TM Chapter 45

Chapter 45: I woke up, and the world was… (1)

TL: emptycube


The front door opened, and Kim Hyunjo entered, carrying a shopping bag.


“Did you finish the preparations to monitor the broadcast?”

“Yes. There are three laptops. We also checked the wi-fi.”

The traitor said as he pointed to the laptops spread out in the living room.

“How are the girls?”

“Everyone’s fine except Seoyoung, who’s uneasy.”

“No! I’m fine too!”

Im Seoyoung protested fiercely at my words. When I turned around, she was tightly clenching her phone and looking in my direction.

“If you’re fine, put your phone down. You’ve been refreshing entertainment news for an hour now.”

“They might put something up. I can’t be at ease if I don’t check!”

“That’s what you call being uneasy, you dummy.”

LJ smirked. The other three had set chicken and other snacks on the table in the living room and were sitting, waiting for Next K-Star to begin.

Kim Hyunjo placed the shopping bag he brought on the table.

“Younghoon hyung gave this to me. He said it was precious and to only drink it if we hit a peak of at least 1.5% in viewership ratings.”

“Precious? What is it? Alcohol?”


When the girls’ gazes gathered on the bag with curious eyes, Kim Hyunjo brought out the object inside the bag. I glanced at it as well. A glass cylindrical bottle, around 40cm tall. It had leaves, whose color had faded white, and thumb-width roots dangling below.

I felt like I had seen it before.

“… What is that?”

“Natural wild ginseng wine. He said he personally dug and fermented them. Younghoon hyung’s hands were trembling when he gave this to me.”

However, the girls’ faces indicated they weren’t interested. It may be a precious, invigorating alcohol to some, but to girls in their early twenties, it was simply an expensive root-soaked soju{1}. The wild ginseng wine bitterly made its exit off the table.

Kim Hyunjo glanced at the clock on the wall and said,

“There are 30 minutes left. Did you all contact your families?”

“I already did. My mom said that she even had my aunts come over to watch.”

Im Seoyoung replied, trying hard to calm down. Lee Taehee and LJ nodded their heads in affirmation. The only one who didn’t reply was Lee Songha.

“Songha, why didn’t you tell your family?”

“I was scolded a lot in the beginning.”

Lee Songha said flatly while hugging a bag of chips.

I suddenly recalled what Lee Songha said before. She had told me her parents opposed her becoming a celebrity, asking her why she continued doing something that wasn’t working out. That she didn’t call them ever since their previous album flunked.

Considering her situation, I understood why she couldn’t tell her family. Since she was the only one who received the judges’ criticism during the recording of their first mission. Perhaps it was because of this, but the expression she had while waiting for the broadcast seemed more placid than the others.


My phone was vibrating endlessly for a while now. My parents back home and my brother’s family were sitting in front of the TV. My friends said they were at a pub, waiting for the broadcast, and even sent me a photo as proof.

This time, it was a message from Reporter Park Woojeong.

-I am waiting after finishing my preparations to write an article! My senior who came back from Knet said that he heard the first broadcast will focus on Neptune. I will publish a great article as repayment for last time!


“Chief. I received a message from a reporter I know, and she said that she heard the first broadcast of Next K-Star will focus on Neptune?”

Kim Hyunjo and the girls quickly turned to look at me.


“Is that true? Really? Do you think it’s true, oppa?”

At Im Seoyoung’s hurried urging, Kim Hyunjo licked his lips and replied,

“If it’s from a reporter, then it’s not like it doesn’t have any credibility. They say Knet holds a preview screening of edited program broadcasts with around twenty people. Someone among them might have let it slip.”

The mood inside surged. I thanked Reporter Park Woojeong and sat in front of my assigned laptop. I had even registered on a membership forum bustling with elementary, middle and high schoolers for this day.

When I glanced through it, there wasn’t much of a reaction yet. Since even I, who knew that Next K-Star would get great viewership ratings through my foresight, was nervous, there was nothing more to say about the others. With thick wrinkles drawn on their foreheads, the traitor and Kim Hyunjo each moved their own mice.

