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The buzz on Sunday’s MBC I am a Singer + Seunggi cooks 2nd place dish on 1N2D

*** UPDATE: MBC, KBS, SBS comparison real-time Sunday night ratings ***

1 Night 2 Days is still my fave variety show, but I’m loving MBC’s new Sunday show, “Survivor: I am a Singer.” And LSGfan isn’t the only one.  This “American Idol” like show featuring 7 older, veteran respected singers (as opposed to Kpop idols) has gotten a lot of buzz since it started airing just a few weeks ago, and already has higher ratings than the previous shows it replaced. But it’s also been mired in controversy all week after only 3 broadcasts because contestant, nation’s singer Kim Gun Mo, was given a second chance to return to the survivor-esque show, despite the public’s votes putting him in last place for his performance…

This controversy resulted in the departure of the show’s PD and talk of Kim Gun Mo possibly leaving the show, as well as the show altogether being canceled.  Despite the controversy, the show just pulled in higher ratings than the previous week.  Although all the singers and genres are not my cup of tea music-wise, their talent is amazing and the production of the show keeps you completely on the edge of your seat.  And to see the human side of these professional, respected singers going through this type of stress and turmoil is probably one of the things that’s been drawing viewers to the show; that is, in addition to their amazing voices!

  • See 1N2D ratings green tab at the top for all Sunday night ratings.

Ok, so aside from being a fan of “I am a Singer,” there’s a bunch of real Seunggi connections to the show!  The scoop on the 7 contestant singers, LSGfan version…

1) Yoon Do Hyun-

Lead singer of YB rock band. Former MC of long-running KBS music program Love Letter.  Yoon Do Hyun’s shown a lot of love for Seunggi since he debuted as a singer and continues to be a fanboy, even tweeting about “cute Seunggi” when My Girlfriend is a Gumiho began airing.  More on Yoon Do Hyun-Seunggi and why LSGfan is such a big fan~ 

Yoon Do Hyun’s 2nd performance was freaking awesome and put him in first place for that voting.  Each of the 7 singers spun a wheel which listed famous singer’s songs to determine their assigned song.  And just by chance, Yoon Do Hyun got Seunggi’s mentor/teacher Lee Sun Hee’s song.  Love Yoon Do Hyun!

Yoon Do Hyun practicing  + awesome Performance  (Videos deleted!)

2) Baek Ji Young-

Drama OST queen.  She can move you to tears with her raw emotion. She had hit songs for the Secret Garden and Iris OST albums.  And of course got to sing with 2pm’s Taec for My Ear’s Candy.  She’s a super close sunbae to Seunggi.  She made it to the final round of Seunggi’s Ideal Type World Cup, but eventually lost out to SNSD’s Yoona!  She was Seunggi’s special guest at his 2009 Concert and they dueted My Ear’s Candy (which um, Sunggi seemed to enjoy way too much!) and also performed at 2009 MBC Gayo.  Also Kang Hodong’s good friend and appeared on both 1N2D viewer special segments. Love Baek Jiyoung, as does everyone else!

Baek Ji Young – Seunggi, 2009, Hope Concert + MBC Gayo

3) Lee Sora-

Total diva. Very moody.  And has her quirks.  Makes for great television!  She’s both a contestant as well as the MC for the performances part of “I am a Singer.”  Seunggi sang her hit song “Please” for his 2006 remake album, which got a lot of love.  He also received her blessing to remake the song, which was supposedly a big deal since the woman is super intimidating, as evidenced on the show!

Please, Lee Seung Gi, Official MV, 2006

Watch MV at YT link. (Please- starts at 3:55). Part of a longer MV from When a Man Loves a Woman remake album compilation. Would so love to see tough Lee Seung Gi again! Please, can we make this happen in his next drama?! Jebal!

