Volume 1 / Chapter 41
All Star Week missions were over, but the top 10 finalists were not decided. There were eight winners because there was another team that had been completely eliminated like Jun Hyuk’s.
They needed to pick two more people to complete the top 10.
However, the truth was that the broadcast station had not finished coordinating the last of the contracts they had with the entertainment agencies. The legal and production teams were busy making the final touches.
Once they were finished tuning the contracts with the entertainment agencies, Producer Kim Ki Sik felt like his head was going to explode. They had decided the order of elimination and each team’s song selection for the top 10 performances. They had to design the broadcast as if it were a puzzle without any easy pieces.
On top of that, all of this had to align with the contents of the contracts, it had to look natural to the viewers, and the quality of the stages had to be up to par. There were plenty of other audition programs.
His head still hurt when he thought of the verbal abuse they had suffered on the internet last season.
They had put in a song by a girl group that went off a sexy concept without vocals. The participant that had to sing that song was a rock band. The arrangement was good, so they did not think that there would be any issues, but that week’s stage theme happened to be ‘The Song of My Life’.
The members of the rock band were older than the members of the girl group. In a way, it should have been expected that the viewers would be angry.
Not only did most rock bands not listen to idol or girl group songs, but they got most of their inspiration from British and American rock bands. But it was ‘The Song of My Life’! Moreover with a young girl group’s song.
This season needed to be perfect. The entertainment market grew by the day. Mistakes could not be tolerated to the point where the company’s profits depended on each broadcast.
“Okay. There’s only one person who needs to be added to the top 10 no matter what, right? Nam Seung Hee?”
“Yes. We completed the contract with her agency.”
Producer Kim Ki Sik and the production team went into the selection process for the remaining two seats in the top 10.
“Then if we confirm the 9 people… it’s exactly 10 if we put Jun Hyuk in there.”
Producer Jo spoke cautiously,
“But senior, there are some problems if we do it like this.”
“I know. You’re talking about the fat kid and the girl with the braces, right?”
“Yes. Kwak Hye Sung and Jang Na Rae. The judges have been giving those two good evaluations as well and their prospects aren’t bad either. Kwak Hye Sung could hit it big if he just loses a little weight… and Jang Na Rae seems like she could shine once her braces come out and her looks get better with the limelight.”
It went without saying that their singing skills were not a joke either.
“Then why aren’t there any calls for them? Agencies these days don’t have an eye for these things?”
“Well, I guess it’s because of Jun Hyuk. The agencies are only trying to get Jun Hyuk. They’re good kids in their own rights, but they can’t get any attention because Jun Hyuk overshadows them.”
Producer Jo shook his head at the thought of the flood of calls. He picked up dozens of calls from agencies asking for a chance to meet Jang Jun Hyuk everyday.
“The problem is that if we don’t put these two up, we’ll have to edit everything out. There are a few kids in the top 10 who don’t sing as well as these two do. Especially if people like Nam Seung Hee advance, we’ll really get feedback that we choose the winners by their looks.”
“What do we do? Go with top 12?”
“If we do that, we need to get permission to go on air for another week. Are we okay to do that?”
If there was an episode extension, the main writer had an increase in work and income. The main writer was not a full-time employee, but was working on a contract. The number of episodes directly affected the income. It was bound to be a sensitive issue.
“Pil Jae, go to the consultants and see if we can get another week.”
Producer Jo and Pil Jae ran to the conference room.
“If we can’t get the extension, we can shorten the two-part epilogue to one. That’s okay, right?”
Producer Kim looked to the main writer as if seeking consent. He had already settled on going with top 12 finalists.
“So we’re decided on doing top 12?”
“Yeah. How much money do we get from the digital sales of two songs? It’s not a bad thing.”
“Isn’t our show going to become top 12 permanently like this?”
“Last season was top 11. It’s fine.”
They finalized their decision to go with the top 12. Kwak Hye Sung and Jang Na Rae did not know that the two of them had gotten on a train from hell to heaven.
“Then make the order for the broadcast with those finalists. Make sure you check the order of eliminations.”
“I’m going to go get interviews from the additional contestants. Oh right, this Thursday is the airing of the first episode. Finish up the editing.”
Everyone sighed at Producer Kim’s words. They could say goodbye to eating at home for the next month while the program aired. The conference room seemed to be full of the smell of cup ramen and rice rolls already.
“First, Jung Soo should talk to Jun Hyuk in an interview format. Make it fairly long since I’ll be editing the best parts of it…..”
“Producer Kim, I’m going to do it honestly. If he doesn’t show potential, I’m just going to eliminate him. I’ll interview him if you agree to this. If not, give up on Jun Hyuk.”
It seemed that Judge Yoon Jung Su felt burdened that he was the person allowing Jun Hyuk to advance to the top 10 when he had just been sitting blankly during the last performance. He hit the wall even before his interview with Jun Hyuk. Producer Kim Ki Sik understood Yoon Jung Su’s worries, so he agreed,
“Fine, let’s go with the truth. Since he’s going out on live television without singing, the viewers will be able to accept him to a certain extent if he can convince you. If you need to eliminate him, do it. I’ll give up on him too.”
Yoon Jung Su’s face became brighter as soon as Producer Kim agreed to his terms,
“Oh right, what agency is Nam Seung Hee in?”
“You’re so naive. Why do you think Jin Young came on the show? Ha ha.”
“She’s in JYS? That girl is?”
“Yes. I think they’re trying to make her the second Ji Na. Sexy and pretty good at singing.”
“That’s possible since Nam Seung Hee’s voice is better. Her looks are okay too.”
From the regretful look on his face, it seemed like he had been thinking of bringing her into his agency.
“We also decided to let the fatty and brace face advance. Sung Chul and Lee Eun Jin are going to interview them.”
“Who? Fatty? Brace face? Oh, Kwak Hye Sung and Jang Na Rae. Yeah, those two were a pity to eliminate. You thought well.”
The top 12 were decided and in order to create material for the show, Yoon Jung Su went to meet Jun Hyuk who had already started packing his bags to leave.