Category Archive KPop Observations

KPop Trainees, Debts, and Contracts!- Survivor Guide to the Strange World of KPop

A common misperception among Western fans is that famous Kpop idols must make loads of money. A hit song or two and you should be set for a long time, right? However, this is the furthest thing from reality.

See, the Kpop world has a concept called “trainee debt” that is not present in the Western industry. Entertainment agencies in the industry have perfected a process to manufacture idols and turn them into stars. Scouts often recruit idols when they’re only 8-12 (mainly through auditions, sometimes off the street, like f(x)’s Krystal, or sometimes through watching performance videos, like SEVENTEEN’s Seungkwan), and they’re then put into the company’s trainee system, a system that is probably as unique as any other in the world. Trainees are tightly supervised through dance and singing classes at night as they attend school in the morning. A lot of them are also taught foreign languages, most notably Japanese, Chinese, and English to prepare them to work in those markets if they do debut. The trainee system is extremely harsh, and it weeds out all those who aren’t tough enough mentally or physically to make it. Trainees train for hours upon hours, many of them breaking down in the process, as they hope and pray for that chance to debut. Trainees are also strictly regulated over meals and exercises, with mandatory weigh-ins to check the future stars’ bodies followed by instructions to lose weight being a source of nightmare for many years after they have become stars. For example, Twice’s Momo was told she had to lose 15 lbs (7kg) in a week if she wanted to be on Sixteen (the reality show that chose the eventual 9 members for Twice). She ended up eating nothing but a single ice cube for the week while practically living in the gym, and often went to bed at night crying because she didn’t know if she was going to wake up the next day. This nightmare doesn’t end with debuting either, for example, Infinite has revealed before they often have to be fed their “nutrition” through IV drips during comebacks as they have to starve themselves.

After trainee period, the company handpicked the trainees they want to fill out the roles (visual, vocalist, dance, variety, etc.) and the concept of the group they want to debut. Debuting is a dream for many, but even debuting doesn’t guarantee any sort of success. As an illustration, the following is a list of all the notable girl group debuts from 2007-2016, with the number of debuts in that year in parantheses:
2007 (10): Wonder Girls, KARA, SNSD
2008 (5): Davichi
2009 (21): After School, 2NE1, 4minute, T_ara, f(x), SECRET
2010: (15): SISTAR, miss A, Girl’s Day, Nine Muses
2011 (33): Dal Shabet, A Pink, Stellar
2012 (38): EXID, Crayon Pop, AOA, 15&
2013 (24): Ladies Code
2014 (31): Mamamoo, Red Velvet, Lovelyz
2015 (28): Girlfriend, Oh My Girl, DIA, Twice
2016 (15): Cosmic Girls, IOI, Gugudan, Black Pink

So basically, there were a total of 210 girl group debuts between 2007-2016, but only 33 (if you count Davichi as an idol group which they aren’t really) out of these became even significant enough to be at least somewhat known (a ~15.7% rate), and out of these 33 groups, only 15-16 or so (less than 8%) was big enough at one point or another to be in the conversation of top 4-5 girl groups in South Korea. So even, after a group debut, they still have to fight tooth and nails and need lots of luck to ever become one of those top groups everyone looks up to.

However, even if a group pumps out a hit song or two, there’s no guarantee its members will even make good money, much less become rich. Why? Because of the aforementioned “trainee debt” and the contracts that can be very disadvantageous for idols. A “trainee debt” is the money that idols “owe” their companies for dance and singing classes, housing, foods, promotions, upport staff, etc. To the company, it’s basically investing in the idol. Thus, when and if a group starts making money, all that money has to first be funneled towards paying the group’s “debt”. Only the big 3 companies (YG, SM, and JYP) start profit splitting straight from debut, even if the group haven’t reached the break-even point; for all the other companies, a group has to finish paying its debt to the companies before the company will split profits with the group. This process can take a while. For example, AOA took until mid-2016 to pay off all their debt to their company, even though their success had already started all the way back in 2014 with the chains of hits in “Miniskirt”, “Like A Cat”, and later “Heart Attack”.
Even if a group is done paying off debt and is finally starting to make money, most likely that money will not be close to as much as what Western fans would think for a group of that status. Companies regularly take at least a 50% split of all types of incomes (with very few exceptions), from albums sales to tickets sales, with some taking up to 90% of the cut for some categories. Below is the profit distribution percentage of a select groups of entertainment companies:

