Firmly grasp chocolate. Press play…
The episode begins with the same drama as the last, with the choreography director giving the girls a speech about being irresponsible for not practicing past choreography and becoming too wrapped up in the sudden fame bestowed upon them. The SM translator got me again because turns out they are choosing 2 members after all (why do people keep hiring you?!). The choreography director lectured Baby KARA about how the other KARA members already are 10 years in front of them in experience, so all they should think about is trying their best and relentlessly practicing. He actually had a lot of really good things to say, including the hard truth that they are all disposable and the only thing that could really set them apart is how they are able to adapt and learn from criticism. After the speech the girls were obviously sad so So Jin gathered the girls and told them that they should try to remember their original passion and practice as if they love what they are doing again. The girls soon got back to practicing Go Go Summer which required a “mature cuteness” (Oh Japan). They were divided into teams, some struggled, others appeared to do well, usual routine. Then came the vocal recording and the girls got the brilliant idea of getting the vocal couch some iced coffee to make her happier and lower the possibility of receiving criticism. Coffee solves everything. So true. The vocal coach appreciated the gesture and the girls soon started singing their first Japanese track. Everyone seemed to do well except for Young Ji who struggled the most in the beginning. The girls then packed their stuff and left for Japan to perform in the country’s largest mall (70,000 people per day!). I need to go to that mall…The audience in attendance would also vote and choose the three girls that they liked the most (1st. Young Ji, 2nd. Chae Kyoung, 3rd. So Min). I was really surprised that for the performance there were already fans with their names on banners (they even sang along really loudly!). The girls performed Rock U and Go Go Summer and when the audience suddenly asked for an encore the girls were overjoyed and performed Step. [Performances Only Below.]
Over all the girls did really well and you could tell that they were feeding off the audience’s excitement. For this mission’s judgement, there was special guest Katzuto Nochimoto (who is he? I don’t know. The SM translator didn’t think he was important enough to receive an English title translation). All of the judges were mostly very happy with their performance. The episode ended in a total awkward note, as the girls went to the special fan meeting KARA held in Japan, which had tears and the KARA members apologizing for their company (but the latter didn’t make the cut into this episode, obviously). Next song, Mr.!!
Contestant #1: So Jin
After receiving the harsh criticism from the choreography director, So Jin quickly went into leader mode and gathered the girls to encourage them again. She gave them the whole passion-before-stress speech that seems to always work in these reality programs. In the recording studio, she did well and according to Chae Won she’s “sharpening her claws.” As in, she’s back full force in a mode Tyra would call FIERCE. When the girls introduced themselves mid-performance in Japan, she said her hobbies are watching dramas and eating yummy things. Special guest judge Katzuto Nochimoto chose her, So Min, Young Ji and Chae Kyoung as the best and said any two of them could debut with KARA without any problems.
Contestant #2: Shi Yoon
While practicing Go Go Summer, Shi Yoon didn’t receive any direct feedback (that was put on camera). Then, they did even put her in the recording studio! That’s unfair. Why not? I know she’s not the best but come on. Or was it so short that I totally missed it? When the girls introduced themselves mid-performance in Japan, she said her attractiveness was her long legs and her hobby was sports (beyond ambigious this one). When the girls went to the fan meeting she seemed to be the most adamant fan girl, but then again she always has the spazz face like a piñata about to burst. Look how cute she is!!
