최종편집 : 2020.5.21 목 20:08
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Audition Program, It’s Not Over till It’s Over!
Kwak Da-eun  |  dashineshere@cau,ac.kr
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승인 2020.05.17  22:35:06
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
 
Who is your One-Pick? This question, which was previously only asked to friends, has now become a topic with your parents as well. That's because of the ‘Mr. Trot Tomorrow’ has made a huge splash recently. Trot and Audition converged to create a huge synergy effect, and the program led to the revival of survival audition programs. The audition program seemed likely to disappear, yet continues to gain more popularity. Therefore, CAH decided to take a look at them.
The Audition Program Started with the Sound of Xylophone
           What was the first audition program in Korea? It dates back 40 years. It was ‘National Singing Contest’. This program started with the name ‘KBS Battle National Singing Contest’. It was then renamed in 1980 and is still being broadcast. Well Known "National~" and following xylophone
   
KBS1 'National Singing Contest'
 sounds are a historic opening of MC Song Hae. The ‘National Singing Contest’ has the most basic audition form. Every week, the contestants go through the first and second preliminary rounds in one region and appear on the stage of the finals. The winners of the Grand Prize, Excellence Prize, and Popularity Prize are selected in the finals. After that, they compete again at the end of the year to win the Grand Prize of the Year. In particular, the reason why this program is considered the ancestor of audition programs is that there are already countless stars that have been produced here. As many prestigious singers were born, such as Trot singers Park Sang-chul and Jang Yoon-jung, and Gugak girl Song So-hee, it becomes a prestigious audition program.
Diversified Audition Program
   
Mnet 'Superstar K 2016'
As mentioned above, the survival audition format in Korea began quite a long time ago with its tension and immersion. In the 1970s, there were a few audition programs, such as the ‘National Singing Contest’, the ‘College Song Festival’, and the ‘Gangbyeon Song Festival’. However, these first-generation audition programs in Korea were not as mainstream as they are now. It was after the appearance of ‘Superstar K’ that audition programs began to gain popularity in earnest. First launched in 2009 under the title of “an audition anyone can participate in”, it served as a signal for the second-generation of audition programs. Previously, nearly all programs were simply broadcast out, but this style of participation through voting gripped the viewers. Based on such two-way communication, audition programs in similar formats such as ‘The Great Birth’ and ‘K-pop Star’ continue to be released. However, as similar content was produced, focusing only on the proven commercial nature of the audition program, it soon faced the crisis of boredom.
           The third-generation audition programs have appeared in more diverse formats to get out of
   
Mnet 'Show Me The Money 8'
 the decline. The audition field was changed to hip-hop, not simply pop, and recruited participants such as as dancers or chefs, not singers. In particular, ‘Show Me the Money’ and ‘High School Rapper’, which contain the former's attempts, started the revival of audition programs. That is, the basic audition format, which guarantees profitability and audience ratings, has been trying a new look by adding these fresh attempts.
Controversies over Audition Program
           The viewers' tastes have become more picky due to repeated audition programs. Accordingly, girls and boys who dream of becoming idols come on the stage. In ‘Produce 101’, for example, which was very popular, it expanded its scope not just to determine the winner through auditions, but to take responsibility even for the artists debut and subsequent activities. This attempt has increased the interest of people and further strengthened them into being long term fans.
           However, the problem with the audition program came to the surface in the wake of controversy over the manipulation of the ‘Produce’ series vote in 2019. Last December, according to the prosecution's indictment, the production team in charge of the ‘Produce’ series fabricated the results of online and live text voting. It was a moment when both opportunities and participation, which were the main strengths of audition programs, collapsed. As a result, PD Ahn Joon-young and CP Kim Yong-beom were arrested on charges of business obstruction and fraud.
Audition Program Is Back Again!
           The popularity of the audition program slowed down as the credibility of the vote, which had been a pillar of the program, falters. But after a while, it has again been gaining popularity. It’s all
   
TV Chosun 'Mr. Trot Tommorrow'
 thanks to ‘Miss Trot Tomorrow’ and ‘Mr. Trot Tomorrow.’ These two programs started to become popular among middle-aged people as they enjoy the trot genre. While most of the existing TV programs targeted younger audiences, the main audience has now changed to their parents. Seo Hye-jin, director of the TV Chosun’s production bureau in charge of the programs, said, "I thought we needed to be considerate of middle-aged people who are loyal to a program. That's why we've expanded our age range." For this reason, the trot genre favored by middle-aged viewers has been introduced into audition programs. Furthermore, as teenagers also became interested in the trot genre, watching the programs, they’ve become an incredible hit. In the final episode of ‘Mr. Trot Tomorrow’, the ratings rose to 35 percent. That is the second-highest viewership ever, surpassing the highest ratings of 30.4 percent for ’Infinite Challenge’ which is one of the most popular entertainment shows in Korea. Even with 7.73 million votes cast, there was an unprecedented delay in the announcement of the final ranking. In other words, the running of audition programs shows no sign of slowing down.
 
The craze for survival audition programs in Korea seemed to almost end but continues to this day. On the other hand, some critics say that the success of audition programs shows how Korean society is so accustomed to competition. It is also true that there are concerns that it could be manipulated like the ‘Produce’ vote-rigging case. However, it is clear that audition programs are still one of the pillars of the Korean TV format. Let's look forward to seeing how different audition programs will be shown after overcoming these problems.
 
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