SM Departing ‘K-Pop Star’?!

Okay. So this is apparently a thing now. It seems rumors are going around the SM Entertainment will not be on the judging panel for the third season of the talent search show, ‘K-pop Star’. These are just rumors at the moment, but we are getting no signs of denial from SM Entertainment. In fact, we’re getting nothing from them. It seems there is a “radio silence” between the public and SM Entertainment on their position. Some people are wondering why they would not outright deny it, if they indeed were dedicated to staying on the judging panel. This is leading to the rumors and speculations growing, which is why people suspect SBS’s sudden press conference is going to address this issue. The curiosity as to why they would not just deny it, if they were staying on, is viable and makes one wonder what could be going on. Maybe they really are considering it.

[Photo Credit: littlemisshoo of]


Some insight on SM Entertainment’s involvement with ‘K-pop Star’ might be might be needed for some people to get a better understanding of this issue. SM Entertainment has been with ‘K-pop Star’ since the beginning and has BoA as it’s representative on the judging panel. While SM Entertainment has “cast” contestants in both seasons, they have never taken a contestant into their label. The winner of ‘K-pop Star 1′ was Park Ji-min and she ended up going to JYP Entertainment, where she is currently one member of the duo in ’15&’. The runner-up was Lee Hi (Lee Ha-yi) and she is currently a solo artist under YG Entertainment. ‘K-pop Star 2’ had ‘Akdong Musician’ as the winner and signing with YG Entertainment, as well as the runner up Bang Ye-dam. Various other agencies picked up contestants from various stages of the show, but SM Entertainment was never one of them.

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There a few reasons out there to explain why SM Entertainment has been involved with ‘K-pop Star’, yet never picked any of the contestants to take on. Some people take a critical view and say it is because SM Entertainment is looking out more for people with looks and talent second. This means they want a contestant with A-Rank model looks, then talent coming after that. SM Entertainment has never verified this and I don’t see how they would ever verify such a theory, even if it is true. SM Entertainment has mentioned a few times that the contestants didn’t match their “color”. This means they didn’t see anyone that matched the style they want from an SM artist. Personally, I do believe they want someone with top ranked looks and talent. That is not to say they want models who can sing and dance on an average level. I also feel they want a contestant they can dictate on how to grow. There is a belief in the K-pop community that SM Entertainment is obsessed with controlling it’s artists and giving them material to perform. I’m not sure on how true this is, but I do feel SM Entertainment likes to control a good amount of their artist’s career. The companies get to meet the contestants in groups and gauge the ones they meet, as well as personal judgement calls of contestants they don’t meet. No matter what the truth is, the facts stand that SM Entertainment has not chosen a contestant to take on for the past two seasons of ‘K-pop Star’.

A more clear explanation of these rumors will hopefully be given in the press conference on October 8th. People suspect it concerns these rumors because of the sudden nature of the press conference. People are already wondering who would take SM Entertainment’s place on the judging panel. Personally, I believe CUBE Entertainment would be a good replacement. They have been rising up in popularity and have a good line-up of artists as well. We will all have to wait and see. I’ll give more input on the situation as I learn about it.


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