Chapter 46: When I woke up, the world was… (2)
When I took out my phone, I was getting messages like crazy. I swept my ruffled hair and let out the sigh I had been holding back for the past hour.
Then I refreshed the browser.
- Oh, it’s finally Neptune’s turn lol Waiting for a more laughable performance than Sugar Cats haha
- Today’s highlight haha
- What the heck hahahaha
- They’re amazing. From my perspective, their skill dominates other girl groups.
- The producer edited it this way to catch us off guard from the start hahaha No wonder, it seemed they were focusing on them too hard.
- They have the most eye-catching visuals and carried the performances. They benefited the most this episode.
- Anyone know the name of the straight-haired girl constantly getting close-ups? She’s extremely pretty
- Where did all those people commenting about why they were cast when they have no skill go? They were swearing a moment ago, but they’re quiet now lol
- I’m really curious, but why haven’t they been known until now? Was their company bad?
- Their company is W&U. There isn’t always a reason for not becoming popular. There are some who can’t get popular no matter what they do.
- Neptune’s skill has been revealed Won’t they suddenly get popular though this?
- We’ll have to see about that. If the program fails, then it’s all for nothing.
- There are already two pages about K-Star. Although we’ll have to see tomorrow, isn’t already a success in term of becoming a hot topic considering this is their first broadcast?
It was as Kim Hyunjo said. Reporter Park Woojeong’s words were correct as well.
Next K-Star’s first broadcast was, with Neptune as its focus, a drama with a twist.
The living room became filled with wild excitement and tension.
The judges’ compliments continued one after another after their performance. The edit was still on Neptune’s side. Cuts of the judges’ admiring reactions, and cuts of them murmuring to each other. Then the broadcast showed the insert they filmed at the company practice room and repeatedly instilled how surprised people were at Neptune’s performance.
Just as they were called the best team, the background music cut off and the mood changed.
Criticisms poured out solely on Lee Songha.
‘You alone lowered the team’s average. Are you practicing properly?’
‘Since you’re so eye-catching, my vision keeps going to you, but when I look at you, there isn’t anything beyond that. It would make more sense if you had a record in acting or entertainment, but that’s not the case either.’
They caught a close-up of Lee Songha’s reaction. She was unable to fully hide her expectant expression, and her expression fell slightly as she looked at the judges. However, it was only for a moment. With a serene expression, void of any expectation or excitement, she lowered her head.
The next moment was followed by the interview with Lee Songha after the performance.
‘I will try harder from now on.’
I immediately checked the reactions on the internet.
- Lee Songha is being unnecessarily criticized by the judges. Am I the only one who felt she was good?
- To be honest, she did do worse than her other members.
- It’s that her members were too good, I don’t think she didn’t so badly to be criticized that much. If she was in Sugar Cats and not Neptune, then she would have been complimented.
- She’s above average if we consider the girl groups overall.
- She’s completely dominating other girl groups with her looks alone, isn’t that enough? Since she’s still new, she can get better if she tries harder.
- If she was in Sugar Cats and not Neptune, she would have been complimented
- I thought she’d cry like other girls, but she so calm. She has an iron mentality.
Although she was criticized, since they didn’t play any tricks with editing, the overall public opinion of Lee Songha was good.
“The reactions from the forums are good. How is it on social media?”
“It’s good here as well. The internet is much tamer than I expected.”
The traitor took his hands off his keyboard as he replied. Next to him, Kim Hyunjo was in a trance as he focused on his screen. Seeing as how he was constantly muttering, “Okay, good,” it seemed that it was okay to relax a bit.
“Oppa, what are people saying? Are we okay?”
“Are they saying anything about Songha?”
All the girls were looking in our direction. When I turned to glance at the traitor, our eyes met. Then we smiled simultaneously.
“Oh, the reactions are good!”
Im Seoyoung snatched the traitor’s laptop away like an alley cat.
“Let’s look at it together.”
LJ immediately sat next to her. Lee Songha, who had been eating the chicken cleanly to its bones, slowly stuck her head out as well. Although Lee Taehee didn’t join them, she was leisurely searching it herself on her phone.
After 30 seconds, the living room changed into a festive mood.
“Look at this. This is no joke. There are so many people who know our names!”
“They know because our names kept showing up in the captions, you dummy. Hurry up and go to the next page.”
“Someone said he became my fan!”
“How unfortunate. Hey, I told you to go to the next page.”
“Euah, what do I do? My name’s on a title, but I don’t think I can click it! Songha, can you do it for me…!”
“Ah, damn, this is so frustrating! Give it here.”
“You have your phone!”
“Ah, I have my phone. Right.”
Im Seoyoung, who couldn’t keep still, kept going around the living room while holding the laptop, and LJ kept spinning in place as she looked at her phone.
Since Lee Taehee was lying on the sofa like usual, I thought that she was calm. As expected of the leader. However, when I looked closer, she had one hand on her phone and other on a glass of wild ginseng wine. Just how many glasses did she have so far?
Lee Songha was sitting in a corner, tapping her phone. My laptop happened to have comments about her so I handed it over to her.
“Ah. Thank you.”
She readily received it and focused her gaze on the screen, only her eyes moved hurriedly. She blinked a few times as if she was surprised that people were complimenting her singing and dancing.
“Now, really. Producer Go Joontae, this man…”
On the other side, Kim Hyunjo put down his laptop and grinned.