Please, Lee Seung Gi, KBS Gayo performance, Dec. 2006

(video: tkfkd111)

4) Kim Bum Soo-

30-something year old super talented singer with an amazingly clear voice.  Very respected and super likeable and sincere, which goes a long way for Korean viewers! Didn’t know much about him  prior to this show, but definitely had heard of his name.  I think he’s done a lot of OST songs.  For the 3rd performance, the “I am a Singer” contestants again spun the wheel which assigned them to sing one of their fellow contestant singer’s song. Kim Bum Soo got Lee Sora’s “Please.”

And he placed #1 on Sunday with the most number of public votes for his rendition of “Please.”  On the show, he mentioned that Seunggi had his own flair when he sang it.  But, omg, Kim Bum Soo’s rendition was amazing!  Rock ballad the way it should be… (Even as a Seunggi fan, I have to say this tops Seunggi’s version.  Can’t help to prefer Actor/MC Seunggi over him as a singer. Please don’t hate me Airen fans!).

Kim Bum Soo singing Lee Sora’s “Please” on I am a Singer (Video deleted)

5) Kim Gun Mo-

Nation’s singer commanding major respect from everyone.  But also where all the “I am a Singer” controversy began.  Basic gist~  He received the lowest number of public votes in the first round, shocking everyone.  It appears his comical lipstick smearing at the end of his 2nd performance did not endear him to the voters.  Anyway, in shock about Kim Gun Mo leaving, his fellow singers beg that he stay for one more chance and ask the show’s PD to consider this.  The PD thinks it’s a good idea and says the ultimate choice is Kim Gun Mo’s.  He takes this second chance opportunity and stays.  The PD decides that each singer will get a second chance.

However, this outrages viewers and netizens.  They feel~ The rules are the rules, and now giving everyone a second chance doesn’t seem to fit the concept of the show.  Plus, when someone has to leave, there is a new singer waiting to take his/her place, so how about these people?  Anyway, controversy all last week and now the PD has been fired, which was sad since he was one of the main reasons the singers signed on for the show.  And Kim Gun Mo has indicated that he may leave so as not to harm the show any further.

Honestly, not a big fan of Kim Gun Mo.  He’s definitely not the most endearing guy on the show.  Anyway, he recently sang on the My Girlfriend is a Gumiho OST, which Seunggi had expressed was such a thrill to have such a renown veteran on the album.  It’s that sort of funny song that plays when Daewoong is being mischievous…

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Fanmade MV, Kim Gun Mo, Oh La La.

(video: ACVfrTeam; Dramatomy)

6) Jung Yup-

Didn’t know him prior to this show.  But I guess his recent songs have been getting a lot of love.  Unfortunately, he came in last place on Sunday’s episode.  Like Kim Gun Mo, he was given the choice to return again as a second chance opportunity or leave.  And he took it like a man, and decided that he would accept the public’s votes and therefore was voted off.  This all makes it a little weird since Kim Gun Mo chose to stay while JungYup made the decision to leave.  Anticipate the press writing about related controversy all this week!

At the request of Lee Sun Hee (Seunggi’s teacher and mentor), Jung Yup (as part of Brown Eyed Soul) wrote/composed songs for Seunggi and also penned Shin Min Ah’s song “Sha La La” for My Girlfriend is a Gumiho OST.

Recap of Jung Yup, Seunggi, and Teacher Sun Hee were on on MBC Come to Play (April/May 2011):

Jung Yup happened to get assigned Yoon Do Hyun’s “I Will Forget” and he chose to remake the song in a completely different way… which I think led to him getting the least amount of votes.  “I Will Forget” is a classic, beloved song and Jung Yup’s rendition was so different, it felt like a different song, and not in a good way.  I definitely didn’t get a good vibe from the start, and the other singers and people on the show also felt the same way.  Plus, LSGfan may be a bit biased since Seunggi and Yoon Do Hyun doing “I Will Forget” is still one of my fave Seunggi performances…

I Will Forget, Lee Seung Gi [Yoon Do Hyun’s radio show, 2008]

