Although I constantly complain about the cruelty of debut survival shows, I have been avidly following JYP’s “Sixteen”. I do not like the harsh treatment and challenges that trainees face, but I am interested to see the type of people and talents that are out there.
I initially planned to write a commentary on each episode but due to time constraints and other factors I thought it was more feasible to just comment on the final line up and give a general overview of the series.
This series was a bit different from other survival competitions. The challenges were focused on basic entertainment skills such as vocal training, dance and live performances but JYPE went a little further by teaching the girls about integrity, variety, honesty, teamwork and overall image. JYPE has a familial environment. They do not only develop the entertainment skills of the idol but also teach them valuable life lessons. I remember reading an article stating that all JYPE trainees and artists even receive sex education training!
There were sixteen contestants who were divided into two teams in the first episode. Based on past training and evaluations, the girls were separated into a “Major” team and a “Minor” team. Obviously, the “Major” team consisted of girls that were believed to be highly skilled and most probable for debut. The “Minor” team consisted of girls that were lacking in various fields. The management and not the producer, Park Jin Young (JYP), determined these teams.
Throughout the show, the girls had several opportunities to develop their skills. Those who showed improvement were promoted to the Major team. On the other hand, those who failed to improve or follow instructions were demoted to the Minor team and in some cases, eliminated. Those who move from Major to Minor must relinquish their big and sparkly necklaces to the new members of the Major team.
It hurt me to see them divided like this. I am pretty sure the Minor team felt insignificant and I am sure that the members demoted from Major to Minor felt even worse when their necklaces were ripped off their necks. On many occasions they stated that it felt as if “their hearts were being torn out”. This made the show a little crueler than other survival shows.
My favourites from Day 1 were Somi, Jihyo and Nayeon. I was intrigued by Somi’s beauty, spunky personality and fluid vocals. I am sure her bilingual talents had a role to play in my biasness.
Even from the first episode Nayeon has the demeanor of an idol. It was evident from the way she carried about herself and the way she performed.
Jihyo reminded me of Morning Musume’s Suzuki Kanon. They both may not fit the beauty standards of the Asian entertainment world, but they are surely talented. Jihyo’s voice is powerful and fluent. She has been training for ten years, which is a lot for someone as young as her.
The series was ten episodes long with various challenges such as live performances, guerilla concerts, jacket photo shoots, variety and more. These challenges developed the foundation to becoming an idol. Their first challenge was to show who they were through a talent contest. Only after developing their image and figuring out themselves, the girls began to fully focus on their performance skills.
As challenges progressed the Major and Minor lineups changed continuously and contestants were eliminated. Among the eliminated were Chaeyeon, Eunsuh, Momo and Jiwon. Chaeyeon and Eunsuh were still lacking in their abilities. To be honest, I did not even notice Eunsuh until she was eliminated.
Jiwon was one of the strongest vocalists. It was really disappointing that she was eliminated. However, I understood JYP’s remarks during her last challenge. It seemed as if she was nervous and her voice was quite unstable. She also needs to brush up on her dancing skills.
Momo was a favourite among fans, especially international fans. It seemed as if the whole world exploded with anger when she was eliminated. Momo was highly skilled, but in my opinion, she was still lacking in something. Her facial expressions were not always jubilant or natural. I felt awkward watching her at times. But even I agree that her elimination was unjustifiable. My heart broke when she broke down in tears with the other contestants as she left the show.
In the last episode that aired this week, the final line up of JYP’s new girl group, TWICE, was revealed. This line up is as follows:
I am a bit heart-broken that Somi did not make the cut, but I do not believe that she is quite ready for debut. Natty, Chaeryeong and Minyoung were also eliminated. Otherwise, I am satisfied with the final line up. Momo was brought back due to the decision of the management and her popularity. I am sure that many fans are now satisfied to see her in the final line up.
This group has a diversity of talents, personalities and skills. There are the power vocals, Jungyeon and Jihyo; the visuals Nayeon and Tzuyu; the variety stars Sana and Dahyun; the dance stars Momo, Mina and rapper Chaeyoung. Mina, Tzuyu, Sana and Momo also bring in diversity where culture and language is concerned.
I would also like to add that I am extremely happy that JYP decided to debut Jihyo, despite his constant comments that she needed to lose weight. This annoyed me because I believe that she is fine and beautiful just the way she is, but unfortunately, this is not how it works in the entertainment world and there is no sign of this mindset changing soon.
I am very eager for their group to officially debut. This is only the beginning for them and I hope they continue to work hard together to achieve success. I am curious to see what concept they will pursue for their debut single. I have faith in JYP as a producer (sometimes) and I believe that he would not screw them over with a terrible debut song. I also hope that the girls who were eliminated do not lose hope and continue to work towards their goals.
All the best to the new girl group, TWICE!