/photograph: Mnet media
“Auditioning over all nation people,” hanging out its sign from the start of the shows Superstar K, cable channel Mnet’s music show, begins. The show, modeled after foreign TV talent shows “American Idol”, has its formula for discovering ordinary people with extraordinary talent. Superstar K is credited for giving auditions to people of any age who can sing and perform Korean songs, hooking millions of television viewers apply for an audition. The public’s love affairs with Superstar K reach its peak in last October, with superstar K singlehandedly gained popularity that record of audience shares over 19 percent, which is the highest rating in the history of cable network TV shows now.
When watching Superstar K, viewers can easily sympathize with the qualifiers who are not that much different from ours. Participants’ ordinary-looking and plain lives gives us feeling that we are on stage singing as well. Thrilling singing voice from one who is easily seen at around is satisfying enough to being a fan. Also their personal stories of finding their lost families and similar heart wrenching tales immerse viewers in the shows. Some music brings viewers to tears to cry. At other times, we the viewers even get angry about some of participants’ seemingly careless and selfish behaviors.
The rules of program dominating are pretty similar to that of real life. There is only one winner among 1.340.000 appliers, and winner takes every all benefit program provide; the winner was received 200 million won ($167,441) in prize money, and will have a chance that stand on stage at the 2010 Mnet Asian Music Awards. Competition and conflicts arise among participants as they struggle to complete missions, similar to those that we arl face in our own lives though the stakes are extremely high.
In the point of similarity of our lives, Superstar K gives us some message of in our real life. So it bears watching how Superstar K solves the problem facing in real, and what the message they give.
In some our life, deciding a critical policy mudded in various opinions, experts are likely to decide of their own regardless of what other people thinking of it. Our society faces non-communication problem between policy-maker and policy-involver, drawing intense opposition and failing to get in to the results each other can agreeable.
In comparison, Superstar K appears to be being praised by its system of assessment, based on expert judge’s rating adding up the viewer poll. The ratings on participants added with each judge’s remarks, convincing viewers the grounds of it. A case of dropping Park Bo-ram, one participant of the shows, revealed the great importance of viewer’s poll. Though, Park gained more scores by judge than her competitor, she failed to captivate view’s scores only to hand over the competitor a opportunity to go next round. Meanwhile, participants who get the highest score by judges, can skip being rated by viewer’s polls and guaranteed to go next round. Reconciling of general views and specialized assessment shows us how we should balance each others.
You might agree that professional pop music sounds all the same and caught in same patterns. Music program aired by mainstream broadcast take somewhat exclusive attitude on different forms of music style – viewers eagerly long to meet with various forms of music. Unlike its exclusiveness mainstream, Superstar K open its music styles and qualification to everyone – regardless of nationality, age, genre, appliers consist of one who from China, US and even whose job is exorcist. Applicants are required not to mimic singer’s songs and only have to express themselves the best they can to make it to the finals. This should remind us just how much we need an open and diverse culture.
Messages from Superstar K are now clear; to have open mind and find your own identities. What applicants propelling to finals was not on their spec – what youth Koreans most pursuing – but have individual own color. Only one with that will be the real superstar amid keen competition.
Lee Jong-seok firstname.lastname@example.org
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