(Video: Rapport2010; Bedifferent; DaumBlog/netbklgsss)

7) Park Jung Hyun (aka Lena Park)-

Another one of the singers I knew little about, but knew was super well-respected singer and admired.  And totally does not look like she is 36 years old!  Very cute and could totally pass as ice queen Kim Yuna. Actually at first, I thought it was Yuna!  Their similarity in looks is uncanny!  Park Jung Hyun came in first place in the first round and looks to be one of the strongest contestants.  Watch her rendition of Kim Gun Mo’s song from Sunday’s performance at YT link.

Sunday ratings and 1n2d

“I am a Singer” is Part 1 of MBC’s new Sunday night lineup, Part 2 being “New Hire.”  MBC’s prior Sunday lineup was majorly struggling in the ratings department, which resulted in the the cancellation of MBC “Hot Brothers” and “Enjoy Sunday.”

The show isn’t in direct competition with KBS Happy Sunday’s Part 2 program, 1N2D.  However, on Sunday, MBC smartly aired two back-to-back episodes of “I am a Singer.” The Korean press is dying for a ratings horse race so they’re already intimating that the show is putting the heat on 1N2D.  But come on, really?  Everyone knows that the single 1N2D rating is still way ahead!

UPDATE: As expected, Press is reporting comparison real-time tv ratings

By the way, loved Sunday’s 1n2d!  Aw, the 6 guys and Dara Park snowman…

Feeding the seagulls out at sea!  Wish I could travel with these guys!

Can’t get enough of Taewoong and Seunggi together.  Korean 1n2d fans and the press are loving the pair too.  Even one of the writers alluded to this on Sunday’s 1n2d, saying that Taewoong appeared to really like Seunggi, more so than Hodong, after Taewoong kept on leaning and hugging Seunggi’s arm! hahaha…

Video clip~ Taewoong-Hodong-Seunggi

[Soogeun wins cooking competition. Winner gets to choose one person to sleep indoors. Since Taewoong chose Soog after he won the race, he gives Taewoong the honor, jokingly advising that he should probably choose Hodong!  Hodong is touched and asks why do you like me?]

UTW: I just like you.
WRITER: Seems you like Seunggi more, so why’d you choose Hodong?
UTW: I like [Hodong].
LSG: If you like him, then go over there by him!

(Video: tryp96; English: LSGfan)

Want to see them paired on a mission together! Aw…

And congrats to Seunggi for coming in 2nd place in the cooking competition! But I think the judge (the 1n2d show ajumma cook, who even Hodong mentioned, has a soft spot favoritism for Seunggi!) had a feeling about which one was Seunggi’s dish!

(Videos: As indicated; Images: Naver, DClsg)

4 Responses

  1. I couldn’t understand initially why with the 6th member who’s so popular, the ratings for 1N2D seemed worse than when there were only 5 of them. Now I see the light…thanks Ann for your post. I must say the MBC show seemed really interesting & something that I would like to watch as well.

    As for who sings “Please” better, I personally prefer Seung Gi’s version. Although I didn’t understand the lyrics, he sang it so beautifully that I was really touched by his performance !

  2. I like LSG and UTW too! And yay for 1n2d ratings!

    I heard I am A singer is going off air for a month. not sure if it’s true. After reading your post I watched some clips and it’s really suspenseful. I like it. But 1n2d forever!

  3. Hey, do you know where I could find realtime ratings?

    • Korean AGB nielsen website allows free access to top ranked tv rated shows for regular tv and cable, but in order to get real-time ratings access, you have to sign up and pay a fee — and it aint’ cheap! which is why you rarely see real-time ratings charts posted on a regular basis.

      It’s 30,000 KRW for 1 hour usage and 50,000 KRW for 2 hours usage. so i doubt most typical viewers are using this, but as for broadcast insiders, you can bet they are probably logged on regularly!

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