“Singer” show producer’s apology fails to silence critics
Kim Young-hee, producer of the show “I am a Singer,” has apologized to viewers over a decision contradicting the show’s rules.
The show has been mired in controversy over its decision to provide contestant Kim Gun-mo a second chance. Kim was supposed to be eliminated after receiving the smallest percentage of votes from the 500-member audience.
“I apologize to our viewers that we made a decision that violates one of the original rules of the show -- eliminating one singer who is ranked last in the singing competition,” the producer said. However, he predicted that not many singers would seek a second chance because singing again in the competition would be just as hard to go through as being eliminated.
The singer’s younger rivals asked for Kim to be kept in the competition after he was voted off. The producer asked viewers to understand the shock that participants of the show felt as their senior singer was eliminated.
Despite the apology, netizens continued to criticize the show.
Some angry netizens have also created parodies of the show, satirizing the fact that Kim received a reprieve and predicting the show will continue for 40 years as singers continue to seek second chances.
Meanwhile, spoilers predicting the result of the next episode of the show have been circulated online after the show’s record for the next episode on Monday. The predictions include Kim resigning voluntarily; the elimination of another singer, Park Jung-hyun; and a new member being introduced.
The show, “I Am A Singer,” pits a total of seven real-life, big-name singers in Korea -- Kim Gun-mo, Baek Ji-young, Yoon Do-hyun, Kim Bum-soo, Lee So-ra, Park Jung-hyun, and Jung Yeob -- against each other.
For each episode, the participants are given a special mission to perform in front of a 500-member audience who are made of ordinary viewers.
The audience members then vote to decide who should be eliminated.
For Sunday’s episode, the participants were assigned to sing popular tunes from the 1980s. Kim Gun-mo, who sang “Wearing Dark Lipstick” by Im Joo-ri, received the lowest number of votes among the seven participants.
According to the show’s rules, Kim, who has almost 20 years of experience in Korea’s popular music scene, should have been eliminated.
Yet he was given a sudden and surprising offer to remain in the competition. Kim accepted the offer to stay, which enraged many viewers nationwide.
After the episode was broadcast Sunday, more than 2,000 angry online entries were posted on the show’s website.
“The show wasted my time,” wrote a netizen named Kim Byeong-cheol.“I waited to find out who gets eliminated.”
“This is a survival show,” wrote another netizen named Jeong Gwan-sik. “It makes no sense to not eliminate anyone in the first round. We viewers should boycott this show.”
Some said the reason why Kim wasn’t eliminated was because his musical career has been longer than that of most other participants.
“Would they have done the same if it wasn’t Kim who received the lowest number of votes?” wrote netizen Kim Chang-yul. “Kim should accept the audience members’ decision and leave the show.”
Kim Soo-hyun, Korea’s veteran writer for TV Dramas, also openly criticized the show on Twitter.
“It’s bitter to witness (the show’s) decision to ignore the audience members’ decision and allow the participating singer to decide,” she wrote.
MBC was unavailable for comment.
By Lee Woo-young (email@example.com) and Claire Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)