Top Band 3: Rose Motel’s Group Contest

The third season of KBS2 band survival show Top Band will reach a conclusion this Saturday, but as life has gotten busy Indieful ROK’s Top Band 3 commentary series has fallen behind. Last time we looked at how the bands coached by Yoon Il Sang competed amongst each other. Today myself, Kevin, and Xtian of Korean Indie have a look at the 5th episode, broadcast October 31st, focusing on the bands coached by Rose Motel. If you want to watch the show yourself all episodes can be streamed from the official site



Camping with Rose Motel

Rose Motel and the bands spend their time at a camping ground.

Anna: All the bands are in costume. But perhaps that to be expected when they have the members of Rose Motel as coaches. Yook Joong Wan mis-pronounces Wasted Johnny’s as “자니” rather than “쟈니” while the band laughs…I’m now wondering how many times I’ve done the same.

Kevin: Well, that’s quite an entrance – riding in on a boat while “Paradise” by T-Max is playing. Rose Motel always reminding us that we shouldn’t take them too seriously, I guess. The bands’ outfits are very nice though, I’ll say that. The outdoor scenery is also beautiful once again. Looks like a great spot to go camping.


Mission: Make a song

  • A’Z bus with Rose Motel guitarist Kang Jun Woo and drummer Im Kyung Sub
  • Streetguns with Rose Motel guitarist Bae Sang Jae
  • Wasted Johnny’s with Rose Motel vocalist Yook Joong Wan
  • What A Circus with Rose Motel bassist Yoon Jang Hyun

Anna: A very bold mission, I’d say, but an interesting way for the coaches to get to know their bands. Seems like guitar is the only instrument any band intends to use for this.

Kevin: They seemed to enjoy themselves at least. I bet they will have good use of this mission. It’s important for people to realize that no matter how popular a band is, they’re still normal humans as well. So it’s good for them to get comfortable with each other and create better teamwork in the process.


Camping Cooking

“Big Mama” Lee Hye Jung comes out to the camping ground to see how the bands handle the cooking assignment and provide some tips.

  • Golbaengi muchim by Streetguns
  • Yangjangpi by What A Circus
  • Topokki by A’Z bus
  • Spicy chicken stew by Wasted Johnny’s

Lee Hye Jung starts by tasting the topokki. She soon asks for water and states that it’s too salty before appointing one point out of five. The sea snail offered by Streetguns seems more to her liking. The chicken stew elicits a similar response as the topokki. However, the yangjangpi elicits the more positive response.

Anna: I’m not a picky eater and don’t really mind a bit of sea snail when served to me, but out of these dishes only the topokki looked somewhat tasty…

Kevin: I’m actually a very picky eater, especially when it comes to Korean cuisine. I’m not one for overly spicy food or tons of vegetables, though I really like cucumber. It’s like, sure, the food here looks tasty, but sadly I know it’s not something I would enjoy eating.

Xtian: Waitwaitwaitwait, wut? Is this Top Band, or Running Man? I didn’t realize that a music competition show required cooking challenges and costumes o_O


Streetguns – 부귀영화

Anna: Streetguns goes country! I’m liking the initial enthusiasm of the members clapping their hands and stomping their feet.

Kevin: It looks pretty cold there, so props for them all to perform so well. Yeah, everyone was very enthusiastic and that created a very pleasant atmosphere.

Xtian: That was so fun! The song was cool and can see it going places if they decide to flesh it out in the future.


Wasted Johnny’s – Enchanté

Anna: Angie plays the guitar and sings while the guys dance and chant “Enchanté”. “Let’s get wasted with Wasted Johnny’s.” Nice one!

Kevin: I’m loving that swing dance they’re making use of, though it wasn’t perfectly synced which is just a minor nitpick. This was a very fun and playful performance. The “Enchanté” chant was a nice touch, especially since one of guys are from France.


What A Circus – 코르사주 좀 빌려줘

Anna: With that hairdo the blond guy looks a bit like Kakihara in Ichi The Killer. Fairly nice tune, this one too. And they’ve got a sax, too

Kevin: I agree with the Kakihara comparison. That’s a great movie, by the way. Another playfully sweet performance with easy-to-follow choreography that fit quite well with the song.

Xtian: The song’s fine, but nothing to write home about.


A’Z bus – 그래도 한다

Anna: Percussion with a sand filled water bottle and some whistling from the guys accompanying 우주 while she sings and plays the guitar. I liked this almost as much as the performance from Wasted Johnny’s. “A’Z bus swag” indeed.

Kevin: I personally prefer Wasted Johnny’s performance. The water bottle shaking is a unique idea, but it just comes off as laughable. The whistling was also not that good, though I guess I can’t really blame them since my whistling skills are also lacking. Great performance nonetheless. The guitar and vocals make it all worthwhile.

Xtian: Loved that~! The “A’Z Bus swag” line sealed it for me. For such a DIY performance, I appreciated the effort to fill in their sound with the bottle shaker and the whistling. Liking this one better than the Wasted Johnny’s.


Camping Mission Results

Yook Joong Wan picks A’Z bus and Wasted Johnny’s as the top performances. The members of the other bands get to vote for their favorite, putting Wasted Johnny’s first with 8 votes. As a price Wasted Johnny’s get to pick the starting order for the elimination stage performances.