Whatever profit is left after splitting with the company has to be then split with all the group members, resulting in a member taking home not that much money after everything. This is why album sales and digital sales usually don’t earn idols a lot of money, especially female idols who only holds the singing rights to their songs (as their songs are almost always written by someone else), since the profits have to first be applied to paying for the promotions and all types of costs, then split for the composer, lyricist, and company before the income can even be split amongst the group itself. Thus, the majority of money earned by famous idols usually come from endorsements in the forms of CFs (commercial films, basically just long commercials), and tours, as the initial income is larger (especially for famous idols as their fees for endorsements can be colossal), there are less people that needs to be given share of the income, and a more advantageous profit distribution percentage between idols and companies for those types of incomes. Therefore, the road of a Kpop idol is long, hard, and very unforgiving where only a select few with talent and luck can make it.

Let’s Be Friends!- KPop Edition

In celebration of International Best Friends Day, let’s talk about friendships within the often cruel and hectic world of Kpop. Fans of any groups are always quick to say “OMG, they’re the best of friends”, even for huge groups such as NCT. Yet this clearly is not true. Research has shown that you can only be close/best friends with a maximum of 5 people at a time, and most groups these days, with some notable exceptions, easily exceed that number. Kpop idols are more likely to see their group members as one would see work colleagues, even if they’re running around with each other interacting for fanservice (because let’s be honest, the only reason why companies and idols push that notion that they’re best friends so hard is because friendship sells). Not to mention, most groups can even have rivalry among members to start out when the debut line is not set, and the companies are still pitting trainees against each other to decide who can stay until debut. Kpop groups can be just like a family, in every sense of the world. Some families love each other, but some families hate each other’s guts, even while living with each other. We have to remember that for them, it’s literally “just a job” (as Top once famously espoused in an interview). This is not to say there aren’t groups where members are all close with each other (EXID and Girl’s Day come to mind), but it gets unlikelier with bigger groups and it’s probably just impossible when a group has 10+ members (Izone’s Sakura and Wonyoung, for example, are painfully awkward with each other whenever they have any interactions. The huge age gap probably doesn’t help either. MORE LIKE

Sakura: Hey Sis, yeah I am in the middle let me just squeeze in here
Wonyoung: Uh, I’m pretty sure I am in the center….
Sakura: DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I AM SAKURA MI YA KI TO THIS WHOLE GROUP SUCCESS

). But on a scale of “let’s all block Hyuna now that we’ve disbanded” (All of 4Minute’s members really hit Hyuna with blow) to Taeyeon & Tiffany’s level (“my existence wouldn’t mean much without her”), most groups are in between, probably friendly but not guarantee that they’re best friends. With that being said though, it is International Best Friends Day, so let’s take a moment for some shout-outs of special friendships in Kpop:

  • Mamamoo’s Hwasa and Wheein: they’ve been friend since childhood, auditioned together, and even have matching friendship tattoos (talk about dedication)

  • Super Junior’s Heechul and SNSD’s Taeyeon (tbh King of Popularity Heechul knows everyone in Kpop and is close with many of them, but this is probably one of his most iconic): so close that they can go to Victoria’s Secret together (yes that happened, they also ran into Baekhyun there too for some reason lmao), and take pics like these:Exhibit 1, without any dating rumors ever.

  • BTOB’s Changsub and Apink”s Chorong: Close friends of many years, they call each a lot when they’re guesting on variety shows. Some memorable times: when Changsub asked Chorong to help him with a prank and be his girlfriend for that day (Chorong laughed in response and said she didn’t consider him to be a man at all, OUCH), or that other time when Chorong asked Changsub to let her borrow 5 million KRW ($4,200 USD) because of a supposed family emergency and he readily agreed.

