“KARA Project” Ep. 1 Recap

June 4, 2014  By  kpopbreak     3 Comments

Kara ProjectI watched the first episode of KARA Project…I know, I’m a horrible human being! Originally, I wasn’t going to watch it, I swear (I learned my lesson after Who is Next: WIN when Team B lost and I cried myself to sleep to BIGBANG’s Love Song even though it didn’t even really fit the mood). But then the teasers of each girl were released and, I won’t say who, there were two girls in the running whose possible insertion into KARA would definitely lead to a mental breakdown. So I HAVE to vote. And since I have to vote, I might as well make an educated choice, though I’m not going to lie, I’ve already made up my mind as to who I’m voting for. And after watching this episode, I’m definitely voting for those two. So let’s summarize the first episode for you and then introduce each Baby KARA member (still disgusted with myself after falling under DSP’s evil spell). Sidenote: I hate you DSP. First SS501 and now KARA, you can never have nice things because you suck.

EP 1 Summary

It’s the usual survival reality program. The girls (aptly named Baby KARA) are trainees and then one day each one is brought into a room and interrogated about what it would feel like to be part of KARA, the expectations, the stress, their personal lives, the sob stories. Then the girls are informed that each week they will be given a KARA choreography and song to learn. They have to record the song in the studio and then perform in front of different live audiences. After each performance they are judged and scored by “experts”, and those scores are then added to a popularity vote (20%), performance rating vote (30%),  and global popularity score (30%). So these girls are literally on a roster, trying to trample over each other to get the coveted spot, or spots, I’m still unsure about that part. The first song chosen was Step, and the girls worked hard to learn the choreography. However, in the end, they disappointed the judges as a whole, in a totally-not-planned dramatic ending.

Contestant #1: So Jin
BABY KARA SojinSo Jin was the girl from the first teaser:

When I saw the teasers, she was in third place for me (I was going by looks), now, after the show, she’s in second. So Jin is the leader of Baby KARA because she’s the oldest member. She likes playing jokes on the members, but she worries that she might be too aggressive as a leader when she gives criticism and helps them practice. She’s also very confident and has the most presence when the members are standing in line. Her only worry is that she’s already 23 and that’s considered the age limit for late idol debuts (this is the age of debuting 15 year olds). She’s decent vocally, a passionate dancer and she’s pretty. I approve! After the Step performance, her criticism by the judges was that she stood out to much and needed to learn how to let the other members shine. Frankly, I don’t think that’s a critique! More like, oh, sorry I’m so much better than them.

Contestant #2: Shi Yoon
Baby KARA Shi Yoon
Shi Yoon was the girl from the second teaser:

When I first saw the teasers, I didn’t care where this girl went so long as it wasn’t KARA. I still feel the same, though I wouldn’t be totally devastated if she made it (looks-wise). Honestly, I didn’t remember anything about her and had to rewatch her parts. She morphed into one really tall person with Chae Kyoung (another member I’ll mention later). In the recording studio, she was underwhelming (to me) but the vocal coach gave her credit for practicing and thought she did well. She’s much prettier on the show than she was in the teaser. She apparently thinks her face is asymmetrical and I think that’s funny because she looks like a model. She’s timid and says she’s a good actress. Then when she tried to do a dramatic crying scene, the tears wouldn’t come and she became embarrassed. But she played it off and it was funny. She’s likable and pretty, I’m just not sure about the talent department. For the Step performance, her criticism was that she kept looking at the floor and didn’t appear confident. She seems like she still needs to be a trainee for a while but I can see her becoming an idol or actress. I know this sounds shallow, but the music industry is shallow, but she has the face.

Contestant #3: Young Ji
Baby KARA Young JiYoung Ji was the girl from the third teaser:

When the teasers came out, she was my second favorite. Now, she’s dead last. She was the only member that really struggled in the studio recording of Step and received the worst evaluation. So she got teary-eyed in the studio. And she also cried in her first individual interview. She apparently made a promise to her parents that she would pass this final challenge and become a singer. She transferred from another company and the move was very difficult for everyone. Yes that’s all very nice, I feel for you, only I don’t really connect with her. So I don’t. Oh, when they asked her what she would do if she were criticized for being the new KARA member…she said she’d cry. The only member that said that and concentrated on the pain of it all (then she’d “overcome” it). Everyone else said that they would either learn from the experience, work harder, give time to adjust or think of it as possible future praise or encouragement. I’m sorry, but this girl is a wreck. Don’t put her in KARA. I would tell you what the judges said about her performance but she had a leg injury and was in the hospital the rest of the episode…….yeah. There’s only one clutz that I love to death and she’s already in KARA. She doesn’t need competition in the falling department:

Contestant #4: Chae Kyoung
BABY KARA Chae Kyoung
Chae Kyoung was the girl from the fourth teaser:

Chae Kyoung didn’t stand out for me. She does look a lot younger in the show than she did in the teaser video. She’s 19 but looks 15. Her blood type is AB and she seems very quiet and reserved. When they asked her if she thought she lacked anything to be a KARA member, her totally honest answer was, “My dancing skills need to be improved. I don’t have as much stage experience as they do. I’m not good with facial expressions or eye glares.” (What on earth, that’s considered a skill nowadays in K-Pop? Orange Caramel should hold classes.) I’ll give her props for being sincere but netizens are going to eat her alive for her self-recognized flaws. She says her parents are more ambitious than her because she’s not a good student. I mean, it’s funny, but come on, tell us some good qualities here. You’re throwing yourself under a bus! She’s adorable though. Her criticism from the judges was that although she was pretty and a good dancer, she wasn’t drawing attention to herself. I agree. She has time to learn though.

