‘Shadow Singer’ vows to unearth more hidden gems

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Sep 4, 2017 - 17:57
Updated : Sep 5, 2017 - 10:25

Despite skeptics’ view that it is but a copy of other music variety shows, “Shadow Singer” is seeking to become a regular on tvN, with officials confirming eight more episodes.

The creators of the show said Monday that the cable channel would air at least eight more episodes of the program.

“It was originally supposed to be only eight, but it was extended due to favorable fan response. It will be extended further, if ratings keep climbing,” said Min Chul-ki, the show’s producer.

The program aims to shed light on lesser-known singers by bringing attention to their music. It features singers singing offstage, while celebrities lip synch and perform to the music onstage.

Comedian Kang Ho-dong hosts the show, and a celebrity panel ,which includes comedian Lee Soo-guen, songwriter Kim Hyung-suk, singer Ha Hyun-woo of the band Guckkasten and JR of NU’EST, comments on the singer’s performance.

The show also highlights how singers pursue their dreams.

Min said he hopes to cast once-popular singers who have now faded into obscurity.

“There are singers whose livelihood depends on something other than music. ... I would like to talk more about the people who hold on to their dreams despite difficulties,” he said.

Among such singers was Jung Ji-woo of the band Emerald Castle, a one-hit wonder whose “Footsteps” remains a favorite among Korean fans. Actor Song Jae-hee filled in as Jung’s “copycat singer.”

Critics have pointed out that the show is merely a copycat of other popular shows. For example, Min’s earlier program for MBC, “King of Masked Singer,” which features established singers performing behind masks to be evaluated solely on their vocal skills.

While “Shadow Singer” may have been inspired by the MBC show, Min emphasized that it takes the exact opposite approach. The moment of revealing who is in front of the mic offstage may be less tense than the mystery about who may be behind the mask in “King of Masked Singer,” but Min said the show’s platform helps the audience focus more on the stories of the singers.

There has also been criticism that the show focuses too much on the lip-synching singers, who are much more famous than those singing offstage. The show’s officials claim that it is their intention to give as much exposure as possible to the lesser-known singers.

“For the singers, having a chance to perform onstage is a rare opportunity. Even if it’s just a couple of songs, it is an important chance for these singers to demonstrate their voice,” said Hong Seok-cheon, who is a copycat singer for the singer Ddakbal, whose identity has yet to be revealed,

“We’ve been talking about possibly launching a project group with the contestants of the show. I think the show allows viewers to get to know these singers better,” said Min.

As the program’s host, Kang said he feels that the copycat singers try their best to duplicate the essence of the singers.

“I haven’t seen one person stepping on stage lightheartedly. ... In the case of Ji-woo of Emerald Castle, I’m thankful that we were able to show him continuing to pursue his dream once more,” said Kang.

The show airs on Fridays at 8:20 p.m. on tvN.

By Yoon Min-sik


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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation