K Pop Star 5 To Begin Fifth Season of Talent Search

Kyung Ho Kim, Nov. 16, 2015, 8:46 a.m.

The fifth season of "K-pop Star," a popular singing audition program, will not only focus on the individual's talent but also his motivation for wanting to become a singer, producers said Monday. "K-pop Star," an SBS program started in 2011, has gained significant clout over the past four years, picking up talent such as Akdong Musician, Park Ji-min, Lee Hi and Baek A-yeon and transforming them into formidable pop phenoms.

The show is also known for its star-studded judging panel comprised of three South Korean entertainment big-timers -- Yang Hyun-suk of YG Entertainment, Park Jin-young of JYP Entertainment and Yoo Hee-yeol of Antenna Music. But with the already saturated market for singing audition programs in South Korea, the three said they wanted to differentiate this season from the last, and other similar programs, by focusing more on each candidate's life story.

"Many of you may be thinking 'why another audition program?'" Yoo said at a press conference at the SBS headquarters in Seoul. "But this program is about their dreams. Dreams don't overlap and are never tedious." Park emphasized that for those wanting to hear good music, the program will not disappoint. “This season has the best candidates who have put on some of the greatest performances this show has ever seen," he said. "It's really amazing that every year, there are always new, phenomenal singers."

The highest points were given to those who show something rarely seen at real auditions and reveal themselves in their singing, the judges said. "I tend to factor in what I've thought about most in the past year in my evaluations," Park said. "This year, I asked myself what art is. I tried to look for a 'piece of artwork' rather than a 'product' and eliminated any participant who didn't show their inner selves." The first episode of "K-pop Star 5" airs 6:10 p.m. Sunday.

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