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I Am A Singer 2 : Super December Top 4

We’re almost at the end of our I Am A Singer 2 commentary series, where we’re currently rooting for Guckkasten to win Super December. In addition to myself Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle and Fabien of Kimchi Popcorn have contributed their opinions to this post. All performances can be streamed from the official site and if you live in the right country chances are you can watch some of them on YouTube too.


 

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Duet Missions

Anna: I’m still confused by the duet mission. It might’ve been more interesting to have So Hyang or The One perform with Guckkasten instead, but instead it’ll be the more natural pairings of So Hyang with The One and Guckkasten with Lee Eun Mi.

Dahee: I think they’re just trying to fill in all that extra time. Why they’re forcing more work on the singers by giving them two missions a week is beyond me. Wouldn’t that just result in more rushed and half-assed arrangements? Why not just have some special performances from the singers who didn’t make it to Super December? This show has so many decision problems. No wonder it’s hit rock bottom.

Fabien: Exactly, that would have made more sense to see the unlucky contestants to get the spotlight again to finally perform without the constraints and the stress of the competition. And also So Hyang with Lee Eun Mi or Guckkasten would have been a lot more interesting mix of voices.

 

So Hyang & The One – “천일동안” (Lee Seung Hwan cover)

Anna: Wow! This was quite powerful and not bad at all! Far from my own preferences, but I imagine a lot of people eating this right up. Great job from both.

Dahee: This is a very pretty song, and I’m enjoying the beginning when So Hyang’s singing it…and then The One joins her, and suddenly I’m annoyed out of my mind. Help! I think I’m permanently biased against him! :( I guess I’m still angry about his performance in the previous episode. Or maybe I just don’t like his voice (and I really don’t), because whenever So Hyang’s singing I’m thinking it’s a pretty performance, but when The One sings I’m gritting my teeth and hoping it’ll be over soon. It’s a very safe and boring arrangement, but for some reason I’m getting the sense that I’d like it a lot more if just So Hyang were singing it. Actually, maybe if it wasn’t so boring and safe, I’d forgive even The One’s voice in it. But as it stands…

Fabien: That’s typically what could be expected from them: yet another ballad. It’s still a pretty strong performance, The One’s voice is still so irritable when he sings alone, but becomes more bearable when it is hidden by So Hyang’s. But I don’t see any reason why the audience wouldn’t buy this.

 

Lee Eun Mi & Guckkasten – “어른 아이” (Gummy cover)

Anna: Interesting song choice, now let’s hope they can do something that’ll appeal to the audience as much as So Hyang and The One’s duet. The way it starts off isn’t exactly anything I enjoy much, but Lee Eun Mi and Ha Hyun Woo’s voices match each other well, and my own reservations are primarily related to my problems with anything resembling blues as I can tell they are doing it really well.

Dahee: Hmm, not much experimentation shown with the arrangement here, huh? I’m a fan of the original song, but I expected Guckkasten to play with it more. I guess the inclusion of Lee Eun Mi forced them to hold back a bit. But I really am enjoying how Lee Eun Mi and Ha Hyun Woo are playing off each other and just having fun with their voices. That narration in the middle was cute, if rather unnecessary, and I enjoyed the gradual climax. You could tell that Ha Hyun Woo was trying not to go over the top with his vocals for the sake of the duet. All in all, a fun performance, if not really mind-blowing.

Fabien: The song was really far from what I would have imagined as a good fit for them, but they still manage to make a good performance if not an engaging one. The two voices perfectly mix together, but I found it hard to listen until the end as it’s rather uninspired and boring.

 

Duet Results

The One & So Hyang: 427 points
Guckkasten & Lee Eun Mi: 573 points

Anna: Wow! I thought The One and So Hyang would definitely go winning out of this, but it seems Lee Eun Mi can get away with a lot.

Dahee: These results (temporarily) give me hope for humanity.

Fabien: I’m surprised by this huge gap, as it didn’t seem to me that Guckkasten and Lee Eun Mi standed up between the two duets.

