I Am A Singer 나는 가수다 18 December 2011

나는 가수다

The eleventh round will be the last set of episodes that Jaurim will be in, so we watch wondering if they will be able to graduate from the show like Kim Bumsoo and Park Junghyun or if they will just barely make it, like YB and Jang Hyejin. Plus, we get to see the first performance from former Boohwal singer, now contestant on the show Park Wangyu. On the commentary panel this week are: myself, Anna, and Widhi.

Click behind the jump to see what we have to say about the show and leave your thoughts and picks in the comments!

All performances can be watched from Bugs Music’s special 나는 가수다 site. Click the tab saying “12월 18일 방송” to find the performances discussed below.

New Singer, Park Wangyu

Park Wangyu, once of Korean rock band Boohwal, explains how he disliked the show at first but slowly came to appreciate its potential and explains a bit more about his position on the show. The producers note his rock vocalizing and that he’ll strike a contrast with Kim Kyungho. He also talks a little about becoming a father and a little about Korean rock.

Park Wangyu gets Ji Sangryul for a manager.

rd: Personally, I kind of like it when it’s a surprise as to who the new singer will be, but I’m willing to see if losing the surprise works for the show.

widhi: He looks tough and arrogant. Not a type which can be liked easily. Anyhow, let’s see his performance.

The Setlist

Jaurim will perform Kim Soochul’s “정신 차려” (Get a Hold of Yourself)

rd: This is a piece of 80’s Korean dance pop, so it looks like we’re going to get the fun side of Jaurim again for this performance. I have no doubt that they’ll adapt it to their style, but I find that their “fun” songs tend to survive on transformations and prefer their more focused (and stronger) interpretations, so I’m of mixed feelings on this selection.

Anna: 80’s Kim Soochul is so much fun. With Kim Yuna’s styling my anticipations are high.

Juckwoo will perform 봄 여름 가을 겨울 (Spring Summer Fall Winter)’s “어떤 이의 꿈” (Some Dream of This)

rd: A funky 80’s Korean pop selection for Juckwoo. I’m wondering if she just wants to bomb out on this show, since this is outside of the ballad style that she succeeded with on her debut performance. I do like singers trying different but for such an unknown to keep trying to change things up before she establishes herself might drive away what little fan support she has.

Gummy will perform Park Jinyoung’s “날 떠나지 마”

rd: Gummy too will take on a dance pop song, this time one from the 90’s (and JYP nonetheless). She proved the last round that she’s not only an R&B balladeer, so I think she might be able to pull this off since it’s not exactly a demanding song.

Anna: It’s another fun choice, but I do wonder if she can make it.

Bobby Kim will perform Patty Kim’s “가을을 남기고 간 사랑” (The Love that Left Behind Autumn)

rd: Bobby Kim seems to have this dilemma where he only wins the audience when he does more upbeat songs, whereas he’s really also part balladeer. In this case, he decided to give yet another ballad a shot. I don’t think it bodes well for his ranking, but he’s proven himself to be a capable interpreter of ballads, so I still look forward to it.

Anna: Patty Kim! This will be interesting.

Yoon Minsoo will perform g.o.d.’s “어머님께” (For My Mother)

rd: Yoon Minsoo taps a 90’s kpop rap/pop classic, which I think aligns with his strengths, so I think this will be a fine performance for him, although that means that I’m not likely appreciate it as well.

Anna: I love this song! Hope he can do it justice.

Kim Kyungho will perform Jeon Youngrok’s “아직도 어두운 밤인가 봐” (It Seems Like It’s Still a Dark Night)

rd: Kim Kyungho goes for an 80’s dance pop song, which after seeing his last adaptation of a dance pop song, means he’s going to rock it up. And I’m sure the audience will eat it up, because they always seem to love it when it rocks out.

Anna: There’s talk about a rock and heavy metal version. Seems like fun.

Park Wangyu will perform Kim Hyunshik’s “사랑했어요” (I Loved)

rd: A 90’s rock ballad. Well, Park is a rock singer, so it’s probably playing to his strengths, but I don’t know Park that well, so I’ll just have to watch and see.

Anna: I like the song, but wonder how he can pull it off without using that “dated” style of singing he criticised my favorite audition show competitor of in the beginning of the year…

widhi: As a summary for all because, again, I did not know all the songs quite well. I am quite a fan of Kim Hyunsik, so I looked forward to it the most. The one that Jaurim picked sounds so cute; I was more excited to see what kind of concept they would bring. Oh, the g.o.d one was also quite famous. Bring it on!