While practicing Go Go Summer, Young Ji’s criticism was that she was so preoccupied with her facial expressions that she wasn’t really paying attention to the choreography. Then, in the recording studio, she agreed with the other girls to get the vocal coach coffee but after Yoo Ji and So Min left to go make it, she said, “As a daughter of a coffee shop, I don’t trust them.” Really SM translator? Are you even trying now? So I’m guessing she’s the daughter of a coffee shop owner, so we know a little bit more of her history there. In the recording studio, she had an embarrassingly bad take. Her voice was loud, shaky and nervous. The vocal coach asked her whether her throat hurt since the take was so bad and what happens….tears. What? Noooo! Young Ji crying? That never happens. The coach told her to go outside and get herself together and that Chae Won would go next . Frankly, I thought that was unfair (She didn’t even go after Chae Won, she went after Yoo Ji, making her the last to go up). That should have been part of the test. Obviously there was nothing wrong with her voice and she was just nervous but so was everyone. There should NOT have been an exception for her. She should have passed that test, composed herself quickly and learned from her mistakes. Honestly, I feel like they baby her and she’s not even the youngest. The youngest has never even cried actually. And frankly, that’s unfair performance wise. Everyone else receives criticism and has to on the spot learn from it and re-record their parts. Instead, Young Ji did her part, got criticism, got told to go outside and practice, and then came back and did better. Obviously, she was given time to reflect over her critique, unlike everyone else that had to just think automatically and quickly. That’s unfair and just makes me dislike her more, even though she had like zero say in the going outside. If just annoys me how she victimizes herself and everyone responds. When the girls introduced themselves mid-performance in Japan, she said her charisma was her wide eyes. During judgement, the choreography director was happy with all of their performances but scolded her for not “standing by” when she was told to and still waving at the audience.
Contestant #4: Chae Kyoung
While practicing Go Go Summer, Chae Kyoung seemed to be doing well, though they didn’t really concentrate on her. Then when it was time to go to the recording studio, she came up with the idea of giving the vocal coach iced coffee to lighten the mood (smart girl). When the girls introduced themselves mid-performance in Japan, she said her attractiveness is her smile and her special skill is nail art (aww). The audience chose her as their second favorite and special guest judge Katzuto Nochimoto chose her, So Min, Young Ji and So Jin as the best and said any two of them could debut with KARA without any problems.
Contestant #5: So Min
While practicing Go Go Summer, So Min appeared to be doing well with both the dance moves and the mic. Then, when the girls decided to get the vocal coach coffee before their recording session, she went with Yoo Ji to make the coffee.The two spent what seemed like a lengthy period reading directions as they tried to figure out how to make the machine work. Don’t worry So Min, I still struggle making macaroni and cheese (I’m that girl that thoughtlessly throws away the box and then needs to take it out with the tips of her fingers in shame). In the recording studio, she was the first one up. I think what I really love about this girl is how she receives criticism. She listens and tries to improve immediately. You can tell that she doesn’t take it person and is extremely professional. The vocal coach told her to redo a part because it wasn’t good and she did it, no teary eyes, no unnecessary pauses, no awkward silences. She then received praise, since she’s finally emotionally connecting with lyrics instead of simply delivering them correctly. On the airplane, she and Young Ji were the only ones that didn’t fall asleep on the way to Japan and they secretly recorded the other members sleeping. When the girls introduced themselves mid-performance in Japan, she said her attractiveness was that she fell easily for things. The audience chose her as their third favorite and special guest judge Katzuto Nochimoto chose her, Chae Kyoung, Young Ji and So Jin as the best and said any two of them could debut with KARA without any problems.
Contestant #6: Chae Won
While practicing Go Go Summer the choreographer said that she appeared to have gained confidence, probably meaning that her moves are sharper. In the recording studio she also got praise, and the vocal coach said that her voice was clear and refreshing. When the girls introduced themselves mid-performance in Japan, she said she liked singing R&B songs (shock). Not much to report here, other than the fact that she thought they were going to New Zealand or Thailand for their performance even though they had just recorded a Japanese song.
Contestant #7: Yoo Ji
While practicing Go Go Summer, Yoo Ji struggled a bit with her mic since she was concentrating so much on her dance moves. Before the vocal recording, she helped So Min with making the coffee and seemed as surprised as her when the product turned out not bad. When the girls introduced themselves mid-performance in Japan, she said that her attractiveness is that when she smiles, her eyes disappear.
**Results For KARA Project’s Fourth Round of Votes
1st. So Min
2nd. So Jin
3rd. Young Ji
4th. Chae Won
5th. Chae Kyoung
6th. Shi Yoon
7th. Yoo Ji