 

Lee Eun Mi – “내 하나의 사람은 가고” (Lim Hee Sook cover)

Anna: Very nice and emotional in spite of the trombone, but as so often with Lee Eun Mi I find myself enjoying her performance more when I’m not actually watching it. The strings help making it all very dramatic and I can imagine this being the soundtrack of some movie that I like.

Dahee: I’m loving all of the instruments being used in this. There are moments in this when I’m impressed, but the overall impression is…meh. As always, I remain unfazed by her. After that fun performance with Guckkasten, she’s right back to her signature boring ballad performances. And this is such a good song, too! At least she sang very well…

Fabien: The song is well interpreted, and her vocals are still very strong, but I came to the point where I’m just getting bored of these ballads typically labelled for I Am Singer. But maybe it’s just me who cannot go on commenting every week what almost always sounds the same for me. I can nevertheless feel a spark of emotion in the end. Wow.

 

So Hyang – “인연” (Lee Sun Hee cover)

Anna: Going in for another ballad, this time with plenty of traditional instruments backing her up. I’m getting a historical drama soundtrack from this one. I’m in some sort of sentimental mode right now so I don’t mind it at all as much as I think I would’ve usually done. And even when she starts belting out those high notes I quite enjoy it.

Dahee: …Is So Hyang wearing a prom dress? Or a Halloween costume made for little girls who want to be a princess when they grow up? And what is that headband and those butterflies? Oh dear. I am so distracted by her outfit that I can’t concentrate on her performance at all for the opening. And then I snap myself out of it and focus, and it’s around then that I realize that this is a good arrangement overall, even if it is too dramatic for my liking. I’m probably speaking out of my love for the original song, though. (Funny that one of the lead actors of the movie this song was featured in is right there, watching her!) Still, I wish she didn’t end with that scream, and focused a little more on the intricacies and delicate emotions of the song.

Fabien: My lack of interest for dramas and their soundtracks strikes again as once more a song flies above my head. Actually, the song was still enjoyable, the heavy instrumentals have an epic yarn to it, and So Hyang goes all loud again in the end. Despite the lack of subtlety, at least it kept my interest and can easily see it coming first in the audience’s opinion.

 

The One – “나 가거든” (Jo Sumi cover)

Anna: I may be in a mood for sad songs right now, but even so there’s something about The One’s vocals that make me feel disconnected. Even so I’m appreciating this a lot more than anything else I’ve heard from The One so far, save from the duet earlier in the show. What’s wrong with me today?

Dahee: This was a very predictable arrangement. Starting soft, then going for the DRAMA. Like every other of his arrangements on this show. This is such a beautiful song, but he’s ruining it for me. Ugh. I’m sorry, I’m trying not to become his anti-fan, but it’s very hard when he’s always disappointing and annoying me with his boring performances…

Fabien: It starts as a potential good performance by The One, for a change, but then it ends again all dramatic and boring as it can be. Stop singing about maybe leaving, The One, do it now please.

 

Guckkasten – “희야” (Boohwal cover)

Anna: Loving it already from the start with the sound effects that make it seem like I’m listening to an old vinyl. Then the song gets started for real and it’s exactly what I need to pick me up. Also really enjoy the break with a more quiet part resembling the intro halfway through the song. Very, very nice!

Dahee: Hehe…My name is Dahee. The song is for all women with “Hee” in their name. Tee hee! They’re singing for ME! Okay, so this isn’t my favourite Boohwal song (and it annoys me that they’re actually playing Lee Seung Chul‘s softer version for the intro and explanation of the song in that clip…), but of course I’m excited by the fact that Guckkasten is covering it. Apparently they switched songs at the last minute and decided to go with this the day before! Crazy. I’m loving the opening and am completely fascinated…and then the song switches into this up-tempo rock, and I’m going, “Huh? This is how you arrange a song about a woman dying of leukemia??” And then I think, “Well, Boohwal has rearranged this song into a happier, upbeat version that they play at shows, so maybe they were influenced by that?” Overall, I’m not sure how I feel about this arrangement, which, while interesting, definitely feels like they didn’t put as much time and effort into as they usually do. I think I like it? But I definitely don’t love it.