Yim Jaebum Visits

He drops by to give some encouragement and advice to Park Wangyu and Juckwoo, whom he knows.

Order Selection

A little change of course for set order selection. The singers will all pick together and the new singer will no longer automatically be given the last performance in new round. They just get first pick of the balls.

  1. Park Wangyu
  2. Juckwoo
  3. Gummy
  4. Bobby Kim
  5. Kim Kyungho
  6. Jaurim
  7. Yoon Minsoo

Park Wangyu’s “사랑했어요”

The song opens with a quiet piano intro. Park steps in channeling Kim Hyunshik’s vocal style into his own with a classic rock ballad backing. He puts a lot of power in the chorus and returns to the quieter verses. He puts in a power howl and vocalizing in the bridge.

rd: Park walks out with rocker swagger, a good start. I’m not sure if I’m seeing the real Park Wangyu though, since he plays it so close to the original. He does manage to belt it out in the chorus which shows he’s got a lot of vocal capacity and his voice is rather unique now in the show, since only Yim Jaebum previously occupied a similar timbre. I thought this was a good performance overall and definitely suggests that he should be able to contribute some good performances to the show, especially with his thick wail to contrast with Kim Kyungho’s vocal range.

widhi: I liked it! I fell in love with his voice. It was like Yim Jaebum’s lighter version, since Yim Jaebum was a little too hard for me. The emotion was there and he gave the impact to the song. It was a strong opening indeed.

Anna: He’s got a very strong voice and he’s using it well. The whole arrangement is classic power ballad, especially the guitar solo from Jeremy guitarist Jo Pilsung that also had helped out with the arrangement. Park Wangyu may be arrogant and annoying to watch, but he most definitely knows how to sing.

Juckwoo’s “어떤 이의 꿈”

There’s a slow funk build to the song with a chorus before Juckwoo drops in her husky voice. There are some rock guitar solos and the song builds up towards the end and does give her a chance to drop in some power moments with her voice.

rd: I take it back, since this is rather paced song and Juckwoo’s definitely able to reach into a more masculine range with her deep husky voice, it wasn’t a terrible pick. But it does sound like she’s reaching a bit, occasionally off pitch, and her stage presence is rather flat for such a funky song. She does much better than her last performance and Juckwoo does establish her unique singing style here, but I don’t think it’s enough for her to keep up with the other singers.

widhi: It surprisingly fit her well. What I liked the most from her performance is that now she tried to show the stronger side of her. It was weaker compared to the previous performance but what I liked the most from the performance was when she sang “나는 누굴까” part, it was like she was singing that part from the bottom of her heart.

Anna: I don’t like the funk arrangement. It is a considerably better match for her voice than last time, but it’s still far from good. After having listened to and loved the deep and beautiful voice of Nahm Sangah for many years, it’s easy to think that Juckwoo could’ve done better. She’s got a great voice, but made another poor song pick.

Gummy’s “날 떠나지 마”

It’s a 80’s funk style arrangement for the song led by chants from Gummy and back and forth to the chorus. The live instrumentation gives the song a warm color and she raps on the bridge. She dances throughout the piece and closes with a coy tease.

rd: I think Gummy does well as a performer, even if her singing isn’t quite as solid, getting shaky as she reaches higher volumes and when she moves a lot. The song is fun and I think Gummy does a decent job of engaging the audience. Her rap was unspectacular, but she didn’t bomb it either. A fun performance and certainly more engaging than Juckwoo, but I think it’s limited by the original song’s cheerful and non-dynamic writing.

widhi: Gummy keeps disappointing me. It was fun but it didn’t impress me at all. I even thought that the original sounds better. The rap part was boring and rather useless. She really needs to work on her vocal because the performance will not help her again next time.

Anna: It’s a pretty straightforward performance, until the rap part that is. The rap does more to disrupt than support. The butt touching at the end was unnecessary.

Bobby Kim’s “가을을 남기고 간 사랑”

Bobby plays this ballad out on the chair again, although it starts with a cool harmonic-touched guitar, building in a folk-soul hybrid sound. There’s a little bit of a build halfway into the song where it picks up in tempo, adding in percussion.

rd: I have to say that I love this arrangement, especially the woodwind flourishes. Bobby sings as per his usual ballad style, with good expressiveness. Honestly, this is the kind of soul singing Bobby Kim that I’m fond of, although the tempo/volume up in the second half seemed unnecessary. Unfortunately, I think this kind of easy cool song will simply not go over well audience in comparison to the more energetic performances.

widhi: What I like from Bobby Kim is that he can really make a song sounds like his original song. The arrangement of this song was also lovely. He could really make a song which can be enjoyed by the song itself. The flute sound blown me away along with the percussion sound. This one might not be strong from the performance department but it is very ear-pleasing song.

