Once again the famous audition show “K-POP STAR” is coming to a season finale. This fourth season has had fans on the edge of their seats from the start, being way more intense than the other three ones.
Right from the first episode, we realized that the judges were way more strict this season. We met many breath-taking candidates, such as participants from other seasons, the girl known by everyone as “Mini Hyuna” and the young sister of K-POP STAR 3‘s Nam Young Joo.
We were surprised by Lee Jin Ah‘s unique style, cried with Lee Sul Ah‘s touching lyrics about her mother, had fun with Seo Ye Ahn‘s cute dance steps and discovered amazing combinations that were made in the show, such as The Best (JiJohn) and Sparkling Girls.
As the TOP 10 were decided, the judges admitted that in no other season had so many ups and downs been experienced, and said that they still had high expectations since “Everything can happen in TOP 10“. Well, it did. The performances from this group were named the best in the whole history of the show, and will be kept in our minds forever.
More episodes went on, more strong candidates were eliminated, more tears fell, and now we’ve come to the TOP 3 contestants. These are the best ones from this season, and one of them will have the chance to become the next Park Jimin, Akdong Musician or Bernard Park. For this reason, we decided to make a little review on the three of them, so you can know more about the future K-Pop Star that will grace our lives in a few month with a debut.
So, let’s start!
1. Jung Seung Hwan:
When Jung Seung Hwan first stepped on the stage of “K-POP STAR”, we wouldn’t give him anything. At first sight, he was just a clumsy and shy hottie that would maybe pass to the next round, but wouldn’t last long in the show. He gave a funny introduction as a 18 year old boy who should have been studying for the SAT’s, and the judges all looked like they were thinking “Oh, go back to class. Study so you can get in a good college.“.
As soon as Seung Hwan started singing Kim Bum Soo‘s “It Will Pass“, though, we knew that he would make it to TOP 3. With his unique singing style, he left the whole audience breathless and even made Park Jimin cry. He had sung just one song, but it was enough for Yang Hyun Suk to say that he was the best among the contestants. He received a “pass” from all judges, and continued to the next round.
Check out the video of his amazing first performance:
Jung Seung Hwan continued to grow during the show, with his voice that Yoo Hee Yeol best described as “Can please both women and men“. His unique singing style (in which he raises his hand a little bit over the microphone) soon became known and almost became a meme.
On the team mission, he became a duo with another strong contestant, Park Yoon Ha, who became one of his best friends in the show. Check out their performance:
After being cast by YG Entertainment, he had to battle against Yoon Ha and Lee Jin Ah in the pre-battle that was held at Antenna Music‘s headquarters. He received advice from Akdong Musician and won the pre-battle, giving YG the chance to choose one candidate of the ones who would get second place in the battle audition to go to TOP 10.
However, in the battle audition itself, he didn’t do so well, and ended up in second place from his group. Seung Hwan quickly recovered his status by singing another song, and thankfully made it to TOP 10.
Seung Hwan remained as one of the strongest candidates from TOP 10, and was especially noticed for being the only solo male contestant left (there was John Chu from The Best, but he was a duo with Mi Ji and they both didn’t pass to TOP 8).
As the only male contestant left on TOP 8, he soon became the favorite contestant of many girls. Every time he would get onstage or grab the microphone, we could hear female screams from the audience. The clumsy and shy boy from episode 1 had turned into a heart thief in just a few months. If you watch his performances from TOP 8 until now, you’ll not see a candidate on an audition show, but a real K-Pop Star.
During the round that was going to decide the TOP 6, he decided to change his style a little bit and gave a breathtaking performance of Lee Juck’s “Running Across The Sky” that left his fans in ecstasy. His rival (his friend Park Yoon Ha, as a trick of destiny), however, was too strong and was chosen as the best by all three judges, leaving Seung Hwan to the audience votes. Thankfully, he made it to TOP 6 as well.
He regained his strength in the next round by getting third place, losing only to Katie Kim and Lily M. However, the day in which Seung Hwan would finally shine would still come.
With his latest performance of Deulgukhwa‘s “Please, Please“, he scored 289 with the judges votes, the highest among the TOP 4. With this and the audience votes, he grabbed the first place and moved on to the semi-finals.
Jung Seung Hwan has had a tough time during the show, but he kept on growing until he got the best score of the episode. Known for singing ballads, he must give another tearful performance in order to win against the other two very strong candidates. Do you think he can do it?
2. Katie Kim
If this season will be remembered by its ups and downs, Katie Kim must be one of the most important reasons for that.
Just like Seung Hwan, when Katie walked into the stage for the first time, we wouldn’t have given her anything. With a shy look and a singular way of speaking, she didn’t look like a strong contestant at all. When she started to sing, it was enough to convince the judges to let her pass, but she still hadn’t stood out enough for us to remember her.
The first time Katie proved that she should be feared by the other contestants was during the Ranking Auditions. Battling against the best solo singers from the preliminaries, she stood out at the moment she started to sing Roberta Flack‘s “Killing Me Softly With This Song“. She left the judges speechless and made us all think “Why didn’t I pay attention to her before?“. Check out her performance:
During the Team Mission, she gave a wonderful performance along another two strong contestants, Esther Kim and Ji Su Yeon. The three sang a slower version Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It” and their high notes and perfect harmonization were so good that they won against the team of multi-talented artists that had one of the judges favorite candidates, Lee Jin Ah.
In the next episode, she and Esther were placed with another strong Korean-American singer, Grace Shin. It was obvious that all three would be cast, the only question was: which will go to each company? Katie ended up being casted by YG Entertainment, and this couldn’t have been better for her.