Fabien: Raaaaah, that old vinyl effect followed by the noise of electric guitars was absolutely awesome. Yes, you read it well: there is some noise in I Am A Singer! The rest is more conventional, but still very enjoyable for me as I love these older rock songs. But I also have the feeling they only scratched what could have become something even more impressive to Guckkasten’s standard.

 

Personal Picks

Anna: 1) Guckkasten, 2) So Hyang, 3) Lee Eun Mi, 4) The One

Guckkasten get first for delivering so much energy while still appealing to my sentimental side. So Hyang gets second because I enjoyed both the duet and her solo song. I would’ve put The One third since I only enjoyed Lee Eun Mi’s solo effort slightly more than his, but enjoyed the duet he was part of far more, but I just can’t bring myself to it knowing I am not in my usual state of mind right now.
Dahee: 1) Guckkasten 2) So Hyang 3) Lee Eun Mi 4) The One

I didn’t love any performance this week. But Guckkasten’s was the most experimental, so I’ll give them the top spot. So Hyang had her moments with hers, so she gets second. And Lee Eun Mi at least showed more integrity with her singing and her arrangement than The One did. God, please eliminate him already!

 

Fabien: 1) Guckkasten 2) So Hyang 3 ) Lee Eun Me 4 ) The One

Aaaaaaaand COMBO ! My ranking is no different from my fellow commenters, as there was hardly another coherent ranking. My addiction for rock songs and experimental musics give me bias toward Guckkasten, but So Hyang also delivered a proper performance. And I would lie if I would say I didn’t bleh during The One’s performances.

 

The Results

No. 1: So Hyang

Anna: Seeing the duet results and the preliminary solo results I was hoping this’d be Guckkasten’s win, but even so I’m not surprised So Hyang made it. I don’t even mind it all that much.

Dahee: At least it’s not The One. Still, this is making me very, very nervous for the elimination…

Fabien: It’s not so surprising despite the poor results from the duet and the preliminary, and she deserves it.

 

Eliminated: Guckkasten

Anna: What!? How could this be? Not that I’m surprised at who made the top 3, but to see Guckkasten eliminated after these two performances that at least the sample part of the audience favored doesn’t make all that much sense to me.

Dahee: NO! Oh god, I actually feel like crying right now. They got eliminated by a margin of THREE VOTES. Who are those three people who didn’t vote for them?? Tell me so I can go egg their houses! How can The One have survived? HOW? I am so fed up with this. GIVE ME BACK MY GUCKKASTEN!

Fabien: I really don’t understand what happened with these votes. The went first from the duets and the audience was expecting them to get first as well with the solo performances, and now they are just thrown away INSTEAD OF THE ONE ? How could this possibly be real ? This result is the pinnacle of a year of unbelievable results. I can’t wait to see this season end.

 

One Comment

  1. You guys need to restraint yourself on commenting about vocals tbh because it’s very clear you know a naught.

    About Sohyang:

    ” Still, I wish she didn’t end with that scream, and focused a little more on the intricacies and delicate emotions of the song”

    “So Hyang goes all loud again in the end”

    Scream? Loud? What? She had “the ring” on that E5. Which is optimal resonance and is the hardest thing to achieve in singing probably.

    Also she actually showed brilliant musicality on it. She floated some upper-mid belts with a very good legato (which FYI needs a great sense of music and technical skills) before the bridge. Didn’t deter when the time signature slowed down and went up again. And ended it with a perfect run with usage of pentatonic scale (she only hits 5 notes), the key was B major, so she only hit B, C#, D#, F# and G# (since the key’s a major sharp key). Usage of pentatonic scale in vocal requires a great control and sense of pitch. Usage of pentatonic scale shows a great sense of music on her part

    Again, I’ve read many of your comments about vocals and saying Sohyang screams. But for your kind information, she’s been resonant in all of her performances on this show. She has shown better vocal techniques that every other female Asian I’ve seen. And trust me I’ve seen a lot because I’m a vocal student myself and loves watching vocal feats. And it clearly shows you guys know nothing about vocals. So it’d be better if you simply restraint yourself from commenting on it, since vocal techniques and musicality are objective things, it requires you to know about it before judging.

    Thank you.

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