Gayoung, Raina, Jung Yujin, Nada, And More Talk About Malicious Comments, How They Make A Living, Their New Start, And More On “Miss Back”
“Miss Back” continued telling the stories of former idols who are setting out to make a new start.
The program is a mix of a documentary and variety show, and it follows a group of “forgotten” female singers who are hoping for a second chance at success. The cast includes Gayoung from STELLAR, Nada from Wassup, Raina from After School, Sera from 9MUSES, Soyeon from T-ara, Soyul from Crayon Pop, Subin (Dalsooobin) from Dal Shabet, and Jung Yujin from The Ark. Leading the show is singer Baek Ji Young, who is the singers’ producer and life mentor.
On last week’s premiere, Sera, Soyul, and Gayoung shared their stories. The October 15 episode began by featuring what After School and Orange Caramel member Raina’s been up to, showing her living a nocturnal lifestyle as she games all night long.
When asked when she started gaming, Raina replied, “I started when my solo activities ended. It’s been two or three years.”
“I put out a solo album, but it didn’t do as well as I thought,” she shared. “I promoted the album for a month and then it just finished. But it felt so hollow. I also suddenly had so much time on my hands. I didn’t know how to fill up the time. I felt like it would be too sad and difficult to face reality so I started gaming.”
Raina then went to meet Brand New Music head Rhymer, who was worried about how she only spends her time gaming. Raina said to him, “It’s an escape from reality. When I was promoting as an idol, I was always dwelling on results and had to be successful. That pressure made it so that happiness didn’t last for long. That’s why I started gaming then.”
When Raina got home, she listened to Orange Caramel songs and called her fellow group member Park Soo Young (formerly known as Lizzy). She and their fellow Orange Caramel member Nana are both pursuing acting careers now, and Raina said, “I’m both proud and envious. I wonder why I’m just staying still and I feel sad.”
In the evening, Raina returned to her computer to do a live broadcast with her fans. However, she saw malicious comments in the chat window that made her uncomfortable. Soyeon said in the studio that she personally would have cried and ended the broadcast. Raina responded, “I get a lot of comments that say, ‘She flopped so she’s doing this kind of thing!'”
Subin and Gayoung also talked about malicious comments. Subin said, “I recently did a performance where I wore a dress shirt and sang a ballad, and then I took that shirt off for a dance performance. But there were so many unspeakable comments that when I read them I thought, ‘Am I someone who can’t be loved?’ and felt a sense of shame.”
Gayoung shared, “Because of our concept or because I’d just pass by a club, there would be rumors like, ‘She’s someone who basically lives at the clubs’ and people would say ‘STELLAR all likes to smoke,’ so I became more careful.”
Raina then performed “A Midsummer Night’s Sweetness” for the first time in a while. She shared, “This was the first song that I gained attention as just Raina instead of as part of the group After School or Orange Caramel, and it was also the first song that earned me compliments for my singing and voice.”
“I couldn’t properly enjoy it back then,” she said. “I’d give the credit to others, saying that I was really lucky or that SanE had written such a good song. I should have acknowledged that I had sung well too, but it’s sad because I couldn’t fully enjoy it.”
Jung Yujin also told her story in the episode. Jung Yujin debuted with The Ark but the group disbanded after only three months together. She recently appeared on the competition show “The Voice of Korea 2020” and she’s currently studying at college while also singing under the stage name MAIL.
“I want to sing for a long time,” she said. She shared that she’s been working part-time jobs since she was 20, explaining that she’s worked at places such as a shipping center, kids cafe, restaurant, and more. “My friends have already started their careers and are receiving monthly salaries, but I’m still getting help from my parents, so I feel upset and it’s difficult. I’m not in a situation where I can make a profit with my music, so I help out by using my remaining time to do part-time jobs.”
Jung Yujin did three part-time jobs in a single day, working as a delivery person, at an internet cafe, and teaching vocal lessons. When she returned home, she couldn’t hide her sadness as she calculated how little she’d made.
Jung Yujin chose to sing IU’s “Good Day” and showed off her vocal skills and high notes. “I’ve continued to work as a singer but no one knows that I’m doing that,” she said. “So I want people to acknowledge me and say, ‘She’s good at singing.'”
The show also included more of Gayoung’s story as she met with friends from her traditional music high school. Gayoung had majored in dance and dreamt of being an artist. Before her debut, she even garnered buzz when she appeared on “2 Days & 1 Night.”
When Gayoung saw her friend who has become a dance teacher, Gayoung said, “If I’d continued doing dance, maybe I could have become a teacher.” She said, “I was so embarrassed. I felt like my whole life so far has come to nothing. I feel sorry toward my parents too, and I wondered why I haven’t been able to achieve anything even though I’ve worked so hard.”
Gayoung is currently working at a cafe, and she said that she’s actually able to make money faster at the cafe than she did as a girl group member. She said, “Still, I make 10,000 won (approximately $8.70) an hour. Since I can live off that, I say to myself, ‘I should be grateful for this.'”
After working her four-hour shift, she met with her younger brother Kim Sung Pyo who’s a professional baseball player with the Samsung Lions. Gayoung said to him, “I couldn’t watch your game. I get worried.” She said, “You did well, so there were a lot of articles online, but people talked about my group in the comments.”
“I feel like I’ve stained your reputation,” she said. Kim Sung Pyo replied, “It’s sad that STELLAR is perceived of as a racy group.”
Gayoung cautiously asked him if he was embarrassed and began to cry. Kim Sung Pyo assured her, “When I heard that kind of talk, I wasn’t embarrassed at all.”
In an interview with the crew, Kim Sung Pyo said, “I did honestly feel uncomfortable when people around me would ask about my sister, because they’d think of something racy first, but the only thing I could do for her was support her. Since she was having a hard time, I had to support her.”
Gayoung cried and said, “I was so sorry toward you because I thought you must have been ashamed of me.” Kim Sung Pyo assured her that he’d never felt that way.
In his interview, Kim Sung Pyo also shared a story about a time when he felt sorry toward his sister. “When she went on her first music show, her voice cracked, and I teased her a lot because I was young. But she cried,” he said. He shared that he now understands why she cried. “I really just teased her because I was young,” he said again, becoming tearful. “It was her first debut performance. So I felt really sorry.” Gayoung cried when she watched her brother’s confession.
Gayoung shared that she had vowed to never be an idol again when her contract came to an end, but she now realizes that she had enjoyed being on stage. “I want to show a different side of myself than when I was in STELLAR,” she said. “I want to sing the songs that I really wanted to sing, rather than what others made me do.”
Gayoung then performed a cover of Lee Hyori’s “Black” while dancing.
Next up was Nada, who had made her debut as a rapper in the hip hop group Wassup. Three years after the group’s disbandment, she’s promoting new music and her segment included her at a photo shoot.
When she got home, she worked on a painting. She shared that she’d majored in East Asian painting in high school, but she dropped out of school to try to fulfill her dream of being a celebrity and became a member of Wassup.
Nada talked about how she had been in a lawsuit with her agency to end her exclusive contract, and she won after a two-year legal battle. “I received a lot of criticism when I shared that I had filed a lawsuit,” she said. “To be honest, I don’t care if it’s directed toward me, but I hated seeing my parents being criticized.”
“I think I really need help from a program like this,” she went on to say. “I felt like I’ve really lost my self-esteem, and I hope this is an opportunity for me to make a new start.” Nada then wowed with a performance of “Scary” by herself and (G)I-DLE’s Soyeon.
“Miss Back” airs on Thursdays at 11 p.m. KST.