Aug 26, 2013

YG's new reality survival show - Who Is Next?

I just saw the pilot episode of WIN: Who Is Next? on Mnet's youtube channel. For non-YG stans, WIN is a new 10-episodic reality survival show on Mnet that documents the debut of YG Entertainment's next boy group. In the same way the debut of Big Bang was documented in a reality show, WIN shows us the road to the debut of YG's first new boy band in 8 years, dubbed WINNER.

However, unlike Big Bang's debut, WIN seems more cutthroat and aggressive. While G-Dragon and the rest of the boys of Big Bang competed for a spot to be a member of the group, with Jang Hyun-seung eventually being cut from the Big Bang roster (he's now a member of the boy band Beast under Cube Entertainment), WIN's premise is having two set teams fight for the right to debut. Should the team beat out the other team, based on audience votes, they debut in 3 months. The losing team may face member changes, another 4 years delay in their debut, or be totally dropped from YG. The stakes are higher for the 11 trainees and this excites me.

While we have some familiar faces on the show (i.e. Kang Seung-yoon of Superstar K2, Lee Seung-hoon of K-Pop Star - both members of Team A), there are a handful of new and interesting trainees whom we will be getting to know more of throughout the course of the show. I'm not sure how much of an advantage Seung-yoon and Seung-hoon's team have on the show, despite already having made names for themselves, seeing as how they seem more like the underdogs in this early stage of the competition. While I give mad props to Team A's vocals, the younger guys on Team B seem to have an edge when it comes to teamwork and rapping and dancing skills, which CEO Yang Hyun-suk has clearly acknowledged.

Seems like I'll be keeping close tabs on this show. Not sure which team I'm rooting for yet, but we'll see how it goes.

WIN: Who Is Next? airs every Friday night at 10pm on Mnet, with a replay at 11:20pm on tvN. Episodes are subsequently uploaded onto Mnet's youtube channel with English subtitles for international fans. Catch the first episode below.


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