Anna: Sweet vote between 2 worthy candidates.

Kevin: I had a good feeling about Wasted Johnny’s. They definitely deserve this.

Xtian: Wish it was A’Z Bus, but it was a deserved win for Wasted Johnny’s.


Mission: Mix & Match

The first real mission for Rose Motel’s bands is to mix & match a song from somebody else with a self-written song.

Anna: Cold reception from the judges for Streetguns’ rehearsal. Even less enthusiasm presented for Wasted Johnny’s mix of “We Are More Than Just Lovers” with Lee Sang Eun’s “언젠가는”. I liked what little we heard from A’Z bus, but the Rose Motel members still don’t seem very impressed. But then it is a feedback session, after all, so better now than after the real performance. What A Circus managed better.


A’Z bus – 몬스터 + 셜록 (SHINee cover)

Anna: They’ve managed really well with the mix, making all sound very A’Z bus. I remember “Sherlock” for the SHINee comeback photos more than the song itself and wouldn’t even have been able to tell where it was integrated in this performance if I wasn’t already so fond of A’Z bus’ “Monster” from before. Loved this!

Kevin: As I said during Four Brother’s cover of “Balloons”, if I wasn’t already familiar with the lyrics of the original, I wouldn’t know this was a cover. However, I feel like A’Z bus does a better job at bringing in their own style and making it enjoyable. I’d say my only complaint would be that the intro here felt somewhat urgent and stressful. Still, a very interesting rendition. A lot of raw energy.

Xtian: Yes, yes, YES!! God, her voice is just killer! I didn’t care for that SHINee song, but they did a great job with mashing it to their “Monster” song.


What A Circus – 바퀴벌레 + 양화대교 (Zion.T cover)

Anna: It seems they’ve practiced really hard for this opportunity. Those were some terrible suits on all the members though. Contrary to A’Z bus, with this performance I’ve listened quite a bit to the cover song but not at all to What A Circus’ own track. I’m liking what I hear of “양화대교” more, but this kind of funk is far from my style. I do, however, appreciate the dance moves.

Kevin: Zion.T is an artist I highly respect and “양화대교” is in my opinion his golden opus. So with that in mind, I was prepared to be disappointed as it’s hard to top something so beautiful. However, What A Circus does a great job at changing up the song tremendously yet keeping it faithful to the original. This was a very good song to pick as it goes perfectly with the saxophone. It just kept getting better and better, especially with those backing vocals. I absolutely love this. Probably my favorite What A Circus performance so far.

Xtian: Gasp, Zion.T’s “Yanghwa Bridge”! I can’t wait…
Oh god no, just…no. I should’ve anticipated this, but man, no fucking way. I like the original and its sentimentality too much to want to hear it in this style. The talent is clearly there, what with the voice and the sax, but the song choice was awful.


Wasted Johnny’s – Dirty Woman + Hit The Road Jack (Ray Charles cover)

Anna: New songs combined and these two do seem to work better than what they showed during the rehearsals. “Hit The Road Jack” being a song the band covers frequently helps, I think. I liked it very much, but mostly because of all the energy and power exhibited by Angie.

Kevin: I love the idea of covering an English song with Korean lyrics, but this wasn’t all that impressive. It came off as over-the-top at times. Angie’s screams weren’t that good and the backing vocals didn’t make much of an impact unlike What A Circus. Not feeling this as much.

Xtian: So. Fucking. Good! Everything just clicked, and Angie shred so hard. Goose pimples all over.


Streetguns – Back To Me + 있다 없으니까 (Sistar19 cover)

Anna: I had completely missed this Sistar song previously but had to pause this performance to give it a listen already in the beginning since I liked this much more than anything else I’ve heard from Streetguns before. I wished they’d shown more. And I’ll need to reevaluate my opinion on Streetguns.

Kevin: I was already familiar with “있다 없으니까” and this did not disappoint me. Streetguns continue to impress me once again. They sure have come a long way since that silly audition which gave me a bad first impression. Great stuff here.

Xtian: This one was a winner for me. As much as I loved Wasted Johnny’s performance, Streetguns impressed me on this one a lot. I love the original, and what Streetguns did with the mid-tempo switch went over really well. Ace.



Anna: Cliffhanger time again. I came into this thinking for sure I’d like to see A’Z bus and Wasted Johnny’s move on, but now I’m all of a sudden thinking maybe A’Z bus and Streetguns would make for the more interesting choices. I think Rose Motel would definitely pick What A Circus though. Which band that’ll be their second choice is more of a gamble.

Kevin: I think all bands today to some extent deserve to move on, but I’m placing my bets on A’Z bus and definitely What A Circus (perfect choice for Rose Motel, that’s for sure). Wasted Johnny’s didn’t impress me as much this time but Streetguns have a lot of potential. It will be interesting to see how this turns out in the next episode.

Xtian: Did we figure out who won last week’s competition?
I hope Rose Motel go for what doesn’t make sense. What A Circus is too obvious a choice for them. I realize, though, that I’m hoping for the improbable.

Results cont.

The results were revealed in the beginning of episode 6.

Top 8:

  • What A Circus
  • A’Z bus


  • Wasted Johnny’s
  • Streetguns


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.