The final competition of SBS’ “K-Pop Star 3,” which aired on April 13 consisted of two rounds: the first round was a mission round assigned by the judges and the second mission was a free selection round. 60% of the judges’ scores and 40% of the viewers’ votes were compiled in order to determine the final score.
The first contestant to take the stage was Sam Kim. He reinterpreted BIGBANG’s “Lies.” His mission was to “perform a song that would allow the audience to focus on your voice.”
After his performance Park Jin Young commented, “Sam Kim proved his performance abilities during the live shows. I wanted to know, as a composer and a producer, what his recorded voice would sound like, but I wasn’t able to hear his voice as much as I wanted to. However, the arrangement was amazing.” Sam Kim received 91, 93, 94 points from Park Jin Young, Yang Hyun Suk, and Yoo Hee Yeol, respectively, for a total of 278 points in the first round.
Bernard Park took the stage next after receiving the mission to “sing a K-Pop song like a real K-Pop song.” He chose Yoo Jae Ha’s “Because I Love You.” Although he made a mistake with the lyrics, he received many praises from the judges.
Yang Hyun Suk remarked, “It’s a very important round, but his mistake is understandable. It’s possible to confuse the lyrics. If he focused too hard on his emotions, he could’ve made a mistake. And since he’s unfamiliar with Korean, he could’ve made a mistake. When I heard the first line, I thought to myself, ‘Sam Kim better be careful.’ I thought he might get K.O.-ed. Although he made a mistake with the lyrics, I thought it could’ve been a 100-point performance. I am a little bit disappointed.” Bernard Park received 95, 96, 95 points from Park Jin Young, Yang Hyun Suk, and Yoo Hee Yeol, respectively, for a total of 286 points.
For the free selection round, Sam Kim chose Sting’s “Englishman in New York” and made up for the judges’ disappointment in the first round. Yang Hyun Suk praised his performance saying, “Sam Kim’s first performance of BIGBANG’s ‘Lies’ was a difficult song. This song was difficult as well, so I was very worried. I danced for many years, but it’s more difficult to dance slowly than to dance fast. It goes the same for rap. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for anything better in Sam Kim’s performances today. If I could, I want to give him more points. If Sting ever gets a chance to watch Sam Kim’s performance, I think he will be very pleased.” Yang Hyun Suk and Yoo Hee Yeol awarded Sam Kim with a perfect score. Park Jin Young gave him a score of 99 points, and Sam Kim received 299 points in the second round.
Bernard Park’s last stage was his rendition of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Park Jin Young commented, “When I first learned Bernard was going to sing ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ I thought ‘this is a scam. This is cheating.’ But when he began singing, I didn’t hear Bernard’s voice. Half of his voice disappeared. It seemed he couldn’t focus on his emotions because he didn’t have full control of his voice. No matter how well he sings, if he can’t sing, he’s not able to give his punch with a full swing. It was not his best, but his vocal ability isn’t going anywhere.” Park Jin Young gave Bernard Park 95 points. Yang Hyun Suk and Yoo Hee Yeol gave him a score of 95 and 97, respectively, each totaling his second round score to 287 points.
At the end of both rounds, Sam Kim was in the lead with 577 points and Bernard Park behind him with 573 points. However, Bernard Park was in the lead with viewers’ votes.
Before the announcement of the winner Sam Kim said, “I’m thankful I came all the way here. There were hard times, but I’m glad I was with [Bernard] hyung. It’s an honor for both Bernard hyung and I, and I love him.”
Bernard Park commented, “There were some disappointing parts in my performances today, but it’s been fun. I met a lot of good people, and I made many life-long friends. I have no regrets.”
At last, the winner of “K-Pop Star 3” was announced as Bernard Park. He went weak in the knees and was not able to stand straight onstage after his name was called. Bernard Park said, “Thank you so much. Even after ‘K-Pop Star’ ends, it’s only the beginning. Please watch out for me. Thank you to my family back in America. Thank you for supporting me, and I love you guys.”
After he selected the agency of his choice, Bernard Park said, “It was a difficult decision. I have a lot to learn, and I think judge Park Jin Young will be able to teach me best,” explaining why he chose JYP. Park Jin Young commented, “It’s a big honor, and I will do my best to be a good supporter. He was on the verge of getting eliminated, but I think it’s great that he came all the way here overcoming those difficulties.”
Congratulations Bernard Park!