Katie still didn’t stand out enough to be chosen to represent YG in the pre-battle, but Seung Hwan’s victory was extremely important for her.
During the Battle Audition, Katie fell down the ranking of K-Pop Star. She wasn’t eliminated, but had to compete again for a spot in the TOP 10. She was left with other three teams with just one spot left.
Now, remember that thanks to Seung Hwan, YG would get to decide one person to go to the next round? Well, while the other three TOP 10 candidates from the rematch were chosen by an agreement between all three judges, the last one would be chosen only by Yang Hyun Suk.
YG admitted that he was between Katie and Park Hye Su. With just the two of them left for him to choose, “K-POP STAR” faced the most intense moment of the season, if not of all time. According to YG, it didn’t matter which one he would choose, since they were both so similar and the viewers were divided 50:50 when it came to which one they preferred.
In the end, YG decided to go with Katie, in who he had betted since the beginning. Despite advancing to TOP 10, Katie received harsh criticism from YG and he begged her to do much better in the next round so they could prove to the other judges that he had made the right decision.
That was when everything changed.
Katie was placed in Group B and had to battle against Jung Seung Hwan, Grace Shin, Lily M. and Park Yoon Ha. This became known as the death group since so many strong candidates were in it, and everyone thought that Katie would be the eliminated one. Since she was the last one to be chosen for TOP 10, she looked very weak among the rest of Group B.
And then, to everyone’s surprise, she gave one of the best performances of all the seasons of “K-POP STAR”. Check it out:
Katie received a standing ovation and not only wasn’t eliminated, but finished in the first place of Group B, beating four candidates that were considered the strongest of the season. For you to have an idea of how good Group B was, none of it’s candidates were eliminated at the end: Park Yoon Ha and Lily M. who had been left to the audience votes passed to the next round.
Katie continued to shine as she made it to TOP 6 with the votes of all three judges, winning against her friend Grace Shin, who was later eliminated. After receiving advice from Jinusean’s Sean, she received the highest scores from the judges during the battle for the TOP 4, and passed in first place.
She entered TOP 3 in second place, loosing only to Seung Hwan, and now will have the chance to become the next K-Pop Star. In the next episode, Katie will collaborate in a special stage with Lee Hi, which seems perfect since lots of people have been mentioning how similar they are.
After so many ups and downs, do you think she has what it takes to become the winner of “K-POP STAR 4”?
3. Lee Jin Ah
Lee Jin Ah was certainly the most peculiar “K-POP STAR” contestant of all time.
She first walked into the stage as if she didn’t own anything to anyone. When she first spoke, we were all caught by surprise. Her voice was so shrill that everyone thought “Can she really sing well?“. But it was all over when she started playing the piano.
Lee Jin Ah’s song was something that had never been heard before. As JYP pointed out, a mix of Soul, R&B and Jazz. How could such a young girl have composed such an elaborate song? When she sang, her sweet voice matched the melody so well that our hearts melted. Her song “Times Slows Down” became an instant hit and she advanced to the next round with the approval of all the judges and the promise to be one of the strongest candidates.
Her next song, “Follow Your Heart“, wasn’t so elaborate as the first one, but it was so touching that it almost brought the judges to tears. Little by little, we began to fall in love with her creations and in every episode the audience was more anxious about her performance.
However, Jin Ah had a tough time during the Team Mission. Her team, Three Siblings, performed an arranged version of G-Dragon‘s “Black“. Although the three of them were extremely good musicians, they didn’t blend well together, and ended up losing to Triple A (Esther Kim, Katie Kim and Ji Su Yeon).
She managed to go to the next round, but something still wasn’t right with her. She didn’t look like the Lee Jin Ah we first met. The judges pointed out that she might have become too confident after receiving so many good commentaries and topping so many charts.
During the Casting Audition, she received a harsh criticism from Yoo Hee Yeol that brought her to tears. However, he did it for her own good, and in the end casted her for Antenna Music before the other two judges could get a chance to cast her.
After training with Yoo Hee Yeol, Jin Ah was chosen to represent Antenna Music in the pre-battle and placed second within the best of the three companies. During the Battle Audition, though, she finally regained her title as one of the strongest contestants. Her self-written song “Yum Yum Yum” not only put her on TOP 10, but also topped many Korean charts. Check it out:
Lee Jin Ah was back on the tracks and just when we thought she couldn’t get better, she performed another self-composed song that all judges agreed that was too good for an audition show. “Rich in Winter” was named one of the most beautiful performances from “K-POP STAR” and not only the judges, but also the band, the conductor and the audience agreed that it should be featured in “Frozen 2“.
Check it out:
With “Rich in Winter”, Jin Ah got second place in Group A and advanced to the next round. Her next self-composed song, “Cheerleader Song“, didn’t do so well, and judges advised that she focused on her voice from now on, because they all knew how great her compositions were but were unsure if she would be best as a composer instead of a singer.
Since then, Jin Ah has only performed regular songs. She placed 4th and advanced to TOP 4 with Yoo Jae Ha‘s “Myself Reflected In My Heart“, and then got a perfect score from JYP with Sanulrim‘s “Reminiscence“. She tied with Katie Kim, but lost to her in the audience votes and ended up joining TOP 3 in third place.
Jin Ah’s composition skills are surely what brought her so far in the competition, although she has proved her talents as an artists during the las two rounds. What will she show us in the next round? Will it be enough to take her to the finals and win the show? We can’t wait to find out.
Now that you’ve come to know the TOP 3 contestants better, which one do you think that will win the fourth season of “K-POP STAR”? Let us know your guess by voting below:
Stay tuned to Officially Kmusic for the final results of “K-POP STAR 4”.
Edited by: LeighDarling