Volume 1 / Chapter 35
“What is the song?”
“It’s Park Ki Young’s ‘Start’.”
Yoon Jung Su tried to create laughter with his play on the song title, but nothing could make the nervous participants laugh. Yoon Jung Su’s expression became awkward.
The team members’ looked at Jun Hyuk who nodded lightly at them as a signal. The song started with his first guitar stroke and 4 minutes passed.
Everyone on the team had a look of reassurance on their faces that they had finished without making any mistakes and the four judges wore strange expressions. The judges had without a doubt listened to the song with awe and admiration, but their expressions had completely changed once it ended.
Lee Sung Chul was the first to grab the mic and he opened his mouth slowly,
“Um… It was good. This, well…”
Delaying the evaluation, he coughed a few times in embarrassment.
“The song is very good. Everyone sang well… The other teams split up the song but this team was unique and not one person stopped singing. They put in a chord when it wasn’t their part… ah… The only one who didn’t sing is the person on guitar, right?”
Everyone’s eyes settled on Jun Hyuk, but he just blinked back at Lee Sung Chul. Producer Kim who had been monitoring the close-up of Jun Hyuk’s face began to laugh again.
“Ha ha. That kid’s face is as though he doesn’t even care about the judges.”
Everyone in the staff room nodded their heads. This was the first time in five seasons that they had seen anyone so arrogant without any sign of tension.
“… And the rap was also really good. The feelings of the man who is the object of the one-sided love that was not in the original song. It was also very funny how you expressed that very indifferently… Who wrote that?”
“Yes, we wrote it.”
The two rappers could not hide their happiness from Lee Sung Chul’s compliment. However, they had to hide the traces of their laughter because of the following evaluation.
“Yet… It was generally good, but you all made a big mistake. Yoon Jung Su will probably be the one to tell you what that mistake was. I heard the song well.”
A mistake? The music and singing were perfect. Did Lee Sung Chul not say that himself? Everyone swallowed and gave Yoon Jung Su their attention.
Yoon Jung Su held the mic and smiled at Lee Sung Chul.
“Have you decided to avoid saying the invectives this season? Why do I have to say the bad things?”
“You have to get some of the abuse online. He he.”
Yoon Jung Su fixed his mic and his mood became serious.
“Well… you heard enough compliments, but I’ll say it again. The song was really good. At this rate, it could go on a concert stage immediately and there wouldn’t be any problem.”
The team members became excited again. They might be able to achieve a dream-like whole team pass.
“It was absolutely perfect as not one person showed where their disadvantages lied, and the chords were inserted exquisitely so that not one person stood out more than another. However…”
Everyone swallowed. It seemed like the real assessment was going to start now.
“….. However, that also means that there wasn’t anyone who was special. There wasn’t anyone that we as the judges were drawn to. To say it another way, should I say it was like food made with ordinary ingredients? It was very tasty, but we couldn’t find the ingredients and we couldn’t tell what the sauce was.”
Yoon Jung Su finished his assessment as the disappointed participants looked on,
“A good performance is the basic. That basic was executed perfectly, but there wasn’t anything special. Can I say that everyone was just passable? It felt like that. You worked hard.”
The third person to get the mic was the person who had newly joined the judges, Lee Eun Jin,
“The two of you said so many good things that I have nothing to add. Saying that you’re passable means that you were short of talent. If you have a weapon, you can’t hide it even if you try. It comes out while you’re singing. But there wasn’t anyone on stage whose weapon showed.”
Lee Eun Jin’s evaluation continued after a moment of sighing.
“There is someone who does need to receive an excellent evaluation, isn’t there? I’m sure you all know who it is. The chef who made admirable food with ordinary ingredients. That person needs to get good ratings for sure.”
The team members’ eyes naturally shifted to Jun Hyuk and Lee Eun Jin smiled,
“I see you are all telling us who that chef is.”
Producer Kim who was watching the evaluation with the most tension put down his worries. He was nervous because there had not been one word said about Jun Hyuk, but Lee Eun Jin who he had thought would be the most biting had moved the way he wanted her to. This was the signal that Lee Eun Jin was sending to Producer Kim Ki Sik.
She was saying that she would cooperate with Producer Kim Ki Sik and help him and not to forget it. She had done Producer Kim Ki Sik a favor and he would have to repay the debt at some time.
Thanks to Lee Eun Jin’s judgment, the viewers would not be able to raise issues even if Jun Hyuk went on to the next stage. The chef who made great food with mundane ingredients. This was enough.
The last person to get the mic was Song Jin Young of JYS and she wrapped it up with an intense assessment.
“This is a program that discovers stars through competition. You are all forgetting that. A song that’s like acapella? It’s nice to listen to. This is a boxing ring, not an afterschool club.”
All of the cameras focused on the judges. As the cameras were catching the judges share their thoughts and opinions, Lee Sung Chul took the mic,
“The people who passed this round are… the two rappers and Jang Jun Hyuk.”
The two rappers could not hide their excitement and Jun Hyuk remained in the same state. The girl would had been eliminated had tears in her eyes and the boy who had joined the team late was scowling.
“The rappers showed talent in their fun rap and Jang Jun Hyuk showed great capability as a producer. However, you’ll have to keep in mind that this program is about discovering stars and not producers. You’ll have to show yourself as more than a producer and as a musician on the next stage, or it’ll be difficult to advance any further. That is all.”