In a possible industry changing move, the MBC Show! Music Core chief executive producer (CP) Park Hyun-suk made a statement earlier this week pronouncing that the show is not going to allow singers or artists on stage that rely solely on MR (music recorded). According to him, about 10-20 percent of the singers who go …
Producers for MBC’s Show! Music Core may think that its decision to ban acts that use MR (music recorded) is a good one, but such a move makes assumptions about what viewers expect from such performances.
Expectation is key. While one may have an expectation of a live vocal performance by someone singing a national anthem at an event, one may not have the same expectation for a live vocal performance in a different setting. Producers may think lip-synced performances on Show! Music Core are misleading, but that assumes that viewers expect these performances to be live vocal performances. Do viewers expect such performances to be live vocal performances? Many viewers look forward to such performances for other reasons. These shows have a long tradition of being a showcase for a variety of performances, which represent a combination of vocals, styling and choreography. Many global viewers tune in for this combination, as many will never have the opportunity to see such acts perform live in their country.
In addition to vocal reality shows, there are other outlets to experience the vocal talents of idols. The format of Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook is specifically designed to allow artists groups to showcase their live vocals, and has hosted a variety of acts, from individuals known for their vocals such as Lyn, Park Hyo Shin and Hwanhee, to hip-hop acts such as Drunken Tiger and Dynamic Duo, to K-pop idols such as Girls’ Generation, Wonder Girls and 4Minute. Idols also have opportunities to sing live on radio shows such as ShimShimTapa, performances that are also video-recorded and accessible through YouTube.
As the article suggests, this may have an impact on choreography-heavy comebacks for groups if this is undertaken as an industry standard, which will not be good for global K-pop fans who routinely cite choreography as one of the appealing aspects of K-pop.