Although there were no winners from the Country Musume auditions earlier this year, new members have been chosen and the group will make their debut during Hello Project’s Winter tour as Country Girls!
This announcement was made today during last week’s Hello Project Station! Former Country Musume member and current manager of the group, Satoda Mai, introduced the new members of the group:
- Tsugunaga Momoko
- Inaba Manaka
- Yamaki Risa
- Ozeki Mai
- Shimamura Uta
- Morito Chisa
Two of these members are from Hello Project Kenshuusei (Inaba Manaka and Yamaki Risa). While Morning Musume 12th Generation auditionees, Ozeki Mai, Shimamura Uta and Morito Chisa were also added to the group. Upon Berryz Kobo’s indefinite hiatus next spring, Tsugunaga Momoko will join the group as a sub-member and “playing manager”.
When I heard this announcement I was beyond shocked. I lost all hope of the group’s revival when there were no winners from the audition. However, it seems as if Tsunku had other plans. I was even more stunned to see that Momoko will be joining the group after her leave from Berryz Kobo. As much as I am glad to see that Momoko will be staying with Hello Project, I question if this group and their concept will suit her. It is very difficult to see Momoko performing Country Musume songs. I am curious to see what her role will be in the group.
I am very excited to see how the group will evolve. Will they stick with their original country music concept or will they embrace a new style? Also, I am anxious to see what the new members of Hello Project, Ozeki Mai, Shimamura Uta and Morito Chisa, will bring to the table.
Best of luck to all the girls and congrats on their debut!