Contestant #5: So Min
So Min was the girl from the fifth teaser:

It’s my favorite member! She was my favorite in the teasers and my favorite in the show! Doesn’t she look like Hara’s little sister? If she doesn’t make it I’m going to be so heartbroken (oh great, I’m attached already, this is going to hurt. Why do I fall for these corporate beartraps?!) She gets flustered when you tell her she looks like Hara and her smile is kind of creepy (awww). She is also full of wise words: “The KARA members are already complete, they know who they are. I will learn from them one by one.” I throw flower petalsI can totally see her being a part of KARA, she fits the look (mature, beautiful, with Hara being the slightly-alien-like quirk that spices things up—imagine two!). The thing about So Min is, Korea will either love her or hate her because she looks like Hara. Either they’ll love her for looking like someone they admire so much or hate her for supposedly taking away Hara’s unique look. I hope they love her because I love her. Oh my god, I’m so totally going to cry in this finale…Anyway, the judges thought So Min did the best in the Step performance and praised her.

Contestant #6: Chae Won
Chae Won was the girl from the sixth teaser:

Yes, yes, I know what you’re all thinking. But she’s not an AKB48 member. Chae Won is 18 and her commute everyday is 4 hours long (home, school, DSP building, home). If she makes it into KARA she says she wants to become a member KARA can’t be without (yeah, I don’t know about that, KARA has done without a lot of members). Anyway, I think she’s too young and doesn’t really fit the image of the group. DSP probably knows this and is only putting her in this show to familiarize viewers with her so they can debut her in a year or two. The judges are divided about her Step performance: the choreographer thought she needed to practice harder and KARA’s manager thought she did the best considering her short period as a trainee.

Contestant #7: Yoo Ji
Baby KARA Yoo JiYoo Ji was the girl from the seventh teaser:

…Yeah. Yoo Ji was on K-Pop Star 2 and is confident about her dancing. She says KARA is like a dictionary that she needs to learn from and I’m hoping that was just a terrible English translation a la SM. There’s not much to say about her. That’s it. The show really didn’t concentrate on her a lot now that I look back. In judging, KARA’s manager said he was the most disappointed with her. He’d praised her the most during dance practice but she lacked the same confidence and skill while on stage. My only concern: Don’t stick this girl in Rainbow, that’s the last thing Rainbow needs. I am warning you DSP, don’t pull a Core Contents Media reorganization frenzy. I might just get an aneurism.

**Results For KARA Project’s First Round of Votes

1st. Young Ji
2nd. So Min
3rd. Chae Kyoung
4th. So Jin
5th. Chae Won
6th. Shi Yoon
7th. Yoo Ji

HOW IS YOUNG JI IN FIRST?! She literally did NOTHING the first episode. I’m done. So done. Gonna go cry in a corner.

If you have the heart, you can watch the first episode here:

More Recaps:

“KARA Project” Ep. 2 Recap
“KARA Project” Ep. 3 Recap
“KARA Project” Ep. 4 Recap
“KARA Project” Ep. 5 Recap



  1.   June 8, 2014, 5:57 am

    I really liked this article.
    Well, my favorite member was Sojin, I thought that she was one of the least pretty members during the teasers but it seems like it was just the horrible make-up that made her look really different than on the actual show. I feel like she’s really perfectionistic, determined and she really wants to stand out. In my opinion it seemed like she saw the other Baby Kara’s not as her friends but only as competition but given the circumstates I actually like that since she’s that passionate. She gave me that Sera/Nine Muses vibe.

    I actually think that Youngji is really pretty but I was also thrown back when she won this round. Like, she didn’t even perform in Episode 2. I hope she debuts someday but I’d be really annoyed if she gets chosen for Kara, this just wouldn’t be fair.

    I didn’t really have an opinion of Shiyoon or Chaekyung, they seemed pretty but they were just …there, like, they are cute but don’t have this kind of charisma/bias feel for me. Somin was slightly more charismatic but for some reason I would prefer Chaekyung over her in Kara. Like you pointed out, she really looks like Hara, and so I would prefer her to be in another group instead of Kara. Gyuri, Seungyeon and Hara have all a distinct beauty and the new girl should be an addition that looks different than the members so people that prefer other types of looks would catch an interest in Kara. In the end, visuals play a big role in Kpop.

    I also felt like Chaewon wanted to sound intentionally cute or funny with her mentioning of food (twice?) but I still liked her. Though, I can’t see her in Kara, either, she wouldn’t fit at all. Latter also goes for Yooji, I’d like to see her in a more causual ‘hip-hop’ fashioned group (maybe in a more r’nb style?) but a big no for Kara.

    •   June 8, 2014, 2:00 pm

      I love Sera from Nine Muses!! You’re right, I see some Sera in So Jin. I haven’t had the heart to see the second episode after the results from the first round were delivered. Young Ji doesn’t perform in the second either? Okay, wow. If she gets into KARA by pity vote, then is the BEST qualified Baby KARA member truly making it? Also thanks for the comment, I’m glad you liked the article.

  2.   June 22, 2014, 12:41 pm

    Young Ji owns that ‘Stage Charisma’, so she stood out… But she’s also working hard to catch up. TBH it’s her own fault that she broke her leg, but at least she broke it because she’s training… HARD. Lol

    ( Btw You should see her dance cover of SHINee’s ‘Sherlock’ )

    In my opinion, voters pick her because she’s pretty without trying to be pretty, and she is actually a hard worker. Yeah, IT SEEMS unfair that she ranked #1st, but again, she’s charming. She did OK on the 3rd show, good on 4th, and she’s making progress. Let’s just wait for the 5th, maybe she can change your mind~~~! :3

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