  • SHINee’s Taemin and EXO’s Kai: They’ve been best friends since trainees. They hung out so often that SHINee’s manager actually asked Taemin if they were dating (

Taemin: We…..
Kai: NAH, what year is this? If it’s like 2016 or something I’m banging F(Chrystal) else I’m banging JENNIE. Ha Taemin is commonly third wheeling when we hang out…
Taemin:

)

Maybe the manager wasn’t too far off because Taemin has stated that his ideal girl is someone like Kai. We also can’t forget about the time Taemin calls Kai from overseas to ask Kai to ask EXO to put on a show for Apink’s Naeun when Taemin and Naeun were on “We Got Married”

  • Got7’s Bambam and Blackpink’s Lisa: Childhood friends for more than 11 years all the way from Thailand, even their families are tight with each other. He called her noona because she was taller than him when they were young (lmao). When the netizens’ racism towards Lisa was hitting a new pitch, it was Bambam who told the press that she’s doing fine. Sadly, with the craziness of fans nowadays, they can barely publicly interact lest all the fans turn batshit possessive.

25 but looks younger? The Korean Age system and an explanation why such a “crazy system” exist

Have you ever met an asian? Well I am certain you have because quite frankly we reproduce like rabbits (hello China!). But have you ever met a person from South Korea? Have you ever ask about their age and then say “man you look TOTALLY YOUNGER THAN YOUR AGE”. Well my friend you have encounter International Age vs. Korean Age problem…

For you see, internationally, it is accepted that a baby is 0 years old at its birth, and then turns one year older everytime it hits its birthday. So a baby born on June 14th, 2010 is 0 and then will turn 1 on June 14th, 2011.

But ahaa, the South Korean have a system that is called “nominal age” although they use the international system on official document and papers, “nominal age” is use in “everyday” world. Nominal Age states that a baby is instantly 1 year old when it is born, and then every LUNAR NEW YEAR (or Chinese New Year) they increment that age by 1 in addition ton incrementing it on their birthday. So if a baby was born on June 14th, 2010 it’s 1 years old. Then comes February it is now 2, and then come its birthday on June 14th, 2011 it’s now 3 years old. So basically Korean age is always around +2 or +1 years older than the international system because I mean Lunar New Year is never set in stone and Korean don’t double count if your B-day happens to land on Lunar New Year (I don’t think so). I think Koreans tend to use January 1st as their new year date though, not so much Lunar New Year anymore. So it’s correct, South Korean do look younger for their age then expected, because well they ARE. Why have this crazy system in place you ask…. Well let’s go to my hypothetical but I would say very very good guess drawing board….

Nominal age was a practice actually originated in Ancient China which then eventually spread throughout Asia because let’s face it most countries in Asia (not talking to Russia, or South East Asia like India and Pakistan) are China crop out for much of their early history. Ancient China and also Modern China is heavily influenced by teachings of Confucious who one golden rule to a stable society is and forever will be “Respect your elders”. This Confucianism probably have contributed to the Eastern mindset of wanting to get old. See unlike the West, everybody wishes they could be younger. Fountain of everlasting youth is a motif in many Western classical literature like the Holy Grail, said to grant everlasting youth in addition to immortality and happiness. Many people in the West get riled up at the idea of turning old, and that’s why it is disrespectful to ask someone age, or a classic insult/tease is to guess an older age then the person actually is. In the East though, at least TRADITIONALLY (nowadays I have no clue if the East people still want to get old….) old-ness was what people really wanted. Old age gives you power, it gives you a voice because of “respect your elders” golden rule. Young people are expected to shut up and listen. In many classical literature, all great people are depicted as old and wise. Lao Tzu (the founder of Daoism/Taoism) is picture as an old man, heck even silk paintings of freaking emperors depict them as old (maybe not grey hair old but definitely older than any of Jesus Christ depiction over here in the West. Jesus looks like he is like 25 or something). Confucious wasn’t crazy in saying “respect your elders” because in the East shoes it makes a lot of sense. I mean information and books weren’t readily available to the majority of the population, so whoever lives the oldest must have the most knowledge cause not only is she or he more mature, he or she has live life for a longer time than you, have transverse the dangerous waters. Not only because of confucianism that people in the East like getting old, but also in the ancient East was mostly an agriculture place because Rice is still a bitch load of work to farm. You got to water thing just right, you got to pull out the weeds in time, RICE SUCKS and it’s so time consuming to farm effectively. In an agricultural setting, it would make sense to have elders respected and listen to. I rather listen to this old guy who has pass many growing season and can make a pretty inference on how I can make a profit for this upcoming growing season then a willy nilly teenager who just started his first growing season.

