Volume 1 / Chapter 18
“Did you find some good kids?”
The ‘Tomorrow’s Star” crew was scouring the internet in search of performers who could become topics of conversation this season. They interviewed people who had potential to catch interest to see if there was a story to tell. If the growth story and singing skill surpassed expectations, they extended an invitation to audition.
It was enough if there was even a minute story. The writers could blow up that story so it would be suitable to air on the program.
Season 2 of ‘Tomorrow’s Star” had hit jackpot.
The winner of season 2, Heo Jun of Kyeonggi-do, Bucheon dreamt of being a singer while making a scanty living cleaning windows of large buildings. Short, chubby, and in no way considered attractive, he came out on top on singing ability alone and won $200,000.
The dramatic reversal story was that he was competing against 2nd place James Park, a 2nd generation Korean American.
2nd place James Park was the son of a successful businessman in America, at the time attending a prestigious university, and very handsome.
Up to this point was the reversal story that aired on broadcast. The reality?
1st place Heo Jun had an affiliated agency before his appearance on the program. The agency was small and only had a couple singers specializing in event performances. Heo Jun’s main source of income came from the money earned for singing at local events. Of course the pay was not generous.
Washing windows had been just one of the many part time jobs he had taken when he did not have many performances lined up. The writers were the ones who had inflated it to create a reversal story.
He was a good enough singer to be in 1st place. Once they were down to the top 3 contestants however, any one of them could have been the winner without question.
1st place was ultimately an issue of contract conditions. Who laid out the conditions more favorable to the broadcasting station? This was the decisive factor in determining 1st place.
Heo Jun’s company forfeited most of his profits to take this once-in-a-lifetime chance. When he debuted his first album, it blew up on the three main channels, cable music channels, and digital charts, also taking 1st place on all 3 main music programs.
Of course the broadcasting station took most of the profits that came from this. Only in principle was the $200,000 prize money a predecessor to the revenue the singer would make from selling his debut album.
These contract terms are never revealed to the viewers.