Please note that this article reflects the author’s opinions and not necessarily those of kpopeurope.eu!
Yesterday, I published the first part of my review regarding the final of Austria’s Next K-Pop Star. In order to give this huge project the attention it surely deserves, I decided to write about the last live show as detailed as possible, thus releasing the report in three parts. I think this is also in my readers’ mind, as a seemingly never-ending article can be pretty tiring. So here is a part two, telling you something about the next three stages as well as the jury’s first decision! Who is going to make it into the TOP 2?!
Similar to the first round, Bigi had the pleasure to open the second round with her favourite song, Lee Hi’s “Rose”. We already saw this performance two weeks ago at the semi final, but because she loved the collaboration with her dancers, she wanted to perform it once more. Indeed, the costumes were really cute and the preparation work was undoubtedly a lot. So giving “Rose” another chance was quite understandable.
Here I really have to thank Bigi for making this choice. Not only because I love Lee Hi’s works, but rather because she did so amazingly well this time. I liked it much more than the stage I’ve seen the last time. Her voice could be heard clearly and the microphone did its job despite her powerful vocals. Bigi also mastered the rap part without any major problems, and her facial expression was astonishing! She surely knows what she has to show the audience in order to satisfy them and thus, she completed her performance with a “big bang”. At the song’s peak rose petals were flying through the air, shocking not only me, but everyone in the room. She really caught the audience off guard and I am pretty sure that none will ever forget this performance!
After this heart-attacking show, the crowd cheered like there was no tomorrow. The jury admitted that they got real goose bumps, thus complimenting her for this high-quality performance. According to them she did a perfect job, not only in singing, but also in acting out all the emotions. She surely owned the stage!
The next one was Youngkwang with Kim Soo Hyun’s “Dreaming”, a very nice and touching ballad. Matching the feeling of the song, he wore a more classical yet chic outfit, which suited him perfectly. I am pretty sure that, if not before then surely by this very moment, he melted some girls’ hearts right away due to his stunning looks. His vocal skills were great too as he delivered a performance full of deep emotions. One very cute highlight was the support by his fans. They prepared fansigns which they waved during the whole performance, making the jury smile at this sweet action. It is not surprising that Youngkwang performed beautifully once again, earning loud applause from the audience.
However, despite having a great and soulful voice, I had the feeling that he had some troubles with the correct breathing technique, as he seemed a little bit tired towards the end. Maybe this was a result of being nervous, because the needed confidence cannot be taken as granted. Nevertheless, he could deliver a pretty solid performance, which I enjoyed a lot.
The jury was pretty stunned, as they did not know what to say. You could tell that he felt a special connection to the song. When he was asked about this assumption, the young singer answered that the lyrics of the song are like a mirror of his dream. He simply loves the message of this very special song!
The last stage before the well-deserved break and the first life-changing decision of the jury went to Marlies. The young girl tried another combo of singing and dancing with 2NE1’s song “I love you”. For this stage, she got some support, as two of her friends joined her as background dancers. Similar to the YG girls on stage, they danced with some scarves, making it look more like the original. Her fans enjoyed this powerful performance, since they showered her with loud fan chants, making her smile widely.
Regarding her vocal performance, I have to say that she lacked here a little bit compared to her stage before. This might be due to the fact that she had to be concentrated on her choreography, thus shifting her focus from singing to dancing. As a result, it was sometimes difficult to listen to her voice, as it could not be heard loud enough. However, there were some parts, where she could shine, or better, where she was simply astonishing. Yet, her powerful performance and vocals demanded all of her strength, as she was truly breathless afterwards.
Following some loud applause, two members of the jury were asked for their comments. This time, I slightly differ from their statement as they only mentioned her, indeed, very strong points. Surely, she is a great and very talented person, and she delivered a quite creative, in some parts even sexy performance. However, I would have wished to hear her voice more clearly. Nevertheless, I enjoyed her stage a lot and I can only agree with the jury, when they say that she delivers Korean pretty well. And this despite the fact, that she is not Korean at all.
After these three performances and before heading to the break, another group performance was on the schedule. Like before, some of ANKPS’s best candidates prepared a stage with the song “Red Sun” by SMTown. Even though they seemed to have some coordination problems as well as some troubles with the lyrics, the performance was really cute, especially as Youngkwang’s little brother was joining them for some dance moves.
The break seemed to be never-ending, since the jury took a lot of time for deciding who will be in the final round and who not. The audience was slowly growing inpatient and they asked some staff, when they will finally continue the show. I guess the jury should have tried to decide within a given time-frame, even if it is very hard to make a decision on such a high level. Thanks to the MC, the announcement did not take very long, as he could feel the audience’s impatience. However, instead of telling who did not make it to the next round, he started with announcing the names of those who passed, making it more exciting. Youngkwang was “released” first, leaving Bigi and Marlies for a face-off. In the end, it was Marlies who could pass and move on to the final round.
The jury explained their decision as they told us that they wanted to find someone, who really strives to become a K-Pop singer, a star, who shares the passion of performing in front of a huge crowd. Another important point for the given judgement was the monitored progress and development of every candidate. And, regarding this last aspect, especially Marlies could impress the jury.
With this being told the show head to its final round. If you are curious about the winner of ANKPS, the really amazing prizes as well as the last two main stages, then stay tuned, as I am going to reveal everything tomorrow. Just one little teaser for you guys: A songwriter who claims to have written for SM Entertainment has something to do with the grand prize!!
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Original Feature written by Rina
Pictures copyright by ANKPS, Park Cham-Yi