This is probably how the nominal age system started, because everybody is in a rush to get old. Nowadays though, only South Korea uses such a system. You are correct, apparently North Korea is more progressive than South Korea in this aspect and it’s a problem when NORTH is more PROGRESSIVE THAN YOU. Even so, South Korea still uses “international” age system much more than “nominal” age system. Every official papers used the “international” age system and even school system use the “international system”. NO YOU CAN’T GET ALCOHOL AS A 19 YEAR OLD, I think law wise, South Koreans use the international system as determination. Everyday life though, they still use the nominal age system. Idols when ask for their age, name their korean age and never their international age.

Recently there has been a pushed to get rid of this “nominal” age system. It’s a clash between cultural traditions and modern era at this point. In my POV, I don’t think Nominal Age system should be gotten rid off. I mean why do away with a cultural tradition if it doesn’t confuse anyone? Like I understand some old cultural tradition views like LGTBQ is bad must be replace, but what’s wrong with Nominal Age? People in South Korea could have stop like any other country, but they didn’t so they still like it. You know not every cultural tradition is bad, it keeps us grounded in our roots and our ancestry. If it’s not bad, I say just leave it be! What do you guys think about the nominal age system now that you know a little bit of background on it? Should it be kept? Or Remove?

“Lost In Translation”- KPop Edition!

Yo hello our small community, oh yes this is your fellow resident coolguy1234-tzu and wisely1300-tzu. HA GET IT, Tzu because it’s Art of Dramas which is model title off of Art of War by Sun Tzu? I think that joke was gotten a long time ago… AHEM AHEM. So today we want to bring to you out of our career of listening to KPop with is the span of several months, we just want to bring to you the funniest KPop lines we have heard so far! Lines ranging from bad english because not everyone english can be as good as f(x) resident stripper Krystal and her business woman sister Jessica (among others Korean-Americans of course in KPop industry right now like uh NCT 127’s Johnny or even TWICE’s Mina but she move pretty early) to fishy sounding homophones like the word for “I” being close to the N word in English (I think there that’s why korean songs find a hard time to get on the radio). Here is a Top Ten of our picks in the funniest KPop sounds. Some you might have heard off, but some might come as new! Spoiler alert: Once heard, it can never be unheard. You have been warned!

0. SUPER DUPER NO ONE CAN EVER BEAT BECAUSE IT’S SO ICONIC AND I HAVE NO IDEA IF IT WAS ON PURPOSE OR NOT (From “Be happy!”- THE QUEENS THEMSELVES BISH)

Oh yeah that’s right, you thought you heard wrong? NO YOU HEARD RIGHT, YEAH THAT’S WHAT MAKES TWICE SO META, THEY GO META. Oh yeah they knew it was “Shy shy shy” oh yeah Sana knew. Oh yeah, but she decided to go META ANYWAYS and say “Sha Sha Sha”. So iconic….

1. SHMONEY! (From “Give me Body Fluids”- BTS)

The chorus is often misheard by English speakers as them singing “money, money, money”, when in reality they’re singing “원해 많이 많이” (wonhae manhi manhi), meaning “I want you a lot, a lot” (maybe it carries a dual meaning of them saying they want money a lot (I mean who doesn’t??)

2. Hey girl, wanna go down a rabbit hole? 😉 (From “I love President Putin and Russia Sports Team”- BTS)

Jimin is realllyyy passionate about butts stuff, evidenced here when he’s singing: “Go to my rectal wonderland” (the correct lyrics is: 거짓말 wack들과는 달라” (geojitmal wackdeulgwaneun dalla) which means “different from the flying wack jobs”).

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h3>3. TOMATOES! (From “Going on the Richter Scale”- 4TEN)

The line “You’re just like a tornado” is often misheard as “You’re just like a tomato” (maybe she really loves tomatoes).

