Mnet’s new survival audition show “World Klass” premieres Friday, with a score of contestants competing over the next few weeks to become the next K-pop star.
Viewers will see 20 trainees from countries all over the world including South Korea, Japan, China, the US and Australia put on display a set of multiple entertainment skills such as singing, dancing, acting and even banter.
And only 10 people will get to debut as Too – an acronym of Ten Oriented Orchestra -- a group with a global outlook.
“There have been many audition programs but as you can tell from the name Too, going global was our focus. There is a global judging process and the show will be broadcast on Mnet, tvN as well as being live-streamed globally (on V Live). I think that’s what makes this show different,” said Jeong Chang-hwan, Stone Music's chief producer.
The entertainment company is behind the new idol group project, alongside Mnet and n.CH Entertainment.
Producer Jo Hyo-jin, who is directing the show, says the audition program will focus on team building, rather than competition.
"Audition shows in the past have focused on the competition side. This time, it will show team spirit and harmony between the 20 members,” he said.
To be more unifying, the contestants will not be eliminated until the final result is announced at the very end, in an effort to show more of each individual’s charm.
The show touts itself as a brand new concept as three out of the 10 members will be picked by viewers at home and abroad.
Dubbed the “World Klass Committee,” some of the most loyal subscribers of the program’s V Live channel will be given 30 votes to cast over six days.
The novel feature comes at a troubled time for idol audition programs on Mnet, as the music channel has faced accusations of vote-rigging in its programs “Produce 101” and “Idol School” in recent months.
The controversy saw several entertainment agencies subject to search and seizure operations by police in connection with the “Produce” series, dealing a blow to the credibility of idol survival programs in general.
When asked about how the 20 contestants were chosen, Jeong said it was not only dancing and singing, but he considered having the “star factor” as the most important.
The show airs at 11 p.m. Friday on both Mnet and V Live.
By Yim Hyun-su (email@example.com)