‘Produce X 101’ finale picks

By Nadine Kam I

That time has come. After 12 weeks, the finale of “Produce X 101” is upon us, airing on Vlive Thursday eve.

The top photo represents my attempt to guess who will win a slot on the debut group. The popular ones are already clustered at the top. It’s the ones on the bottom half of the list that makes predictions difficult, but I put Kan Min Hee on the list because his star has been on an upward trajectory over the past few weeks and I believe viewers have a soft spot for this boy who didn’t shine as much as his peer at the beginning of the broadcast, but put in the hard work to improve himself.

I’m thinking that Son Dong Pyo, the original center for the “X1-MA” theme song, will end up being the X boy 11th member because although he started off on a high note, the voting public never quite responded to propel him into the high ranks. But he has been a constant vote getter since the start of the competition.

The only other X boy would be the visual favorite Kim Min Kyu if he fails to place in the Top 10. But I don’t think his fans will let him down.

My personal list of faves is unlikely to become a reality on the lower end: From top, left to right, Kim Yo Han, Kim Woo Seok, Lee Jin Hyuk, Han Seung Woo, Nam Do Hyun, Song Hyeong Jun, Lee Eun Sang, Kang Min Hee, Song Yu Vin and Lee Se Jin.

Photo 2 is the unlikely scenario of who I actually want to see win. Lee Eun Sang has been the biggest surprise to me. The ones I liked since the beginning, like Kim Yo Han, Kim Woo Seok, Lee Jin Hyuk and Song Hyeong Jun have enough charisma to outshine all the rest so I didn’t notice Eun Sang at all until he joined the “U Got It” team, although in rewatching the earlier episodes to see trainees I’ve come to know but missed in the getting-to-know-you phase, he was there all along. He has turned out to be a real charmer in a low-key, goofy way … as well as talented of course. I stan talent! That’s why, even though he’s popular, I didn’t want Min Kyu on my personal list.

When Up10tion’s Kim Woo Seok and Lee Jin Hyuk walked in at 0:51 they have charisma and presence that couldn’t be ignored.
“U Got It” team: Eun Sang focus.
Imagine Eun Sang and Woo Seok’s chemistry when they debut together! It must happen!

Fox TV concept straight from Korea

By Nadine Kam I

Come January, American audiences will get another taste of Korean entertainment.

“The Masked Singer,” hosted by Nick Cannon, will feature American celebs and an American panel of judges—Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke—but the concept is based on the South Korean-turned-international music competition series, “King of Masked Singer.”

In the original series, a number of masked individuals perform for a panel of judges who try to guess the identity of mystery singers. Because of the mask, each is judged solely on the merit of their vocal ability rather than appearance.

Although singers can come from any background, K-pop idols often appear among the competitors.

Among them was one of my biases, EXO’s Chen, who did it because he wanted to learn how he measured up on his own merit as Kim Jong-dae, rather than as EXO’s Chen, an established idol. He proved popular as “Guitar Man” in the competition.

👁 Watch: “King of Masked Singer” Guitar Man

For fans of Korean dramas and films, Chen is often the singer of choice for theme songs.

🎧 Listen:

The American “Masked Singer” will debut on Jan. 2, 2019. The costuming will be much more elaborate than the Korean show, but the Koreans never needed that much gloss. Their media is full of great programming and if this show takes off, you’re likely to see more ideas borrowed and remade for the west.