.smtown.com/GlobalAuditionMain1110.aspMomma’s Source: sharingyoochun.net
Twenty contestants had been selected for a live audition in front of hundreds of spectators and only two would then go on to the next round. This was not your typical talent show – this was tvN Kpop Star Hunt Singapore and the prize for winning? A chance of a lifetime to be trained by CUBE Entertainment in Seoul, Korea; and that was it.
Held at Novena Square 2, the audition showcased the talents of these young aspiring Kpop idol hopefuls. Christina the youngest audition contestant at 12 years old it turns out has not told her father about her participation in the competition. And this was in spite of having gone through to the next round.
“My father still doesn’t know. I have no intention of telling him because I know he’ll disapprove. I’ll only tell him if I make it through to the next round. Perhaps then, he’ll recognize my dreams.”
Asked if the lack of parental support affected her, the cheery adolescent grinned and turned to 15 year old Phedra, her fellow audition group mate who made it through as well. It turns out that the two girls have bonded very quickly despite having only met less than a day ago.
“We’re already friends on twitter! We’ve got each other and even our mutual friends have come down to support us. Everyone’s excited and I just hope our hard work pays off. I’m actually rather nervous actually,” she confessed, hands clasped tightly with Phedra’s.
“I’m nervous too! I just hope I don’t forget my lines but I think if I focus on the judges, I won’t feel so pressured. Then again, I have the support of my friends who came down today. I’m just thankful they didn’t prepare any fan boards or something,” Phedra added, rambling as her friends fussed to take Polaroid pictures with them.
Another fellow contestant, Amira, had another reason to be thankful for her friends who had come down to support her.
“I actually wouldn’t even be here without them. They submitted the audition clip without me knowing and so I was very surprised when I got the call to audition yesterday. I’m so very grateful for them and their support in me,” she mused with a gentle smile on her face.
The crowd that had formed since before noon quickly swelled as the auditions grew nearer. The Jinjo Crew opened up the auditions, executing a series of highly entertaining break dancing moves such as handstand and back flips much to the delight of the audience. However, the loudest screams were reserved for the top twenty contestants.
Mr Eddy Tan, one of the esteemed judges, explained to an eager crowd that it was the contestants’ first time on stage with music and using a wire to hear their own selves. The day before, in the previous audition most of the contestants sang with no music. The audience, it seemed didn’t need any explanation – they were enthusiastically cheering for each and every one of the contestants despite setbacks like missed cues or forgotten lyrics. It seemed as though everyone was having the time of their lives as the twenty contestants sang and danced their hearts out, hoping to impress the judges with possibly their last performance.
Ha Boyi, the founder of Boom Korea Pte Ltd , was spotted in the audience.
“I feel that the audition hopefuls today were better compared to audition hopefuls in previous auditions held one, two years ago. There is a noticeable difference in terms of the showmanship and the quality of the performances. It’s like there’s already a generation change. I would say that the standard of the audition hopefuls today are almost or already on par with the audition hopefuls in Korea. I’m very impressed with all of them, particularly with Vanessa Lum who danced in high heels,” she remarked when asked about her take on the auditions.
Tension quickly filled the air as the results of the competition were revealed. There were loud applause and screams of joy as Jasmine Tan (16), a student at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls School, and Maressa Zahirah (23), a mass communications graduate from Oklahoma City University, were announced as the winners of tvN KPop Star Hunt Singapore. Ambassador Oh Joon (Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Singapore) and Mr Steve Yong (Director of Korean Tourism Organization, Singapore & Indonesian Office) presented the air ticket prize to the two finalists who would fly the Singapore flag in the regional competition.
In the press conference held later in the day, Mr Park Jaehyun remarked that the two were chosen because they suited CUBE Entertainment’s style and that he really liked their personalities.
“I am very satisfied with the quality of the auditions in Singapore. These two were actually not within the top 2 yesterday but they really impressed everyone today. That’s why they were chosen.”
Mr Eddy Tan added, “There were a lot of outstanding performances today but these two have the overall package and the stage presence.”
Ms Irene Ang the host judge elaborated that the two girls were chosen for their exceptional skills and their ability to perform well on-stage.
“Jasmine has such rhythmic and precise dance movements. And she is very calm on stage, very professional. I believe that her calmness will take her far and set her aside from the others. Maressa’s voice is a cut above the rest. She can do really powerful emotive songs well. Being multi-lingual and being of Javanese and Pakistani-Portuguese origin will set her apart from the other representatives.”
She even shared that despite one of them being sick the day before and the Jasmine having her major examinations the next day; they both gave exceptional performances that surpassed the judges’ expectations – they both went ‘through an amazing transformation from yesterday’s audition to today’s final’.
Asked if Maressa’s age and both girls being non-Korean would affect their marketability in the fickle Kpop music scene, Mr Park replied with a smile.
“For idol groups, they start very young because they need more time to prepare, to perfect. However, it really all depends on the concept of the group. So no, I don’t think it’s a very big issue. We are looking to groom a star for the Asian market.”
Mr Eddy Tan was quick to add that the Hallyu wave has grown very big.
“This competition is more than just looking for a Kpop star. We are looking for someone who has a regional appeal, someone who can appeal to the whole of Asia, even international. Kpop is now no longer confined only to the Korean market. We have to change our approach and be less-focused on a singular market.”
“Asia is the new Hollywood. When television first showed Korean dramas, many would have said ‘What is this, I don’t understand!’People expected the trend to last one maybe two years max. Yet ten years later and we have all the aunties still watching dramas, with the aid of subtitles. Look at Kpop itself. Our youth are so interested that they actually self-taught themselves the language to better understand the songs. Hence, I believe that art, music and drama can and will transcend language barriers.”
She cheekily added, “And it’s about time we earn money back!” drawing much laughter in the room. “As we all know, Singapore has no natural resources. Talent is all we have. ”
The witty judge however shared her concerns about the two girls, even giving them invaluable advice in the process.
“Korea has very stringent criteria for training. They are really serious about the craft. I’m worried that the girls are too sheltered, very innocent and not tough enough. They need to prove that we Singaporeans have the substance to succeed, they must be hungry enough.
Go for training classes on your own, if you find you’re weak in vocals or dance. Keep polishing yourself to go further. If you want to survive, you have to sow the seeds first. Continue to train so that you don’t start from scratch when you begin your training in Korea.
You got to have a strong mind and a focused heart. Stay strong and persevere. I hope that the two of you will fly our flag proudly and if possible last a few rounds lah. Don’t be sent home after the first episode!”
Mr Park ended the press conference by sharing about the reality television contest as well as his take on training in Korea.
“After three weeks of training, the ten finalists will have to complete elimination missions until only one survives and crowned the winner of the regional competition. Although in Seoul, we have vocal and dance training, Korean language classes, mental conditioning classes and so forth, the hardest thing is homesickness, so far away from your family and friends back home. This happens to all the trainees but is especially bad sometimes for international trainees. They need more care at times. So be prepared in the heart and mind. Be passionate for success.”
We wish the two girls all the very best as they embark on an exciting chapter in their lives and we would also like to wish all audition hopefuls…