SBS “K-Pop Star” Finalists – Where Are They Now?
One of the most popular audition shows this year was SBS “K-Pop Star.”
With its star-studded judging panel, comprised of BoA, Yang Hyun Suk, and Park Jin Young (each representing the top 3 agencies), “K-Pop Star” received extensive media coverage even prior to its airing last year. The show’s contestants also proved to be of high-quality, with every performance each week absolutely blowing away the viewers with something new.
The first season of “K-Pop Star” came to an end on April 29. As most expected from the beginning, Park Ji Min took the top honor, with Lee Ha Yi and Baek Ah Yeon finishing 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Most of the Top 10 finalists have found a new home now and are under the management of some of the top agencies.
In this article, we’ll take a look at where each of these finalists are now, and what we know about their upcoming album so far. Which “K-Pop Star” contestant do you like the most?
(Scroll through the list by clicking the arrow on the bottom right!)
Park Ji Min
Remember the girl that put on an absolutely mind-blowing cover performance of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”? The 15-year old aspiring singer showed the world what she is made of (she was covered by CNN and mentioned by Ashton Kutcher) and was able to finish the show with the #1 spot. It wasn’t clear which agency she would pick, but at the end, she went with Park Jin Young and JYP Entertainment. Her musical versatility and magical voice will only get better under the full guidance of JYP.
Lee Ha Yi
The husky-voiced R&B singer Lee Ha Yi picked YG Entertainment after finishing runner-up on the show. Her signing with YGE was somewhat expected, but her debut under the group “Su Pearls,” alongside Lee Michelle, Lee Jung Mi, and Lee Seung Joo, was totally unexpected. So basically, Lee Ha Yi will be replacing Park Ji Min’s role from the famed “Su Pearls” harmony. The problem is Lee Ha Yi and Park Ji Min have completely different singing styles, and we’re not so sure how her voice will blend in with the rest of the group.
Baek Ah Yeon
Don’t be fooled by her petite figure – Baek Ah Yeon can sing. The girl who was nicknamed “Iron Girl” has shown her versatility, crossing over between husky R&B songs to pure ballad tracks. Her cover of Girls’ Generation’s “Run Devil Run” was perhaps the most unexpected stage of the whole show. Shortly after Park Ji Min joined JYP Entertainment, Baek Ah Yeon followed suit and went under JYP’s hardcore training. And just this week, veteran singer Yim Jae Bum announced that his new album “TO…” will have a duet track with Baek Ah Yeon. Considering Yim Jae Bum is one of the most respected singers in K-Pop, Baek Ah Yeon must have really impressed a lot of people.
Lee Seung Hoon
Lee Seung Hoon’s signing with YG Entertainment was probably the least surprising move. Yang Hyun Suk actually teared up while Lee Seung Hoon said his last goodbye comment after getting eliminated, and it was pretty clear they built a special connection between each other. We haven’t heard much about him lately but we think it’s only a matter of time before we see him coming out with some sort of collaboration album with Psy, Tablo, or even Big Bang.
When the show first started, Lee Michelle was perhaps the leading candidate to win it all. Her early performance of Beyonce’s “Halo” brought shockwaves to the industry for her complete vocal control. But somewhat unexpectedly she was eliminated at the Top 5 stage, finishing behind Park Ji Min, Lee Ha Yi, Baek Ah Yeon, and Lee Seung Hoon. She’s signed with YG Entertainment and will be debuting under Su Pearls, alongside Lee Ha Yi, Lee Seung Joo, and Lee Jung Mi, but we’re a little disappointed that we don’t get to see her solo album.
Park Jae Hyung
The horn-rimmed glass wearing Park Jae Hyung chose JYP Entertainment after being eliminated at the final 6 stage. He has a unique voice that somewhat brings you to mind Bruno Mars. His musical style will most likely revolve around those guitar rhythm-based ballad songs, but with JYP by his side, anything is possible!
Kim Na Yoon
The 17-year old Kim Na Yoon got caught up in a few controversies during the show, earning her share of anti-fans on the Web. But there’s no question in her musical ability as she can sing, dance, and more than anything, has the perfect idol looks. After her absolutely stunning performance of Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’,” Kim Na Yoon slipped a little bit out of the radar with a few mistakes here and there. But her raw talent was enough to catch the eyes of industry insiders, and she’s finally earned the contract by Starship Entertainment, who also has SISTAR and Boyfriend under their belt. Not sure how Starship will groom her raw talent, but we’re highly anticipating her debut!