The Big Achievements of ′Superstar K4′
The fourth season of Superstar K4 came to a close on November 23 after its nine-month-long journey, and finally crowned its winner of the season.
In those nine months, what records did the show break, and what new feats did it manage to accomplish?
1. The biggest applicants for an audition show ever
The big numbers for Superstar K3′s preliminaries, of 1,967,267 people, were broken in just a year with 2,083,447 contestants. Superstar K1 had drawn 710,000, while Superstar K2 had brought in 1.35 million. The rise in applicants was attributed to the success of Superstar K contestants Huh Gak, John Park, Busker Busker and Ulala Session.
The success stories of these aspiring singers brought more individuals in similar situations to the show to try out for the chance to live their dreams.
2. The first audition to take place with the Korean army
This year again, of course, Superstar K4 toured the country, traveling through Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Incheon, Jeju, Daejeon and Wonju. It even ventured to other countries, holding auditions in L.A., New York and Sydney.
What was more interesting about this year′s preliminaries, though, was that one round even took place in the army for soldiers. It toured units across the country to dig out new talents, and even succeeded in finding one named Kim Jung Hwan, who made it to the top 12.
3. More than 1 million ′judges′ voted every week
The number of fans that joined in the decisions for the show were extraordinary. The competition for even the top 4 was so close, with 500,000 online votes and more than 800,000 live text votes pouring in every week. On the days before the broadcasts, fans showed their support through the online votes, while during the broadcasts they fought in the text polls. As each contestant had distinct charms and characteristics, their fanbases were stronger than ever.
Superstar K4′s producer Kim Tae Eun said, "When these contestants debut in K-Pop, the public in the end will be the ones consuming their music. The fandoms that the contestants managed to put together during their stay with the show will help them launch themselves into the bigger scene."
4. Big talents, big successes
Audition programs become popular and famous when they can boast of many successful winners, and so can draw more contestants as well as viewers with these examples. The new contestants can then start off with an advantage, as they enjoy their pre-debut days with more viewers and a higher probability of gathering a stronger fanbase.
Superstar K is, so far, the only audition program in Korea that can say it has set itself on this track. The success of the Superstar K4 contestants, who will probably soon be making their debuts, will serve to prove again how successful the season really was.
Judge Lee Seung Chul has high hopes, as he has often said that the contestants for this season′s Superstar K is "the best."
He means that there are more contestants that seem to have a chance of success in K-Pop. Roy Kim, DickPunks, Yoo Seung Woo, Kim Jung Hwan and the other contestants have all shown that they can play their instruments, write songs and produce with such skill that they are already considered to be potential big names in the scene. Hong Dae Gwang and Jung Joon Young also are said to be of high star quality. Many agencies are already showing their interest.
Producer Kim Tae Eun said, "The Superstar K viewers, who have helped birth big stars with their own votes for the past three years, now know how to judge by looking at various star factors outside of vocals."
5. Over 100 million views for ′Superstar K4′ videos
On Tving, Naver, YouTube and Mnet.com, the views for Superstar K4 videos gathered more than 100 million views altogether. These views are two times higher than those for last year′s.
Mnet′s director Hwang Geum San attributed the higher numbers to changes in viewer patterns.
"More people have been choosing to watch Superstar K on platforms other than TV at times that are comfortable for them, instead of trying to watch it when it first airs. The more this ′n-screen′ environment settles, more viewers will move to such channels," he said.
Superstar K4 also stayed on top of Naver′s daily TV variety show keyword search charts, and Nielsen Korea′s ′Social Media Buzz′ ranks that count how many times an issue is mentioned on social networks.
6. Contestants can win even without big, touching stories
In the previous three seasons, the winners of Superstar K were all armed with their own touching stories behind their lives.
Seo In Guk of season 1 had difficult family ties, Huh Gak of season 2 used to work as a repairman, and Ulala Session of season 3 was fighting cancer.
Roy Kim and DuckPunks of season 4, however, didn′t really have such heart wrenching stories to tell. They were just happy and bouncy youths in their 20s.
Viewers were able to feel something new from these individualistic, bouncy and bright characters, and proved that Superstar K is all about talent and charm.
Photo credit: Mnet