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With breakout trot music career, Yoo Jae-suk pioneers new reality show genre

Top star comedian and TV show emcee Yoo Jae-suk showed up in a red stage suit embroidered with a gold dragon and a matching red fedora for a press conference on Thursday, the typical costume of his alter ego, Yoo San-seul.

What started as a comedy project under MBC's reality show, "Hangout with Yoo," led to Yoo's full-fledged trot music career under the stage name Yoo San-seul after the Korean name of a popular Chinese seafood dish.

Yoo officially released a three-track trot album, "Bbong For Yoo," on major online music stores last month. 


Yoo Jae-suk (Yonhap)
Yoo Jae-suk (Yonhap)

Having hit the top 100 single chart by Melon Music with one of the tracks, "Hapjeong Station Exit No. 5," Yoo is set to cap the hilarious 100-day music career with a solo concert Sunday evening.

"I am very grateful for the solo concert. I haven't dreamed of or wished for the concert. I am already sorry that I have only two songs of my own," Yoo said in the press conference.

"From the point of the comedian Yoo Jae-suk, (Yoo San-seul) is a character I appreciate very much. It will be a character that will go in my memory for the rest of my life," according to Yoo.

The breakout sensation of the comic trot project and the broader TV show is a major success of a new reality show format, bridging a TV show with the music industry and bringing an army of trot singers out of obscurity.

"In fact, trot is a really wonderful music genre, but it has not earned the reputation it deserves," Yoo said, citing "straightforwardness" of trot music's lyrics as the genre's allure.

"Through the show, I hope the entire trot genre could enjoy more popularity and more new singers could find venues to sing," he said.

The show is another major TV collaboration between Yoo and MBC director Kim Tae-ho following their highly successfully show "Infinite Challenge," which ended its 13-year run last year.

Yoo lauded director Kim for his courage to go for a new challenge.

"He is younger than me, but I want to bow down in respect for his continuing attempts for new challenges and changes," Yoo said.

He himself is also willing to take on new challenges even if that could involve risks, according to Yoo.

"I think (one) should take on (new attempts), despite some finger pointing or risks, so that a breakthrough could be made to open up new genres (in TV shows)," the comedian said.

"I am not capable of creating a trend myself, but I have no desire to follow one," he said.

Going forward, he, as singer Yoo San-seul, left open the possibility of his second album.

"If I go for the second album, I think I need to further advance my singing skill," he noted. (Yonhap)



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