4. Sinners! OH THE SINNERS!! OOOOOH THE SINNERS! (From “Everytime me and wisely1300 play 2 on 2 in pickup basketball with some kids I just have to…..”- Got7)

“Let’s fuck, and fuck, and fuck” is clearly what Jinyoung is saying, but apparently the lyrics is “Let’s fly again, fly again, fly again”. Maybe Jinyoung is getting really lonely with all these dating bans being in effect. Shin Ye-eun sends her condolences!

5. Hey boy, DO YOU want to go down a rabit hole? 😉 (From “That Maya Angelou poem…”- Sistar)

Maybe Jinyoung can get some of that action from Hyolyn, who so clearly sings at the beginning of this song: “Destroy my ass” (the correct lyrics is supposed to be “Just dry my eyes” (or maybe it’s not, who knows wink* wink*)).

6. But it only one night! (From “Dance”- VIXX)

Ravi screamed in here: “So we got ya pregnant, boom” to Dasom (Sistar) in this music video. I hope they’re paying child support then to her (who’s the father thought among them, hmm?)

7. To all those groups that haven’t make it big yet (From “3 down: Thing you watch on a date with woman or man we won’t judge”- BTOB)

Ladies, get in line. Ilhoon is offering this deal: “I’ll be your man, nugu potato”. Aww, it’s ok, Ilhoon. Maybe BTOB was nugu for a really long time, but at least now they’re somewhat recognized. Not really huge level, but not nugu either (the correct lyrics is actually: “I’ll be your man, 누구보다도” (nugubodado, meaning “more than anyone”).

8. Dang I’m salty about my Ex….@QueenTaeyeonTheGreat (From “Call me Ba-bay”- EXO)

Baekhyun is secretly calling someone out in this song when he managed to find a way to sneak in “You’re so gay cuz you’re a dumb ho”. Clever, Baekhyun, clever indeed (Actual lyrics: “어둔 미로 속에 갇혔던 Oh 나” (eudun miro soge gatyeotdeon oh”), meaning “I was once trapped in a dark maze”).

9. When I just want to do it and have no expectations… (From “I copy this woman name Adele’s or something song title”- Hyuna)

Ah, the Kpop industry’s sex icon is at again, happily belting “that bad pussy good eyo!” to show her appreciation of someone she just went down on (sadly, the real lyrics is nowhere as exciting, as they are: “다 배 아파서 그래요” (da bureowoseo geuraeyo), meaning “it’s because they’re all jealous”.

10. I think I will go Italian for Tonight….. (From “I’m not sure, but it’s right?”- SNSD)

Looks like a conversation about what the noonas will have that night for dinner, or even for a late night snack 😉 😉 . Any how you can distinctly hear the call for “meatballs” during the opening seconds of the music video.

Thoughts on Show Wins

Before starting: here’s an article to summarize what are music shows and what the scoring standards to determine the song that win that week:

Recently, Wikipedia has made the decision to remove all music show wins of K-pop artists from their pages due to the fact that they think it’s not “significant”, only equivalent to what Westerners would call trending #1 on a music chart and thus not a “real” award. Even with the proliferation of music shows in recent years (the additions of Show Champion and The Show giving a possible 6 shows to get wins from, compared to just 3 as recently as 2015) making it relatively easier to win a music show these days compared to just a few years ago, music show wins are still very much a very unique feature of the K-pop industry and can’t simply be compared to a Western songs becoming #1 on a chart. Why? Here’s an article explaining some of the main reasons why. Basically, appearing and winning on Korean music shows have a huge impact on groups, especially newer/nugu groups, even though the outfits and transportation costs can go up to $10,000 per episode. Appearance fees can increase drastically (up to 10-fold) after a music show win, and the number of CFs a group has can also drastically increase. An example given in the article is Girl’s Day winning their first win on Music Bank in 2014 (note: this is actually wrong as Girl’s Day actually won their first show in 2013 on Inkigayo for Female President, but the broadcast was cut). Their number of CFs went from 4 to more than 20 offered. Even just appearing on the shows can multiply the appearance fees of the group several times.