Of course, the most serious person was Im Seoyoung.

“What do I do? Someone posted a comment ‘Anyone waiting for Next K-Star’s first broadcast?’ on the forum, and it hasn’t had a reply for 11 minutes! Should I leave a reply? I shouldn’t, right?”

“Gunyoung… No, I feel like you’re going to have it snatch right away.”

At Kim Hyunjo’s words, the traitor smiled, revealing an awkward expression.

“Sunwoo. Take her phone from her.”


I snatched Im Seoyoung’s phone from her hands. Im Seoyoung clung on my leg like an addict experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

“Ah, ah, oppa!”

“Just watch TV.”

“I’ll only hold it and not look at it! No, I’ll only check once every minute!”


“You’re heartless!”

“I have a heart. Now go watch TV.”

I firmly pointed at the TV.

While we were chatting to calm our nervousness, the minute hand continued to move without stopping.

Then, 11:12 p.m.

“Euah, it’s starting. It’s starting! Ah, I’m so nervous, I can’t watch!”

“Hey, be quiet. Or I’m going to…”

The first broadcast of Next K-Star, which we had been waiting for for a long time, began.


Neptune was the focus of the broadcast.

In a bad way.

From the start, each team quickly made their appearance one after another, then suddenly, when it was finally Neptune’s turn, a video of Lemon Girls appeared.

The broadcast revealed that they were a team who was originally cast for Next K-Star, even kindly explaining they were dropped due to public criticism from the DUI incident. Then they filled the screen with headlines and internet comments that appeared the day Neptune was cast.


{Who is ‘Neptune’ who is replacing Lemon Girls on Next K-Star?}

  • A team I haven’t heard or seen before suddenly popped out. It looks like the staff were really in a hurry hahaha
  • An article that they were cast came out immediately after the article about Lemon Girls dropping out. What the? I’m at loss for words.
  • They are from W&U. I’m 100% certain their company put them on the show.


Then the video of the first time they met and the audio from interviews with other teams meshed together.

‘No one knew who they were. Everyone was like, ‘Who are they? Do you know them?’ and then, when someone said that they were from W&U, everyone was like, ‘Ahhh…’’

‘Did they get preferential treatment because they were from a big company?’

‘Didn’t everyone think that? Ah, I don’t think this is right…’

Neptune’s interview appeared the next moment.

‘Five out of the seven teams chose Neptune for last place.’

A still of Im Seoyoung’s stiffening face as she heard Producer Go Joontae’s words was captured.


A chill blew in the room. It was expected. Since the broadcast was edited with the obvious intention of creating conflict between Neptune and the other teams.

Even afterwards, the broadcast progressed in an unfavorable direction for Neptune. Reactions from community sites began to show up, but the majority of comments about Neptune were negative.


  • Just looking at them, I can tell they are girls pushing their looks. Why are they on this program when they don’t have any popularity or skill?
  • Aren’t they embarrassed appearing there when there are a lot of new groups who have the potential of becoming true K-pop stars?
  • If it was going to be like this, why did they call it ‘Next K-Star’? A shame to the country.
  • As expected of Knet, I smell another devil’s edit{2} hahaha They just sacrificed a girl group.
  • It’s not a devil’s edit. Those girls deserve heaps of criticisms. Extremely disgusting.
  • Although they started mildly, they are getting heated reactions with this. They brought them in aiming for this. To use them to make the program a hot topic right from the start.


It was a relief I took Im Seoyoung’s phone from her.

When I sighed, the traitor poked my side. Then mouthed, ‘How is it on your end?’. I shook my head in reply. When I asked, ‘How about you?’ he briefly clicked his tongue and shook his head.

Well, if the tame community sites were like this, then internet and social media comments would be much cruder. I could picture it already. I glanced at Kim Hyunjo, and his expression looking at his screen was dark as well.

“Ah… I shouldn’t have told my mom… I told her to watch for no reason.”

Im Seoyoung murmured with a depressed voice before burying her face in her knees. LJ was glancing at the TV while punching a cushion, and Lee Songha’s hand gradually became faster as it went in and out of the chip bag.

