MBC’s hit reality show “Survival: I am a Singer” resumed its airing on April 24th, a little less than a month since its latest episode on March 27th. The show has impressed everyone for casting seven of the most popular and talented A++ Korean singers and featuring their amazing performances. However, the show later created much controversy with its format change: Kim Gun Mo, who received the lowest number of votes in episode 3, was technically suppose to be eliminated according to the original rules, but was offered a second chance instead (Find out more about the format of the show in the recap of episode 1 and the “Survival: I am a Singer” forum).
Due to so much drama with the controversial “second chance offer,” the filming of the show was tentatively paused and the previous PD Kim Yong Hee was replaced. In addition, among the original seven contestant pool (Kim Bum Soo, Yoon Do Hyun, Jung Yeop, Baek Ji Young, Kim Gun Mo, Park Jung Hyun, Lee So Ra), Jung Yup was disqualified, while Kim Gun Mo and Baek Ji Young decided to drop out. The three new contestants who will be filling the empty spots are Kim Yeon Woo, Lim Jae Bum, and BMK.
With it being D-7 until the airing of the all new episode, the seven comedians who serve as designated managers got together in episode 5 to look back at the show and to shed new light on the original seven contestants. The comedians shared their thoughts about each seven contestants and commented what they thought were the strong points of each contestants. Also, the major past performances of each contestants from episode 2 to 4 were replayed.
Managers’ View: Strong Points of Each Contestant
Park Myung Soo (Kim Bum Soo’s manager)
Kim Jae Dong (Yoon Do Hyun’s manager)
Kim Shin Young (Jung Yeop’s manager)
Park Hwi Soon (Baek Ji Young’s manager)
Ji Sang Ryul (Kim Gun Mo’s manager)
Kim Tae Hyun (Park Jung Hyun’s manager)
Lee Byung Jin (Lee So Ra’s manager)
Park Jung Hyun (Lena Park): “Queen of Pop Ballad” (14th years since debut)
Kim Tae Hyun: “She’s outstanding in singing. She’s so lovely and cute, despite her old age lol… guys can’t stop smiling when watching her perform.”
Kim Shin Young: “How she dominates the stage with the explosive energy that comes out from her small body”
Kim Jae Dong: “Her ability to captivate the audience. You can only evaluate her before or after the performance. It’s impossible to evaluate her while she’s singing because you get so engaged into her performance that you feel like you’re performing on the stage with her. She excels in drawing everyone into her performance.”
Lee Byung Jin: “I think the audience especially went wild during the “First Impression” performance in the second competition because she made improvised dance moves which just naturally came out while really feeling the music, rather than from learned moves. She let her body feel the music. She was beautiful like a fairy. Also she’s really good at getting immersed into the music.”
Park Hwi Soon: “Her performance made me shudder.”
Park Jung Hyun’s “First Impression” is my favorite out of all performances in the show so far:
Jung Yeop: Voice from Heaven (8th year since debut)
Kim Shin Young: “He has a comforting voice that makes you relax. I would say Jung Yeop is the greatest beneficiary from the show. Despite being the first contestant to be disqualified, he has received the most attention. From people in their twenties to forties, everyone likes him. Also he’s leading a new trend known as “millstone vocal method” where you constantly turn your mike around while singing. I noticed how all the guys in the karaoke were imitating him when singing ‘One-sided Love.’”
Yoon Do Hyun: Explosive Voice (18th year since debut)
Kim Jae Dong: “I realized that Yoon Do Hyun isn’t someone I can just behave rashly to. For a brief moment, I forgot about his charisma as a rocker. As a singer, I think he’s flawless. One of his strength would be that he distinct from other singers. Also he has the energy to take over the stage.”
Lee Byung Jin: “I think one of his biggest strength is his mindset. For each stage, he performs with the mindset that ‘I’ll end up in last place,’ and shows everything he can possibly show while enjoying each performance, thinking that it’s his last stage. That kind of notion enables him to not be nervous and instead become more relaxed and confident.
Among Yoon Do Hyun’s performances, I personally thought his “Dash” performance was so exciting and amazing.
Lee So Ra: Voice that stimulates sensitivity (19th years since debut)
Lee Byung Jin: “She overpowers the audience just by her appearance! Her irresistible force! Also, she personally works hard to present a more improved performance.”
Park Hwi Soon: “Her captivating ability.”
Personally, I thought her very first performance, “The Wind is Blowing,” which was aired on the March 6th was so touching and emotional.
Kim Gun Mo: “Nation’s Singer” (20 years since debut)
Ji Sang Ryul: “As his manager, I felt so bad to see him go through a difficult period. During the retake where he sings Jung Yeop’s song, you could see his hand trembling due to extreme anxiety. Kim Gun Mo told me that throughout his life, he was never stressed out like this before. His throat was in worst condition as well. He was told from the doctor that if he doesn’t be careful in managing his throat properly, he won’t be able to sing forever. Plus, he got so stressed out that it increased his brain pressure, giving him blood-shot eyes.”
Lee Byung Jin: “Personally I think that it’s better that the situation turned out this way. He has always been known to be a genius who doesn’t necessarily have to try hard to excel because he’s just naturally so outstanding. However, through this incident, he was given the opportunity to look back at himself on his 20th year since his debut, and more importantly, the genius began to try even harder. I think that’s the biggest gift that he received on the 20th year since his debut. Kim Gun Mo himself has said that he felt thankful for the show for giving him a turning point in his life.”
Kim Gun Mo’s “Putting on Lipstick Darkly” performance… he ended up getting last place for this round. Perhaps he rubbed some audience up the wrong way with his lipstick performance that was toward the end? Maybe some found it a bit offensive because he appears as though he is goofing around a bit and not being serious enough?
Baek Ji Young: “Sorrowful Goddess” (13th year since debut)
Park Hwi Soon: “During the rehearsal for the “Promise” performance, she suddenly went blank and couldn’t remember the lyrics due to anxiety and she ended up crying. That’s when I got the impression that she’s really committed to this show and it enabled me to look at her from a different perspective.”
Kim Shin Young: “Her voice for some reason is very heavyhearted and sorrowful. Even when singing the same song, her version always sounds much more touching.”
Lee Byung Jin: “She’s really good at singing with much emotion. Her performance is like watching a drama episode because you can experience the emotion as well. It’s so touching.”
Kim Bum Soo: The Best Vocals (13th year since debut)
Park Myung Soo: “As his manager, I think Kim Bum Soo was able to really let many know who he is. I think he was the greatest beneficiary of this show.”
Kim Jae Dong: “I think he has the best vocals. He’s voice always touches my heart.”
While episode 5 was just a basic overview episode, the new episode featuring all three new members will be aired on May 1st. Also, starting from this episode, a new rule change will be implemented: a singer will be eliminated after two rounds, instead of one. Can’t wait to check out the new episode!