This isn’t to say music show wins are the most important things in determining the future of a group. A group still has to make the company money in order to keep going, and that depends much more heavily on other factors than just music show wins. In addition, music show wins aren’t very important for already big groups. However, music show wins are still a very important measuring stick for many, many newer or smaller groups, a standard to show that they’ve reached a certain level of success. It has a much bigger impact on a group’s future, especially if they’re not a big group, than does charting number 1 on a music chart would have for a Western artist (as all the one-hit wonders every year can attest to).

Update on the Website: The Sections of KPop Biographies

Oh yes, not really ENTERTAINMENT NEWS, but it’s news about this website instead! KPop Biographies which gives you profile and stories and overviews about the BIGGEST KPOP GROUP ever since Gen 2 just got a massive update! If you guys haven’t swung over there lately, uh only 3 have complete “articles” so far and they are “Girl’s Day”, “BTS”, “Black Pink”. I will be writing “TWICE” next and I think “Red Velvet” should follow after! Hover over the images and turn on your sound for an Easter Egg 😉 ;). Most of the Girl Group have pages, but no information has been added except for their roles and pictures. I’m getting to the boy groups, but Big Bang should have a clickable link! As always more coming up!

Also to you visitors that absolutely love Chinese Dramas and love to write. I’m gonna just put up straight there, Chinese Drama is long and ardous to write reviews for. If you guys are possibly interested in writing a Chinese Drama Recaps (oh we need people…), please feel free to reach out to us at theartofdramas@gmail.com! This site community is growing, but I would love if any of y’all can join us drop some comments and get the conversation going! Remember you can now comment and log in through to the website through social media like GMAIL, LINKEDIN, TWITTER, and FACEBOOK! We are probably going to make a Twitter soon just to drop daily updates so if you think we do nice stuff on this website, please drop a follow! We will follow you back, most likely! If you think there are people you know that are interested in Chinese Dramas or want to get hip to KPop groups and you think we do a good job, please mention the site to them! As always, thank you for visiting and have an awesome day!! Comeback….FOR EVEN MORE……

Shedding the Light Where Needed #3: NCT Performs on James Cordon, CLC Comeback

NCT 127 seems to be taken up the news these days, too bad not the INDUSTRY dab. Anyways, they just recently travel to Amurica and perform on James Corden. Of course, it didn’t generate that much hype like the last KPop band that went on James Corden, they failed to convert James from his wrong fandom, the toxic BLINKS.

Anyways in other news, pure nugu group OMG has won a their first show win on “The Show” with “Fifth Season”.

The girl group CLC also is planning an upcoming comeback, again with this summer. It’s about to be lit with Korean music, maybe you can even catch it on your radio.

In the debut news, We in The Zone (an upcoming boy group) from Choon Entertainment is going to drop a debut song sometime in May. They started a GoFundMe-ish crowdfunding campaign where the goal was 5K in USD (which equates to several million wons) and somehow most of their money came from the US

Crowdfunding Campaign. Unknown groups for now like TRCNG and BOL4 are all planning on releasing an album pretty soon.

Here are today’s “unknownish” band recent clips/songs.

Shedding Light Where Needed #1: New Feature

Alright you know what, all of these trainees are HARD AT WORK, and STUFF. I think I want to do something like this. I will try to do this everyday where I just want to comb through different sites (youtube/reddit/vlive) where I just show videos of groups or artists or just average koreans or trainees doing Kpop. So many KPop groups are form and so many just fall flat, so I just want to give them more exposure here. If there is a KPop video that you like and want it to be posted, just comment below and I’ll get to it next spotlight.

Cherry Bullet by the way is making a “comeback” they literally debut several months ago I don’t think this is a come back at all….

From KBS’s Immortal Songs 2:
IOI’s Chungha and Kim Jae Hwan:

N. Flying:
Sohee:

Music Core Last Night (here’s a bunch of Fancam videos that I gotten). “Boy With Luv” by BTS won

Trainees (Thanks Reddit, I’m just digging through)

Other

Hard to find Trainees video, most if they are making videos are near debut…. Oh on that note, Producer X 101 Episode 2 is out! It’s somewhere on the internet, just search you probably find it.

