Top Band 3: Expectations

End of July it was announced that KBS2 will start broadcasting Top Band 3–a new season if its band audition format premiered in 2011–his October. Application has been open for most of August and this week the band’s that will be called in for continued auditions should be announced. Since the Top Band 2 commentary series I’ve rounded up some of the old panel members to talk about our initial expectations: Sangha of Strange Seasons, Lightinthemind of Korean Rock is Real, Xtian of Korean Indie, and Youngmi.


Anna: I’m so excited that we finally get the third season of Top Band! I think the 3 years since the previous season was a good break. I’ve had time to forget most about what I disliked with the second season and am instead more curious to see what they will make of it this time. How much will we recognize from previous seasons and have much will be new? Although I must admit that when the teaser came, I was a bit thrown off


Anna: I felt like the teaser was misrepresenting reality a bit, making it look as though the participating bands got famous thanks to Top Band, when that was the case only for Toxic and Rose Motel. Sure, the bands especially in the first season got a lot more exposure and gained plenty of fans thanks to the show but both Gate Flowers and Broken Valentine had some name recognition also previously. Or perhaps I’m just overly negative from the start. Even more false was to highlight Son Seung Yeon when she really got famous through Voice Korea, even though her vocals were likely the main reason why WMA did as well in the first season as they did.

Sangha: I agree – I’d even argue that the only band that really got anything out of Top Band was Rose Motel. They’ve done great for themselves since then, mainstream-wise, while all the other bands might’ve done well in the indie scene but haven’t really broken through to the mainstream since the show.

Youngmi: Hello everyone! We’re back! How exciting it’s as if time didn’t pass at all! Okay back to business. I was taken aback when I realized that the third season was happening. Is this really happening? What could they possibly throw at us next? Are Wondergirls going to make a cameo? The teaser didn’t explain much, but maybe I should do my research because I don’t even know what format or rules they’re going with.

Anna: That the number of episodes has been limited to 12 is a good sign, I’d say. That they are now accepting auditions also from people not already in a band, I’m feeling way more ambiguous about. The solo applicants can audition for position of vocalist, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, drummer, or as somebody playing a different instrument. Will they be able to form bands as they please, or will the judges put them together? Will they have already practiced together before we get to see them first time on TV? Sure, the vocal groups put together through audition shows have been successful in the past (One Direction, etc.), but is it even possible to achieve the same with a band? Maybe if all are really talented musicians they can play well together as soon as they recognize each others’ styles, but creative direction when it comes to making new arrangements etc.? Lots of potential for drama there, I would guess.

Anna: I’m a bit disappointed that this time the auditions are sent in via email, so we don’t have the same transparency as we got when all the videos were posted on Daum last year. Maybe it’s to spare embarrassment from bands that auditioned but didn’t make it? Anyway, did either of you hear about any bands that have auditioned so far? Just from looking at social media I would guess that at least Messgram has, but it has been surprisingly quiet about all things Top Band 3 on my Facebook feed. Who would you like to see this time around? And would you prefer mostly unknown bands as in the first season, or big established ones as in the second season?

Sangha: I honestly don’t know what kind of a season this will be – the first and second seasons really differed from each other, and I feel like this will be also quite different. I’m hoping to see some new faces this time around, instead of the hot popularity contest that season two ended up being.

Xtian: I’m skeptical about Top Band coming back. I really enjoyed YB‘s Must show and while Top Band did bring some names to the fore, we weren’t exposed to new bands except for the beginning elimination rounds, like Sangha is saying. I want a judge to take a chance on a new band, dammit!

Xtian: Regarding the solo thing, I hope that isn’t a band forming thing. If Top Band 3 is aiming for the One Direction of K-rock, fine. Just seems awfully unfair if judges pick and choose individual pieces to create a new band to compete against established ones.

Youngmi: I’m skeptical and have a negative outlook towards the show as well which isn’t very fair since it hasn’t even started yet. However, I’m willing to give it a chance and also hoping for more opportunities for musicians and bands that might not the same chances elsewhere.

Youngmi: It’s disappointing to hear they are accepting solo applicants with the intent of putting bands together (Is that the case? What is happening? I really need to read up more). Although if you think about it that is kinda how you start a band (you get a group of people together). I just don’t know how well it would turn out especially on live television.

Lightinthemind: I’m also skeptical about the 3rd season. If only we could see clear scheme of the show and that’s true not only for us but also for other people. Would it be great for musicians to know what this show is supposed to be? Or for fans to know? Also I hesitate about the idea of growing a rookie band under the show’s roof and making it fighting against already good teamwork band. First – because in S.Korea there are lots of good bands still unknown. And second – because for artificially created group I can see future only of CNBlue and other ‘pretend-to-be-rockers’ bands.

Lightinthemind: Btw am I the only one who has noticed poor advertisement and low quality of the teaser? As if this show isn’t smth worth to spend money on for producers^^ Then will we be able to see normal set design, scene and music equipment? Thus I still hope.

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