Seoul — An idol survival show named I-Land will premiere next month in a search for the next top K-pop band. It will see trainees trying their best to become idols and the winners will be part of a new K-pop band.
Singer Rain and rapper-producer Zico will be mentors in the show.
Big Hit Entertainment, which manages K-pop boy band BTS, and CJ&EM, an entertainment giant, have jointly set up Belift Lab to launch the idol search. With a budget of 20 billion won (S$23 million), the production has been in works for three years.
A large complex has been constructed to house the show in South Korea. Combining Big Hit’s skill in the K-pop scene with CJ’s quality content, it is a match made in heaven.
Kim Tae Ho, chief of Belift Lab, said the main focus of the venture is entertainment and media based on intellectual property rights. He added that the venture will meet market expectations thanks to the expertise of Big Hit Entertainment and CJ&EM.
The initial round of auditions were held in Seoul from March last year, followed by auditions in countries like the United States, Japan and Taiwan. Trainees have to be born between 1997 and 2008. Skills such as modelling, singing, acting, dancing and rapping are part of the audition.
I-Land is a reality show that follows the lives of K-pop trainees as they train hard to become idols on South Korean music TV channel Mnet. The show does not have a voting system, so audiences do not have a say over who gets to be in the group.
The host and narrator of the show, Min Nam Goong, shared in a teaser that the show is a survival show in an “unprecedented unknown space”.
As there is no voting system, the show may have a panel of judges to see who is eligible to make it to the cut.
Bang Si Hyuk, Big Hit’s founder and CEO, will be heading the show. He will be the general producer to oversee the production and development of the group. Bang said that the trainees will be guided to develop their skills as artistes. He added that he had high expectations of the trainees.
There has been overwhelming response to the announcement of the show’s premiere. One commentator says that the teaser looks like one set for world domination, while a fan says it indicates a Hunger Games type of survival show. /TISG