“If it was going to be like this, he should have let us know in advance… I unnecessarily swore a ton at him. Gunyoung, you know all the staff’s numbers, right?”
The traitor, who had been in the middle of stretching, replied right away.
“Text Producer Go Joontae that today’s broadcast was good and thank him for editing it well. Also, send a gifticon to each staff member. Something like coffee. Also, tell him that we’ll visit the editing room with some snacks some day.”
“Yes, I’ll pick out some good ones and send them.”
“Ah, I was so tense that my joints are aching.”
Kim Hyunjo groaned as he slouched on the sofa.
I checked the messages on my still-vibrating phone. I received long messages from my brother and his wife, and I also saw some messages from people I hadn’t talked to for a while.
How did they know when I only told my family and my friends on the group chat about the broadcast?
When I checked, it seemed that I was caught on camera next to Neptune for some time after they came down from the stage.
When I opened the group chat with my friends, messages popped up one after another.
- You told us to think you went back to mandatory military service. Is that the army, you bastard?
- Just wait until I see you, man, you’re screwed. Did you forget about your friends while you were playing in heaven?
- Let me know anytime you need a part timer. I’m ready to skip my lectures.
Below that were endless messages asking for a video call and asking for a date so I set my phone to mute without any hesitation.
As I opened my contacts to call my mom first-
“Uh? They are talking about us again?”
Im Seoyoung pointed to the TV. Everyone turned their gazes back towards it.
The judges’ personal interviews commenced after the mission performances and evaluations.
Producer Song Baekjin rubbed his patchy chin and said in a regretful tone,
‘I said it during the shoot, but if Lee Songha did some acting…’
‘That girl actually got cast in a drama two days after our recording.’
We heard Producer Go Joontae’s voice, and Song Baekjin widened his eyes.
‘Oh? Really? Wow, she acts fast. If that’s the case, my evaluation changes. If she shows above average acting skills there, then it’ll be a win-win for her and her team.’
Then the scene changed. Two days after their first recording. It explained that Lee Songha auditioned and joined TVL’s new miniseries Cat Guardian Ghost, and how she successfully took her first step towards becoming an acting idol.
The mood inside the living room froze.
There wasn’t a problem with letting others know Lee Songha was cast for the drama if they were simply mentioning it as Knet and TVL were both subsidiaries.
The problem was the nuance.
The way they put it made it look as though Lee Songha took her chance at acting without any preparations because she received criticisms that she lacked in both dancing and singing during the recording. Auditioned and cast within two days. On top of that, if people thought about how the male lead, Seo Jijoon, was also from the same company, this was the same as dropping a bomb.
“No, how could…”
Kim Hyunjo stuttered as he looked at the TV with a dumbfounded expression.
“What are we supposed to do if they reveal it like that? Seriously, this man… We were already putting our heads together to figure out the best time to announce it without any misunderstandings… Ah, what a headache. Ah, I’m going crazy.”
Right then, Kim Hyunjo’s phone rang. Kim Hyunjo picked up his phone with a face that seemed to have aged 10 years in these past few moments before turning his head towards the traitor.
“Did you send the gifticons?”
“Don’t send them. Fuck the gifticons… Team Leader Park? We just saw it as well.”
Kim Hyunjo disappeared into the kitchen to talk with Team Leader Park.
“Songha, pass me the laptop.”
I took the laptop away from Lee Songh since the comments wouldn’t be so lenient to her now.
As if the traitor had the same thoughts, he took back the laptop from Im Seoyoung and requested the other girls stop searching as well.
I refreshed the forum and glanced through the reactions.
- They say Neptune’s Lee Songha was cast in a drama.
- omg? When I looked at the article, it said the male lead was Seo Jijoon. Both are from W&U. No doubt she was just added in.
- Are you dyslexic? Read the article again. It says she was cast after auditioning for it properly.
- Now really, who’s going to believe that? Lol That’s just their company’s manipulation lol
- They say it’s her first time in a drama, yet it’s not a web series but a miniseries. Chosen as a supporting role and not a minor one. In a drama where Seo Jijoon is the male lead to boot. It’s obvious just looking at it.
- Then what about other idols who were cast in supporting roles in public networks? If you want to bash her, then you need to bash others like Im Sooyeon and Jang Inbum.
- They were bashed a ton at first. Now they’ve been recognized for their acting ability. Also, they were cast by producers for their newsworthiness+overseas publications as they were already popular. Does Lee Songha have that merit? When no one has heard or seen her before?
- Their company added her in no matter how you look at it. You shouldn’t be so protective. Lol
- Bash her after you see her act. You guys made a fuss saying that Neptune had no skill and that they joined Next K-Star because of their company then disappeared after seeing their performance, and now you’re starting it again. Don’t you have other things to do?
- She really could have been cast after an audition. I see people who all fidgety in hopes of bashing her already.
- If Lee Songha is good at acting, then these accusations will disappear.
- If she was good at acting, then she would have already done it. Neptune was unknown for two years.
- Bash her after you see her act
- Looking at these people protecting her, it looks like Neptune really did well today.
- If she was good at acting, then she would have done it already.
- Either way, this was successful in becoming a hot topic. There are tons of articles too. The staff of Next K-Star and Cat Guardian Ghost are probably dancing right now.
When I looked up, Lee Songha was looking at me. Although she appeared calm, I now knew enough to know that she wasn’t fine inside. I closed the laptop and, as if it was no big deal, said,
“It’s fine. Don’t worry.”