Home » The KPOP STAR!

For those of you who’ve been out of the loop, “KPOP STAR” has been receiving applications from K-Pop fans all over the world, who hope to one day make it big in the industry. While there have been many star audition programs, SBS felt that a “real star, one who could be the new pioneer to K-Pop’s global expansion, has not yet been discovered“. Accepted applicants will get to showcase their talents in front of industry juggernauts Yang Hyun Suk, J.Y. Park, and BoA – representatives from three of Korea’s top agencies, YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and SM Entertainment, respectively.

Unlike other talent search programs that pick a winner based on their singing abilities, “KPOP STAR” will have a survival competition between various groups. Not only will the contestants have to survive as a group, but they’ll also have to face off against one another within the group! It’s a format that aims to foster growth under pressure.

The judges are looking for star qualities, but more than that, they’re looking for a diamond in the rough. “It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing or dance. If you have the potential that we could develop, anyone can become a K-Pop star!,” said YG’s Yang Hyun Suk

After undergoing numerous trials, the winner will receive a phenomenal top prize – the opportunity to debut within the shortest time through the most direct path. The winner will get the unprecedented privilege of deciding which company — SM, YG, JYP — they wish to debut under.

Those who want to give it a shot can audition live in front of judges. The schedule is as follows:

  • September 9th – 11th: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • September 17th – 18th: New York City, New York
  • September 24th – 25th: Los Angeles, California
  • September 26th: China (More details to come)
  • September 28th – October 2nd: France (More details to come)
  • October 1st – 2nd: Seoul
  • October 7th – 8th: Seoul


Q. What is the reason behind the companies (SM, YG, and JYP) joining forces to create an audition program?

Park Sung Hoon PD – “I think that ordinary audition programs have a limit. The main essence of an audition program is to produce a star. Many talented individuals have been discovered, but for some reason, their popularity doesn’t seem as strong after the program ends. The making of a real star is the reason why the three companies — SM, YG, and JYP — have joined hands.”

Yang Hyun Suk – “‘KPOP STAR’ is a program that Park Jin Young and I have wanted. Unlike other auditions, we will look at the dancing ability as well as looks, and most importantly, their talent. We will inspect their talents with an objective view as experts. I decided to join because I liked the purpose of making a star.”

J.Y. Park – “A few years ago, while I was having a drink with Yang Hyun Suk, we discussed what it would be like if we started an audition program together. It would be to find the second Big Bang or second Wonder Girls.”

Q. What kind of talent are you looking for?

J.Y. Park – “There will be no distortions for the sake of entertainment. I will pick a person who I would have picked even without this show. In other programs, you have to be able to sing well in order to be picked, however, ‘KPOP STAR’ will pick the person with the biggest potential for growth.”

Yang Hyun Suk – “I like watching ordinary audition programs, but when I talk to YG staff members or other people around me, it turns out that the talents produced from these shows do not sing well enough to beat out other singers in the market. In fact, I suspect that other singers out there sing just as well. As an expert, I will look at their potential rather than their current ability.”

Q. What criteria will you look for in the contestants?

J.Y. Park – “Personally, I like people who are good natured. Wonder Girls, g.o.d., and Rain are all very sincere and modest. They don’t need to make themselves up to try to look good, since they look good because of who they are as a person. Something that they must possess is talent. A talent unique to them, whether it’s their dancing or singing ability, or their expressions, or the feel that they give off. Another is self discipline. If they aren’t a sincere person, it will be hard for them to handle. Sincerity and self discipline are as important as talent.”

Yang Hyun Suk – “I like people who look rough. Of course, they need to have the fundamental personality. Simply, they must look tougher on stage, I prefer people with charisma.”

Q. What will you show us as judges?

J.Y. Park – “I will forget that this is a show and act as I normally do when I judge auditions. I’ll try to show you what I’m really like as much as possible.” 

Yang Hyun Suk – “If I act spiteful and bitter, the viewers these days will see through me right away and criticize me. Rather than harsh criticisms, I will give accurate and truthful comments. Rather than praise, I will point out things that need to be corrected and supplemented.” 

Q. What do you think about the other judge, BoA?

Yang Hyun Suk – “Truthfully, she’s the one that I worry about the most as well, as look forward to the most. We both do not know BoA personally. To be honest, if Lee Soo Man were to come out on the show, it would make things a little more difficult for us. Even though she doesn’t have producing experience, she has an outstanding ability as a singer so we’ll give her a lot of advice as well as listening to her attentively, and figure out a way for the three of us to get along.”

J.Y. Park – “BoA is highly qualified to be a judge. It is not always the case that singers who are respected and recognized in Korea will have the same recognition overseas. Even though they possess a charm that receives love within Korea, that might not translate overseas. The person that knows the most about that is BoA. I asked for her contact information so that we can have a meal together before the program starts.”

Park Sung Hoon PD – “In my perspective as a director, having three people who have walked the same paths can be troublesome. As a sunbae who has walked the path before, I expect to see a BoA who sympathizes, advises, nods, and sheds tears for the contestants.”

Q. It is said that there could be a difference between the views of the judges and the viewers.

J.Y. Park – “There will probably be a lot of comments like ‘It doesn’t make any sense. This person did better, but why did that person get picked?’ after the program, but we won’t judge with any thought for those comments. I would explain to the viewers why I chose that person as the winner, but if I were scared of being critcized, I would have left before I even started. I will not throw away my opinion.”

Yang Hyun Suk – “I wonder if it’s really necessary to create some kind of story when this is a program to pick a singer. My hope is that there won’t be a movie-like story about a person who came from a less fortunate background making it big. The reason behind the judging is to look for real talent with the hopes of creating the second Big Bang and 2PM. It’s important not to make special allowances for things related to a contestant’s personal life. There will probably be a difference between the judges’ point of view and the viewers point of view on this kind of matter.”

Q. If the program is successful, would you participate in a season 2?

Yang Hyun Suk – “There are so many audition programs being produced, but I hope that this will be the last broadcasted audition program. If a season 2 does come out, I would definitely like to be a part of it with BoA or J.Y. Park again. Like I mentioned earlier, I think that in order for ‘KPOP STAR’ to be successful, a true star must be produced. If season 2 does happen, I would definitely love to be a part of it.”

J.Y. Park – “I also really want to be on the next season, but since I have just recently started as a new actor, I cannot be certain. I will try to be a part of it by controlling my schedule as an actor.”


Credits: allkpop