Anna: Not my style of arrangement, but it’s not a bad performance. At the end of it however my feelings are indifferent.

Kim Kyungho’s “아직도 어두운 밤인가 봐”

An orchestral opening to the song changes the pace a little and establishes drama. Kim starts quiet, but the beat quickly establishes itself and the song rocks out immediately. In the middle, Kim gets the audience chanting “rock” before returning to the song.

rd: I actually really like what Kim Kyungho does with his singing on this song, which goes from quiet, to wailing, to gruff and varies in tempo as well. But I am sensing a kind of repeat of his previous dance pop adaptation, although I appreciate that this arrangement wasn’t as chaotic, but I feel like this original song doesn’t quite have a climax and thought that would’ve been the bump to take it to the next level.

widhi: Kim Kyungho got the formula and he just kept repeating it again and again. It is no longer fun for me. I even thought he was kind of burdened to compete with Park Wangyu. It also sounded shaky a little or maybe it was just his style. But I knew for sure that the crowd would like it. The merrier, the happier the audience. Nevertheless, I still liked the violin sound combined with the guitar, it gave me chill.

Anna: I’ve always been a sucker for strings in a rock setting. Kim Kyungho get’s it going fast and headbangs more during this one song than we’ve seen him do so far all shows together. Almost feels like he overdid it, and like Widhi I suspect this comes from Park Wangyu entering the show. I like the arrangement of the song more than Kim Kyungho’s performance.

Jaurim’s “정신 차려”

Kim Yuna opens with a kazoo alongside keyboards and moves into a cute, jazzy singsong. Once Lee Sungyu’s guitar comes in, it’s with a playful rockabilly sound, complete with horns, giving the piece a bit of swing and Kim Yuna’s voice, even when it goes up in volume, stays playful. The transformation mid-song brings in SIDE-B for some rapping to a ska-fueled background, which the song retains until its conclusion, with a break and energetic coda.

rd: If there’s anything that Jaurim’s good at, it’s unique dynamic theatrical performances. They really adapt the song into their own style. It’s a really fun arrangement and the band doesn’t overdo the transformations. This is perhaps the most naturally playful performance that the band has done on the show and while I prefer their power performances, I have to say that I liked this one too. It is simply different, so I’m not sure how the audience will take it in comparison, but I have faith that this fun performance will win them over.

widhi: I loved it! Jaurim is always knew how to please me with their concept. A very fun and cute arrangement but we all know that Kim Yuna surely got the strengh with her voice. They can even made this song sound like their own song. I just love you guys! The opening and the “정신차려” part were the best.

Anna: The opening is simple but very effectual. And not only do we get to see SIDE-B, but Super Kidd is on the stage! It’s a fun performance, but not the blast I had been expecting.

Yoon Minsoo’s “어머님께”

Yoon Minsoo’s dropped the dreadlocks again. The usual quiet opening accompanied by piano keeps this in line with Yoon’s typical style. The rapper comes in for a quiet performance. In some ways this mirrors last week’s performance with the rapper handling a kind of narrative to contrast against Yoon’s singing, which stays in the quiet range, brimming with emotion. In the half, the rap becomes more intensified and so does Yoon.

rd: I think this would have won me over had this not been sort of a repeat of last week’s performance, with the rapper taking over the female narrator’s place. It does work on the same level, so I can’t ignore it entirely, but it’s hard not to see the parallels and find that Yoon Minsoo keeps reaching into the same box of tricks for his music, so this left me colder than it should have.

widhi: I couldn’t help to compare the performance to the last week’s one. The style was kind of similar, or maybe way to similar. However, what I liked from this performance was Yoon Minsoo was able to make this song even sound sadder. It almost brought me into tears when I listened to his voice. He is really good at delivering emotional song like this.

Anna: It does feel like a repetition of last week. Nevertheless I think it was a good choice for him to keep some actual rap but featuring somebody else for it. The beginning is too weak, so it feels good when he finally puts some power behind it. It almost lifts to the same level as the original.

