Saturday, January 28, 2012

New TV Show "I Want to Be Average" A Hit

A new television show, which takes ordinary people who want to remain ordinary, has proven a surprise hit with Korean audiences tiring of a society where everyone wants to be famous by singing one of the ten songs which appear on Korea's hundreds of search-for-a-star audition programs.

During filming, 24 year-old Kim stood on stage, complaining that she had arrived on the pretext of a job interview for an office assistant, and hadn't been expecting to be placed in front of TV cameras. Another contestant, 27 year-old Kim, then delighted the audience by refusing to sing and complaining that he was going to be late to meet his girlfriend. When the potential of a recording contract was offered to the next person on stage, 30 year-old Kim, he said he didn't want to be a star and was happy with his job in retail, resulting in so much laughter that two members of the audience required medical treatment.

The winner of the show, 28 year-old delivery driver Kim, eventually wowed audiences with an audacious attempt to actually escape from the TV cameras, by leaping off the stage when he realized that the package he had been asked to collect was a cover story to bring him onto the show. Security staff from S&M Entertainment guided him back, where he spent the rest of his allotted time facing away from the audience, visible only in the large mirror which staff wheeled on to the rear of the stage to allow the cameras to still catch facial close-ups.

It's believed to be the first time in Korean history that an ordinary person has tried to escape from a television program, although last year 36 year-old popular entertainer Kim Jung-hwan was sentenced to eight months in prison for missing a recording of his show, and 31 year-old actress Kim Ye-seul went AWOL from the set of her soap opera, with military police sent out to bring her back for trial for her desertion of duty.

But 28 year-old Kim is resisting attempts to turn him into an 'average idol'. After the program aired he returned to work despite S&M Entertainment's demands that he honors his contract to make public appearances in average places which have paid for them. The massive conglomerate is believed to be considering suing Kim for breach of contract. Kim denies he signed such a contract, although he admits that he did sign a document for the package he was supposed to be picking up.

But all may not be be lost for S&M. Cameras are now following an increasingly evasive Kim around Seoul, with suggestions a spin-off may produce a sleeper hit for the "I Want to Be Average" show. The company has also announced it is setting up its first 'Average Audition Cram School', to attract other Koreans interested in not becoming famous. Successful graduates are promised the possibility of winning one of S&M's lucrative 13 year 'slave contracts'.

Shares in S&M rose on the news, with the prospect that the company may be able to move beyond charging audition school fees in the saturated wannabe-star market, into the relatively undeveloped demographic of the 30% of Koreans who want to remain average that now have an outlet for their talent.

Related Links
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What about average Koreans?

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