Mnet’s Producer 101 produces a Five Year Contract

Mnet’s “Producer” might possibly be the most popular and watch survival shows to find new idol groups. The fourth season of this survival show just premier like two days ago. The first season established the IOI team who stay together for only like 6 months, the “third season” was unique in that it was in collaboration with Japan’s AKB48 and only 96 people were in competition to be on the band Izone. The second season was arguably the most sucessful, the band Wanna One was very popular inside Korea, even beating out TWICE in Forbes Power List 2018 and beating out Red Velvet and EXO on this year Forbes Power List 2019. But after Wanna One explosive success, Mnet seems to be getting a little greedy. Wanna One contract was only like one year together, this time around though the winning team will get a 5 year contract instead! To me, after reading some comments online, I now think that’s it actually a horrible idea that can ruined idol dreams for a couple reasons.

1) Producers was meant to find a “temporary” group to expose the trainees to the public so that they can have successful careers for themselves and for their agency when they are back

The five year contract is basically almost like a regular idol contract (although those are usually 7 years+). I guess it’s not absolutely “5 years” because after 2.5 years, the group can split and have a rotation in which let’s say 5/11 members go back to their agency and “redebut” and then switch with the remaining 6 after a few months. In the meantime the remaining 6 will still promote the group. That’s still a longtime, espcially if the group is not the second coming of Wanna One. You might say that’s the same if they were to debut for their company and not make it big, but that’s a tad different because this Producers show is suppose to be a “side project” a way for you to get name recognition. Spending your whole career on a side project is not really, worth it. Not only that, it’s a tad unfair to the entertainment agency who spends a lot of time and money training these trainees to then lose them and the money they “will make” to CJ E&M. At least that’s what IOI contract stated when it was leak to the public, that while entertainment agency share the production cost, trainees will not get paid. CJ E&M also gets the 50% profit of every song made from IOI group. If this remains true to this season contracts, the trainees will barely get any money. Usually the trainees are already making little when they debut within their companies because most of the from songs goes into “paying” back the entertainment industry for training them. If you get to be big, that’s when you actually begin making some money. So the fact that Producers take 50% and then the remaining 50% is split between trainees and their agency? Prepare to make absolutely next to nothing. Take Kang Daniel from Wanna One, probably the most iconic trainee that this show has expose to the public so far, he has a net worth of 400 thousand won back in 2017-2018 which was the years that Wanna One was big. Take TWICE’s (huge group) Nayeon, she has a networth around $1 million won by the end of 2018 (according to “ranked wikia” so I don’t know how trustworthy the site is). Take BTS’s RM, he has a networth of $8 million (Source take it with a grain of salt I don’t know how trustworthy the site is). Put that into perspective, I mean Wanna One was BIG, IOI probably didn’t make too much I mean it’s fair if it is like for 1 year. I mean exposure to public means a massive increase in %sucess to your career although it could still very much fail (ayo IOI members where you at? I only know Somi cause TWICE is my bias. I heard some of them are now in “small time” girl groups). 5 years is a tad too much, and I guess if you become as BIG as Wanna One you can take $400000 for 5 years. IF

2) This is banking on the fact that there will be the second coming of Wanna One

Although many people expect that this new upcoming group will be “better or equal” to the hit boy group “Wanna One” many people forget that top groups are very very rare. For Westerners who don’t really get this concept because well we don’t have an idol groups here I would like to paint an analogy. Imagine debutting in a group in South Korea as qualifying for the NBA draft and getting pick. You might have heard that getting into the NBA is harder than winning lottery because well it is. Imagine that and now add another layer to this analogy. Not only is debuting in an idol group = someone getting pick by an NBA team, becoming a big idol group to the likes of BTS or even Blackpink = becoming a superstar in the NBA. Maybe not equivalent to becoming the next Lebron James, who is a future Hall Of Famer, but like Chris Paul/Paul George level who is a superstar but necessary will be in the hall of fame (so far I think Chris Paul can make it). Now Producer 101 does give the future group a large exposure with the public (Season 2 of Producers actually got 10 million votes for the finale that’s around a fifth of the South Korean Population!) but still that is not any guarantee that a second coming of Wanna One is imminent this time around. Even though Producer 101 is popular, it only has a low 2.3% (Producer 48) and a high 3.01% (Produce 101 season 2) ratings (yes Mnet is a “cable” station which has lower ratings than public broadcast like SBS, MBC or KBS. Even then at least 7%-8% is needed to give something on cable a “good rating”). So while Producer does give debuting groups a huge boost in public noteriety (unlike people debuting in groups that’s own by relatively small agency) it is still not a ticket to superstardom. Producer 101 is not like a rich parent trying to get their kid into a Top 20 college, which is almost guarantee unless colleges discover that the kid is actually not a rower.

