Life is always about survival and naturally by natural selection, those that fail to live up to the conditions or the competition will ultimately cease to exist. Maybe it’s this beastly innateness that lives in us we cannot deny, that we humans are always eager to win and emerge victorious.
The K-pop scene has seem to caught wind on the rising trend of competitive shows. With shows as long running as Super Star K, Kpop Star Hunt and Kpop Star that has found itself up to its 7th seasons, it is no surprise that Show Me The Money’s unique proposition of focusing entirely on rap hopped onto the bandwagon at its prime time.
Occasional “survival” shows done by various entertainment companies are mainly done on the basis that the final trainees who have survived will be grouped together and ultimately debut as a group.
An example is SIXTEEN, a show done by JYP that pit 16 female trainees against each other. To increase the intensity of the competition, the trainees are divided into two teams, Major and Minor with vastly different living conditions and training conditions but however are expected to produce results of equally good quality. The show also involved the interaction of the public which further fuelled the show to popularity.
Shows like these make use of online voting, road shows, guerilla activities and much more to bridge the gap between the audience and the participating cast of the show. This move made these shows even more popular as a new topic is created for heated discussion on who should stay and who should go.
A recent addition to this trend is Produce 101 that involved 101 trainees from different entertainment agencies. These trainees are judged based on their talents and also their personalities. The show utilised a grading system from A to F and this system was utilised throughout the show. The final 11 trainees have since debuted as I.O.I
These shows have made a great deal of effort in order to pick out the cream of the crop and some of these people who even though aren’t winners managed to make it big eventually.
At the end of the day, the Kpop scene is brutal and unforgiving. One mistake can ruin your career forever and with the current imbalance of demand and supply, there are way more trainees than there are spots to debut, making the competition even harder than it is before.
These shows have been criticised for the sometimes lack of humanity shown and Produce 101 faced controversy after the contents of the contract the trainees had to sign were leaked.
Meanwhile, the fifth season of Show Me The Money has just finished its final round and the tweaked male version of Produce 101, Boys 24 is well in its way of airing.
Before you leave, check out some food for your eyes! Here’s I.O.I’s debut stage:
Watch this space for more updates about music, entertainment and Korean culture at “KAvenyou: Your Avenue to Non-Stop Entertainment, Lifestyle and Fashion”
Article by: Cass Zheng @ KAvenyou