In the beginning of July, MBC announced that it would ban lip-syncing on its weekly music show, “Music Core,” with the show’s chief producer (CP), Park Hyun Suk, stating, “Those who do not sing on stage do not possess the basic qualities of a singer. We will thoroughly check the MR provided by each agency and get rid of the singers who only open their mouths.”
He had commented, “Out of the idol singers, there are times when only 10-20% of them actually sing live. In many cases, they perform to a recorded live version, which deceives the public into believing they are actually singing.”
The decision was made, reportedly, so that K-pop could keep up with global standards. While focusing on creating a powerful performance is important, so is the quality of the singing.
Following the announcement, fans of K-pop were divided in their response. Some applauded MBC’s decision and some thought it was unfair of the show to completely place the burden on the singers without consideration of the show’sown sound system. Many fans declared that this change would not faze their bias while others pointed out that K-pop was about the whole package- singing AND dancing.
Super Junior’s Ryeowook also responded to the ban through his Twitter: “To singers, the sound system is just as important as fancy stage production and lighting. Idol singers who are performance-focused and just open their mouths may be a problem, but to flat-out insist on live performances without room for improvement seems like tyranny.”
Despite some voices of dissent like Ryeowook’s, Music Core went ahead with the ban. In a recent interview with Star News, Park Hyun Suk opened up about the effects of the ban on the show’s singers, giving it a positive light. He said, “After banning total lip-syncing, the atmosphere of the studio has changed. There is more of a lively stage presence. After declaring that singers who don’t sing won’t be allowed on stage, they have been singing more and showing a more lively stage presence.”
On one part, Park Hyun Suk’s answer seems vague and hyperbolic, but if you take it at face value, the lip-sync ban may really be giving a more realistic picture of K-pop. What do you guys think? Do you notice any difference from before? Has the lip-sync ban changed your perception of K-pop? Do you think the ban will lift the standard of K-pop as it was intended to?
Check out performances from Music Core here.