There’s another problem with this show this time around that I don’t really like. They have remove the “F” grade, so I guess trainees can’t “FAIL” this time around. They have replace it with an “X” grade, which mean you are excused from the dancing/training studio. If you get an X grade, you are basically NOT allow to train within the studio anyways. Nice way to encourage second chances, you know if my dog just died and I am feeling sad leading to a subpar performance to earn myself an X grade, I don’t even get time to recover and train.

What are your thoughts on this season of the Producer 101 show if you watch it? Who (which OPPA) are you hoping to be in the debut group?

TWICE’s Fancy, a Very Late Review……..

Wow I literally wanted to do a review of the song the instant it came out, 4/22/2019 at 5:00 AM because Korea is 13 hours ahead of the US. TWICE is my favorite KPop girl group of all time and you know this past month have been lit up with Blink’s and ARMY’s news that I wanted to review TWICE 2019 comeback the instant it came out. Needless to say I fainted at 5:00 AM on the 22nd and haven’t gotten to written it until now. I must say I’m glad I waited because I have a clearer perspective of things now that TWICE literally didn’t win any music shows, sunk in the Forbes Power List (I unironically think “Boy With Luv” is a better song but “Fancy” is better than literally “Kill this Love”).

Let’s start with the song, we the fans know that TWICE is a “cute/innocent” concept group, why the heck did they NOT STICK TO THEIR CONCEPT THAT GOT THEM BIG. I get it, people mature and change the concepts but like I need some sort of SIGNAL first. If let’s say a baby one night he is like 5 inches and the next day he is like 6 feet, I would be like what did I miss. Girl Crush, which is what I suspect what TWICE was going for with all black uniforms and such is fine! Really they have grown up, yeah I agree sure, but like if you going to change concept and explore something you haven’t done before, just put the song on the Side-B tracks, and put a cute song as the “main song”. Then like slowly you can later release a purely girl crush or other concept song! Why did you need to do something so drastic so quickly, like Yes Or Yes was not really girl crush, it was more cute and that was like 5 months ago. I really do half blame the netcitizens, there has been talk on how TWICE sucks and how all they know is the “cute concept”. Well eff you netcitizens, I am sorry I would rather stick to the stuff I know. What do you go to your doctor and complain “why you always be a doctor man, just like be a chef or something”. I feel like if TWICE had just wrote a cute song and make it the title songs, it could actually win some shows.

Also the video was girl crush-ish, but the lyrics was cute-ish concept. It seem like there was a mismatch between what I was seeing visually and what I was listening to audiotory. Unlike Blackpink their lyrics is always like “I don’t need love. Love bad, I’m foxy b****ches” but TWICE song it seem like they were stuck in between doing either Girl Crush (dark color) or Innocent (with the colorful clothes) and there was no clear direction. I’m actually scare that they are trying to turn more girl crush-ish because it fit with the Western Market more than innocent/cute and instantly along with Fancy TWICE announces that they were going on a World Tour that would stop in 3 USA location. I just HOPE THEY SUCCEED, unlike the first girl group that JYP brought over here, PLEASE DON’T BE THE NEXT WONDER GIRLS.

Anyways I was really bumped that TWICE Fancy didn’t even scratch 40 million views on Youtube (first 24 hours) while Blackpink who isn’t even AS FAMOUS got like 70 million somehow. I guess Youtube is more West oriented and many Asians prefer other method of streaming like Vline or something. Really hoping that TWICE fans are not FAKE FANS because I was here thinking at least it SHOULD be like 50 million or something (I guess it broke TWICE’s Personal Best).