Taking one step forward to succeed

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Taking one step forward to succeed


I am not a big fan of audition programs because I cannot stand their artificial and exaggerated drama. The so-called “editing of the devil” tries to squeeze out emotional moments and create a media frenzy. But “K-Pop Star” on SBS is somewhat different. This program focuses more on live performances rather than what’s happening backstage. The judges are more composed and professional as well.

Last Sunday’s episode presented a unique situation. Park Jin-yeong’s JYP, Yang Yeong-seok’s YG and BoA’s SM Entertainment agencies chose six contestants they want to train. After the second round, JYP and YG used up all their picks. But BoA, herself a singer, forfeited her final slot because she didn’t want to pick anyone she didn’t feel completely confident about. After the judges’ closing remarks, the staff members were about to clear the stage when a girl raised her hand - Lee Jeong-mi. The 17-year-old girl reluctantly pointed to the card in BoA’s hand and said, “I will forever be regretful because of that last remaining card. Please let me sing one more time and give me a second chance.”

She began to sing desperately. She had not been an outstanding performer all along. In one of the past episodes, she revealed her story about bullying at school that made her transfer. She had been passive and lacked confidence, but this time, she was different. After she finished singing without accompaniment, BoA spoke:

“Just when everyone else was about to give up, you came out and sang. That’s the spirit I am looking for. This is a game of survival. Never forget the moment when you raised your hand. I want to give my sixth card to Lee Jeong-mi.”

BoA’s choice may not fit the typical survivor-show star. However, “K-Pop Star” was a show of amateurs, and desperation and willingness to make a dream come true was just as important as vocal talent.

BoA knows the meaning of desperation better than anyone. She went to Japan at age 15 and rose to stardom overseas. The first character she memorized in Japan was “ru,” for “tears.” If she had been discouraged or had given up, we would not have been able to enjoy the music of the singer who is already established at age 26.

The world may try to put you down, but there are people who are persistent and press on. Just when you think everything is over, you have to build up courage and stand up again. The courage of Lee Jeong-mi and the choice of BoA once again reminds us of this valuable lesson.

The author is an editorial writer for the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Lee Na-ri
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