Personal Picks

rd: 1) Jaurim, 2) Park Wangyu, 3) Kim Kyungho, 4) Bobby Kim, 5) Yoon Minsoo, 6) Gummy, 7) Juckwoo
Some parts of this order were difficult to choose between, but the rockers hold the top tier this round for me, with Jaurim’s playful performance winning me over the most. Park and Kim were really close for me, but perhaps I’ve seen too much of Kim Kyungho doing the same thing and the echoing his previous performance, put him under Park, who won second since I had no expectations and he performed well. Juckwoo was better than last week, but that’s still not quite up to anyone else’s performance. Bobby Kim holds the middle for me, since the mid-song change in the arrangement didn’t quite work for me, but Bobby’s flavor was still unique. Yoon Minsoo and Gummy were in the same range for me, but I gave it to Yoon because of his more polished vocal performance.

widhi: 1) Jaurim, 2) Yoon Minsoo, 3) Park Wangyu, 4) Bobby Kim, 5) Juck Woo, 6) Kim Kyungho, 7) Gummy
It was really hard to pick the top 4 for me. Park Wangyu won over Bobby Kim because of the emotion of the song that I could feel better. Gummy was definitely the last for me. I hope Juck Woo will be able to gain her strength again. If she keeps being emotional, it will not help him at all.

Anna: 1) Park Wangyu, 2) Jaurim, 3) Kim Kyungho, 4) Yoon Minsoo, 5) Gummy, 6) Bobby Kim, 7) Juckwoo
Another week with Juckwoo clearly in the bottom. The top three all did a good job, but Park Wangyu surprised me the most and even I’m beginning to have a bit too much of the usual Kim Kyungho. The next three while at a much lower level also did a very similar job. I had big difficulties picking between the three, but looking at the end result it seems as though I ranked them according to my preference for the original songs.

The Results

1st Place
Kim Kyungho

rd: This is not surprising, since it’s a repeat of his last high energy performance and I liked it better than that one, but it’s hard seeing that Kim is just running the same tricks time and time again. I guess the audience likes those tricks because they keep giving him high marks for it.

widhi: No surprise here. same trick, same result.

Anna: Although I think he overdid it a bit, it did seem to resonate very well with the audience.

2nd Place
Park Wangyu

rd: The rockers hold the top two tiers! And Yoon Dohyun was so concerned at the start of the show that no one listened to rock. Well, these two proved that he has no reason for concern.

widhi: Yes, rock will never die! 1st performer getting in the top tier is good, right?

Anna: I’m enjoying the impromptu “Rock Will Never Die” act from the two rockers.

3rd Place
Yoon Minsoo

rd: Another mirror to his last similar performance just the past week. I’m really getting cynical about this audience.

widhi: This is actually nice but if he give the same performance again next time, it can’t be helped but to say bye bye to him.

4th Place

rd: Jaurim holds the middle, so I guess their uniqueness won over enough of the audience. With only one more performance left, I hope they blow us away next time!

widhi: Guys, you need to graduate! Hope for the best. To beat the rockers was hard.

Anna: I had expected them to place higher, but then the Korean audience has proven much more fond than me of Yoon Minsoo’s vocal style before.

5th Place

rd: Ooh, a surprise for me. I though the hate would continue. I guess the audience liked her funky performance, even if her vocals were a touch shaky.

widhi: If she keeps her strength like this, she will definitely gain more support.

Anna: This is unbelieavable! Except for her very first performance on the show she’s done nothing to show that she actually is a singer.

6th Place

rd: Gummy wasn’t quite as peppy as the other more energetic performers, but I imagine it was actually a close call between her and Juckwoo and both suffered from inconsistent vocals. Of course, that doesn’t matter when it comes to who got seventh.

widhi: It was probably because of the performance. Only because of it.

Anna: I’d like to imagine this is because of her rap. Singingwise her vocals were much stronger than Juckwoo.

7th Place
Bobby Kim

rd: This was expected. I absolutely believe that the audience will never reward Bobby Kim for making his cool laid back soul. I like this performance. It wasn’t my favorite of Bobby Kim’s, but I liked it all the same and am glad that he chose to disregard audience taste and do what he likes. Of course, that might mean we see the end of him on the show after next round, letting Jaurim graduate, but I’d rather see more genuine performances from him than pandering to the audience.

widhi: Ballad and soul are not good combination to get the audience’s support. Anyhow, Bobby… fighting!

Anna: He better get back to his fun and energetic performances till next time.

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