The only one who kept her calm was Lee Taehee… was what I thought, but she wordlessly opened the wild ginseng wine and started to drink it with a beer mug.

Kim Hyunjo roughly tangled up his hair.

“Let’s wait a little longer. The mission went well. It might end in a twist after progressing like this.”

The traitor and I both nodded our heads.

“It looks like the staff was in a hurry. They dissed themselves while bringing up these comments. If you look at it that way, then there’s a high chance that it’ll end in a twist like chief says.”

“And dramatic broadcasts usually do well.”

Still, the mood wouldn’t get better easily. Eventually, we, obviously including the girls, poured the strong wild ginseng wine down our throats without any snacks. In a grim voice and after drinking several glasses consecutively, Kim Hyunjo declared he would kill Producer Go Joontae if the program ended like this.

Soon, the mission performances began.

The performances with no instrumentals were followed by the judges’ unbridled compliments and criticisms. In the viewer’s perspective, the broadcast was so exciting that they couldn’t take their eyes off it. The reactions on the internet gradually grew until it exploded when it was Sugar Cats’ turn.

Then, we saw Neptune get up on the stage.

Yeah, there will definitely be a twist. Since it was a great performance, no matter who saw it.

But, what should I do if they only showed a tiny bit of their performance and cut to the criticism about Lee Songha? Don’t tell me that the thing I heard from my foresight that made Neptune receive criticisms is this?

My throat felt parched.

Accompanied by a tense BGM, the targeted comments from other teams, which appeared in the beginning, were inserted once more before Neptune’s performance began. Up until then, my shoulders were tense and rigid due to nervousness.

However, the moment Lee Taehee’s voice flowed out of the speakers.

My nervousness relaxed like it was never there.


It wasn’t only me. The depressing mood that hung densely in the living room was washed away in an instant. Everyone was dazed at first, then absent-minded before finally looking at the TV with relieved expressions.

Im Seoyoung broke the silence with a dazed voice.

“… Aren’t we doing well? Right? It’s not coming out all weird, right?”

“How many seconds has it been? I think our performance is being shown the longest?”

“Uhhh, what do we do? We’re getting tons of close-ups as well…”

The girls’ performance and the cuts to the surprised reactions of the judges and members of other teams who were watching from the seats intensified the exhilarating sense of pleasure felt from the twist.

Neptune’s performance was shown longer and was more successful than any other team.


My phone, which had been silent throughout the broadcast, vibrated.


{1} Korean alcohol.

{2} I don’t believe I explained this before, but devils’ edit/ devil’s editing process is when the staff is purposefully editing a broadcast to put someone in a bad light.


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Comments 17

  1. is there a reason why you would edit some one in a bad light other then being bribed i mean if they that in a show i wanted to see i would drop it like i’ve done with all chef ramsey shows since there’s no need to belittle some one based of one mistake

    1. Devil editing is used in order to capture the audience’s attention and give them something easy to latch on about and discuss after the show airs. Controversy makes for better click bait headlines, since media outlets will immediately release articles about the highlights of a program after its airing. The production/editing team don’t care about particular individuals on a program, they care about the program’s ratings and the buzz it gets from the public, so the staff usually don’t mind sacrificing the image of the individuals whose screen time was edited to put them in the worst light. Also, using devil editing allows the staff to exaggerate possible conflict between participants which usually results in the audience taking sides and increasing their investment in the show.

        1. Honestly, most reality shows use this tactic. A lot of the ‘drama’ is manufactured in an editing room (and then hyped up due to the ‘stars’ catching a whiff of what others may be saying or doing behind their backs….)

    | ̄””‘、
    |ω` |
    ⊂  ;゙  
    |   /
    |U”” Really dislike this people who judge others without even knowing them sigh~

  3. thanks for the chapter:)
    really hate that kind of things,that’s why i stopped watching TV long ago:so much bullshit.
    these comments were so…harsh and precipitate,that’s only a idol girl group guys,don’t be so judgmental for nothing.

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