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‘The Voice of Korea’ Gathers Great Praise

Rating Rating more Two Stars

2012.02.13 16:58 Mwave Oh, MiJung Translation Credit : Erika Kim

‘It’s like I Am a Singer with ordinary people,’ ‘It’s on a whole new level compared to other audition programs,’ ‘It’s only the beginning and there are so many great singers; I wonder what the others will be like,’ ‘They’re almost like pros,’ ‘This is what a real survival audition should be like’….

Praise is continuing to pour in for Mnet’s The Voice of Korea. It’s been a few days since the show aired its first episode on February 10, but talk about it is still cropping up all over the internet. Videos from The Voice of Korea have shot up on charts in video streaming sites such as Tving, and they’re showing no signs of coming down.

As word is spreading that the contestants were so good it was touching, many music fans who didn’t get to watch the program on time are rushing to watch those clips. So what is The Voice of Korea all about?

‘The Voice of Korea’ Gathers Great Praise

Listening to great voices

The Voice of Korea is a blind audition program that has the four coaches turned away from the stage so that they can’t see the contestant’s face. While the contestants sing, coaches who like what they hear turn around to ask those contestants to come on their team. The audience can see what they look like, but the coaches have to decide based solely on their voices.

This means that looks and age aren’t considered when the coaches make their decisions. Because of this, many singers who had been hesitant to appear on other audition programs decided to appear on this show.

Contestants who made it into teams, such as Ha Ye Na, who sang Noel’s Propose, Sam Koo, who sang Lyn’s We Were in Love, Jang Jae Ho, who sang Kim Yeon Woo’s Farewell Taxi, and Bae Keun Suk, who sang Seo In Young’s Cinderella, grabbed attention for their unique voices and talent.

Ha Ye Na’s video is especially popular on Tving, with more than 30,000 views. Even those who were eliminated are appealing to the audience as videos of Kim Ji Eun and Heo Yoo Jin are also popular on the site.

Shin Seung Hoon previously said at the press conference for the show, “They’re like semi-pros. Even we have a lot of things we can learn from them. Many were eliminated because we didn’t think we had anything more to teach them. The contestants are more skilled than the contestants for other audition programs, and they have more mature voices.”

It’s been proven with the first broadcast that Shin wasn’t lying when he said this.

Viewers are saying that they enjoyed listening to their songs, much like how they enjoy listening to MBC’s I Am A Singer.

Ha Ye Na’s Propose was enough to make hearts beat faster, and Bae Keun Suk’s Cinderella was so unique the likes of it had never been heard anywhere else.

Coaches send in their support

The way the coaches support their contestants is also being received favorably. Rather than attack them or deal them spiteful comments full of pride, the coaches warmly show support for them and emphasize their strengths. Some viewers mentioned that the coaches’ advice even reached their own hearts.

The Voice of Korea is a program with a format that comes from the Netherlands. The program manual sent to Korea by the company holding the rights for the original read ‘no insults’ and ‘no harsh comments’. The Voice of Korea rather chooses to emphasize strengths, praise contestants and cheer them on.

The coaches were even warm toward the eliminated contestants. Shin Seung Hoon said to the eliminated Kim Ji Eun, “[Your song] was in a form that I had never heard before anywhere.”

Other coaches said that she hadn’t been eliminated because she was bad, but because it seemed like she had such a strong color that they didn’t know what more to coach her about. This is a scene never before seen in other audition programs.

The coaches also never said a word about the contestants’ looks. They said, “We can make you even better,” but they never said, “You look awful now.” Compared to how the judge from another audition program told a contestant that he was “unsophisticated,” this is a new take.

‘The Voice of Korea’ Gathers Great Praise

Coaches, not judges

Shin Seung Hoon, Baek Ji Young, Gil and Kangta aren’t judges; they’re coaches. They don’t decide whether the contestants get eliminated from the audition, but they choose who to bring onto their team as the leader of the 12 member team. They are not teachers. They will even be standing onstage with their other teammates.

Sometimes the coaches themselves had to compete for the popular contestants. Ha Ye Na was chosen by Gil, Shin Seung Hoon and Kangta. Bae Keun Suk turned all of the judges around. The coaches then tried to persuade the contestants onto their team by talking about what more they could do for them.

Kangta explained, “This program appealed to me because I could show myself as a producer and a singer at the same time.” He meant there was more reason for him to enjoy the show because he also would have to sing with his teammates.

“We’re all supposed to enjoy it,” Shin Seung Hoon added. “We’re not choosing them after giving them points; we’re leaving it to the viewers to decide after performing in a great performance.” It will showcase a new harmony between the amateur and the veterans.

The Voice of Korea will air its next episode on February 17. The producers said, “Many talented people that even exceed those in the first episode will appear in the second.”

The contestant that Gil previously talked about, saying, “Once, the four coaches fell into a trance after hearing a contestant sing, and weren’t able to choose in the end. The contestant was eliminated in the first round audition, but I asked him/her to sing for a LeeSsang album,” also hasn′t appeared yet.

Anticipation is being hitched up even more as the time for the next episode approaches.

Photo credit: Mnet

Reach reporter Oh MiJung on Twitter @isyutar!

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Gil (LeeSsang) 20120213 Baek Ji Young 20120213 Kangta 20120213 Shin Seung Hoon 20120213 The Voice of Korea 20120213
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